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Mets Offensive Blahs

Adam WarnerTuesday, July 17, 2007
By Adam Warner


On May 17th, the Mets put out a Spring training-ish lineup vs. the Cubs. Jason Vargas started and gave up 7 runs in 5 innings, but a dramatic 9th inning comeback from a 5-1 deficit gave the Mets the win.

That was the last time the Mets won a game without the benefit of a team "Quality Start" which I will loosely define here as 6 innings and 3 runs or less, with the starter at least getting into the 6th, and no more than one reliever getting called on.

In other words, not once has a shaky starter been bailed out by a decent offensive performance in the last 52 games.

Big innings? Forget about it. The Mets have scored more than 3 runs in any one inning exactly twice in that 52 game stretch. Once was turning a 4-1 lead into an 8-1 lead vs. the Twins. In the 8th inning. The other was 4 days later vs. the A's.

The 3 run homer? Not too common. A total of 6 of them over this time period.

Comebacks? The Mets have overcome a 3 run deficit to win exactly once (vs. Houston on July 7th). They surmounted 1st inning 2-0 deficits twice vs. the Giants, and fought all the way back from trailing early 1-0 vs. the D-Backs and Marlins. I barely remember any instances even in losses where they at least came back at some point, if only to ultimately blow the lead (that Saturday game vs. the Yankees rings a bell, can't think of any others offhand).

The Mets are 25-27 overall in this stretch and have stayed in 1st throughout. It's really a testament to generally good starting pitching, and particularly great Billy Wagner.

It's getting scary. This is not a formula that's going to sustain itself much longer. And it seems beyond simply adding a good bat or jigging the order around. The guys here have to figure out a way to string some hits together.

About Adam: I am a professional options trader, and financial writer. I pen the Daily Options Report blog and contribute to numerous other sites.

I'm a 41 year old huge Mets (and football Giants) fan since the mid 70's. I trek out to Shea every Opening Day, and a few other times a year, from the Jersey burbs

I'm a "non-doctrinaire" stats junky. And by that I mean I follow it, but certainly don't swear by it.

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Comments (2)

It is scary, although I think the Mets are starting to realize it. The firing of Rick Downs, the hiring of Rickey Henderson, and the release of Julio Franco I think are a sign pointing towards that direction. And you might as well add the fact that Lastings Milledge has been starting since he came back- and I'm pretty sure that was an issue that Minaya forced on Willie, who probably would have just left Lastings on the bench and played his "veteran" utility players if it wasn't forced.

Alou's on his way back, and it's anyone's guess how he'll affect the lineup. I don't want to rely upon someone who's missed alot of games already, however. The Mets need to think about getting another bat- at either Left Field, Right Field, Second Base, or Catcher. Alou is expendable, so I consider LF open (even if it's just to Lastings). Green is average at best right now, and frankly, I'd take Dunn or Griffey over him in a heartbeat. At second I've been wanting Brian Roberts for a while, although the Mets could easily land themselves Ronnie Belliard or Mark Loretta if they wanted to. And at catcher, I'm of half the mind that they should just let Castro start, and Alomar Jr back him up, while trading Lo Duca (who's not an effective lower batting order hitter, at all).

With a certain former Cy Young winner returning to the Mets (hopefully) in August, I don't see a real need for starting pitching. However, getting relief help wouldn't hurt- Akinori Otsuka, Eric Gagne, Brad Lidge, Jimmy Gobble, Bobby Jenks, Chad Cordero, and Scott Downs are all good ideas.

We'll see what the next few weeks bring the Mets. Hopefully not a Steve Phillips-style trade.

they maybe are trying to showcase Milledge, but i'd just as soon take my chances and keep him. Unless he could bring in like Dunn or some bigger hitter.

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