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Numbers for a Rainy Sunday

Mike SteffanosSunday, April 15, 2007
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.

About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

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Comments (11)

For all my previously stated concerns about our lack of fundamental offensive play, it's very encouraging that the team remains only 1 behind the 1st place Braves. I do think the cold weather seems to be affecting our bats quite a bit, and I do believe that we will see some pretty solid play this upcoming week.

Naysayers will point to our rotation the 2nd time around and say I told you so. But as you stated Mike, even with their less than stellar performances, our starters managed to keep most of the games within reach and managed to eat enough innings to make life manageable for our pen.

Ideally the Mets grab 1st from the Braves by Friday and then use the weekend series to plant themselves firmly in the driver's seat. Let's Go Mets!!

HEY MIKE, I THINK YOUR WEBSITE IS A WAIST OF TIME. YOU DONT SEEM LIKE YOU ARE A REAL METS FAN, YOU JUST SEEM LIKE A GUY WHO IS TRYING TO GAIN ATTENTION.
I THINK YOU SHOULD REMOVE YOUR SITE. ESPECIALLY SINCE WHEN I TYPE THE WORD METS INTO GOOGLE, YOUR SITE COMES UP AS ONE OF THE FIRST CHOICES. IT GETS IN THE WAY OF METS.COM-IT IS ANNOYING, EVERYONE SKIPS OVER IT. ITS BETTER OFF IF YOU JUST GET THE DUMB THING OUT OF THE WAY.
THE SWEATER YOUR WEARING IN THE PICTURE IS FROM THE 80'S, WHATS WRONG WITH YOU.
WAKE UP CORNBALL.

SALMAN EXPLAIN THIS STATEMENT YOU MADE TO ME PLEASE?

"For all my previously stated concerns about our lack of fundamental offensive play, "

NAME ME A TEAM THAT ENJOYS THE LIKES OF SUCH OFFENSIVE PROWESS, BOASTING THE LETHAL POWER OF ONE, CARLOS DELGADO, CARLOS BELTRAN, AND DAVID WRIGHT-NOT TOO MENTION JOSE REYES AND MOISES ALOU.
-----ALONG WITH THE KEEN ABILITY TO HAVE THE SAME GIANTS STEAL BASES BUNT, AND PLAY WITH THE PHILOSIPHY OF GET THEM OVER . GET THEM IN.

YOU MUST NOT WATCH THE METS OFTEN.
--AS FAR AS QUOTING THE ATLANTA BRAVES AS THE "FIRST PLACE ATLANTA BRAVES"

THEY ARE SIMPLY KEEPING THE METS SEATS WARM UP IN FIRST.

MAN, YOU SOUND LIKE A YANKEE FAN.
--WHAT A PHONY

Yikes, no need to be so rough Pauly, we're all Mets fans here.

No player or manager will say it, but overall offensive numbers are down across the board due to weather. I don't remember what the exact stats are, but league avg. for hitters is down at least .020 from where it was in the warm April we had last season.

In fact, the only NL team who has had a higher team batting avg and scored more runs than the Mets is the Marlins, who are one of the few teams in the NL (that's not out west anyway) who the cold weather hasn't been a concern for so much. The only NL team that has a higher OBP is the Phillies, and I hate to say it but thats in large part the Mets responsibility as well.

Aside from all that, if you take it to mean anything at all, the Mets are tops in the NL in team ERA and BAA, at least they were when I checked last night.

Heh; tell me, is this fellow Pauly shouting on purpose, or is it that the capitalization is necessary because the little print is too hard to read under the lighting of the bar where it was composed?

I was tempted to mention the "waist of time" line with my standard comment - namely, you call that schooling? I want my tax dollars back! - until I noticed that he managed to misspell his own name too. Unless his name changes frequently, in his mind or elsewhere; that's a possibility.

But taking the two posts in total, I have to conclude that someone is putting us on. Nobody like that actually exists, do they? Hey, I grew up down South; if anyone with this combination of simple mindedness and mean spirit could be found, I think I would remember him from high school.

So no, I don't believe those posts.

To PauLy - There's no reason to Google 'mets' if you already know the website is mets.com.

To PauLLy - I already got my weekly fill of the Sopranos last night, but thanks for your input.

Yo, PAULLY! Or PAULY! Just so you know, typing in all caps is the Internet equivalent of writing in crayon.

If you can figure it out, please go back and read some recent previous Mike's Mets posts, then tell us again whether Mike, or any of us regulars, sounds like a Yankee fan. I'm hoping you can navigate all the clicks it'll take to do that, since Mike so inconveniently gets in your way when you're looking for mets.com.

While the Mets haven't played perfect baseball so far this season, which team has? I invite you to take the first two weeks of Mets box scores, a green highlighter, and a pink highlighter. Highlight in green all the lines, both pitching and hitting, that stood out in a positive way for the Mets. Highlight in pink all those awful lines we remember so well. See which highlighter runs out of ink first.

They're doing all right, as long as they thaw out soon.

Gosh, you guys are nicer than me.

dd - Sometimes what looks like a prank post is actually for real. So I'm willing to give Paul(l)y the benefit of the doubt. As one radio sports guys is fond of saying, we don't have to agree on everything; just "have a take and don't suck".

Guys, just let it go. People who need to question whether others are "real fans" aren't worth the effort.

I think the cold has something to do with the offense, of course, but not completely. They still tend to press as a team in games where they can't get going quickly. I want to see them mature as an offense this year. Once they do, I think you'll see a lot less games where they are stymied by mediocre pitching.

Oh, and Paulie -- you're ugly...

I'll agree with that. I think the one guy in particular who the weather seems to be effecting at the plate is Jose Valentin. He was red hot all spring, but until recently he looked like he reverted to April 2006 Jose Valentin. I bet he starts to get hot again with the weather. Shawn Green managed to take to the cold pretty well though, so I guess it kind of evened out.

The one thing this Mets offense has done, and the team as a whole really, is pound on teams when they make mistakes. Particularly that first week, if the Mets got an extra out, they translated it into monster innings a very good percentage of the time, as in 4-7 runs. It happened repeadedly in St. Louis, and it happened in the first games in both Atlanta and Shea.

Even if the lineup isn't clicking perfectly yet, which its clearly not, they're still striking fear into the hearts of other teams with this kind of play. Opposing defenses and pitchers seem worried right out of the gate. I think part of the reason the Met lineup has been pressing if they don't get going early is because they see the opposition start to relax and settle into a rhythm after entering the game with a lot of tension and fear. I think its a dynamic that will ultimately work to the Mets advantage, they just have to figure out how to best exploit it.

Its certainly a far cry from the first half last year when Reyes swung at every bad breaking ball, Floyd wasn't hitting a lick, no one had ever heard of Nady, Valentin's career appeared over, and Beltran was coming off an inferior season.

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