What the Mets can learn from this post season

So far this critical Mets off-season is off to a great start. Ownership finally accepted that having a triple A team in another time zone and hitter friendly climate wasn’t the best idea. Moving the squad to upstate New York will allow for better roster flexibility and organizational communication. Signing a progressive young manager known for working successfully with pitchers on a winning team was the second smart move. Next will be filling out the coaching staff and seeking to plug roster holes through free agency and trades. But before the front office embarks on this yeoman task, it would behoove them to look at some of the common themes among this year’s playoff teams.

Defense and speed are kinda important
Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Francisco Lindor, Addison Russell, Didi Gregorious, Xander Bogaerts, Trea Turner. Seven of the 10 teams that made the playoffs has a young star at shortstop. Hopefully, Amed Rosario can join this list soon. He certainly has the raw tools and potential. The three teams who lacked a superstar at shortstop had one in centerfield like A.J. Pollock, Charlie Blackmon and Byron Buxton. The two teams that had studs at both key defensive positions made it to the World Series. Not coincidentally, the Dodgers and Astros each boast strong catchers and second baseman as well. So, the old fashioned notion about strength up-the-middle still applies. As of now the Mets have a potential star at one spot and replacement level players at the others. This is not a recipe for success. Another common denominator of this year’s playoff teams is speed. Rabbits on the bases tend to score a lot easier, not just through steals, but by aggressively advancing an extra base whenever possible.

A deep bullpen is essential
Having two reliable relief pitchers is no longer enough to get a team to and through the post season. Few pitchers regularly go seven innings or more these days and odds are at least one starter through each rotation turn is going to knocked out early or injured. Wouldn’t be nice to not have to write off those games every time? Extra inning games are often won and lost by the bullpen. In addition to keeping games close and minimizing the number of heartbreak losses a team suffers in a season, bullpens are increasingly being used to take pressure off teams’ rotations. A team with a strong bullpen can make the playoffs and advance despite only having two or three reliable starting pitchers. But a team with five good starters and a lousy pen isn’t going to go very far. Look at the Yankees as a perfect example. Jeurys Familia, A.J. Ramos, and Jerry Blevins is a nice start, but the Mets need two more arms they can really count on in the bullpen.

A playoff run requires reinforcements
The Astros, Dodgers and Indians were all on their way to 100- win seasons, yet all three made big moves to add talent at mid or late season through smart trades. The Dodgers added Yu Darvish to an already strong rotation, Tony Watson to an already strong bullpen, and Curtis Granderson to an already deep outfield. The Indians added Jay Bruce to an already strong lineup and the Astros added Justin Verlander to give their rotation a second ace. That’s how you go all in.

Smart coaching can make a difference
The Astros’ A.J. Hinch brilliantly piggybacked Lance McCullers and Charlie Morton in game 7 of the ALCS to knock out the Yankees. The Dodgers’ Dave Roberts sorted through a crowded outfield to find the hottest bats to get them from one round to the next. And the Indians’ Terry Francona conducted his bullpen like a philharmonic orchestra. Hopefully, the Mets’ new skipper can make such smart moves when the season is on the line. And hopefully our front office can find the right pieces to make the Mets better resemble a contender this off-season

51 comments for “What the Mets can learn from this post season

  1. October 27, 2017 at 9:06 am

    Matt that’s a lot of hoping!

  2. Jimmy P
    October 27, 2017 at 9:31 am

    I think this is a smart thread.

    Overall, there is a tendency to overreact to every winning team — to look at one WS winner and mistake it for “the formula” — but there are things to be gleaned.

  3. Sinhalo27
    October 27, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Not really learning anything new here. This is the story every post-season really. That’s why it’s hilarious all the folks that wanna load the team with more and more HRs… because that means you’re loading the lineup with alot of unproductive strikeouts as well. Pretty ironic that the current trend is to allegedly value the 27 outs as much as possible yet condone absurd rally-killing strikeout totals for a couple extra HRs. You wanna build a team that’s virtually slump-proof that can play and win in any decade regardless of current trends? Contact, speed, fundys and defense- that’s the recipe.

    • Jimmy P
      October 27, 2017 at 9:53 am

      I believe there were 8 HRs in Game 2 of the WS.

    • MattyMets
      October 27, 2017 at 11:04 am

      I completely agree and have long preached this. There are two types of power hitters. The type that’s a great hitter with power (Albert Pujols has never struck out 100 times in a season and in his prime always hit well over .300, drew plenty of walks, also hit doubles) and the type that hits homers but doesn’t do much of anything else (Aaron Judge struck out 205 times this season) there are typically only a small handful of Pujols types that command a fortune and it’s great to build a lineup around one of those. Protecting that guy with a plumber, as Whitey Herzog called Jay Bruce/Lucas Duda types is great but you can’t fill out a lineup card with those guys if you want to consistently score runs.

  4. Jimmy P
    October 27, 2017 at 10:12 am

    A few things we see from these two teams:

    1) Dodgers have something like $80 in payroll not on the current playoff roster. It’s a big market strategy, an understanding of sunk costs, how a team can’t allow a “bad signing” to cripple their attempts to win. You have to move on. Obviously, the 2017 Dodgers are an extreme case of this. With the Mets, we’ve seen it many times, though it’s gotten slightly better (releasing Bay, for example). The are two explanations for the Wilpons: 1) They are too dumb to understand the concept; 2) They simply don’t have enough money to overcome the inevitable bad contracts. Because: bad contracts are inevitable. The Cubs are treating Heyward and Zobrist, very big ticket guys, as part-time players. And so on.

    2) We are seeing two young, mostly untested managers. This is a good trend, opening up the talent pool, rather than reflexively sorting through the list of retreads. The Mets, in this respect, are on point.

    3) The Astros — and Cubs — showed the value of high draft picks. Not the 11th pick, but getting in the top 5. Talent wins.

    4) Bullpens, absolutely, are critical in any kind of postseason run. Their importance becomes magnified. I still think starters, for the most part, can get you into the playoffs. But the pen wins the big games in October.

    5) Youth will be served. If the talent is there, age doesn’t matter.

    6) Cautionary note: On winning teams, role players tend to be over-rated. That’s a mistake we can make watching champions. Put the same guy on a bad team and he doesn’t look that great anymore. Be careful what you “learn.”

    7) The WS may rise or fall on the ability of each team’s big money pitcher — acquired late in the season — Verlander and Darvish — to deliver the goods. Second to that, teams need desirable prospects and financial resources to make that kind of trade.

    • Hobie
      October 27, 2017 at 10:17 am

      Excellent recap, Jimmy P.

    • Chris F
      October 27, 2017 at 12:07 pm

      Werent you advocating winning as many games int he reg season as possible? The way both teams got thos draft picks were by trading away all the MLB level talent they had for prospects, and playing through some awful seasons. I dont recall there being much stomach for that approach during the season. I am a big believer that as far as baseball goes, if you are not first, you are last…thank you Ricky Bobby.

      Also, as far as the HR barrage. What we are seeing is very different than small ball v long ball. Verlander gives 2 hits, both HR. At this level, any little mistake will be capitalized on, and crushed. In general, I dont think thats nearly as likely, although hitting approaches have obviously changed. We saw a lot of importance of playing baseball all through the playoffs, and using 1 game as a measure is a bit off. Sure, there have been HR, but a lot of fabulous small ball too.

      • Jimmy P
        October 27, 2017 at 12:33 pm

        I think you are a little confused, Chris. I was supportive of the Mets trying to win for as long as it was possible. I wanted them to bring in pitching, replace Familia, fight for something. You were a big advocate of giving up early, proudly being the first guy on the block to surrender. That’s never been my thing, not in a contending year. The Cubs and Astros lost early and by design in a rebuilding strategy.

        No one is saying it’s only about HRs this World Series. But again, 14 of 17 runs are a result of HRs. That’s just reality, regardless of our preferences or what we want to believe. I personally don’t like the way the game has been going and think we’re in a bad era for baseball.

        But that doesn’t make me believe that “small ball” is the way to win in 2017.

        • Chris F
          October 27, 2017 at 1:38 pm

          Contending year? Huh?????

          Well winning as far as possible does not get you the best draft picks. Sucking terribly does. Look at the Giants who will be up there at the top and already front runner to get Stanton. The Mets were out of this in May. I was ok unloading everyone, forgetting the notion of every win matters, and get every AAA person up to the bigs to see if hidden talent was in there. Playing Reyes and Cabrera etc was bad, winning worthless games hurt our draft position. I maintain that 100%.

          There were plenty of non HR runs in the playoffs. Game 2 the other night was one of the most ugly games Ive seen in the post season.

          • October 27, 2017 at 2:13 pm

            It’s easy to point to the success stories of the tanking mode. But let’s not pretend that it’s guaranteed to work.

            Certainly having high draft picks for years didn’t help the Pirates when they went over two decades without a winning record. But I think the best example comes from the NBA, where the draft is a much surer bet than MLB’s and where one or two guys can make a whole lot more difference.

            The Philadelphia 76ers have five straight years where they’ve gone a combined 109-301 (.266). And that followed up a 7-year stretch when the only time they finished above .500 was in a strike season.

            This decade they’ve had the top overall pick twice, the second overall pick and the third overall pick twice. Now they’re 1-4 and on track for another top 5 pick. Among the offensive four factors, their best rate is 15th, with the other three in the mid-20s.

            Getting the picks is important. But so too is hitting on them when you get them.

            Beyond that, of the Astros top 4 position players this year by fWAR, only Correa was the product of the ultra high pick. Altuve and Marwin Gonzalez came from Venezuela while Springer was the 11th overall pick. On the pitching side, Brad Peacock came via trade, Charlie Morton was a free agent signing, Lance McCullers was the 41st overall pick and Dallas Keuchel was a 7th-round pick.

            I’m not trying to dismiss the value of top 5 draft picks. Certainly would be great to have Correa on the Mets. But anyone who thinks that the main reason the Astros are still playing in late October is because they tanked for three straight years is mistaken. They excelled in the international market, in mid-level picks, in trades and free agency.

            • Chris F
              October 27, 2017 at 3:12 pm

              What is the benefit of finishing 17 games back and out of the playoffs instead of 32 and a top 1 or 2 pick. Its not magic for sure, but the likelihood of the top drafts having an impact is much higher that even the bottom of the first round, with all due respect to those success stories otherwise.

              Astros excelled in a complete strategy. Its not taking, or a willful desire to lose. Its more testing to see what junior level people have a chance by giving them everyday playing time and not worrying about the record.

              • October 27, 2017 at 4:08 pm

                Clearly, the benefit is financial.

                In 2009, the Astros went 74-88 and drew 2,521,076 fans
                In 2012, they went 55-107 and drew 1,607,733 fans

                I don’t know what the average ticket price, or the parking, or the concessions or the merchandising revenue per ticket in Houston is. But whatever it is times 913,343 is not an insignificant number. And then multiply that by two or three or four or however many years the tank job takes place and we’re looking at a number in the high eight figures and possibly nine figures.

                You can certainly argue that the Astros are going to recoup that over the next few years. But they’re the success story. It’s tough to advocate for a strategy where a $75 million to $125 million loss in the short-term is guaranteed while long-term payout is unsure at best.

                By all means, kudos to the Astros for having the stones to do this and the talent in the field and in the front office to pull it off. They deserve all the praise they get.

                It’s just that’s a tough sell to an underfunded, over-leveraged ownership group. Perhaps in the particular case of the Wilpons it was more feasible in 2017 than 2011. That still doesn’t make it the optimal choice for them.

                And I’m asking all readers to distinguish between being an “apologist” for ownership and recognizing the reality of the situation. I’m not going to crucify ownership for not signing up willingly for a nine-figure revenue loss in the short-term. That’s significantly more than ashtray money.

                • Chris F
                  October 27, 2017 at 4:41 pm

                  That also happened during the time they moved to the AL. It also corresponded with a TV blackout and all kinds of media issues in the Texas market with 2 AL teams.

                  Are you telling me that Jay Bruce or Asdrubal Cabrera were bringing people in more than say the excitement of Rosario?

                  In any any event perpetual purgatory is a complete waste of time. If thats the team strategy, then the team deserves no fans.

                  • October 27, 2017 at 6:48 pm

                    OK, let’s look at the Cubs, who didn’t switch leagues and who didn’t have TV contract troubles and who have a destination stadium. They had an attendance of 3,062,973 when they went 75-87 and when their record fell to 66-96 their attendance fell to 2,642,682. Whatever the amount of revenue a single person in the ballpark brings in for Houston, I’m guessing it’s significantly more for the Cubs. I don’t believe you can dismiss an attendance drop of 420,291 people.

                    I think the Mets should have traded the players they did (and two more) when they did. My issue was the return they got for them. Furthermore, the immediate in-season attendance when the tear down happens is not the correct barometer. You have to look several years down the road, when the team goes from mid 70 win totals to 50 or 60, like what happened in Houston and Chicago.

                    No one wants to be in perpetual purgatory. It just seems an odd way to describe a franchise in 2017 that went to the World Series in 2105 and was the top Wild Card in 2016.

                • Chris F
                  October 27, 2017 at 8:36 pm

                  Let me know if you think the Cubs would trade the 420k in gate for the WS win and all the subsequent spoils.

                  Finishing 3rd place, 17 back carries no more value than finishing 5th 28 back. In fact its a total team setback, gate receipts included. If a team is playing for gate receipts then they are doing the wrong thing.

                  • October 27, 2017 at 8:58 pm

                    But you’re looking at the best-case scenario.

                    I’m not saying it can’t work, because obviously it has. I’m just saying it’s not guaranteed to work and that not all ownership groups can place a $100 million bet on themselves.

                    It’s a naive position to think that revenue doesn’t factor into the equation. As a fan, it may not make any difference to you about a 75-win team or a 55-win team. But it’s extremely clear that other fans feel differently, regardless if the market is Houston or Chicago or New York.

                • Chris F
                  October 27, 2017 at 9:39 pm

                  Im looking at the “desperately doing everything to win” strategy. Winning brings in gate receipts. I only understand a team that is doing one thing: trying to win a WS. If you are not in it, then pretending you are is a fraud. Yes, it is exactly that simple. If ownership is too squeamish to win, then they dont deserve to be owners or have fans. I could never wake up season after season with the thought — I sure hope we win 79-82 wins year after year. Thats just pure drech.

                  • October 28, 2017 at 9:09 am

                    You’re employing a theoretical argument that no one would disagree with in hypothetical terms.

                    It’s just not reality.

                • Jimmy P
                  October 28, 2017 at 10:20 am

                  Brian, I think this is a well-stated point and I agree.

                  To me, it’s more about degrees — a minor decision here or there — than actually advocating the team goes and rolls around in the much for a few years.

                  Another important aspect, for me, is that it’s insulting to fans. These past 7 years, I’ve been more upset and angry over how the organization is not trying, than the idea that they aren’t even worse.

                  So when I point, for example, the value of having an MVP type player in Correa or Bryant on your squad for 5-7 years — obtained through a very high pick — I’m not saying the Mets should have gotten those picks. I’m simply saying, without judgment, hitting on 1-2 of those top picks can really be great. You get that cornerstone, middle-of-the-order superstar in the lineup. It’s not hard to put together a team of good, complementary players. But a championship team needs stars. The high pick is one way of potentially landing one.

  5. Sinhalo27
    October 27, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Lol I know that was simply a response of convenience. The game was lost on bad relief pitching more than it was won on hitting HRs. Besides, can’t get to game 2 of the world series playing Powerball. Powerball could win some games but small ball still wins titles. Team of the decade cemented as the SF Giants on small ball. Fun fact- only 3 of the top 10 teams in HRs even made the playoffs and only 1 is in the WS.

    • Jimmy P
      October 27, 2017 at 10:38 am

      Again, based on what we are actually seeing in this WS, there have been 17 runs scored and 14 of those have been by the long ball.

      Hard to make a case, based on this WS, that “small ball wins titles.”

      It may be that you are writing what you believe, what you value, rather than what we are seeing.

      Which is not to say that many other aspects aren’t important: speed, youth, pitching, bullpen. But to come away from these two games and say, “See, small ball wins!” just strikes me as some form of denial.

  6. Sinhalo27
    October 27, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Don’t be fooled by recent trends. Again, majority of the top HR hitting teams didn’t even make the playoffs… that’s the proof right there. 8 of the top 10 OBP teams did make the playoffs with a ninth team a mere 4 games out of the WC and still in the hunt well in September… and while hitting HRs is a part of OBP they’re not nearly as much ass the singles, doubles and walks of OBP. And of course the SF Giants are the team of the decade. Relief pitching has yielded the outcome, not superior power hitting… also factor in game temps in LA in excess of 90 & 100 degrees.

    • MattyMets
      October 27, 2017 at 11:11 am

      I’m with Sinhalo on this point. Sorry Jimmy P – you and I are usually simpatico. 2 games is an awfully small sample size. Looking back at 2015, Mets power pitchers were able to neutralize that power hitting Cubs lineup but struggled against the scrappy Royals who were able to use contact hitting and speed to exploit Mets weaknesses. I still believe that had the Blue Jays made the WS we’d have won in 2015. I have long felt that home runs are overrated. Most who hit them are strikeout and slump prone and often slow footed lefty double play machines. Not all, as I said earlier, but many. The ones that are truly complete players don’t come cheap – Votto, Trout, Goldshmidt, etc. the ones who strike out a million times are vastly overvalued.

      • Jimmy P
        October 27, 2017 at 12:39 pm

        Not fair. This conversation is predicated on your post about what we can learn from this WS. Not 2015. Not the Giants in 2011, 2013, etc. Not the 85 Royals.

        I’m looking at these two teams, this year. As I said up top, there are different “lessons” each seasons and, surely, a hundred ways to skin the cat.

        But biggest mistake would be to think that I’m saying HRs wins the WS. That’s not my takeaway. I only noted it in response to someone writing that “small ball wins” a day after we witnessed a WS record for HRs. It’s a daft conclusion. No one thing wins.

        • MattyMets
          October 27, 2017 at 1:41 pm

          Jimmy P – yes, the Dodgers and Astros (as well as other teams that made the playoffs) can hit home runs, but my point is that these teams are well rounded with contact hitters, base runners, fielders, etc. Not only did 7 of the top 10 HR hitting teams not make the playoffs, but neither did the teams that feature 7 of the top 11 individual HR leaders. Now look at the leaders in team OBP. 8 of the top 9 made the playoffs and every playoff team finished in the top 12.

          In case you’re wondering the Mets finished 8th in HRs, but 18th in OBP. I rest my case.

          • Jimmy P
            October 27, 2017 at 4:16 pm

            What case are you arguing? I have not said that HRs win the WS. I wrote a post listing 6 lessons I took away from WS so far, and never mentioned HRs.

            There’s a lot of talk about “small ball.”

            Well, okay, let’s define it. I mean, it must be measurable in some way, right? Are teams bunting more? Are they stealing more bases? Are we witnessing more ‘productive outs” in these two teams? What are the characteristics of small ball? Let’s list them and see if, in fact, these teams are leading proponents of that style of play. Otherwise it’s just gibberish.

            Obviously, we are witnessing two of the best all-around teams in baseball, probably the two best. They both have a lot going for them. I simply don’t see that “small ball” is what we’ve been witnessing, or that this is somehow a rejection of HRs.

            Oh, and OBP is not connected to “small ball.” In fact, power and BB are linked statistically, for obvious reasons.

            I am not for one second arguing for a team of all or nothing hitters. I’m not arguing for anything at this point. I’m simply trying to objectively witness these two WS teams and see what can be concluded. We’re seeing youth, we’re seeing athleticism, good defense. Strong bullpens. A guy named Kershaw seemed to help, so that’s a lesson. Have an ace up your sleeve. Or two. We might end up learning that weakness at #3 and #4 can undo an otherwise good team. There’s a lot to be learned. Again, where’s the small ball? Show me how these two teams further that argument?

            In the 10th, I loved how Maybin got on and stole second base. The first steal of the series. Nobody outs, surely Springer would bunt him to 3B if we were witnessing small ball strategy. Instead, Springer bopped it over the wall. Two runs. They didn’t play for one, they hit for the bigger inning. And they won by a single run.

            • TexasGusCC
              October 27, 2017 at 6:24 pm

              Jimmy, not getting in this debate but rather pointing out: Springer was hitting to right field to advance the runner. The HR went to rightcenter, and he fouled off a ball down the rightfield line nust before the HR. That is small ball; fundamentals. Small ball isn’t always bunting, it fundies.

              • Jimmy P
                October 28, 2017 at 10:24 am


      • October 27, 2017 at 1:17 pm

        Please, this is revisionist history of the worst kind.

        The narrative made by the national media was the relentless Royals and they hammered that home the entire series, even when everything that played out showed a completely different story.

        The 2015 Royals had a team .629 OPS in the World Series. There was nothing special about their performance. The 2014 Giants, no one’s idea of a great offensive team, had a .697 OPS while the 2016 Cubs had a .720 OPS. The only reason the Royals won is because the Mets’ hitters were even worse, whether that was due to superior Royals’ pitching or, much more likely, that the Mets’ hitters going into a slump at the wrong time.

        During the regular season, the 2015 Mets had a .712 OPS, one that was significantly higher once Cespedes was acquired, Conforto promoted and the return of the injured guys.
        In the NLDS they had a .650 OPS when they faced Kershaw twice and Greinke twice in a five-game series
        In the NLCS they had an .833 OPS
        In the WS they had a .552 OPS

        I refuse to believe two things about the 2015 World Series:

        1. That the Royals’ pitching was significantly better than the Dodgers
        2. That the Royals’ offense predetermined them to a win

        • Jimmy P
          October 27, 2017 at 4:19 pm

          The Mets didn’t hit and, I think, TC mismanaged Familia after the first blown save. Failed to put him in optimal positions to succeed.

        • Chris F
          October 28, 2017 at 3:33 pm

          The reality of the WS outcome in ’15 occurred on the first pitch. KC was hustling. Watch a rerun of the Cespedes play. Unreal. The Mets were terrible.

  7. Sinhalo27
    October 27, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Very well said on all counts.

  8. Sinhalo27
    October 27, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Result without reason is just that, a non-entity. Ignoring the bad bullpen work and temperatures is not really responsible baseball. .. like the replace Familia comment, bc 50 save closers don’t grow in trees… 32 y/o Wade Davis looking to cash in, Greg Holland, Fernando Rodney, Joaquin Benoit, KRod, Kintzler, Addison Reed, Huston Street… not great pickings… can’t claim to be pulling a truth card with said logic or lack of follow through, sorry.

    Free agents…


  9. Sinhalo27
    October 27, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    Yes you should be a balanced team but the point was to show that small ball is simply a better model. Like i said, you can win a game here or there on Powerball but titles are won on small ball. Another example… Ozzie Smith 1987. Without his MVP runner up season they’re is no playoff HR, the only one he hit that year. Small ball gets you there. Without it there is no opportunity to hit WS HRs. Again look at the top 10 HR teams and top 10 OBP teams.

  10. Sinhalo27
    October 27, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    Mets had the lead for 75% of the WS. They scored enough. Bullpen and defense beat the Mets. Defense that was forced to make plays when you put the ball in play, which you don’t get from Powerball teams. Lest we forget Cain thoroughly embarrassing TDA on the basepaths. Speed compromises both the CS game as well as positioning… and also is the only tool that plays on both sides of the ball. Horrendously undervalued skill.

  11. Rabbit
    October 27, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    Defense! In the old day defense up the middle was considered essential. Then 2B was switched to a hitter’s position. next the good field no hit shortstop was deemed not so important as hitting shortstops became the norm. The great athletes that used to patrol CF seem to be missing nowadays. Sabermetrics probably support this trend.And certainly the increase in strikeouts probably plays a role too.

  12. John Fox
    October 27, 2017 at 2:58 pm

    One thing I learned from the postseason is that the Astro road gray uniforms look a lot like the Mets road uniforms, the fonts and coloring for the “New York” or Houston are very similar

  13. Name
    October 27, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    In recent years i’ve come to despise the postseason because the regular season and the postseason are basically different sports. Kind of like distance running and sprinting. The rules and form are the same, but the skills, strategies, and tactics needed for each one are entirely different.

    The regular season features a 25 man roster but usually requires 35+ men over the course of 182 days. The postseason is often played by a group of 16-18 guys. 5th starters? benches? Who needs them.
    The regular season has stretches where teams are required to play 20+ straight days. In the postseason, they don’t play more than 2 days in a row because god forbid you have to travel and play the next day.
    The regular season is all about depth and consistency, neither of which are required in the postseason.

    So how can we make the postseason more like the regular season?
    Easiest way to reduce off days so that you only get 1 per series when you travel from west to east. This makes scheduling a bit more tough and unknown until the last minute, but who really cares about knowing the schedule in advance? Fans will still show up.

    Another possible way is to play double headers, which means we could also make series longer.

    A 5 game series, currently 7 days, can be extended to 7 games still in 7 days:
    Games 1 and 2 on Day 1. Travel Day 2. Game 3 on Day 3. Games 4 and 5 on Day 4. Travel Day 5. Game 6 on Day 6. Game 7 on Day 7.

    A 7 game series, currently 9 days, can be extended to 9 games still in 9 days:
    Games 1 and 2 on Day 1. Game 3 on Day 2. Travel day 3. Games 4 and 5 on Day 4. Game 6 on Day 5. Game 7 on Day 6. Travel Day 7. Game 8 on Day 8. Game 9 on Day 9

    The basic formula is to get 5 games in 4 days, thus forcing to teams to use all 5 starters unless they were crazy and wanted to start someone on 2 days rest. That also means you can’t go to the same reliever every single game and might encourage managers to start a bench player.

    • October 28, 2017 at 9:17 am

      Interesting thought piece.

      My initial reactions are that it’s not going to fly to have a DH for the final two games of the LCS and it’s not likely to have it for the first two games of the World Series, although I think the Series plan might be a bit more doable.

      Of course, my preference would be for these to be day/night games, if only to allow more kids to see action.

      • Name
        October 28, 2017 at 3:00 pm

        I’m not sure i quite follow what you’re saying about the DH. In the current format, the Astros had the DH in the final 2 games of the LCS and didnt have it for the first two games of the WS. My 7 game series still follows the 2-3-2 format currently used.

        • October 28, 2017 at 3:52 pm

          Sorry for not being clearer.

          I don’t think there’s any way either the owners or TV networks would go for a DH for the final two games of the LCS. I see the same thing for the first two games of the WS.

          I like your intent. I just don’t believe the execution is feasible.

          • Name
            October 28, 2017 at 4:24 pm

            It took me a while to decipher, but i kept interpreting DH as Designed hitter while you meant double header.

            If the number of games are increased, i think the owners would be on board. Not sure if the networks would be happy or indifferent to airing more games.
            If the number of games weren’t increased, i don’t think the owners/networks would be on board.

            In the 7 game set, there could be a logistical nightmare if a team sweeps in 4. The networks would still have to plan for a game 5, and if doesn’t happen they’re going to have to fill it with a re-run or something at the last second. Also fans that have to travel might be mad that they had to make the trip to the area for naught.

            If only the commercial side of the game didn’t matter as much…

  14. Eraff
    October 27, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    The Alderson Regime designed or fell into an ability to gather young arms, early on. If I could re-imagine 2017 with 150-200 innings from 4 of their top 6 guys, my analysis of the way forward and the past results would not be as critically overwrought as some of what I’m reading.

    The Draft results seem Blah… the International Free Agency pool has been un tapped regarding developed and ready players; However, they aquired enough talent to gain a world series and then a playoff birth.

    There are some incredibly valid arguments here, but this team is largely defined by the absence of the young players who drove that 2015 run—the Young, Talented Pitchers…. Syndergaard, Matz, Harvey.

    I don’t see any perfect teams out there…..the Mets have nothing to do that doesn’t start with what they hope they have…what they hope they have back. That would make the Math much easier.

  15. October 28, 2017 at 2:18 am

    Chris I would like to think that the manager has a say in how the team should play in the final weeks of a season. If management has decided to dump their season its gotta be pretty hard for a manager who tries to win every game. Just trying to take a different perspective here. Lastly ownership probably has a good idea as to what the break even point is in each season. We could be having this same conversation again next year. Small market teams have less competition for fan $. Still its pretty hard for a casual fan to sink a couple of hundred dollars to watch a crappy product.

  16. Jimmy P
    October 28, 2017 at 10:36 am

    Last comment:

    We are clearly in the Juiced Era. The most HRs ever in 2017.

    Ever. In all of baseball history.

    It’s not the 70s. It’s not the same as it ever was, and what was always true will remain always exactly the same. No. Things shift, and teams shift with the changes.

    Most small ball strategies have been statistically refuted. And that’s exponentially true in a juiced era. The axiom, “Play for one run and that’s likely all you’re going to get” is the big takeaway. Teams are not giving away outs with sacs, caught stealing, and productive outs. To think that we’re seeing “small ball wins” in 2017 is, to my mind, just delusional. However, in all caps, we are also witnessing the flaws in the “Alderson approach,” too many strikeouts, poor defense, no speed, too much of a reliance on power, and so on. The pendulum may be swinging back, ever so slightly, for that extreme.

    As a fan, as a lover of baseball, I think the game is in a really bad state these days. Pitch by pitch, nothing happens more and more. That’s a fact. The games drag on. The over-reliance on bullpens and matchups, the high strikeouts, the lack of speed (which affects defense, base-running, strategy), and so on. I sincerely hope that the game changes its trajectory. But I cannot honestly look at the 2017 WS and say I’m seeing the triumph of small ball.

    One other thing: Wow, there’s a huge gap between these two teams and what the Mets put out there last season.

    • Chris F
      October 28, 2017 at 3:56 pm

      “One other thing: Wow, there’s a huge gap between these two teams and what the Mets put out there last season.”

      I completely agree. The Mets look like a minor league team compared to either the Astros or Dodgers. Hell, even the Yankees as we saw in the reg season. This team earned its record. The idea this team is a couple players from serious contention is a complete fantasy.

      The Dodgers were awesome, and got Darvish. The Astros were awesome and got Verlander. The Nats were awesoem and got Scherzer. In Mets fantasy land, we have good pitching and then say we need Colon or Dickey back, and a third baseman.

      Both teams are better at every position than the Mets are. And by quite a big margin. So while we ponder the fate of how important Nimmo is, or can Smith play 1B, or maybe, just maybe Plawecki is a major leaguer, the best teams are miles away.

      • Name
        October 28, 2017 at 4:38 pm

        “The Mets look like a minor league team compared to either the Astros or Dodgers. ”

        Of course there’s a talent gap at the moment, that’s what the Front office, and what every fan, were trying to achieve. They gave away anyone that resembled a MLB player in August.

        If they hadn’t and sat pat you would be here crying foul that they got nothing for those players.

        • Chris F
          October 28, 2017 at 5:10 pm

          Both teams were better than the Mets at 8/9 positions before the trades. The only position being RF, in which Bruce is better than Reddick and Puig. Duda, Walker, Granny nor Reed are better than the players on either the Dodgers or Astros.

  17. TexasGusCC
    October 28, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    Heard a stat will listening to the game on ESPN Radio: The Astros 7/8/9 hitters had a better OPS than the average team’s 3/4/5 hitters.

    • Jimmy P
      October 29, 2017 at 12:54 pm

      We are seeing deep lineups. That’s definitely a takeaway.

      I was very impressed with Game 4 last night. Very well pitched and defended. Great baseball.

      This series has set an all-time record for HRs in 4 games with 15. The Astros got two hits last night, both HRs.

      Two stars for the Dodgers, Pederson and Bellinger, are high strikeout go-for-the-fences type hitters.

      Again: no judgment here about what I “like” or don’t like. But this isn’t the triumph of small ball we’re witnessing. In many ways, it’s the refutation of that approach.

      What a pitching matchup for Game 5. Wow. I don’t get how a baseball lover wouldn’t enjoy this series, much less “despise” it as Name professes. I like both these teams a lot.

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