Mets With RISP, First Pitch Swinging, Deep Counts

An article by posted on June 30, 2014 0 Comments

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Travis d’Arnaud is batting .143 (6-for-42) with RISP

After another awful showing with runners in scoring position in Sunday’s loss 5-2 loss to the Pirates, manager Terry Collins addressed the issue

“We left a lot of guys at third base,” Collins said. “You think you’re out of it. You think you’re swinging good. And it comes back. It’s just one of those games where we didn’t get the runs in.

“You look at the pitches we struck out on, you’ve got to take away the outside pitch, especially when they’re playing back and they’re giving you runs. You’ve got to try to put the ball in play. We haven’t done that. We talk about it and talk about it and talk about it. But when they get in the batter’s box, it’s a different game.”

The team was 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position and they left 11 runners on base.

“We just didn’t get those key hits,” Travis d’Arnaud said. “For example, I didn’t come up clutch in that one inning and rolled into a double play. That was pretty much it.”

This has been a problem that has plagued the Mets for years now and part of the blame can be attributed to the lack of quality bats in the lineup which falls on both Sandy Alderson and the Wilpons.

As a team, the Mets are batting .229 with RISP and .164 with the bases loaded. That’s not going to cut it.

What is really jaw-dropping to me is that Mets pinch-hitters are only batting .181 this season with a .256 on-base and .284 slugging in 173 plate appearances. I’d have to imagine that at least 70 percent of those pinch-hit appearances came with at least a runner on base.

Someone alerted me to an interesting stat trend with the Mets this season and it touches somewhat on their approach.

It seems as though everytime you look up at the television, a Mets hitter is in a 2-2 or 3-2 count, right? And if you said yes, it turns out that it’s true. Those counts rank No. 1 and No. 2 for the Mets this season. In fact, the Mets have over 800 plate appearances in deep counts. 

But consider these results:

First pitch swinging:

.329/.341/.490 in 321 PA , 43 RS, 25 2B, 7 HR, 40 RBI

1-0 pitch:

.333/.340/.535 in 224 PA,  37 RS, 11 2B, 10 HR,  37 RBI

2-2 pitch:

.161/.168/.278 in 406 PA, 33 RS, 15 2B, 10 HR, 30 RBI

3-2 pitch:

.224/.455/.337 in 437 PA, 30 RS, 20 2B, 4 HR, 29 RBI

That’s quite a stark difference in production, wouldn’t you say? Anytime you give the pitcher two strikes you’re also giving him a huge advantage. Not just for the Mets but for all teams. But because the Mets find themselves in these deep counts so often, well, you see the results… Both on paper and in the standings.

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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.