In honor of this weekend’s upcoming Indianapolis 500, I’d like to share my thoughts about speed. I seem to have noticed that the Mets are having a little bit of a problem with their power this season. Entering this weekend’s series against the Red Sox, the Mets were 15th in the National League in home runs. This is certainly unexpected for a team with such strong hitters as David Wright, Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran. Perhaps they should be focusing more on their speed to win games.
When the Mets won 11 of 13 games earlier this month, they stole at least one base in all 11 victories and failed to register a steal in the two losses. Their thievery against the San Francisco Giants last week, led by Carlos Beltran’s critical steals of third base and David Wright’s four steal game, led directly to wins in the first three games of the series. Once they stopped stealing (no stolen bases in the next three games), the wins stopped coming.
The Mets must steal bases in order to do well in Boston. The Red Sox are leading the majors in stolen bases allowed. Opposing runners have stolen 38 bases in 47 attempts against Jason Varitek. Backup catcher George Kottaras has fared even worse, allowing 11 steals in 13 attempts. Between the two, that’s 49 stolen bases allowed in 60 attempts. No other American League team has allowed 40 steals yet, let alone 49. If the Mets can exploit this glaring weakness the Red Sox have, they will put pressure on the Red Sox pitchers throughout the series and will give themselves a better chance to end their long road trip on a positive note. Let’s hope once the Mets start their engines, they never shut them off.