Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Mets 10-Game Report: Volume 3

Welcome to Volume 3 of the Mets 10-Game Report.  The Amazins are starting to roll, and are currently in first place in the NL East.  

Previous results:

And the latest:
Games 20-30
Record: 8-2

vs FLA L 4-3
@ PHI W 7-4
@ PHI L 6-5
@ PHI postponed
@ ATL W 6-4
@ ATL W 4-3
vs PHI W 1-0
vs PHI W 7-5
vs PIT W 7-3
vs PIT W 10-1
vs PIT W 8-4

Runs Scored: 58

Runs Allowed: 34

Team BA: 103/340 = .302 (yes)

Team BA with RISP: 30/88 = .340 (yes)

Team BA with RISP and 2 outs: 9/45 = .200 (they still suck at this)

HR's: 12 (see, Citi Field ain't that big)

HR’s Allowed: 8

Team ERA: 72.2IP, 30ER = 3.73 (yes)

Starter ERA: 59IP, 21ER = 3.20 (yes)

Bullpen ERA: 31IP, 9ER = 2.61 (yes)

Team BAA: 77/333 = .231 (nice)

Errors: 10 (woah - too high)


Fielding DP: 8 (Big Pelf is a double-play ground-ball inducing machine)

SB: 16 (nice)

Volume 3 MVP's:
Starter: Johan Santana: Is this guy even human?  His ERA is 0.91.
Reliever: K-Rod: 4 saves in a row vs the Braves and the Phillies - nice.  And in that second game against the Braves, he needed to get 5 outs.  
Hitter: Carlos Beltran: He is still locked in and looks as good at the plate as he has ever looked in a Mets uniform.  

Volume 3 Makers Mark Specials:
Starter: Oliver Perez: Disabled list, bullpen, minors, whatever - I'm just glad he is no longer in the rotation.  Hopefully he will work his stuff out and return in shape.  
Reliever: Sean Green: Visions of Aaron Heilman...
Hitter: Ryan Church: His batting average has dropped to the .260s after hitting over .400 through the first 2 weeks of the season.  

Summary Analysis:  This isn't rocket science, folks.  When you pitch well, and when you hit with runners in scoring position, you're going to do a lot of winning.  And that's exactly what the Mets have done in this 3rd Volume of the season - they have won a lot.  8-2.  That's impressive.  It must be noted that the Mets did not notch themselves an 8-2 on the 10-Game Report last year until Volume 13.  

Of course, at the end of the day, it really does come down mainly to pitching.  The Mets struggled in the first two volumes mainly because the starting pitchers other than Santana pitched to a collective ERA of about 6.50.  But over the last 10 games, everyone seems to have gotten themselves in a groove.  Big Pelf, Johnny Maine, and El Duque's brother have all been solid.  And it was  quite nice to see the young Jonathan Niese pitch well against the Pirates on friday night.  Hopefully he will be consistent.  

I made a point of saying in the last two volumes that we haven't even yet gotten to see the Mets bullpen really show their value.  Well we got to see it in Volume 3.  Those wins against the Phillies and Braves? - Yeah, not happening with the 2008 Mets bullpen.  Parnell, Putz, K-Rod.  Wash, rinse, repeat.  When the Mets are ahead after 6 innings, they are going to win most of the time.  No one is perfect of course, and even K-Rod will eventually blow a save or two.  But over the course of a 162 game season, this current Mets bullpen will be the best in the business.  
The offense, though they still can't get those hits with RISP and 2 outs, have nonetheless gotten the hits with RISP and less than 2 outs.  It's about time, and really was only a matter of time, I suppose.  A team with a collective batting average of over .300 is eventually going to bring in those runs.  The lineup is starting to gell.  Reyes seems to have turned the corner away from his early season slump, Castillo continues to be great at the plate, Beltran is just in the zone, Delgado still has his pop, and even David Wright has shown some signs of improvement.  He does still have way too much of a tendency to strike out in big spots.  It's funny with Wright.  No one looks as bad hitting .310 as he does.  But that's the thing - we're all getting on Wright, and rightfully so at times, and the guy his still hitting over .300.  He'll only get better too as the season goes along.  

The Mets have also gotten some very good help at the bottom of the batting order, thanks to the likes of Gary Sheffield, Omir Santos, Fernando Tatis, and Ramon Castro.  Brian Schneider - take your time getting back from the DL.  

Winning cures all ailments, and it's very contagious.  And it's pretty nice, if you're the Mets, to be able to follow up a 7-game winning streak with Johan Santana on the mound to try to make it 8.  What we're seeing now is the starting pitching performing to its potential, which has allowed the offense to relax and simply realize their talent.  And there is tremendous talent in that lineup and on this team.  

We have, of course, seen this team lose in mind-blowing ways, and we have seen them before look awful after a decent stretch of looking great.  But they gave us one encouraging sign here: they whopped the Pirates and swept them out of Citi Field after beating the Braves and the Phillies.  Last year the Mets might have dropped 2 of 3 to a team like the Pirates after looking great against their division rivals.  So there is good reason to think that this team is on the right track.  

For Volume 4, the Mets have a 3-game set at home against the Braves, and then they travel to the west coast to take on the Giants for 4 games, and the Manny-less Dodgers for 3.  

Things are finally looking up for this team.  Let's hope they keep it that way.  

Around the NL East:

Phillies: 4-6, 7-3, 4-5
Braves: 5-5, 5-5, 4-6
Marlins: 9-1, 3-7, 4-6

The Phillies continue to showcase the fact that they have no starting pitching and a one-dimensional offense.  The Braves still can't get their stuff together, and the Marlins continue to struggle after starting off the season 11-1.  The Marlins will rebound I think.  Their starters have taken a beating lately, but they still have a nice rotation and a lot of power in that lineup. 

And in the American League, the Yankees still can't get anyone to sit in those 25oo dollar seats, which now cost only 1200 I hear.  And their ballpark is giving up more homeruns than Citizens Bank Park.  Meanwhile, the Red Sox continue to play the role of "Daddy" to the Yankees, while the Rays continue to play the same role to the Sox.   


Anonymous said...

If you needed one out and Frankie wasn't available, who would you rather hand the ball to: JJ or Bobby?

AC said...

For one out? Well in any case - I need to know more about the situation. What's the score? Who's the opponent? Home or away? At what point in the season?

Most likely, though, I'd go with Putz because of the experience.

Anonymous said...

If you need to know all of that, it's clear you trust Bobby more. I mean, if I asked the same question and said Ollie or Johan, I don't think anymore info would have been necessary. Even if I said Putz or K-Rod, you would have responded with K-Rod, no questions asked.

AC said...

Well obviously you meant in an important game; in a high pressure situation. In which case, I'd go with Putz.