Section 518

Where we endeavor to stay positive about the 2011 Mets…

Archive for May, 2011

Triples!

Posted by JD on May 30, 2011

After attending today’s sweep averting Mets’ win and witnessing Jose Reyes at his very best, I decided to head over to Baseball-Reference.com and see how many players have had three games in a season in which they hit two or more triples. It’s a short list: only 13 other players have ever done it. Dig a little deeper and you’ll see that only two players have done it since the first wave of expansion: Kenny Lofton in 1995 (in a strike-shortened season: wow) and Carl “The Perfect Storm” Crawford in 2004. Crawford actually had four games with two or more triples, which ties him for the record with Bill Terry and Barney McCosky.

Fitting, no? In the same week in which Fred Wilpon dinged Reyes for wanting “Carl Crawford money”, Reyes goes out and becomes the first player since The Perfect Storm to have three multiple-triple games in the same season. It was a silly comment when he made it and Reyes has only made it look sillier.  I truly hope it was an off-the-cuff thing by Wilpon and that when he left his message for Reyes he apologized for what he said (as opposed to apologizing for saying it to a reporter for a national magazine). Why does that distinction matter to me? Because I’d hate to think that Wilpon has never looked at their stats.

Even thought they both debuted in the majors at the age of 20, Crawford is almost two years older (he’s currently in his age 29 season while Reyes is in his age 28 season). Here are their slash numbers through their age 27 seasons (2009 for Crawford, 2010 for Reyes): .295/.335/.437/.772 for Crawford, .286/.335/.434/.769. Crawford’s advantage boils down to .009 in batting average and .003 in slugging average. That’s a wash, and it doesn’t even consider the fact that Reyes is a shortstop. Reyes also finished eighth in Rookie of the Year voting, went to two All-Star games, won the Silver Slugger once, and received MVP votes in four consecutive seasons. Crawford didn’t get a single Rookie of the Year vote, went to three All-Star games, and received MVP votes in one season. Through their age 27 seasons, I could argue that Reyes deserved more money than Crawford and not get laughed out of the conversation.

Crawford’s age 28 season was excellent (he was an All Star, won the Silver Slugger, and got MVP votes), so there’s that. But their career lines are still very similar: .295/.335/.442/.777 for Crawford and .288/.337/.435/.772. So, since I’m trying to be generous, I’ll just attribute Wilpon’s comments to his frustration at the time. Because it’s pretty clear to me that Reyes has every right to ask for “Carl Crawford money”.

I apologize if this is the 437th post you’ve read about Wilpon’s comments in the New Yorker. Jose Reyes is my favorite player and a big, big reason why I keep renewing my season tickets. I just love watching the guy play and it pained me to read that the owner of my favorite team casually dismissed his salary demands (and, by extension, his future with the Mets). It cut close to the bone and I’m still trying to process it. For all I know, Wilpon intends to spend a lot of money on Reyes and this is something we’ll all look back and laugh at in a few years. I sure hope so. But just to be safe, I’ll be attending every game I can while he’s still here. I’m going to enjoy watching Jose Reyes play while I still can.

Posted in Jose Reyes, Mets, The Wilpons | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Boy, That Escalated Quickly

Posted by JD on May 22, 2011

Here’s Ron Burgundy, saying exactly what I was thinking when the seventh inning finally ended. What a terrible way to lose a ballgame, especially in the Bronx. 13 Yankees came to the plate to face four Mets pitchers. There were five singles, a double, one batter reached on an error by Willie Harris, one intentional walk, one unintentional walk, one hit batsman, and one mind-boggling bunt* by Curtis Granderson, the Yankees’ best hitter right now. Everything that could go wrong for the Mets did.

*As @rebeccapbp tweeted earlier: “Just imagine if, that inning, Granderson didn’t bunt”. He has 16 homers (including one in the first inning today) and a .935 OPS (entering the game, anyway). What the heck was he thinking? I mean, I’ll take it, but giving away outs like that makes me cringe.

That’s the thing though: everything did go wrong. Those five singles I mentioned? One was a bleeder by Derek Jeter that went right through Mike Pelfrey’s legs, another barely evaded Jose Reyes, and a third was an A-Rod infield single. Read that last part again: A-Rod had an infield single. And got an RBI out of it. When was the last time you saw that happen?

I don’t think we need to draw any conclusions from what happened today. The Mets have been winning games lately: I feel comfortable predicting that they’ll get back to that in Chicago. This game, no matter how unpleasant it was to watch, is just a speed bump, something to be swept under the rug as soon as possible. Let’s all just agree not to mention it anytime soon, ok?

Posted in Mets | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

One-Out Wins: More Than You Needed To Know

Posted by JD on May 7, 2011

Ryota Igarashi picked up his second win last night, both of which he received after retiring just one hitter (he almost had a third earlier in the season, but the stars didn’t line up that night). This served to remind me that nothing highlights the uselessness of pitcher wins as a statistic more than the one-out win. Think about it: the other pitchers on the staff combined to get 26 (or more) outs and one pitcher comes in, records one out, and gets all the credit (and I didn’t even mention the offense’s role, which is obviously more important as well). It’s a loophole, but boy does it highlight how silly the stat is.

That being said, let’s take a look at one-out wins using Baseball Reference’s Play Index tool. First, the obvious: the one-out win is much more common than it once was, most likely due to the heightened focus on pitch counts and increased specialization in the bullpen. There were 545 one-out wins from 2001 through last night, 431 in the ’90s, 233 in the ’80s, 144 in the ’70s, 142 in the ’60s, and 150 prior to that (the Play Index goes back as far as 1919, so that’s a little more than 40 years). Seeing as how there were more one-out wins in the past 20 years than in the previous 70, it should come as no surprise that most of the leaders in this fluky stat are all from that era. In an interesting coincidence, quite a few of them have ties to the Mets.

11-15 (tie, six one-out wins): Hector Carassco, Alan Embree, Al Hrabosky, Scott Schoenewies, Mike Stanton.

8-10 (tie, seven one-out wins): Buddy Groom, Joe Hoerner, Dan Plesac.

2-7 (tie, eight one-out wins): Paul Assenmacher, Dennis Cook, Pedro Feliciano, Goose Gossage, Felix Heredia, Scott Radinsky.

1 (nine one-out wins): Jessie Orosco.

Quite a few LOOGY-types up there, which makes sense when you think about it. They tend to come in two face a key lefty hitter late in close games, so it figures that they’d be the pitcher of Even Jesse Orosco’s one-out wins (largely) fit this pattern: eight of the nine came in the ’90s after he’d transitioned from closer to LOOGY. Even the one that he got with the Mets came in 1986, a year he split the closing duties with Roger McDowell. Goose Gossage and some of the others don’t fit this usage pattern, but I think it’s safe to say that luck played as much of a role in their one-out wins as it did for the LOOGY’s

One final point for the record: only one of Pedro Feliciano’s one-out wins came on a Ryan Howard strikeout. I would have bet money that the number would have been higher given that he’s faced Howard in 38 plate appearances, but I guess that’s why I shouldn’t gamble. I was in attendance at CBP that day, so that was sweet.

Posted in Flushing Frivolities, Mets, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Catching Up: The Week That Was

Posted by JD on May 5, 2011

A lot has happened since I last posted. The Mets dropped two out of three in Philly and then returned home to drop two out of three to San Francisco. Tough stretch, but not without its positives:

  • With the exception of the opener in Philly, the Mets were “in” every game. Citing moral victories is damning with faint praise, but they were facing Cy Young-caliber pitchers in three of those games (Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Tim Lincecum).
  • Carlos Beltran has been on fire. His slash line over the past six games? Try .333/.429/.708 (in 28 plate appearances) for a ridiculous 1.137 OPS. Three doubles, two home runs, and four walks will do that for you. And for you trivia buffs, Beltran’s home run today gave him 1,443 total bases in 2,886 at-bats with the Mets. That means his slugging percentage with the team sits at a very neat .500 (good for sixth all time among the franchise’s qualifying batters, narrowly falling short of John Olerud’s .501). That will change the next time he comes to bat, but round numbers are neat.
  • Quality starts. The Mets received them from Mike Pelfrey, Jon Niese, Chris Young and Chris Capuano during the two series (t0o be fair, Pelfrey had a decidedly non-quality start in the series opener in Philly). The starting rotation has a long way to go before it’s out of the woods, but there were some positive signs this week.
  • Ronny Paulino finally arrived and, as the saying goes “he arrived in ill humor,” going 5 for 7 and driving in the winning run in extra innings on Sunday night. For what it’s worth, 27 other Mets have had as many as five hits in a game but Paulino is the first to do it in his debut with the Mets. So whatever else happens, he’ll always have his place in Mets history.

It may seem silly to you that I chose to focus on these four items when the Mets just lost four of their last six. I get that. They’re 13-18 and in last place, and their roster is still full of holes. There’s no reason to expect them to play all that much better. Yet, I find them to be much more compelling than last year’s group and I remain optimistic that they’ll claw their way back into contention for a Wild Card berth. I’ll be the first to admit that there’s no rational reason for me to believe this. But I can’t help feeling that if they click, if they all perform at their career norms at the same time, they can be relevant in 2011. There’s still time, however fleeting it may be.

Posted in Carlos Beltran, Mets, Mike Pelfrey, Something Nice | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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