In recent memory, there has not been a more thrilling or depressing first half of Mets baseball. If someone were to tell the average Mets fan that the team would go into the break at 47-42, they’d ask where to sign. But the road to get them there was certainly one of the strangest. With this strange first half, we’ve seen an eleven game winning streak, a plethora of injuries, and a three-homerun game from Kirk Nieuwenhuis (yeah, that was crazy). Through all of these crazy events, the Mets have accumulated one of the best pitching staffs in the last decade, but one of the worst offenses in the past 100 years. Here are 15 statistics that truly show the wild ride that has been Mets baseball.
The Mets are the best in MLB for wild pitches, balks, and hit batsmen
With a starting staff known to pitch on the fast side, it’s great to see that they are controlling the ball from their arm to the catcher’s glove. The Mets did not balk until late September of 2014, so zero balks this season is not much of a surprise. What remains incredible is the 18 HBP. When thinking of a great pitching staff, this is not the first stat that comes to mind. However, this is a great example of never giving a free pass.
The Mets are 2nd in league for WHIP and walks (third in hits)
This goes straight to the source of run prevention. The Mets are extremely touchy about giving up free passes- especially when Bartolo Colon and Matt Harvey are on the hill. The pitchers are simply recording out after out, inning after inning, game after game.
The Mets stand 2nd in Quality Starts (58 to 59)
The quality start is becoming less and less of a respected statistic, but it remains a good way to look at how often a pitcher keeps the team in the game. While the Mets team ERA stands a bit far from the Cardinals and Pirates, the starting staff has consistently kept them in the conversation.
The Mets staff has the 3rd lowest Pitch per plate appearance at 3.71
The pitching staff of this team simply goes after hitters. We’ve seen Colon plow through hitters with 9-10 pitch innings on the regular while Jacob deGrom attacks hitters in the late innings. This just goes to show that with this type of consistency, pitchers are able to go farther in games and continue their dominance.
The Mets are Eighth best in MLB with 42 stolen bases allowed:
This is not a great statistic on the surface, however, it’s actually a great way to look at the success of these pitchers. The dearth of stolen bases shows the lack of stress that pitchers are feeling while performing their craft.
The Mets have been caught stealing the fewest in the majors:
This is obviously a biased stat, as the Mets aren’t inclined to steal bases anyway. They were expecting to have 15-20 bags stolen by Juan Lagares, but he isn’t getting on base. It just goes to show that this team has transformed tremendously over the past few years (for better or worse).
Mets pitchers have intentionally walked a league-leading 30 batters:
This one is truly strange. It creates a conundrum because if the pitching is so good, why must they hand out so many free-passes? Or is the Mets staff this good because they walk this many batters intentionally? The law of averages will give us our answer.
The Mets stand 18th in Pinch hits with 16
The Mets bench has received about as much hate as Terry Collins has gotten this season, but they surprisingly they don’t stand last for actual pinch hits. Does this mean anything? Absolutely not. The Mets bench has been terrible this season.
Mets have five pitchers on the DL or 40-man with an ERA under 2.50
This is probably more terrifying than anything else, but it’s not as if there is a big need for pitchers on this team. Erik Goeddel, Steven Matz, Logan Verrett, Jack Leathersich, and Jerry Blevins will be missed, but the Mets have shown they can live without each of them.
Zero Pickoffs by the Mets this season
One of the more underrated parts of the game has been completely ignored by this pitching staff. As recently as 2013, the Mets stood in the top 10 for pickoffs. Again, what does this mean? Perhaps nothing. The Mets will eventually get a pickoff this season – or they won’t. Ideally, the idea is not to have a baserunner to pick off.
.233 team batting average
This one hurts, from the fans and players alike. We’ve witnessed some of the most embarrassing stretches of offensive droughts in Mets history, but somehow they haven’t suffered the same fate of the 2014 Padres. This could absolutely turn around in the second half – we’ll see.
Two sacrifice bunts by batters this season (both by Wilmer Flores)
One could argue that this is worse than the .233 batting average. When the Mets are simply failing to hit, they can’t even capitalize on a gifted baserunner. This probably won’t get any better, as the Mets will be looking to swing the bat.
The Mets offense has grounded into 61 Double Plays (Seventh-most in the league)
If the Mets want to be successful, they need to stop this. Enough said.
The Mets have the 3rd fewest bullpen strikeouts
A bullpen known for getting people out has not gotten many people out with the “K.” Maybe this is not very “petrifying” because an out is an out, but it is just unsettling to know that a bullpen with strikeout machines are simply not doing just that.
The Mets rank last in team OPS+ with 84
This straightforward stat just shows how atrocious the Mets offense has been. Hopefully they can flip the script on this one.