What A Difference A Bay Can Make

An article by posted on April 22, 2011

David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Jason Bay and Ike Davis together at last in the middle of the order.  I know it is only one game, but inserting Bay into the middle of that lineup really solidifies the middle of the batting order.  Jason did not tear the cover off the ball in his first game back, but just his presence alone resulted in better at bats for the three guys around him.  I mean just think about who was batting in his spot when he was on the DL.  Ike had to move up, and a lot of times guys like Thole, Emaus and a slumping Pagan had to bat 6th.  On Days where Beltran had to sit, If Pagan did not bat 5th, after Davis it was almost smooth sailing for the opposition.

I have always felt that a batting order has to have a certain flow to be successful.  There needs be combination of speed and the ability to get on base at the top, which Reyes has.  A player such as Pagan is most affective in the two hole because of his versatility.  As the best overall hitter in terms of average, power and on base percentage, Wright fits batting 3rd. Your cleanup hitter brings your power and more often than not is the best run producer in the lineup.  When Beltran is healthy he is the best option to provide that.  The 5th spot also provides power and run production, but most importantly needs to be able to provide enough fear in the opposition, so that they can not just pitch around the 3-4 hitters.  Bay’s presence in the lineup allows some of the weaker hitters to move to their more rightful spots in the order.  It also allows guys like Wright, Beltran and Davis to relax a bit, knowing that there is someone else here who can really help drive the run in if they don’t get it done.

I know it’s a short sample, but SNY showed a graphic after the game regarding David Wright’s stats with Bay in and out of the lineup.  With Jason in the lineup David has hit .305, 16 hr and 59 RBI, while he bats .253 with 14 hr and 37 RBI when he does not play.  I think what you take from those numbers is that a guy like David seems to relax more when he feels he has some help. When he is left alone, without much protection, he gets pitched around and presses to do more than he can.

It was just nice to sit back, relax and enjoy a “laugher” as Howie Rose put it.  For one night it just felt good to be able to forget about the sloppy play, poor pitching, lack of clutch hitting, and just enjoy a Mets win   Mets fans are loyal, and while they may not be going to the ballpark every night, they still follow the team daily.  This fan base wants something to get excited about, and we are all sick of wishing and hoping things will turn around.  For one night it did, and I enjoyed every second of it.

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