At his first news conference after the All-Star break, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said that the team’s pitching had been ‘lousy’:
What really is important on that side of the ball is pitching, and our pitching has been lousy. And it’s partly because of injuries and it’s partly because of performance otherwise.
Base on Balls
Just how bad was the Mets pitching in the first half? Probably the most shocking stat was base on balls. Back in 2015 the team issued 383 walks, the second least in the majors behind only Washington. Last year the Mets pitching staff tied with San Francisco for the giving up the fewest walks in the majors with just 439. At the All-Star break this season, they had already issued 317. That ranked them 24th out of 30 teams in MLB. Oh those base on balls!
Back in 2015 the Mets WHIP was 1.179, the second best in baseball behind the Chicago Cubs. Last season it was 1.269, good for eighth best in MLB. The first half of this season, their WHIP was 1.475, ranked next to last in MLB.
Home Runs Allowed
In 2015 the Mets allowed 152 home runs, the eighth fewest in baseball. Last season they again gave up 152 which tied them with Miami for fewest in the majors. In the first half of this season they have already allowed 122 home runs, ranking them 24th in baseball. Granted that home runs are up alarmingly all over baseball. But ranking 24th is not a good sign.
Just two seasons ago, in 2015, the Mets had the fourth best ERA in baseball with a 3.43. Last year they had the third best with a 3.57. In the first half of this season they are ranked 26th with a 4.94.
Sandy Alderson is correct to call the Mets pitching in the first half of this season ‘lousy’. Injuries have certainly played a part (Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey). But the players who stepped into those open spots did not meet expectations. There was also regression of pitchers who had performed well at the end of last season (Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo). Expect the Mets to try to reinforce their pitching staff either at the trade deadline or this off-season.
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