Ike Davis’ quest for 30 HR, Harvey’s big stick, pitchers set record

Due to their ballpark and personnel, the Mets have never been a big HR hitting team. Only 28 times in team history has a player reached the 30-HR mark in a year. By contrast, the Rockies have had a 30-HR season 32 times in their history and they have played 31 fewer seasons.

Ike Davis has hit 26 HR this season, which is tied for 40th place in franchise history. Others to hit 26 HR in a season are Tommie Agee (1969), Darryl Strawberry (1983 & 1984), Mo Vaughn (2002) and David Wright (2006).

Before the season, I wagered a mythical Coke with friend of the site Dan Szymborski that Davis would hit 30 homers this season. ZiPS gave Davis a zero percent chance of doing that here in 2012. He has 19 more games to hit the four homers he needs to reach 30 for the year. However, Davis is currently riding a six-game homerless streak, covering 16 ABs and 22 PA.

OFFENSIVE WOES SINCE ALL-STAR BREAK – Everyone knows the Mets have struggled to score runs here in the second half of the season. In 57 games since the break, the Mets have scored two or fewer runs 26 times and are 3-23 in that span. It’s not much better when they score three or four runs, either. The Mets are 7-16 in those outings. When they score five or more runs, the Mets are 12-5. All five of those losses came in July when the pitching was so bad. They have won 11 straight games in which they scored at least five runs, dating back to July 30th.

In their first 57 games of the year, the Mets were 20-7 when they scored five or more runs. So they reached that threshold more often and had a higher winning percentage (.741 to .706) earlier in the season. But now that the SP seems to be back on track, the team’s woes are squarely on the shoulders of the disappointing offense.

HARD-LUCK NIESE – Given the information in the last note, it should come as no surprise that a starting pitcher is having a hard time posting Wins. In his last seven games, Jonathon Niese has 6 Quality Starts, a 2.47 ERA, a 1.035 WHIP, a 3.67 K/BB ratio and a 3-4 record. While it’s not showing up in his decisions, Niese is finally putting a full season together after fading badly down the stretch the past two seasons.

BIG POWER OUTAGE FOR DW – A lot of the offensive woes can be traced back to David Wright, who was so magnificent in the first two months of the season and so much closer to an average player the last few months. In his last 42 games, a stretch covering 176 PA, Wright has hit just 1 HR. You have to go back to 2009 to find a worse stretch. That year, when Wright hit just 9 HR in the debut season of Citi Field, Wright went 207 PA with just 1 HR.

HARVEY SWINGS THE LUMBER – Easily one of the bright spots of the second half has been the pitching of Matt Harvey, who has been even better than advertised in his first nine starts. Not only has Harvey been impressive on the mound, he’s been a very good hitter, too. In 19 PA, Harvey has an .875 OPS and 3 RBIs. The best season for a pitcher hitting (minimum of 20 ABs) is Skip Lockwood in 1976, who posted a .789 OPS. A former infielder, Lockwood was used as a PH 32 times in his career.

TORRES NOT QUITE THE FIELDER WE WERE PROMISED – One of the main reasons the Mets acquired Andres Torres in the offseason was for the defensive upgrade he was supposed to provide over Angel Pagan, last year’s center fielder. But in an injury-plagued season, Torres has not been a defensive star in 2012. In 770.2 innings, Torres has 0 Defensive Runs Saved and a (-1.3) UZR. Meanwhile, Pagan has a +0.2 UZR in 1,142 innings this year. And there’s no need to embarrass Torres further by mentioning their respective hitting numbers.

PITCHERS SET CLUB RECORD – It may not be the record that you hope they would set but the 2012 Mets pitching staff is going in the history books nonetheless. This season the club has used 28 pitchers, breaking the all-time mark of 27 established in 1967 and then tied – strangely enough – in 2006. So, congratulations Rob Johnson – they couldn’t have set the record without you!

19 comments for “Ike Davis’ quest for 30 HR, Harvey’s big stick, pitchers set record

  1. Bobby Townsend
    September 14, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Wright was hitting .351 at the All-Star break, but only .261 since.

    Brian, have you heard anything about how Mike Pelfrey is progressing
    after he had TJ surgery in April.

    I may get up to Citi Field for the home finale on Sept 27 against the Pirates

  2. September 14, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Off Topic:

    1983, Mets Opening Day: Sports Illustrated said that this was an opening day record crowd of 51,054 for the Mets.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1120726/1/index.htm

    I was there and with a “Field Box” seat. When Tom Seaver was introduced, my heart pounded with excitement as Seaver walked from the bull pen to the mound. The ovation was stunning.

    If I am missing something, please delete this because…

    I just watched “Mets Yearbook: 1983″ in which the announcer (Tim McCarver) described Opening Day against the Phils and “the Mets treated the 49,000 to a treat with Doug Sisk alleviating any fears with…”

    Not a word about Tom Seaver.

    The next clip was May 4th, Daryl Strawberry’s arrival.

    Do I have my dates wrong?

    If not, why did the Mets production team completely erase Tom Seaver from the show?

    Anyone?

  3. September 14, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Bobby, David Wright batting .261 since the All Star break is really heartbreaking. I have been amazed (without stats) at the number of times he has struck out looking, in the past few weeks. It is almost like his confidence is shot.

    • Steevy
      September 14, 2012 at 4:48 pm

      He looked like. Lock for 25-30 HRs and well over 100 RBI and runs scored.Now he likelely wont get 25 HR or 100 anything.

  4. David Groveman
    September 14, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Question: Could Matt Harvey win the Silver Slugger with his limited outings? He’s REALLY hit the ball well.

    • September 14, 2012 at 3:24 pm

      I’m not aware of any minimums but Strasburg has 5 XBH, 7 RBIs and a .759 OPS. He’s likely the favorite.

  5. Steevy
    September 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Harvey almost drove in the only run of his loss the other night.

  6. Name
    September 14, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    I’m really surprised that Torres has such a low UZR. If i remember correctly, I think Torres has a positive WAR. He aint hitting or running, so i assumed most of his value was from his fielding. Secondly, i have seen him make some really far ranging plays, and some nice catches that have saved some pitchers, and i don’t recall many “bad” plays by torres on the field, at least certinaly not enough to be negative UZR.

    Also , i just wanted to note that the bullpen has been doing better… since rosters expanded and Terry can safely use 1 pitcher for 1 batter and not have to think about running out of pitchers. Just saying.

  7. September 14, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Torres does have a positive WAR – thanks mostly to baserunning. Since his SB numbers are nothing to write home about, I’m guessing he does a good job of going 1st to 3rd and 2nd to home.

    As for the bullpen, the extra players definitely help but the improvement happened before rosters expanded. Parnell, Rauch, Ramirez and Edgin have all significantly improved since Acosta replaced Beato. Since Acosta was recalled on 7/24 the five main set up guys – the four listed previously and Acosta – all have ERAs 3.50 or under.

    That quintet has a 2.58 ERA in 87.1 IP since July 24th. And interestingly they have all pitched between 17 (Parnell) and 18 IP (Ramirez). Acosta and Rauch are at 17.1 and Edgin is 17.2

    Edited to correct Rauch and Edgin IP

    • Name
      September 14, 2012 at 6:35 pm

      I guess UZR catches something I don’t. Maybe i tend to forget all the bad fielding plays Torres makes? or it doesn’t give enough credit to his good plays? Because i have been more than content with Torres defense in CF and have seen quite a few game-saving plays from him.

      Did you compile those stats by yourself or is there some website you use that can organize splits by dates that you choose? Most sites i use only have pre/post break for date-related splits.

      • September 14, 2012 at 6:37 pm

        I can remember a few plays that I thought he should have gotten. Overall I figure he’s been average so I, too, am surprised to see him below average.

        I compiled them myself.

  8. Metsense
    September 14, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    The bullpen has performed well post all star game. It is the offense that has really soured. Ike is the only one improved in OPS .659 to .866.and Torres an anemic .607 to a still below average .685. Murphy -18, Tejada -152, Wright -264, Hairston -2, Duda -151, Thole -123. It has been a total offensive collapse and very difficult to correct.Where do you start when there is nobody knocking on the door from AAA? Can the Mets bring back this group (except for non tendered Torres) and reasonably expect improvement? It is a shame to waste all this good pitching.

    • Name
      September 14, 2012 at 7:55 pm

      Well, for Wright, a big regression was inevitable, and for Tejada, a regression was likely. But guys like Duda, Thole, Murphy, they had subpar 1st halfs and could have easily improved in the 2nd half but didn’t.

      But the main thing I can discern from the 1st half to 2nd half are walks. In the 1st half, the Mets were tied for 1st in walks, in the 2nd half, they are in the lower 3rd. Is this because they are less patient or are pitchers catching up to their strategy and throwing my strikes? I have to think it is the latter. It is now Hudgens and the players responsiblity to adjust again and make sure they don’t let meatballs go by, which we have seen them too all too often.

  9. September 14, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    Name, why was a “big regression” inevitable?

    • Name
      September 14, 2012 at 9:20 pm

      maybe inevitable was too strong of a word to use here, but i doubt many of us expected Wright to continue hitting at a .350+ clip. Depends what you qualify as big, but a 30-40 point drop is big in my opinion.

      • NormE
        September 15, 2012 at 5:46 am

        I agree with Name.
        What I find interesting is that Wright’s great first half was produced with very little protection in the line-up. Once Davis became more productive and offered a measure of protection, Wright’s numbers went south.

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