5 Most Costly New York Mets At-Bats This Season
Top Five Most Costly Mets At-Bats
The New York Mets have had plenty of mishaps thus far this year, but certain at-bats have really killed the team. Many opportunities the Mets have had this year have been squandered by untimely strikeouts and double plays.
Win Probability Added is a stat that calculates a player’s contribution to a team’s chances of winning, much in the vein of Wins Above Replacement, expect WPA takes into account the context of the situation. A single with runners on second and third is worth more than a single with no one on. Two runs driven in in the ninth when your team is down one is worth more when your team is down five.
Over the course of the year, there have been some definite underperformers for the Mets. Ike Davis and Ruben Tejada come to mind as disappointments for the team thus far this year. According to WPA, though, as far as bad moments go, the whole team shares the blame.
The following are the worst at-bats the Mets have had so far this season, and each one is by a different player, all based on Win Probability Added. Based on the nature of WPA, one would expect a lot of these at-bats to come in the ninth inning, but surprisingly, the majority of them come in the eighth inning. This supports the argument that some sabermetricians have suggested that closers should be reserved for all high-leverage situations, which come just as often in the eighth as they do in the ninth.
5. John Buck vs. Alfredo Simon
In the bottom of the eighth inning against a very competitive Cincinnati Reds team, John Buck had an incredible opportunity to lift the Mets toward a comfortable lead with one out in the eighth inning against reliever Alfredo Simon.
The Mets had overcome a disappointing start by Matt Harvey, providing enough offense to keep the score tied at four. With a hit from Buck, the Mets would have grabbed a lead and avoided devastating closer Aroldis Chapman.
Instead of delivering the clutch hit, Buck grounded into an inning-ending double play, and the Reds scored three in the ninth to lift themselves over the Mets, 7-4. WPA: -.165
4. Ruben Tejada vs. David Robertson
A generous way to describe Ruben Tejada's season thus far would be hapless. He has made many critical errors in the field, and has disappointed many by failing to meet his already low expectations with the bat. What's worse, he had he fourth-worst single at-bat of any Mets hitter thus far this year.
In a game the Mets actually won, Ruben stepped up to bat against New York Yankees reliever David Robertson in the eighth inning of the May 27 contest at Citifield. With runners at second and third, Tejada bounced a ball to the infield, and Mike Baxter was thrown out at the plate in the midst of a tie game, with one run scored apiece.
It seemed nearly impossible not to drive in a run by putting the ball into play, but Tejada managed to do it. Luckily, the Mets were still able to pull off a narrow 2-1 victory. WPA: -.173
3. Justin Turner vs. Craig Kimbrel
Mets fans had something to look forward to for 24 hours. The team was able to keep up with the division-leading Atlanta Braves until the 18th inning of a contest before it was delayed for a day by rain. Mets fans that Saturday could look forward to seeing the end of a tight game and then another contest right after that.
As it turns out, the Mets lost both games. The bullpen gave away the game that was already tied, and was aided by this miserable at-bat by Justin Turner. The Mets had started a little rally in the bottom of the 10th inning against a struggling Craig Kimbrel by putting the tying runners on base for Turner with one man out. Turner took this opportunity to ground into a game-ending double play. WPA: -.182
2. Ike Davis vs. Mark Melancon
It was both Mother's Day and Harvey Day at Citifield, and the fans received a pitching contest as promised. Unfortunately, the Mets received the short end of the stick against an unusually good Pittsburgh Pirates team.
The Mets had a shot to come back from behind and give the moms in the stands something to root for, until Ike Davis came to bat against setup man Mark Melancon. With the Mets down 3-2, Ike inherited runners at the corners with one out.
Ike had been struggling, and this was the perfect opportunity for him to contribute by at least driving in a run. Instead, he grounded into an inning-ending double play. WPA: -.190
1. Daniel Murphy vs. Brandon League
Surprisingly, the Mets' most costly plate appearance this year by far came from one of its most productive players, second baseman Daniel Murphy, in a game that the Mets actually ended up winning.
Murphy came up to the plate against Los Angeles Dodgers closer Brandon League with Mike Baxter at third and one out. The Mets were down a run in the ninth, and Murphy had the opportunity to tie the game with almost any ball in play.
Except, of course, pop flies in foul territory. Murphy hit a can of corn to the third base side to make the Mets' chances of winning much less likely. Luckily, David Wright drove in Baxter with a two-out single to tie the game up, eventually leading to a Jordany Valdespin grand slam. WPA: -.246
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