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Injuries, Not Offensive Approach, is Mets Problem Right Now

(Dennis Wierzbicki - USA TODAY Sports)

(Dennis Wierzbicki – USA TODAY Sports)

Bunt! Go the other way! Hit and Run! Steal a base! MANUFACTURE runs – the battle cries of panicky Mets fans as the season hits June.

The Mets just completed a 2-4 home-stand complete with an inexplicable 2-1 loss to the White Sox.

“Inexplicable” because the Mets managed to somehow score 1 run despite drawing 13 walks!  But,
“A walk’s as good as a hit!” –  I guess not.

Mets fans look at the power outage as well as the losses, and want a change in approach when in fact, the approach is just fine and the results are predictable.

The Wednesday afternoon loss came with a lineup that was down 3 starters – Wright, Duda and d’Arnaud and a 4th starter with Cespedes given the day off.

The Mets lost and the opinions rolled in.

“The team can’t score without the homerun” they need to “manufacture runs”, they “Can’t win in the playoffs without “manufacturing runs”.

Again, they want bunts and steals.

The team just isn’t built that way and with 4 guys out, the backups aren’t built that way either, no one’s backups are built that way.  If they were, they’d be starters.

The fact is, with Wright, Duda, and d’Arnaud out, the Mets are relying upon James Loney; a man who was just in the minor leagues two weeks ago, Wiler Flores; a man of whom they thought so highly they signed Astrubal Cabrera, and Rene Rivera; a career backup catcher with great DEFENSIVE skills – not offensive.

And while you can argue that the Mets should have realized that they could not depend upon David Wright given his injuries, the fact is, the Mets did rely on Wright and are paying for it now.

Duda was supposed to be the power bat and now he is out, and d’Arnaud was supposed to be among the best hitting catchers in baseball and obviously, he is on the shelf again as well.

Obviously, with these guys down, the offense will suffer.

When they come back, if they come back, the offense will once again be formidable.

However, even when that happens, there is still the segment of Mets’ fans that long for the bunt and the hit and run and the steal – those are what teams who can’t hit do to try to manufacture runs.

There are to points to be made with regards to those thoughts.

One, people act like a bunt is a 100% play.

It isn’t.

People act like major leaguers should be able to bunt because they are paid a lot of money.

That just doesn’t even make sense.

The Mets, when healthy have a good offensive lineup.  That’s what you want in baseball, not guys who bunt and steal bases.

Second point, people say that “you can’t win in the playoffs by relying on the homerun”.

Yeah that’s a great thought except it just flat out isn’t true.

Power and pitching wins in the playoffs.

The Mets powered their way through the NL and the Royals, who everyone praises for “manufacturing runs” turned game 1 of the World Series on a homerun.

People think that manufacturing runs is easy.  However, they should consider this question, in the playoffs, off a good pitcher, what is more likely, a homerun or a pitcher making several mistakes and allowing a string of hits?

Baseball is about giving yourself as many opportunities as possible for good hitters to come through with men on base.  With the Mets at full strength, they have the team to do that.

Do they have that right now?  Of course not and might this be “one of those seasons” where injuries derail progress?  It just might but that doesn’t mean the plan was wrong.




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