Morning Grind: Mets Pitchers Have Been Terrible On Offense, Even For A Pitcher

An article by posted on June 15, 2011

Mets pitchers in 2011 have just been pathetic at the plate. Yes, pitchers are suppose to be “the easy out” in the lineup, and more often than not, they are retired, but not at the pitiful rate the Mets pitching staff has.

Mets pitchers are batting a collective .073 with 5 walks compared to 55 punchouts in 123 at-bats. The Mets pitcher’s batting average is near the bottom of the league in batting average, and this is even inflated due to Chris Young’s three hit game against the Phillies earlier in the season. If you were to take away that one lucky game by Young, the pitchers are batting a near comical .053.

To compare their figures to a few other team’s pitching staffs’, the Pirates, one of the worst pitcher hitting ballclubs, has batted .086 with 4 walks compared to 67 strikeouts in 128 at-bats. On the other end of the spectrum, the Phillies, of the better pitcher hitting staffs, are batting .169 as a group with 55 K’s to 4 walks in 136 at-bats.

So to put all of that into perspective, Mets pitching strikes-out 45% of the time they come to bat, the Phillies rate it 40% and the Pirates, 52%. The Mets hurlers walk 4% of the time, and the Phillies and the Pirates, 3%.

As far as sacrifice hits go, the Mets are one of the more prominent teams. Mets pitchers have 19 sacrifice hits in 148 potential at-bats, the Phillies have 18 in 158 PA’s and the Pirates have 15 in 148 PA’s. I would be hard pressed to say that it is because of the skill of the Mets pitchers, rather that they get much more opportunities to get the sacrifice hits. Given that the Mets power is at a historic low in the absense of their big sluggers, they have become a team of manufacturing runs, which uses the sacrifice bunt often.

Although the Mets pitching has a very slight edge in sacrifice hits compared to these two teams, they have failed to get the bunt down when it matters most.

When there have been games where every run counts, I can’t tell you how many times I have seen Capuano, Niese or Dickey fail to get the bunt down to move a crucial runner across early in the inning, then that same runner end up NOT scoring because they were not in scoring position.

If the Mets pitchers were able to get the bunt down when asked, there is a possibility we could have had an extra win or two, making us a .500 team. Yes the Mets pitchers have been pitching well and yes they have gotten sacrifice hits, but when they have been counted upon to just get a simple bunt down they fail. Not only that, but they need to put the bat to the ball and put the ball in play more, they are striking out at one of the highest rates in the National League.

I know this is a very, VERY minute factor in the scheme of things in a ballgame, but these are some of those “little things” you hear players talking about, like getting a bunt down; and doing little things can help teams win ballgames when they do not have their Johan Santana’s, their David Wright’s or their Ike Davis’.

I know that I should be happy that the starters are pitching well, and I am. I know that anything you get from your pitcher at the plate is a bonus, but I think they should be somewhat better than this with the bat.

Step it up.

About the Author ()

Clayton Collier, a senior editor for MMO, is a Journalism major with a minor in Broadcasting at Seton Hall University. He is also a staff member at 89.5 WSOU, Seton Hall's modern active rock radio station. Following him on Twitter: @Clayton_Collier or E-maili him at MaybeNextYearMets@yahoo.com

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