Stats: Mets aren’t hitting that much this month, but generally producing just enough
The Mets have produced a 10-5 record so far in August. They are a perfect 9-0 against teams below .500 during that stretch (although the Nationals were above .500 when they played them on August 1 and 2), but 1-5 against teams above .500 in that stretch.
Despite Sandy Alderson’s best efforts to retro-fit the offense with Yoenis Cespedes and both Juan Uribe and Kelly Johnson, the Mets offense hasn’t exactly responded to those additions overall, although Cespedes has been impressive since joining the Mets – he’s hit .292/.313/.462 with two home runs and eight RBI in 67 plate appearances in those 15 games.
But outside of Cespedes, the Mets bats have been pretty quiet in general over their first 15 games in August, for the most part. As a club, they’re hitting .246/.307/.432 in those 15 games. Only their .432 slugging percentage is above league average during that span, and their .739 OPS is slightly above league average at 13th best in baseball this month.
Their 142 strikeouts are the most for any club during the month of August.
Right now, the Mets have a very all-or-nothing offense on display. They’re hitting a lot of home runs – their 20 home runs is the sixth best mark in baseball in August – but their situational hitting has been largely poor overall.
In fact, the Mets went hitless with runners in scoring position in their last three games against the Pirates, during which they never led for a single moment.
In general, the Mets have not been working a lot of quality at-bats, specifically lately as they’ve hit only .221 with a .684 OPS with 64 strikeouts in their last seven games. They’re not seeing a lot of pitches in their plate appearances (only 3.95) and are not really drawing many walks (once every 13.5 plate appearances), either.
Of course, additions like Cespedes and Uribe aren’t going to do much for their walk totals, as they’re free swingers with an aggressive approach. But it works for them, although Uribe hasn’t hit consistently since joining the Mets in late July. And playing without Lucas Duda for most of the last week unquestionably hurts, as it has forced Curtis Granderson to play way too often against left-handed pitching, against which he is mostly inept.
Still, the Mets have been winning for the most part. Again, they’re 10-5 in August, and are 4 1/2 games ahead of the Nationals in first place.
With 44 games left, that’s pretty impressive, although not satisfying whatsoever, especially after being swept by a team they may eventually have to beat.
They’ve been averaging 4.9 runs per game this month, and the statistics suggest they have a high probability of winning when they score four or more runs in a game (they’re 45-7 when they score four or more runs per game). Their ability to hit home runs have most certainly helped, and they’ve also gotten some big hits at opportune times to win a lot of those games.
So in other words, it hasn’t necessarily been about how much they score, as much as it’s been their ability to produce just enough offense when it matters, which is the four-run marker.
Outside of this weekend against the Pirates, the Mets have found ways to do just that despite not lighting up the scoreboard on a nightly basis.
Of course, their stellar starting pitching (and most of their bullpen) deserves a ton credit for continuing to pitch in these close and tight games night-after-night. That’s the foundation of any success they’re going to have in 2015, and while the offense most certainly needs to grow more consistent with their new acquisitions, for the most part, it has done the job when needed so far.