The Mets have played seven games and after scoring three runs in last night’s win, they have scored 16 runs so far this season. That’s an average of 2.29 runs per game. Remarkably, that’s not the worst mark in the majors. The White Sox have only scored 13 runs, for an average of 1.86 runs per game. The White Sox were expected to be one of the worst teams in the majors. Most thought the Mets were a middle of the pack team.

The Mets have traditionally been a team built on pitching, rather than offense. And they started off as one of the worst teams imaginable. And they played in the 1960s which was all about pitching. Things got so bad that after 1968, they lowered the mound to try to get more offense. The 1968 Mets scored 473 runs for a 2.9 runs per game average, the only time in team history they averaged fewer than three runs over a full season. And they needed an extra game to reach 473 runs.

On September 2nd the Mets and Braves played a doubleheader and the second game was cut short due to weather after 6.1 innings with the game tied 2-2. MLB did not do suspended games at the time, so they played another doubleheader the next day, while counting the stats from the tie game, too.

Do you think the Mets and White Sox can ask the league to lower the mound again when they come up to bat?

In 2024, MLB averages a .242/.320/.393 slash line. The Mets have a .167/.272/.264 slash line. Their .536 OPS is the worst in MLB, .024 worse than the 29th Seattle Mariners. The strength of the offense for the Mets is their ability to draw walks. With six homers in seven games, they’ve hit a few homers. But they rank last with four double and they’re tied for last with zero triples. Some of this can be explained by the fact the Mets have only played seven games while other teams have played 10. But the Braves have only played six games and they have hit 22 doubles.

Part of the reason for the Mets’ poor start on offense is due to the weather. All seven games they’ve played have been outdoors, with three of those having a temperature in the 40s at the start of the game and the highest being 57 degrees. Those aren’t great temperatures but they’re not exactly like playing in the snow in Colorado, either. Still, we can hope that when they travel to Atlanta next week they’ll see friendlier hitting conditions.

But the biggest culprit in the team’s offensive struggles has been veteran hitters performing lousy. Pete Alonso went 0-5 last night, bringing his OPS+ to 98. But that mark looks wonderful compared to a bunch of his teammates. Starling Marte has a 61 OPS+, Harrison Bader has a 34, Jeff McNeil homered last night to raise his OPS+ to a 23, while DJ Stewart has yet to get a hit but his four walks give him a 13.

But the real anchors have been two of the Mets’ biggest stars. Francisco Lindor and Brandon Nimmo are a combined 2-47 and both have negative OPS+ numbers. History tells us that these two will be good hitters by the end of the season. But they’re sure not that way now.

Nimmo is swinging at too many pitches outside of the strike zone, although he did draw five walks in the doubleheader so maybe he’s starting to turn the corner there. Lindor is hitting too many lazy fly balls. He always hits a ton of infield popups and this year he’s hitting them at a career-worst rate. They’ve earned their lousy batting averages.

Marte had hits in his first four games. But in his last three games, he’s 0-12 and has three strikeouts. He was the designated hitter in the second game of the season but has played right field in the other six games. It’s odd that he hasn’t had a day off yet. If Nimmo’s hamstring allows him to play the field perhaps Marte can get a day off here soon. Or maybe a week off.

Brian Joura has talked about Bader being bad against righty pitching. And in 14 PA against righties, Bader has a .154/.214/.154 line against them. More days with him on the bench when the other team starts a righty seems like the way to go.

So, the Mets can improve their offense by playing games in warmer weather, having Lindor and Nimmo get out of their funks and by sitting Marte and Bader more. And the final piece will be adding J.D. Martinez to the lineup. In other words, we should expect some improvement here soon.

2 comments on “After one week, Mets offense is more offensive than the worst in team history

  • NYM6986

    Nice summary of their horrible hitting. We were all worried about Baty both in the field and at the plate but it turns out he is certainly stepping up unlike several
    that you mentioned. Can’t win without scoring runs even if your team leads MLB in team ERA. It is that last fact that should give us all hope that better days are ahead. But without Nimmo, Lindor and McNeil hitting, we will be lucky to stay ahead of the winless Marlins. .

  • Brian Joura

    I didn’t realize the Mets had a tie game in 1968. Turns out there were five times the Mets played more than 162 games:

    1999 – Tie-breaking game for playoffs counted as regular season game
    Other times it happened were in 1979, 1965 and 1964. There were two ties in 1965. Here’s a piece on the one from 1979

    May 25, 1979: Flushing fog-out as Pirates, Mets finish in tie

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