The idea has been beaten to death: The Mets bullpen is the worst in baseball and has been the major reason for the team’s skid to open the second half.
But looking a little deeper, it may not totally be the bullpen’s fault. In fact, the pen, mainly Jon Rauch, Josh Edgin and even Manny Acosta since being recalled, has actually been somewhat decent recently.
Granted, the bullpen certainly has contributed to the second-half slide, but the offense is just as culpable.
The Mets have played 24 games since the All-Star break and are just 7-17 in those games. Only 10 times in those 24 games have the Mets scored at least five runs, and the team actually wound up losing five of those 10 games.
It seems that the clutch two-out RBI hitting that the Mets were known for during the first half has simply disappeared. Maybe it’s fatigue or maybe it’s just a loss of the fire that was so evident in the first half.
Of the nine positions in the Mets lineup, two are basically automatic outs with another very close. Jason Bay of course does nothing, and the pitcher’s spot rarely contributes (which is expected). Andres Torres goes through periods of being extremely cold as well, but he at least has some speed.
Jordany Valdespin has cooled down significantly, and production from the catcher’s position has been hard to come by.
More troubling though has been David Wright. Not too long ago, Wright was near the top of the NL in hitting at around .350. However, in just a few short weeks, he’s now hovering near the .320 mark.
At this point in the season, it really takes a lengthy slump to drop 30 points in one’s batting average, and that’s what Wright’s going through. His strikeouts are also way up.
So again, there’s no doubting that the Mets bullpen is a major weakness. But it’s unfair moving forward to thrust the whole blame of the second half skid just upon the pen. The offense has been just as bad during this stretch if not worse.