It sure is fun to watch games like last night or Friday and Saturday’s finishes against the Giants, or even the way the team battled back on Sunday against Tim Lincecum. But some of the Mets are striking out at an alarming rate (ahem, David Wright…ahem, Jason Bay). Even Ike Davis, who has been the spark that fired up the team the past few weeks, has 19 strikeouts in 66 at-bats. I heard Keith Hernandez talking about Ike on “Mike and Mike” on ESPN radio the other day, saying what a great eye he has, and how he doesn’t swing at bad pitches. That’s not entirely true, but it’s hard to say anything bad about Ike right now.
Regardless, the Mets are striking out 21.6% of the time (241 K’s in 1112 at-bats). It’s not worst in the majors by any means, but still. The pitching has been a surprise for the most part, but this team still has a problem that has plagued them the last few years–they need to take more pitches and work the count in order to get to the other team’s bullpen as soon as possible. And they need to stop killing rallies with by going down on strikes.
The umpires seem to shrink the strike zone every year, making games longer, so why not make the games even longer by not swinging every once in a while? At the very least, this has to be the way Wright and Bay approach every at-bat.