Published on April 28th, 2014 | by Josh Chapdelaine0
Can The New York Mets Sustain This Success?
The New York Mets are riding a strong wave of momentum as the club prepares to open a three-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies in the City of Brotherly Love on Tuesday night. Dillon Gee successfully completed eight shutout innings against the offensively-adept Miami Marlins to complete the club’s second consecutive series victory at Citi Field. The Amazin’s are now 14-8 since being swept by the Washington Nationals to begin the season.
The questions surrounding the club’s success are rapidly shifting. Rather than can the club be successful, the reactionaries are now pondering how long can the club sustain this level of success?
The Mets were almost overwhelmingly drowned out in preseason predictions from analysts, most notably by CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman. The veteran analyst predicted the club to finish dead last in the National League East, citing Matt Harvey’s absence and lack of offensive potency as the driving reasons behind the team’s forecasted lack of success. While this prediction seemed rash from the offset, it now appears to be irrelevant (as most baseball forecasters predictions look in the summer).
But how long will the prediction be irrelevant? Is it possible the club was seriously undervalued by the entire baseball community?
The last time the Mets jumped three games over .500 in late-April was 2012, when Johan Santana was still riding high as the Mets’ ace, Matt Harvey was pushing his way through the minor leagues, and Jose Reyes was set to torment the National League East for the foreseeable future. The team finished with a mere 74 wins behind an anemic offense as the season progressed.
It’s no secret that the club’s pitching has propelled them to early success. Their offensive slash -.218/.296/.318- can be seen as offensive, and is second worst in the majors behind only the 9-17 Houston Astros.Despite poor overall production, the club has scored 100 runs, ranking 19th in the league. In contrast, their pitching staff has collectively allowed 96 runs, creating an unsurprising favorable balance.
The answer ultimately lies within the offense. While the starting rotation has been beaming, the club’s collective 3.74 ERA in 2014 is nearly identical to the team’s 3.77 ERA in 2013. The team can be successful if the offense is able to support a pitching staff that outperformed the World Champion Boston Red Sox last year, but will ultimately be unable to sustain this level of production otherwise. New outfield additions Curtis Granderson and Chris Young will both need to play a large role in boosting the club’s offense, and Juan Lagares‘ return this week should help to support the club’s output.
Do you believe the Mets are proving they can be a legitimate force in 2014, or will the club’s offensive woes prove to be too much to overcome once again?
Photo Credit: Michael Baron