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The Incredible Shrinking Offense

Mike SteffanosWednesday, June 27, 2007
By Mike Steffanos

Cardinals 5 - Mets 3 (11)
Played Tuesday, June 26, 2007

After winning an 11 inning game where they didn't hit the night before, the Mets mixed it up by losing an 11 game where they didn't hit. You could make the point that Mike Maroth is a pretty good major league pitcher, but I don't think many would make the same claim for the immortal Todd Wellemeyer. In fairness, he pitched well, but the Mets -- outside of an occasional bust-out game -- are just too easy to pitch to right now.

I'm glad Oliver Perez didn't have to take a loss for last night's game, but it would be nice if the starting pitchers, including Oliver, could be rewarded with a "W" more consistently when they pitch well. Although he had 3 walks in 6.1 innings, I thought his control was much better than it has been in recent games.

Oliver Perez (Last 5 Starts)
Season (15 Games)94.24133738537113.141.168-7

View Oliver Perez' Full Season Stats

We're going to do something different here today. We're not going to spend a lot of time breaking it down. Scott Schoeneweis' miseries continue, and it's time for the club to consider shutting him down for a while. The Mets as a team are dramatically underachieving at the plate right now. Both of these things are obvious to everyone without me spending a lot of words on them.

So here is some good from last night. It was nice to see them battle back from behind -- something they haven't done a lot this year. I actually had the feeling in the bottom of the eleventh that they just might pull it out a second time. It didn't happen, of course, but it was nice to have that feeling again. I hadn't felt it much this year.

Kudos also to Shawn Green. Although he is still struggling to regain his stroke since coming back from the injury, he is one of the few guys on the club right now who will consistently go deep into the count and put up a patient, professional at bat. Also, although he isn't a great outfielder by any stretch, I've noticed that he is getting better jumps on balls and taking better routes. When a guy improves his defense, it's because he's made a commitment to work at it. He earns my respect more every day. He also looks less scary since the hair started growing back. Mazel tov, buddy.

Enough of this. This game doesn't bear much verbiage. I wrote a piece that I was proud of yesterday, and I also recommend Jack Dickey's fine debut on this site. Look for a piece from Joyce Mandelkern later this afternoon.

Box Score

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 (7)

Two points Mike et al:

A. offense: The loss of Nady was bridged a little by the resurgence of Valentin last year. The addition of alou was supposed to protect DW and Delgado...but injuries to Delgado and Alou have made that 'unsuccessfull'. as ch we get men 'on' but not 'in'. By the time Alou's medical assessment is made we will know more.

B. Metsblog has posted a list of usual suspects (and the latest Buerle hype...trying to drive up the price!), but one interesting name to me not on this list is Mike Lamb- a guy that can play 1st/3rd and PH. DW rest is (could be) coming.

I had noticed that about Green's defense, and it's nice. I thought he was pretty much a liability last year and early this year. The one knock you can make, is the reason he struggled to come back from the injury, is because he refused a rehab assignment. Maybe because the team was struggling, and he thought he could help, but maybe he just didn't want to go to the minors.

I have been puzzling over the Mets offensive woes, too, as I reckon most of your readers have.

My thoughts on the subject might not be so original. They are, that the Mets are not really a power offense, at least not this year. Reyes' power surge of last year hasn't been replicated this time out; nor have Valentin and Beltran hit with quite the authority that they did last season. Nor has Wright, in comparison with the first half of last year.

As a team the Mets are 6th in the National League in slugging at the moment -- but much of that is pure batting average; they are 2nd in the league in batting. In what James calls Isolated Power the Mets are somewhat below league average.

The two principal ways that teams score runs are with power, and with longer offensive sequences. Putting together an offensive sequence requires two or more hits or walks to happen within a three out period; and when your team carries one or more offensive millstones, that gets hard to generate with any consistency.

So, I'm saying that while Carlos DelGato isn't entirely to blame for the putrid offense, his lifeless bat pushes the Mets to a place where nearly all of the other position players HAVE to be contributing; and that usually not the case, usually in the normal order of things at least one other player will be in a mini-slump.

It's a problem. It puts more strain on a depleted bench, more strain on the pitching staff. It calls the roster composition under scrutiny. It probably affects Randolph's decision making for the worse.

A lot of things might get fixed if Carlos could locate another hot streak.

Ditto on Shawn Green's improved play in the outfield, btw. I didn't want him initially, but he is a hard guy not to like.

Ed - Saying the current slump is all about Alou being out is letting everybody else off too easy. It's not one guy, it's not 2 or 3, it's a team slump.
Ceetar - He hasn't been struggling physically, so I won't fault him for not doing a rehab. With Endy out and Alou not coming back, the team needed him.
dd - Your thoughts on the slump are very similar to mine. Still, they are doing so poorly as a group with RISP, and I feel the club got too dependent on the longball the second half of last year.

It's almost scary the difference in the jumps and reads Green is getting from even earlier this season. He's no gold glove, but he holds his own out there now.

Last one in is a rotten egg, I guess thats me (We just beat the Phillys 6-5, but more on that in the right comment lineup.) I think the Mets score more guys from 2nd then they do from 3rd, so heres the game plan. Just hit doubles and homeruns and we solved the rbi problem.Oh life is so simple.:}

Sheer genius, Al...

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