Mets riding high with nine wins in last 11 games

Blend logoThe Mets have won nine of their last 11 games yet it’s impossible not to hear complaints about the team. Let that one sink in for a minute.

You hear that they’re only doing well because they’re playing bad teams or that the offense can’t keep hitting homers at this pace or how they’re terrible with runners in scoring position (RISP). It’s not that these things aren’t true, because they are. Rather, it’s bending over backwards to look for reasons to be negative, without applying any greater understanding to the big picture. It’s the equivalent of seeing an ant on the floor and then eliminating it by firing a 357 Magnum.

You can only play the teams on your schedule and it’s much better to go 9-2 than 2-5. You’re supposed to beat up on the bad teams and that’s what the Mets are doing. Besides, is it fair to call Cleveland and Cincinnati bad teams? The Indians are 9-5 and the Reds are 9-10 in games against teams besides the Mets.

Last year the Mets won 90 games because they beat up the bad teams. According to Baseball-Reference, against teams below .500, they were 62-34. Against teams .500 and above, they were 28-38. The 2016 Mets aren’t going to win 95 games by dominating the good teams. If the Mets play .500 ball against the good teams this year, 95 wins is on the table if they beat up the bad teams. After a poor start, they are close to where they need to be in this regard.

The Mets have hit 26 HR in their last 10 games. Over a 162-game season, that’s a pace for 421 homers. Since the most homers hit by a team in a single season is the 264 hit by the 1997 Seattle Mariners, it’s safe to say that this is not sustainable. But for a team whose offense is built on homers, a pace of 2 HR in 8 games wasn’t likely to keep up, either.

In August of 2015, the Mets hit 45 homers and followed up with 43 in September. Is it so unbelievable to expect the 2016 team to finish April with 34 HR, the pace they are currently on through 18 games? Just curious – are Cardinals fans gnashing teeth about their homer output? Last year they hit 27 HR in both August and September, their best homer months of the year. They hit 21 in July and 14 in April. This year they’ve hit 30 in 19 games.

Hitting with RISP has not been a team strength so far. It’s maddening to watch a game and see them go 1-9 like they did last night. But as bad as they’ve been, they’re not the worst team in baseball by any stretch of the imagination. They rank 22nd in OPS and their OPS is lower than what the worst team in MLB posted last year. It’s much more likely than not that they will improve in the category going forward. Much like the 2 HR in 8 G pace wasn’t going to last, having a .638 OPS with RISP won’t last, either. Hopefully regression here will come before too much more waiting.

One last thought here. The Braves have been almost the antithesis of the Mets this year on offense. They’re last in the league with 3 HR – well over 500 PA since they hit a homer – and they have an .841 OPS with RISP, the fourth-best mark in MLB. The Braves have played one more game than the Mets. Atlanta has 61 runs scored and ranks last in the majors in runs. The Mets are middle of the pack with 79 runs scored.

I’m happy with where the Mets are at right now. While there’s always room for improvement, it seems crazy to me to focus on the Nationals playing better or any alleged faults. Do you really want to be a nattering nabob of negativity for a team with the third-best record in the NL? It’s not that anyone should stick their heads in the sand and ignore anything that isn’t positive. Rather, it’s enjoying the things that are positive and taking delight in them.

As Ferris Bueller taught us, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Don’t be the guy who misses the good times because all you can see are problems.

6 comments for “Mets riding high with nine wins in last 11 games

  1. blastingzone
    April 26, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    Great article, I hope everyone who reads it takes away what I did? Be thankful for
    where they are because they could be 10 games out in last place with no hope
    of going anywhere like the braves and wouldn’t that be a fun year! Second place three games out a week away from may and we just won 9 out of there last 11 hell I will take that any day and so should all there fans! You know whats funny the mets are hot right now and there not even close to being the best they can be(sounds like a marine commercial) A couple of months from now or sooner the mets are going to be very scary! I don’t care how good a start Washington had the mets will over take them and win the division going away after that who
    knows? Washington came out firing both barrels and we are only 3 games back!!
    I have been a met fan since 1964 so you know all the crap I’ve been thru so I say just sit back and enjoy!!

  2. Metsense
    April 26, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    It is a great time to be a Met fan. I have been enjoying it immensely seen July 24, 2015 when Sandy utilized his minor league system and brought in the missing pieces that led to the World Series. That in turn led to increased revenue which increased the team payroll to a reasonable level and allowed Sandy to supplement the defending National League pennant winners with minor but costlier upgrades to improve over the winter the 2016 team.
    The discussions now are: should Conforto bat third all the time?; should Wright be rested more? should Lagares and Flores get more at bats? and what are the roles of the bullpen after Familia? It should be just fans happily discussing the nuances of the game because when the manager is 9-2 there should not be anything to complain about. Embrace the team, root for the players, enjoy their accomplishments, brag about them and wear your colors proud. Nice article Brian and maybe it is time to retire the scrolling Collins “announcement” in the spirit of good times.

    • April 26, 2016 at 2:26 pm

      Your discussion points:

      Yes, Conforto should hit 3rd whenever he’s in the lineup

      Yes, Wright should be rested more when he’s slumping

      The ABs for Lagares and Flores should come about with a priority for maximizing the effectiveness of the regulars. If Wright needs more days off, then Flores should get playing time. But a goal of getting more playing time for subs, just because? No, I can’t sign up for that.

      I’d like to see the bullpen worked with the idea of moving Henderson into the 8th inning role. Before that can happen, he’s got to show he can go back to back and be effective. And I’d like to see him prove that in lower leverage situations. So, now it’s Reed in the 8th and mix the others for earlier innings. I’d like it to be Reed-Henderson-Familia ultimately.

      I thought about taking down the Alderson-Collins thing before the start of the season. But then I thought, hey it’s our good luck charm! I’m not opposed to taking it down if others feel the way you do.

  3. April 26, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Last April, with the help of a fairly famous 11-game winning streak, the Mets went a resoundingly wonderful 15-8 for the month, celebrated in story and song.

    The Mets have 4 games left this April. If they go 3-1, know what their record would be?


    I’m just sayin’…

  4. JIMO
    April 26, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    Are you seriously kidding me with the d’Arnaud shoulder injury? Are we dreaming? How many times can lightening hit this kid? He’s like the jinx from the Andy Griffith show.

    PS: I do like the idea of having a defensive-first backstop on the team though. That’s sort of sweeeeet!!

  5. Steevy
    April 26, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    A TdA trip to the DL is apparently going to be a regular occurrence.

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