So I detailed in yesterday’s post some of my concerns about how sustainable the Mets’ start can be-namely, that every offensive player, save Ike Davis and Daniel Murphy, is greatly outperforming what is reasonable to expect going forward, and Murphy’s right around where he should be.
But consider that the Mets are currently in third place, a game ahead of the Phillies, who are 12-12. And Philadelphia has probably been unsustainably bad offensively.
No, that is not a talented offensive team. But have you seen the numbers they are putting up? Hunter Pence is down so far, with an OPS+ of 93. And that is the third-best OPS+ in their lineup.
The infield includes Freddy Galvis (41 OPS+), Jimmy Rollins (58 OPS+) and Placido Polanco (62 OPS+). They average to right around Ike Davis so far. Imagine a third of any team’s lineup hitting like Ike Davis has so far this year. Amazing they are .500, no?
But wait, there’s more. Shane Victorino’s OPS+ is 76. It was 128 last year. John Mayberry Jr.’s OPS+ is 34. It was 129 last year. Jim Thome’s OPS+ is 0. Yes, zero. It was 132 last year.
All this is a complicated way of pointing out that either the Phillies are experiencing a massive simultaneous collapse in players, young and old, or Philadelphia’s offense is going to be far better than it has been so far, even without the return of Chase Utley or Ryan Howard.
The pitching, incidentally, has been terrific, with Vance Worley taking a step forward to be closer to the big three in Hamels, Lee and Halladay than back with Joe Blanton, the strong number five. But we knew that would be a strong group.
And ultimately, with Atlanta and Washington playing so well, and Miami likely to improve, Philadelphia will have plenty of competition to win the division if the offense doesn’t improve a ton.
But improve it will. This still isn’t a .500 team just yet.