The New York Mets‘ surprising start to the season was aided by their outstanding starting pitching. The starting pitching has taken a small step back, but not a large enough one that they are failing to keep the Mets in games. The problem — just like always — has been the lack of offense. The Mets need to begin finding some consistent offensive production or they will waste the excellent efforts being put forth by the likes of Dillon Gee and Jon Niese each time they take the mound.
Curtis Granderson, the Mets’ big free agent signing this offseason, has been a disappointment thus far this season. He has a hit in eight of the last 10 games he has started, four of which were multi-hit affairs, yet he is still batting a paltry .185 on the season. When you have a hole such as that right in the middle of the order, it is nearly impossible to get constant run production.
Granderson is not the only one struggling to hit, as Juan Lagares, Daniel Murphy, David Wright and Lucas Duda are the only players on the team hitting .258 or higher. The abysmal performance being put on at the plate has resulted in a .225 batting average as a team; only the San Diego Padres and Houston Astros have lower team batting averages at .223 and .220 respectively.
Pitchers are not expected to be big hitters, but the Mets’ pitching staff is currently on the longest hitless streak to start a season; pitchers are 0-for-63 to start the season, including Sunday’s 5-4 win against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Weirdly enough, the Mets also struggle at the friendly confines of their home field at Citi Field. As a team, the Mets are hitting .197 at home through their first 18 games. Only the Seattle Mariners are worse at .197 through 14 games, and the next closest team, the Milwaukee Brewers, are hitting .225 through 20 contests at home.
The Mets have made a couple of call-ups to try and jump start the offense. The most recent one was Wilmer Flores, and he was promoted to replace the struggling Ruben Tejada, who is hitting .195 thus far on the season. Flores has produced well for the Mets in the minors, and he was hitting well this season with a .307 average, including five home runs and 25 RBI this season in 29 games. If the Mets can get production near that from him at the MLB level, they will ecstatic.
There is not too much more help in the minors for the Mets, as a majority of their top prospects close to being called up to the show are pitchers. The Mets are instead going to have to rely on their veterans getting back on track, and soon. There is some major talent ready to come up from the minors in the way of pitching, but no one knows how much longer you can count on the starting pitchers carrying this team without some help from the offense.