Poem by Howard Megdal
Perfectly good Gee
Squandered by dreadful bullpen
Team’s Achilles Arms
By Peter J. Barrett
1) Mets’ Starting Pitching Has Been Great
Dillon Gee (4-3) received a no-decision in Wednesday’s loss. Gee continued the Mets great pitching, limiting the Phillies to two earned runs in 6 2/3’s innings while striking out five.
Mets’ starting pitchers have accumulated a 2.37 ERA in their last 9 starts. While impressive, their dominance has come while they matched up against the weaker offenses in the National League.
Though the most recent three starts were against a Phillies team who ranks 3rd in the NL in batting average and 6th in runs (without Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, who have spent the entire season on the DL), the previous six came against the Padres and Pirates who rank 28th and 29th in runs scored and batting average in all of Major League Baseball.
2) Bullpen Needs To Improve
The Mets wasted Gee’s quality start, as the bullpen allowed eight runs in the final 3 1/3 innings.
Bobby Parnell, Jon Rauch, and Tim Byrdak each allowed 1 earned run. Ramon Ramirez and Chris Schwinden combined to allow 5 runs and record only 2 outs.
The Mets bullpen has the highest ERA in the MLB at 5.45, which is significantly higher than the Phillies pen which checks in 29th at 4.54.
Most disturbing, according to FanGraphs.com, the Mets bullpen has the MLB’s lowest LOB% (left on base percentage) at 64.1%, meaning they allow 35.9% of inherited runners to score.
Tied for second worst in MLB with the Cubs (18-32) , Astros (22-27) , Brewers (21-28), and Padres (17-35), the Mets bullpen has lost 11 games on the season. Their surrounding company in bullpen statistics fully support their Pythagorean record (an estimate of a team’s winning percentage given their runs scored and runs allowed) of 23-27.
3) While 20 Games in 20 Days is Over, the Mets’ toughest stretch is ahead
The Mets have battled through a couple of tough portions of the young season. Just 51 games in, they went 13-12 in a period where they played 17 of 25 games on the road. They also finished the month of May on stretch where they played 20 games in a row without an off day, with a record of 10-10. But, their toughest stretch lies ahead of them.
In the month of June, the Mets will play eight of nine series against teams who are first in their division, or within two games of the lead.
In order they matchup against the 2011 WS Champion St. Louis Cardinals (27-24, 1.5 GB); the NL East leading Washington Nationals (29-21); the New York Yankees (26-23, 2 GB), the Tampa Bay Rays (tied for first in the AL East; the NL Central leading Reds, the Baltimore Orioles (tied for first in the AL East); the Yankees again, the Chicago Cubs (their only break at 18-32, 10GB) and the NL West leading Los Angeles Dodgers (32-17.)