With wins in their last three games, the Mets are now 9-7 in September. It sure feels a lot worse than that, given the sweep by the Cubs and dropping two of three to the Nationals earlier in the month. But if you go by the idea they should win two out of every three games in a series, they’re three games behind where they would be ideally. And a win later today cuts that implied deficit to two games.

It feels to me that the Mets are doing a better job of hitting home runs here lately but that the non-HR offense has lagged behind. And if we look at September, the Mets are tied for 11th in the majors with 20 HR. Overall this year, the Mets are 15th in the majors with 152 HR, five below the league average. So, they are doing better here in September.

But are they failing to produce non-HR runs? Here’s a chart of how they’ve scored here in September:

Date Total R Runs by HR Non-HR R RISP
17-Sep 5 3 2 1-12
16-Sep 4 1 3 2-9
15-Sep 7 2 5 4-13
14-Sep 3 2 1 0-3
13-Sep 1 1 0 0-3
12-Sep 2 1 1 1-9
11-Sep 9 5 4 4-14
10-Sep 11 6 5 5-14
9-Sep 3 2 1 1-3
7-Sep 10 0 10 8-18
7-Sep 5 4 1 1-4
6-Sep 2 2 0 0-6
4-Sep 1 0 1 0-2
3-Sep 1 1 0 0-2
2-Sep 7 3 4 2-9
1-Sep 5 0 5 2-8
  76 33 43 31-129

They’ve scored 43 of their 76 runs without the aid of a HR. Earlier this year, we saw that the MLB average was for 60% of your runs to score without the benefit of a homer and the Mets scored 65% of their runs this way. Here in September, they’ve scored 57% of their runs without a homer. Essentially, they’ve become league average in how they score runs without a homer, after being particularly adept at that earlier in the season

On top of that, the game of September 7 is really an outlier that is making the non-HR scoring appear better than it is. That’s the game they scored 10 runs without hitting a single homer. If we throw out that game, the Mets have 33 of 66 runs in the month scored without a homer. The math majors will tell you that’s 50%.

Of course, we have to look at the total runs scored. Their 76 runs scored ranks fourth in MLB for the month. It’s an average of 4.75 runs per game, compared to the MLB average of 4.3 runs per game and the MLB September average of 4.17 runs per game. On average, they’ve been a pretty good offense here in September, even if the way they’ve accomplished it has been a bit different from earlier in the season.

There seems to be two issues that are causing us fans grief. The first was mentioned earlier, the feeling that the Mets should have a better record than they do given the opposition. And the second is the feast-or-famine nature of the offense here in the final month of the season. There have been seven games where the Mets combined to score 13 runs. And there have been five games where they combined to score 44 runs.

Hey, that’s the nature of the beast. Throughout the year there are going to be games where you can’t buy a hit and score very few runs. And there are games where everything clicks and the runs come in bunches. It’s just that it feels like there have been more games at the extreme and fewer in the middle than you’d get in a “normal” stretch of 16 games.

In September, 12 of the 16 games had three runs or fewer or at least seven runs. That means that only 25% of games did the team score 4-to-6 runs. Let’s compare that to the first 16 games of the previous five months of the season:

April – seven times or 44% of the time
May – five times or 31% of the time
June – six times or 38% of the time
July – five times or 31% of the time
August – seven times or 44% of the time

If the runs were distributed differently, say taking away runs from the two blowout wins in Miami and giving them to a game against the Nationals and a game against the Cubs, the Mets would be 11-5 in the month and have three more games in the 4-6 range (they’d need more than that to turn a loss to the Nats into a win) and everyone would feel like things were a-ok. Those three extra 4-6 run games would make the September output match what the Mets did in April and August.

It just goes to show how perception is dictating reality here in September.

Also, 16 games are conveniently about 1/10 of the season. So, the Mets were playing at essentially a 90-win pace – or 89 if you want to be precise. That’s hardly anything to be upset about, especially given the sample size.

The quality of opponents and the distribution of runs are combining to make fans feel frustrated. But the offense is doing fine and the boost in HR this month is a good thing. It’s difficult to remain rational and think big picture in the final stretches of a tight divisional race. But all Mets fans, myself included, need not to be so down on the team’s performance here in September.


When compiling information for the chart, there’s a column for how the team has done with runners in scoring position. It seems like they’ve really struggled in that category in September. And they certainly have in a few games. But overall, they have a .240 AVG in these situations, compared to a .266 season-long mark. So, there’s room for improvement. But, again, the sky is not falling.

One comment on “A dive into how the Mets have played so far in September

  • JamesTOB

    I’ve notice that Nido is getting some key hits here lately, so I looked up his stats. In the Last 7 games he’s 11 of 25 with a walk for a .440 avg. and an OBP of .462 with a SLG of .800. In the last 15 games he’s 14 for 39 for .359/.366/.615. And over the last 30 games in 86 at bats he’s 14 or 27 with .314/.348/498.
    For the last 30 games McCann is hitting .209/.269/291.
    Doesn’t it appear that Nido should be the regular starter, esp. since the pitchers are reported to love pitching to him?

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