Mets' Offense Navigating Inconsistency to Shine
Warts and all, this is a group to be reckoned with
Despite a 10-3 loss on Saturday night to the power-laden Toronto Blue Jays at Citi Field, the Mets still had to come away from that one feeling OK about where they’re at.
A total of 14 hits (including 5-for-11 with runners in scoring position) didn’t amount to much, but those are the breaks.
Inconsistencies, both in the box and on the lineup card, have been a thorn in the side of this team all year — again, par for the course; this is baseball, after all — but it could be worse. Of this we are certain.
In the big picture, sitting on a four-game lead in late July is never a bad thing, despite the rocky road to get there.
And it appears this team has enough self-awareness to look past the micros of the situation and harvest whatever positives they can along the way.
“I think everybody is feeling better about things,” Brandon Nimmo (2-for-4, RBI) said after the loss. “We never really wavered on the fact that we have a lot of confidence in this offense and that when guys would get going, it would click and click nicely.”
“Obviously, there are still things that we would like to improve on and that we can improve on,” he said. “That’s just the competitor in us. I still think we’re a great offense.”
Nimmo acknowledged, almost in a baffled/amused sense, that Citi Field is not the most hitter-friendly park to play in, pointing out “when we go on the road to Cincy and Pittsburgh, and you see those bigger [offensive] numbers, it shows”.
That checks out. Well, sort of.
On the road this season, the Mets have a .239/.311/.404 line with 94 wRC+. At home, they are hitting .231/.321/.362 with 98 wRC+.
There’s not that much of a disparity there, especially when looking at overall offensive production via wRC+. But when you look at the power numbers, you get a much better idea of what Nimmo is talking about.
New York’s 39 home runs in Flushing this season (44 games) rank 28th in baseball compared to their sixth-best 67 homers on the road (51 games).
The fact that the Mets have a .659 winning percentage at home this season (29-15, 3.95 runs per game) compared to a .431 mark on the road (22-29, 3.55 RPG) bodes well for overcoming negative park effects, but that’s certainly a little alarming.
The 80 home runs hit at Citi Field this season rank 28th out of 31 MLB ballparks this season and, as Devan Fink explained at FanGraphs last month, Citi Field is not new to these issues.
“Here, you’ve gotta grind things out a little more,” Nimmo said of the Mets’ home ballpark. “You can’t just win all the time with the longball here.”
As the old adage goes, you can only control what you can control. Play the cards you’re dealt and make the best of it. As of late, the Mets are doing just that, no matter where they play.
After dealing with a never-ending string of injuries this season (still going), the Mets’ offense is currently as complete as it’s been all year despite Francisco Lindor’s absence, and the results have been encouraging.
In July, New York’s bats have awoken with a quad-shot of the strongest espresso you’ve ever tasted.
.267 batting average, fourth in MLB
.351 on-base percentage, second
32 home runs, second
125 wRC+, second
4.6 wins above replacement (FanGraphs), third
Ya gotta believe this is a good sign for what’s to come for this group. If everyone does their jobs, the sky is truly the limit.
The Mets can close out their 13th series win over their last 23 since May 1 (five splits) with a win over Toronto on Sunday.
Newly acquired 41-year-old left-hander Rich Hill will make his first start for New York after coming over from Tampa Bay earlier in the week. Keep moving forward.
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