October blues again for that team from Queens.
TORRINGTON: Evaluating the 2018 New York Mets is not a complex undertaking.
Start at their dead last in Major League baseball offensive performance and stop right there. Case closed.
A .234 batting average (the Phillies are actually ranked #30 with the New Yorkers #29 but the batting averages are identical) sticks out like a sore thumb, as do the production numbers of some of their biggest so-called stars.
Trouble is, most of those players were either too old when the season started or got old in a big hurry once they stepped on the Citi Field grass.
The hitting was brutal, just ask Jacob deGrom who should win the National League Cy Young award with a 10-9 record, combined with a 1.70 ERA and 269 strike outs in 217 innings pitched.
Check these stats.
Yoenis Cespedes, (remember him?) played in just 38 games after appearing in just 81 in 2017, with injuries keeping him on the shelve once again.
Funny thing is though, when the slugger came to the Mets in 2015, he had a history of leg issues that have haunted him since he came to New York.
Getting big names just for the sake of having big names is not a good way to do business but of late, that seems to be the team’s logic.
My goodness, I think I could get Jay Bruce out at this point after his .223 season that consisted of just 94 games, nine home runs and an anemic 37 runs batted in.
Todd Frazier batted .213, which looks like an MVP season compared to what Jose Reyes did with his south of the Mendoza line average of .189.
.189! Sure, I loved Reyes during his glory days 10-years ago but man, they have to do better than that if they ever want to be taken seriously again.
There was some optimism if I look hard enough though.
Jeff McNeil was a breath of fresh air when he came up to appear in 63 games, batting .329 with 11 doubles and six triples while playing with grit and determination, something desperately needed on a team lacking both.
Michael Conforto overcame what seemed like a life time slump early in the year to hit .243 with 28 home runs and 82 RBI’s, tops on the team in both categories.
If Conforto is going to put up those kinds of numbers each year, so be it. He’s a good number six hitter, not a three or four.
Amed Rosario had a decent year for a 22-year old, appearing in 154 games and hitting .256. He stole 24 bases but was caught 11, a number he will have to cut down if he wants to be a leadoff or number two hitter.
Rosario would also need to do a better job with his on base percentage, which was weak at .295.
Dominic Smith showed no signs of being MLB ready this year, appearing in 56 games while batting just .224 with five home runs and 11 RBI’s. Not first basemen kind of numbers.
It’s hard to talk about Mets catchers, who was their back stop this year?
Is 30-year old Devin Mesoraco the number one with his .221 average, 11 home runs and 33 ribbies?
Will Travis d’Arnaud be back after missing all but four games this year?
A big hole.
While the offense was offensive most of the year, not breaking up the pitching staff was the best move the front office made at the trade deadline.
Pitching wins championships and with the core three all making at least 25 starts, the future looks okay on that front.
deGrom was magnificent, even with short hair, he left that to Noah Syndergaard who had a terrific second half and finished with a 13-4 mark that included a 3.03 ERA in 154.1 innings pitched.
Staying on the mound will be the challenge once again for the one they call ‘Thor” next year after missing most of 2017 (7 starts) and time this season as well.
Zack Wheeler bounced back from a disappointing 2017 (3-7 in 17 starts) to post a 1-7 mark in 29 in 2018.
Steven Matz had a down year with a 5-11 record for the second straight year but like all the team’s arms, could have posted better marks if more runners had crossed home plate for them.
Jason Vargas (7-9. 5.77) was a bad sign while Corey Oswalt showed signs at times with his 3-3 record (5.85 ERA).
So, as we enter another post season sans that other New York team, the one from Queens, I still don’t have to stay up late to see how my team does as we approach the end of Daylight Savings Time.
Thanks to a 14-39 record over the months of May and June (imagine what would have been without the 11-1 start), I can sleep well waiting for the Jets or Giants to play well.
Looks like I’ll be resting comfortably all winter.