By Mike Steffanos
As I'm sure you know by now, the Mets and Nationals were rained out this afternoon -- one of six major league games that fell victim to the nor'easter. With the season two weeks old, the 7-4 Mets are sitting a full game behind the Braves in the NL East. Despite misgivings about the pitching staff, they've done pretty well in the early going. Their 2.69 team ERA leads MLB.
The offense has had its up and downs. Their .279 team AVG is fourth in the major leagues, and they are also fourth in runs scored with 59, 5.4 runs per game. In the seven wins they have averaged over seven runs per game. In the four games they lost, however, they managed to score only 9 runs -- 2.3 runs per game. Over the last four games, split 2-2 with the Phillies and Nationals, they have scored 12 runs (3.0). The Mets scored more than half their runs (32) in 3 blowout wins versus St. Louis, Atlanta and Philadelphia. That makes them 4-4 over the other 8 games, averaging 3.4 runs per.
Frankly, before I ran all of these numbers I wondered if my perception that the club wasn't really clicking offensively was unfair. The numbers verify that they haven't been very steady at the plate, and my hope is that the bats start carrying the load more consistently. It's not reasonable to expect the 2.69 ERA to continue, but I think the offense can be much more dependable game in and game out than it has been so far.
Despite some rough outings from John Maine, Oliver Perez and Orlando Hernandez this week, the starters are averaging 5-2/3 innings per start, a number that would probably be good enough for the full season. Joe Smith leads the bullpen with 7 innings pitched, which is a little bit much -- translating to over 100 innings over a full season, but no one else is on a pace to exceed 80 innings for the season. I know you see a lot in the press about the Mets overusing their bullpen, but with 7 relievers that they are not afraid to go to, the Mets 'pen can handle a lot of innings without imploding.
Heads up from our readers
Charles Rosenberg from Newport Beach, California forwards this article from the New Orleans Times-Picayune that features former Mets great and current Zephyrs color man Ron Swoboda.
Also regarding the Zephyrs, Chad Bordelon -- a Mets fan by choice despite being born and raised in Louisiana -- was at the ballpark Friday night and was kind enough to send a scouting report on the game. He said Lastings Milledge had a rough night at the plate and in the field, including dropping a fly ball with runners on first and second. Chad also says that Carlos Gomez looks like a stud, with 2 hits and a great catch, and almost beating out a routine groundball to short for a base hit.
He said Jorge Sosa pitched okay, but was the victim of some pour defense, and Mike DiFelice threw out the first 3 runners that attempted to steal before finally giving up a stolen base. Thanks, Chad.