The Mets pitching staff was decimated by injuries again this season. But injuries weren’t the only cause of their poor performance. Last winter there was talk about getting the Mets starters to pitch deeper into games. They should learn to pitch more to contact, and not try to strike out every batter. Get quicker outs by letting the fielders behind you make the play. A couple of things went wrong with that plan.
Strike Outs and Walks
Despite the injuries to Noah Syndergaard, Matt Harvey and Steven Matz, the Mets staff actually increased their strikeout rate this season. Unfortunately there was also a dramatic increase in their walk rate. Causing their pitch counts to soar even faster.
Ground Balls and DRS
As you can see in the chart above, there wasn’t much change in the ground ball percentage. What did change was how much noticeably slower the Mets fielders had become. This showed up in the large drop in DRS. Not a good fielding team to begin with, this season it has been unwatchable at times.
As through out baseball, the Mets pitching staff has seen a dramatic increase in the number of home runs given up. This made the walks and poor fielding even more painful as the homers were more often hit with men on base.
If Mets GM Sandy Alderson continues to devalue good fielding in his construction of the team. Then he will need to build a staff stocked full of power arms. Because pitchers with high strike out rates also have high pitch counts.
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