Can Mets Win A Wild Card With One Of MLB’s Worst Defense?

An article by posted on July 12, 2012

Currently, the New York Mets are one of the three worst fielding teams in the Major Leagues. They have already tallied 63 errors this season. They are one-thousandth of a percentage point from having the worst fielding percentage in the NL. By position, the Mets lead the league in errors at center field and second base, and are second to last at right field and surprisingly first base where they also have the worst fielding percentage in the league.

The question for this MMO Roundtable is simple…

Can the Mets win a wild card 

while having one of MLB’s worst defense?

Joe S. – It’s possible that in spite of their poor defense, they may still contend for a playoff spot especially with the additional slot that was added this year. The real question will be IF they make it to the Playoffs how will their defense hold up. It seems this team makes errors in bunches, sometimes in individual innings, and it adds to the argument that occasionally this team isn’t as prepared or as focused as Terry Collins demands. Collins needs to make that a major point in the second half.

Dan – Yes they can If their pitching keeps bailing them out. It’s more likely that the errors will catch up to them at some point and burn them at the worst possible time. Hopefully I’m wrong but that’s sounds like something that would happen to the Mets doesn’t it?

Robert P. – Quite frankly, no. Don’t get me wrong, Mets have outplayed most if not all expectations, but they also have a lot of timely hitting and some plain ol’ luck to thank for their current spot in the standings. If they’re going to keep that spot, they must play better fundamental baseball down the stretch, because the law of averages states that both their timely hitting and their luck will come up short eventually.

Rob S. – Unfortunately, no. While I think we can remain competitive and battle for the wild-card, ultimately a poor defense will be our undoing unless we ratchet it up a notch. Even if we do manage to take the Wild-Card, 27 outs is a lot to get when you’re playing good teams. Giving them an extra 1 or 2 a game will not keep us around. And our hitting is not good enough to offset a poor defense. I’m old-fashioned and still believe you win with pitching and defense. As Ken Griffey Jr. once said,, “Defense never slumps.”

Jessep – Yes, but it won’t be pretty. Overall, they are a pretty young team. Part of having a young team is they will make mistakes. I do think we need to be careful to just look at error totals and assume it means they are a poor defensive team. You can’t make an error if you don’t get to the ball. I do think they are a below average fielding team though, but I don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world. If they hit and pitch, an error here and there shouldn’t kill your playoff chances.

Tyler – Yes they can, but it means they have get the outs after the error and score runs. An issue with this team is that it will make an error and then they let that error lead to multiple runs in the inning. That is something they need to stop doing.

Gregg – Nobody likes errors, you’re giving the opposition an extra chance, and you’re forcing your pitcher to work harder. The Mets are not a good enough team to compensate for making so many errors. The Mets need to truly buckle down in the second half, if they want to have a shot at a Wild Card.

Pete – No, they can’t. The Mets don’t score enough runs as a team to be giving away scoring opportunities to the other side. The problem is even if the Mets are still contending late into July, this present GM has given me no faith for me to believe him when he says he has the ability and the funds to strengthen this team for the stretch-run. What he seems to say, and what he seems to do, are two totally different things.

Jim – The defense must improve for this team to be considered serious contenders. Unlike some other teams, the Mets simply aren’t talented enough to be able to make tons of errors but outslug their opponents. They can consistently score 4-6 runs per game with their offense, but they can’t afford to give up runs via errors. The Yankees have the firepower to score 7-plus runs per game, so a few run-scoring errors may not be as harmful. But not the Mets. They don’t have to play flawless ball to win, but they will have to be close to perfect. They can do it. They are Major League caliber players. They just need to believe in themselves.

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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