Sometimes when a team’s offense is struggling, it needs to find unconventional ways to score runs. For the New York Mets, they are going to rely on their speed and stolen bases.
In their series win over the Atlanta Braves earlier this week, the Mets recorded nine stolen bases — three on Tuesday and six on Thursday. The Mets’ Eric Young Jr. is taking advantage of his speed at the top of the lineup. He recorded five stolen bases in the series, including three on Thursday. There’s a reason why he led the National League in stolen bases last year. Did he take advantage of the Braves’ weak defensive catchers? Yes he did, but exploiting a team’s weakness is all part of the game.
Curtis Granderson, whom the Mets signed for his bat more than his speed, also got in on the action with two stolen bases of his own. If the Mets can have multiple players in their lineup become threats to swipe a base or turn a single into a double, the better their offense will be.
The Mets have shown early on that they are going to struggle to drive in runs. The Mets rank toward the bottom half of the league in every offensive statistical category. They have only scored 34 runs on the year, and their team average is below .200. So it’s going to be up to players like Young, Granderson, Juan Lagares and Chris Young when he comes back to steal bases and move into scoring position on their own. With the Mets’ first base position still in shambles at the moment, David Wright and Granderson are the only two true RBI producers. The Mets are going to have to resort to small ball to win games, and that includes bunting, productive outs, stolen bases and the willingness to take the extra base.
An offense’s goal is to drive in runs, but its also responsible for making the opposing pitcher as uncomfortable as possible. Speed does that as well as any other aspect of the game.
Speed kills, and the Mets have it, especially toward the top of their lineup. Each team has to find its offensive identity and it looks as if the Mets have found theirs.