May 04, 2007

Phillie Fan Looks At The Mets

Mike at A Citizen's Blog, writes his piece on the Mets and what he thinks of them:

Give credit to the new regime New York Mets. As Phillies fans we were used to the seeing the Mets bumble around, spending zillions of dollars while still managing to lose games. Remember the 2002 Mets? They spent $94 million dollars on free agents – Roberto Alomar, Mo Vaughn, Jeromy Burnitz – to win a whopping 75 games. The Phillies spent just $57 million to win 80 games that season.

I hate these new-look, competent, Mets. Since Omar Minaya was installed as General Manager and Willie Randolph became the team’s manager after the 2004 season the Mets have made a number of savvy moves. First they signed Pedro Martinez to be their ace hurler. Then they inked Carlos Beltran to be their star in center field. The next year they poached Bill Wagner from the Phillies to be their closer, signed Carlos Delgado as a free agent from the Marlins, and brought in Paul Lo Duca to catch. Finally armed with enough talent, they easily dethroned the Braves as division champs and basically ran away with the division title last season.

Thus far this season the Mets are locked in a tight race with the Braves for the N.L. East lead with the Phillies and Marlins lagging behind. As I looked at the numbers I wondered: Are the Mets really that good?

I looked up the numbers and notice that the Mets are turning in a spectacular job with their gloves. As I write this, the Mets Defense Efficiency Ratio (DER) is .727, second-best in the N.L. after the Cubs (.733), and much better than the N.L. average of .697. So the Mets fielders are doing a nice job covering up the fact that the Mets hurlers have been making mistakes. Also, despite losing Pedro, the Mets hurlers are getting a lot of strikeouts: 7.5 per game, compared to the N.L. average of 6.7.

In the long run, the Mets reliance on offense will come back to bite them during the mid-summer when teams begin to hit their thin pitching staff more aggressively. Ultimately the Mets will start to struggle and will see the Braves take a commanding lead. The only team who can catch them are the Phillies, the only team capable to matching the Braves pitching factory.

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