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Will Mets’ Lack of Speed Catch up with them? It did this Weekend in Sweep by Pirates

From Getty Images Pedro Florimon pinch ran and scored a big run Saturday night as  the Pirates won all three over the weekend against the Mets,.

From Getty Images
Pedro Florimon pinch ran and scored a big run Saturday night as the Pirates won all three over the weekend against the Mets,.

One of the hallmarks of good Mets’ offenses of the past has been stealing bases.  From Jose Reyes, to Beltran, to even David Wright, the 2006 and 2007 Mets were not only deadly sluggers, but stole bases and went first-to-third with regularity.

This 2015 offense, not so much.

The 2015 Mets’ base-stealing leader is Curtis Granderson.

Yes, the Curtis Granderson that Mets’ fans don’t want hitting lead-off and in fairness, his team leading SB number is 9.

It is no secret that the “Moneyball” theory of baseball puts a great discount on the value of stolen bases, but what that doesn’t take into account is the human element behind it.

With rare exception, (think Roger Cedeno) great basestealers are also great base-runners and while you can get into a moot argument with a sabermetrician regarding the true value of stolen bases, what cannot be argued mostly because there is no way of quantifying it other than just seeing it in action, is the value of great base-runners.

That is, knowing when to steal a base, when to go first to third, and when to score on a ball in the gap and moreover, having the speed to do it.

Currently, the Mets have very few men in their lineup that can push the envelope on the bases and not only do they have a lack of team speed, but a lack of good base-runners; especially without David Wright who incidentally stole 34 bases in that team record 2007 season when the Mets stole 200 as a team.

Bad baserunning cost the Rockies dearly in a game last week at Citi Field and good baserunning and timely steals was largely the reason the Pittsburgh Pirates waltzed into New York and swept the Mets out of their own building.

Case and point was Saturday night.

With the Mets struggling in a 3-3 extra-inning game with the Pirates in the top of 14th, Francisco Cervelli doubled to open up the frame.  The speedy Pedro Florimon pinch-ran for Cervelli.  When was the last time the Mets pinch ran?  Yeah, I can’t remember either.

Daniel Murphy’s mental error enabled a first and third situation when he decided to throw to third on Starling Marte’s grounder.

With 1st and 3rd and no one out, the Pirates went to work.   Florimon scored on a basehit and Marte read it perfectly going first to third.

The Pirates added one more run on a sac fly and the Mets’ two run deficit was too much to  overcome and the Pirates had a series victory and a precipice of a sweep which they completed Sunday.

In the playoffs, in which hopefully the Mets will participate, there are close games and close games are decided by little plays.  The Mets didn’t make them the Pirates did and one of the reasons they did was team speed.



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