Strikeouts galore for the 2014 Mets

Maggie Wiggin, Contributor

The 2014 Mets set a dubious record Tuesday night, striking out 31 times in their first two games, the most of any team in the modern era. Going into the season, there was little doubt that this would be a team prone to striking out, but numbers this high are obviously unnerving.

Curtis Granderson 2The good news is that the Mets are incredibly unlikely to maintain a strikeout rate of over 40 percent for very long. The prior team record for a full season is just 25 percent, so expect some big-time regression to the mean. They have also faced pitchers with above average strikeout rates, both starters and relievers. Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez deserve credit for doing what they do.

The other good news is that striking out doesn’t always indicate a low-scoring team. The only team in the National League with a higher K% in 2013 than the Mets was the Braves, who also scored the fourth most runs.

The Mets struck out 18 times on Monday, but they scored seven runs. The key was that when they made contact, it was solid, hitting for the kind of power they sorely lacked last season. They also collected three walks, suggesting they weren’t just swinging wildly.

In contrast, Wednesday night’s offensive disaster had no such positives to point to. For the most part, the ball barely left the infield and only Juan Lagares showed the ability to hit with authority. They didn’t work deep counts and generally looked lost at the plate, managing only five baserunners over 9 innings.

If the team can repeat their Opening Day performance (hopefully with better pitching this time) and emulate the 2013 Braves, they can effectively trade more contact for better contact and score some runs. But, if they come out swinging weakly and wildly like they did yesterday, we’re in for a long season.




70 comments
greekgod
greekgod

Can someone tell me how d'Arnaud is behind the plate; please send him down to AA before his  career is shot for good. If not he will bat .200 until he is 40 yrs. old.

greekgod
greekgod

What is the matter with our moderators? We can't say a little foul language? Who is on this blog? 6 yr. olds. Give me a freakin' break.

George Brezny
George Brezny

I guess I fell for it too.. Pick up a Grandy, Chris Y, and a Bartolo Colon and maybe a Stephen Drew, and the Mets pitching would keep us competitive through September. Figure 2015, when Matt's back, and with Wheeler, and Thor in the mix (and decent end of the rotation staff including Colon, Gee, and Jonathan - interchangeable) next year was looking pretty good...plus a FA outfield pickup (five tool) this offseason... But its looking like too many holes to fill at end of year.

flmetsfan
flmetsfan

I thought this team was going to wait on pitches and get deep into counts to tire out pitchers.  Dave Hudgens stinks as a hitting coach.  He needs to go.

Frankie Trim
Frankie Trim

The team record didn't have Chris Young or Curtis Granderson "contributing" to the total.

Mike
Mike

I almost threw up I got so dizzy from all of this spinning

adam
adam

Sabermetricians don't care about strikeouts. I'm not worried about the strikeouts, or Granderson for that matter. We have only a handful or two of major league level players, Grandy, Wright, Murphy, Lageres, EY(barely), Wheeler, Niese, Gee, Colon. Nobody in the bullpen has major league talent, a few did years ago. This is the reality of the situation. This team is terrible. Here's how bad we are, we are starting our THIRD different 1b in THREE games. How insane is that?????? I was originally on board with Sandy, but the fact is he has done a hurrendous job. 2 good moves in 4 years. Wheeler and Noah. That's it. He's mismanaged the roster, the bullpen, and put the eggs in the wrong basket- D'Arnaud stinks, Ike and Duda have been given too many chances, he blew signing Nelson Cruz, he overpaid Fransisco, he toys with our prospects, etc. We are one of the worst run franchises in professional sports. That's reality folks.

Macacawitz
Macacawitz

They'll get it straightened out, sort of.  It's a long season.  Even the Mets can't be this awful over a 162 game span.  Bottom line is that this not a very good baseball team.  Alderson, for a guy who claims to be able to make something from nothing, has done a poor job of cobbling this mess together.  What's particularly galling is his inability/refusal to part with chronic under-performers that grate on the nerves of the fan base.  In Yankeeland, if a player is constantly being booed off the field, he's gone.  The court of public opinion on that side of the Triboro seems to count for something.  Ike, Duda, Tejada can be met with a steady stream of invectives for what seems like forever, and it seems to have no effect on management.  So much with the customer always being right.

upstater
upstater

But isn't the organizational coaching strategy precisely contrary to what you liked about opening day?

Straw18
Straw18

Hmmmm Chris Young 1yr $7m or Nelson Cruz 1yr $8m.......

archer41
archer41

Sa-wing, batter batter.  This isn't a shock.  Not even worth getting upset about.  Team is poorly constructed and the 90 win thing is laughable.  

greekgod
greekgod

Last nights attendance was approx. 13,000 in the seats, in reality 29k tickets were sold......what has to happen is that NOT to buy the tickets......tickets is what management wants......Wilpon could care less how many asses are in seats.

greekgod
greekgod

I've said it a thousand times.....Wilpon hired Sandy to manage the checking account not to put a competitive team on the field. And I know I'm right.

rstpigeon
rstpigeon

They look like they never had spring training, never came out of hibernation. But, what else could we expect when all the off-season money was spent on an ineffective bullpen and two outfielders with low batting averages?


Bob Burket
Bob Burket

I think we would all be ok with it if a lot of runs were coming. How long before we start screaming for a new hitting coach?

drmetfan
drmetfan

well, we all expected this didn't we. We all talked about it here before the season started. however, I did not expected the Mets to have the record for most strike outs in 2 games. 

That's not good. This offense will struggle to score some runs if they don't get it together soon.

Mont5
Mont5

Don't know why this is big news. I am not surprise. Adding Granderson & Young will help break last year number for Ks.

thjopr6986
thjopr6986

Enough of this 'glass half full' nonsense. This team, after only two games, is unwatachable.

Father Dooley
Father Dooley

This lineup....why oh why Dear God, why oh why?

p8erbaghad
p8erbaghad

So in other words, if the Mets can lead the NL in HRs like the Braves last year, the strikeouts won't be a problem.

Aaron Robert Gusthov
Aaron Robert Gusthov

So because the braves struck out a lot last year and also scored a lot of runs then that means the Mets will score runs this year too because they also strike out a lot?  That doesn't make any sense, sometimes players just suck and that's why they strike out.

mettle
mettle

When the Mets have talent similar to the Braves, I'll compare the two teams.  

mettle
mettle

How soon until Murphy's son can get in the batters box?

bigdirty
bigdirty

@greekgod  I think the wilpons care more about people in the seats than tickets sold. Who else is going to buy $7 hot dogs and $10 beers. Teh Money is made not by tickets sold but products purchased.  

Bob Burket
Bob Burket

@thjopr6986 I said this to my Wife last night. It's time for bed. I can't watch anymore.

Ray Carattini
Ray Carattini

@Father Dooley Bless me father for I have sinned...I've used the Lord's name in vain a million times watching this team play the way it has....

Mike
Mike

@Victor Triguero  But if you don't have money you probably shouldn't go to payless. Spending less money on lower quality goods will only cost you in the long run. 


Instead you should take care of what you have that is in good condition and when you need to buy something new you should go for good quality at a fair price.


This team doesnt know how to do that, instead it buys items from the liquidation sales where you think you are getting a deal but the prices were marked up to above the price they should be and then put on sale. So you are now paying full price for old crap that isnt good anymore. 

Bob Burket
Bob Burket

@p8erbaghad More HRs mean more runs which will help the pitching get some more wins. Im ok with K's as long as there are a lot more runs being scored via the long ball.

Starz31
Starz31

@Aaron Robert Gusthov  It's simple. It's realistic to be able to strikeout a lot and still be offensively productive. That's it. It can be done. 

adam
adam

They're multi billionaires. This is their toy. They don't care about attendance to the extent you think. Furthermore, baseball owners make the bulk of their money from tv deals.

ken1010
ken1010

@Bob Burket @thjopr6986  Yes, its a relaxing team to watch.  No tension about who's going to win, or even if the games matter.  If feels like September, eliminated already.

Jim Yager
Jim Yager

The good thing about this team, and the past few teams, is that when the other team takes the lead, you can go to bed, it's GAME OVER! They don't have the heart or talent to fight back and the pen could NOT hold a one run lead against a little league team :}

Mike
Mike

@Bob Burket @p8erbaghad  Those HR's would be even more effective if the players ahead of the person hitting it were on base and not in the dugout because they struck out. 

p8erbaghad
p8erbaghad

@Bob Burket @p8erbaghad My point is the Braves scored all those runs by hitting 50 more HRs than the Mets.  They led the league in HRs last year and because they strike out so often, they only scored the 4th most runs.  Those Ks matter, regardless what Maggie wants you to believe.

p8erbaghad
p8erbaghad

@Starz31 @Aaron Robert Gusthov Not exactly.  Your batting average when striking out will always be .000 whereas if you don't strike out, you have roughly a .300 batting average.  Put the ball in play and you vastly improve you offensive productivity. 

Jim Yager
Jim Yager

HRs don't really mean anything when you face good pictching. Against the NL east , sure, but in the playoffs, those pitching mistakes don't happen :}

Jim Yager
Jim Yager

Unless you have less than two outs and a runner on third :} That's when a SO will kill you .

C.K. Dexter Haven
C.K. Dexter Haven

Honestly, that's the issue.  There IS a difference, but for years players have acted as if there isn't.  swinging for the downs on every pitch.  when you don't put the ball in play there is no chance anything else can happen.  Monday, on an 0-2 pitch Wil Myers put a lil squibber in play just to the left of the pitcher....he got a little league HR out of it...  

p8erbaghad
p8erbaghad

@Steven Matregrano @Starz31 @Aaron Robert Gusthov It's not the difference between a K and a FO/GO.  It's the difference between putting the ball in play or not.