So far the New York Mets have been able to shift focus away from their offense by pitching well and winning ballgames. Unfortunately, their string of good fortune is about to end.
The Mets’ offense is anemic. The team just does not support their starting pitchers. Coming into tonight’s game, the Mets were hitting .220 as a team (third worst in MLB). Obviously, that’s atrocious by any measure. If the Mets continue at a similar clip, 2014 is going to get ugly.
The middle of the lineup is the real culprit. David Wright, Curtis Granderson and Lucas Duda have not produced to expectations. For the season, they have only six home runs between them. Not surprisingly, the Mets are dead last in all of baseball with a team slugging percentage of .319. Again, a team can only win for so long with this kind of production.
There’s more bad news for New York’s offense. The Mets will face two left-handed pitchers over the next two games, and if you thought the Mets couldn’t hit against right-handed pitching, wait till you see them match up against a south paw. Zack Wheeler will square off against Jorge De La Rosa on Friday night, and Jenrry Mejia will battle Franklin Morales the following evening.
The good news? Juan Lagares is finally back from injury. Lagares has the makings of a thoroughbred, and he’s been very impressive in his sophomore season. The guy is amazing to watch in the outfield, and his hitting, unlike for many others, has done nothing but improve. His offense will be key moving forward. Fill-ins for Lagares, such as Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Eric Young, have struggled mightily at the plate.
Still, the Mets will have to rely on their starting pitching to carry the day. While the formula has worked so far, to the tune of a 15-12 record, the pressure of delivering exceptional performances night in and night out is going to wear on their staff as the season plugs along. In other words, don’t expect the success the Mets experienced in April to last very long in May.