Since the Mets got on that runaway train to an 11 game winning streak that ended just over a week ago, they have derailed, and fast. They showed some major concerns during the Subway Series against the Yankees and have only gone downhill since then. Just looking at these last 4 games against the Nationals, the Mets batted .205 with an astounding 39 strikeouts to just 7 walks. They also managed only four extra-base hits so it is no wonder that they dropped three of the four game set. We all know that the Nationals have arguably the best pitching staff in baseball, but they couldn’t hit the back side of a barn this weekend (I have always wanted to use that saying). Hopefully it is a temporary skid and they can get back to their winning ways, but let’s take a look as to what has caused this bout of poor play.
The Offense: More like, what Mets offense over the last 7 games. Overall, the Mets offense is ranked 21st on the season, but obviously that is thanks to their hot start. In the last 7 games, the team is hitting a paltry .230. The most concerning part being their rapid increase in strikeouts and decrease in walks. Over this 7 game span, they have a strikeout to walk ratio of 66:16. That is the opposite of a recipe for success. It is no wonder the Mets are struggling to score runs, because on the rare occasion they are finding a hit, there has been nobody on base to drive in.
The Defense: While the Mets might not lead the league in errors, they certainly lead the league in middle infielder errors and more importantly are ruining some great pitching, from both the starters and relievers. It is hard to shut down the opposition when they are constantly given extra chances on offense and causing the pitching to work extra during innings, and therefore wearing down earlier in games. Not to mention all the plays that aren’t made that aren’t scored as errors, such as unturned double plays or balls not reached due to a lack of range.
The Injuries: The Mets may have been able to downplay key injuries to David Wright and Travis d’Arnaud when the team was clicking on all cylinders, but when the going gets tough, the replacements need to get going, and they are not able to do so. Eric Campbell, who started 15 straight at third in the absence of Wright, was quickly overexposed and relegated back to his super utility role over the weekend. Kevin Plawecki, who is a top Mets prospect and top catching prospect in baseball, has done well handling the staff, but is being thrown into the fire and has not been consistent handling major league hitting just yet.