Why The Mets Are Doing So Bad

by John Pagnotta | Jun 4, 2024 | General | 0 comments

Photo Credit: sportsbusinessjournal.com
As every passing day goes by, it looks more and more likely that the New York Mets are going to be sellers at the trade deadline. Originally, the Mets were looking at 2024 as a punt year to reload for 2025/2026, which wasn’t a terrible idea at all after a mediocre 2023 season. This quickly changed once J.D Martinez got inked to a 1 year deal, and I never really understood that. I believed that the signing of Martinez could be a solid piece at the deadline in a “punt year”, but I didn’t expect any change in their philosophy. However, after the signing of Martinez, the Mets became viewed as a fringe WC team that could sneak in the last NL WC spot, similar to the 2023 Diamondbacks. Yes, the Mets lineup construction looked solid on paper, but there were going to be injuries and other factors that would open up several massive holes. There have been some positives this season (Bader, Vientos, Butto, Severino, Manaea, Megill), but there have been way more issues. In this article, every Mets issue that has been glaring throughout the first 2 months will be analyzed.

1. Catchers

In a perfect world, Francisco Alvarez would play a majority of the games for the Mets this season, and take the next steps in his offense and defense. The signs definitely showed in ST and the first few weeks of the season, as Alvarez was looking poised for a big sophomore season. However, there is no “perfect” with the Mets, and Alvarez tore his UCL in his thumb (good thing he recently started his rehab assignment). Ever since Alvarez got hurt, the Mets have gone 13-25 and haven’t won a series. This is because their 2 catchers (Tomas Nido and Omar Narvaez) are both having downright terrible seasons. Narvaez has looked even worse than last season with his inability to hit, frame, or catch while Nido is doing better than years’ past, but it isn’t good enough at all for a Mets team that needs production from their catchers. The Mets have been the worst team with keeping runners on the bases, which isn’t a surprise with their current catching situation. Narvaez’s DFA was well overdue, but it still doesn’t solve their catching issue until Alvarez returns.

2 & 3. Slow starts in the lineup/ inability to hit in the clutch

If you took a look at just the averages in the Mets starting lineup, you would see a massive problem: There are only 4 hitters on the roster with a batting average over .260. That is not something that a MLB team with established MLB hitters should be experiencing at the end of May. Some key factors of the low averages are Pete Alonso (.235), Jeff McNeil (.224), Brett Baty (.225), Tyrone Taylor (.227), Brandon Nimmo (.209), D.J Stewart (.188), and Francisco Lindor (.225). Lindor’s cold start shouldn’t be surprising as he entered June 2023 with a .222 BA and he entered June 2021 with a .194 BA. All of these averages have hurt the Mets, especially Lindor and Alonso, as they are the 2 best hitters on the Mets. In addition, the inability to hit in the clutch has blown several games for the Mets. An example of this was Game 1 against the Dodgers on May 28 (a doubleheader I actually went to). The Mets had the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the 9th, and only needed a sac fly to win the game with Marte on 3B. Taylor and McNeil hit back to back pop ups to end the rally and force extra innings, which would eventually end in a crushing 5-2 loss. It hasn’t been all bad, as the Mets already have recorded 5 walk off wins, but they have severely hurt their record with many missed opportunities in games.

Photo Credit: nypost.com

4. Starters’ inability to eat innings

Another early issue with the Mets so far has been the starters’ inability to last long in games. The Mets have one of the least amount of quality starts in the league, which is a result of ineffectiveness/inconsistency from their starters. Jose Quintana (1-5, 5.06 ERA, 1.36 WHIP) and Adrian Houser (1-4, 7.34 ERA, 1.68 WHIP) have been very ineffective, while Manaea, Severino, Butto, and Scott have been solid starters. The starters have been very wild in most of their starts, as the Mets have allowed the most walks in the MLB (230). That is an average of around 4 walks a game, which is pathetic for a MLB pitching staff. Due to the high walks, the Mets’ starters can’t go deep in games, and they are giving opposing teams extra opportunities to capitalize. This has led to the bullpen being overused, which is the next issue that will be analyzed.

5. The overuse/recent ineffectiveness of the bullpen

For all things to go right this season, the Mets needed the bullpen to be at its highest potential that it could be. For most of April and the beginning of May, the bullpen was incredible. The emergence of Reed Garrett from a mop-up pitcher to a high-leverage option, Edwin Diaz’s early dominance, and hot starts from Ottavino, Raley, Diekman, Reid-Foley and Lopez all helped the Mets survive the first few weeks of the season while the bats were freezing cold. The problem was that the bullpen was being used way too much, and now it’s beginning to backfire on the team heavily. Lopez struggled massively on his way out, while Ottavino (5.48 ERA), Raley (torn UCL), Diekman (3.57 ERA), and Garrett (9 runs allowed in last 4 IP) have begun to show the evidence. Most concerning of all is the struggles of Edwin Diaz (5.40 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 5/9 SV), who is looking more like his 2019 self. Diaz can get some sympathy, as he missed all of last season, but it’s very concerning for a Mets team that doesn’t have a reliable closer, or reliever, at the moment

Photo Credit: foxnews.com

6. Mental errors, distractions, fielding

On every MLB team, fielding errors, mental errors, and mistakes in general are very common to make. However, it has been way too common for the Mets, as it’s turned into nearly every game. The Mets have a .981 fielding percentage, which is 27th out of 30 teams in baseball. This is another part of the game where the Mets shouldn’t be in, especially after the desire for more defense from David Stearns in the offseason when he signed Harrison Bader, Joey Wendle, and Tyrone Taylor. Some errors that the Mets have made are laughable, as some of them involve fielders attempting to throw the ball before it’s in their gloves (Lindor and Baty), while others involve misplays that shouldn’t occur. The baserunning errors have also been concerning, as the Mets have completely blown innings and rallies because of their mental errors. Lastly, the entire Jorge Lopez incident has been a mess for both Lopez and the Mets. Lopez’s comments and glove toss were both unprofessional, but he has shown an issue with the Mets for the past several years, let alone this year. There are too many distractions involved with the Mets, whether it’s with the FO, the owner, the manager, or the players. Whether Lopez said “teammate” or “team” will never truly be known, but either way, the Mets have looked like the laughingstock of baseball again (which has been common over the past couple of seasons).

With Lopez being DFA’d and the Mets players holding a players-only meeting after Wednesday’s loss, hopefully the Mets can light a spark and save their season! Otherwise, it looks like it will be another long and grueling season for Mets fans, with the potential departure of Pete Alonso looming.

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My name is John Pagnotta and I live in Queens, NY. I am a sophomore at Monsignor McClancy Memorial High School. I am a huge fan of the Jets, Mets, Islanders, and Knicks. I started following sports when I was around 7 years old and I have not lost love for it ever since!

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