The Mets might be holding a four-game lead in the weak National League East entering Monday night’s action, but there is no ignoring the fact that their offense continues to misfire.
What was initially looked upon as one of the greatest lineups in franchise history on paper, the Mets offense ranks dead-last in Major League Baseball with an average of 3.59 runs scored per game.
This is why they play the games; to disprove all those preconceived notions.
A 4-2 loss on Sunday to Zack Wheeler and the Phillies was the ninth time in 13 games that the Mets were held to two runs or fewer — a streak that also featured four shutouts.
It’s becoming abundantly clear that the move to fire hitting coach Chili Davis while promoting Hugh Quattlebaum has done little to improve things, either.
Under Davis, the Mets’ offense averaged 3.17 runs per game, had a .240 batting average, and a .688 OPS. With Quattlebaum, New York is posting 3.76 runs per game, but the average has slumped to .222 while the OPS is at .669.
“I don’t think there’s any panic or rush or anxiousness at all,” Pete Alonso, who’s batting .353 in his last 10 games, said (h/t Anthony DiComo, MLB.com). “We’re still not even halfway over with the season. We still have so much baseball left. … There’s going to be times when we’re scorching hot, and there’s going to be times where it’s not going to be like that.
“People forget how long 162 games really is. I mean, it is a marathon. I have no doubt that we’re going to be scorching hot. It’s not necessarily about how you start. It’s about how you finish.”
What’s lessened the impact of this glaring offensive problem is that the Mets are still sitting on top of the NL East and are trudging their way through June — a month that has often been the organization’s downfall in previous years. Yet despite the scoring swoons, the Mets were 14-13 this month before Monday’s single-game matchup with the Washington Nationals.
Maintaining Alonso’s viewpoint, Mets manager Luis Rojas believes it’s just a matter of time before the offense finds its footing to potentially open up some breathing room atop the division. After all, the team got Michael Conforto and Jeff McNeil back last week while Brandon Nimmo is set to return on Tuesday with J.D. Davis not far behind.
“I think it’s something that’s going to click. The guys are going to connect at-bats,” Rojas said. “We have Conforto’s presence. We have McNeil’s presence in the lineup. Those guys are going to start hitting, and they’re going to start connecting with Lindor and Alonso, who are swinging better right now.
“It’s something that I expect to happen because we’ve seen it happen in the past.”