The New York Mets reached the World Series in 2015 behind their dominant pitching staff, but ultimately fell short to the Kansas City Royals in five games. While the Mets’ pitching was certainly a strength throughout the postseason, their lack of offense was the primary reason they were unable to bring home the championship.
During the regular season, the Mets’ offense was middle of the pack in the National League, finishing eighth in runs scored and seventh in batting average. However, they were able to catch fire in the postseason, scoring a total of 47 runs in their 12 games leading up to the World Series.
Unfortunately for the Mets, that offensive production did not carry over into the championship series. In five games against the Royals, the Mets were only able to score a total of nine runs, averaging just 1.8 runs per game. This lack of offense put an immense amount of pressure on the Mets’ pitching staff to be nearly flawless, a task that proved too difficult against a talented Royals lineup.
One of the main reasons for the Mets’ offensive struggles in the World Series was their inability to make consistent contact with the ball. In the five games against the Royals, the Mets struck out a total of 48 times, an average of nearly 10 strikeouts per game. This was a significant increase from their regular season rate of 8.2 strikeouts per game and their postseason rate of 7.5 strikeouts per game leading up to the World Series.
This inability to put the ball in play was particularly damaging in crucial situations. In Game 1, with the score tied 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Mets had runners on first and third with one out. However, Wilmer Flores struck out and Michael Conforto popped out, ending the inning without scoring the go-ahead run. This was a pattern that repeated itself throughout the series, as the Mets were unable to come up with key hits when they needed them most.
Another issue for the Mets’ offense in the World Series was their inability to take advantage of scoring opportunities. In Game 4, the Mets had the bases loaded with nobody out in the sixth inning, but were only able to score one run on a sacrifice fly by Travis d’Arnaud. Later in the same inning, with runners on second and third and one out, Curtis Granderson struck out and David Wright popped out, once again failing to bring home any more runs.
In total, the Mets left 36 runners on base in the World Series, an average of 7.2 per game. This was a significant increase from their regular season rate of 5.1 runners left on base per game and their postseason rate of 5.6 runners left on base per game leading up to the World Series.
It is also worth noting that the Mets’ lack of offense was particularly damaging in Games 1 and 5, both of which were decided by just one run. In Game 1, the Mets were unable to score the go-ahead run in the ninth inning and ultimately lost in the 14th inning. In Game 5, the Mets were only able to score two runs, while the Royals scored three, giving them the championship.
While the Mets’ pitching staff was certainly impressive throughout the postseason, it is important to remember that even the best pitchers can only do so much if their offense is unable to score runs. The Mets’ inability to make consistent contact with the ball, their struggles to come up with key hits in clutch situations, and their failure to take advantage of scoring opportunities were all factors that contributed to their defeat in the 2015 World Series.
Furthermore, the Mets’ reliance on home runs as a source of offense hurt them in the World Series. During the regular season, the Mets hit the third-most home runs in the National League, but in the World Series, they only hit two home runs in five games. The Royals, on the other hand, hit six home runs in the series, including two in Game 4, which proved to be the difference in the game.
The Mets’ lack of offensive production was not just a matter of hitting home runs, however. They also struggled to generate hits and put runners on base. Over the course of the series, the Mets had a team batting average of just .204, a significant drop from their regular season average of .244. Their on-base percentage was also low at .272, compared to their regular season mark of .312.