The Mets’ inability to hit with runners in scoring position, and manager Terry Collins’ insistence they are a home run-hitting team is beyond aggravating. It has gotten tiresome. Unless there’s a reversal in this trend, forget about reaching the World Series, much less getting there.
I don’t know how many times Collins said this year the Mets “don’t play small ball,” that “this team is built on power.”
Collins was at it again after Wednesday’ 2-1 loss in 13 innings to the Chicago White Sox, telling reporters: “We’re not a small ball team. We don’t steal bases. We don’t hit-and-run. To ask them to do something to do that they aren’t used to doing you’re asking them to fail.”
That’s blue-and-orange colored crap. Collins said the Mets work on their situational hitting all the time in batting practice.
“Every team talks about situational hitting,” Collins said. “Now it has to be applied.”
Now it has to be applied? It should have been applied since spring training.
While that’s fair to note, it should also be remembered Wright is hitting .226 with 14 RBI; Duda .231 with 19 RBI; and d’Arnaud .196 with one RBI. The three have a combined 94 strikeouts. Cespedes appeared as a pinch hitter and struck out for the 45th time.
The power-laden Mets lost two games each to the Dodgers and White Sox. They scored only six runs during the Chicago series.
The Mets’ situational hitting wasted a superb outing by Jacob deGrom, who is winless in his last six starts, including a loss and five straight no-decisions. Three of those no-decisions turned into a one-run loss by the Mets.
Today they had 20 runners, but only one scored. They went 1-for-8 with RISP and stranded 14 runners. Also horrible were 12 strikeouts and scoring just one run after getting 13 walks.
Today was a microcosm of how off-base Collins’ reasoning is, and if correct, how poorly this team has been constructed by GM Sandy Alderson.
Yes, the Mets’ 73 home runs are great, but they are an aberration. Everything has to be perfect to hit a home run. The stride, the swing, making contact at the precise split second all have to come together. It might be the most perfect moment in sports.
But, you can’t live off swinging for perfection. History is full of powerful teams that didn’t win a World Series. Take a walk and advance the runner; bunt; steal; hit-and-run; get the clutch hit; and don’t strike out.
A more important and telling stat is in half their 52 games the Mets scored three runs or less.
METS GAME WRAP
June 1, 2016, @ Citi Field
Game: #52 Score: White Sox 2, Mets 1 (13)
Record: 29-23 Streak: L 2
Standings: Second, NL East, 2.5 games behind Washington prior to the Nationals’ game Wednesday night. Playoffs: Second, half-game WC behind Pittsburgh.
Runs: 195 Average: 3.75 Times 3 or less: 26
SUMMARY: It just goes to show you can never tell what might happen in a major league game. Relief pitcher Matt Albers doubled off Logan Verrett to lead off the 13th inning – his first hit in nine years – took third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly.
KEY MOMENT: The Mets left the bases loaded in the sixth. Hell, they Mets left a lot of men on base all day. … Albers double was pretty big, also.
THUMBS UP: DeGrom was superb and deserved better. He struck out ten. … Two hits by Rivera. … One run in six innings from the bullpen. … Two walks each by Asdrubal Cabrera, Neil Walker and Juan Lagares.
THUMBS DOWN: Hansel Robles left the game with one out in the 11th inning with an injury. Jerry Blevins came out but Collins wanted Verrett instead. … The Mets grounded into five double plays. … Michael Conforto struck out four times while going 0-for-6. That includes grounding into a double play. He could use the off day. … DeGrom’s bad pitch to Todd Frazier resulting in a home run.
EXTRA INNINGS: Wright will get more treatment and One join the team in Miami. …
QUOTEBOOK: “He really battles. When you’re living on the edge, it takes a lot out of you.’’ – Collins on deGrom.
BY THE NUMBERS: .208: Mets batting average with RISP in the last ten games.
NEXT FOR METS: They are off Thursday, then start a three-game series in Miami against the Marlins, with Noah Syndergaard starting.