AJ Burnett was nasty on Sunday. He hit 98 mph at some points and was hitting 97 mph with regularity. It was hard to tell if the Mets were making him look like Nolan Ryan or if he was really that good. The Mets were three up and three down in six pitches in the first inning. For me, if you see your pitch, I'm ok with you going after it. However, six pitches is just ugly. The Mets need to do better and they need to work the counts better. Outside of David Wright, a battle at the plate was rare. If not for his at-bat with about fifteen pitches, Burnett's pitch count would have been really, really low. Burnett threw less than twelve pitches per inning and Wrights at bat almost upped his pitches per inning by average by two pitches himself and accounted for about 14% of AJ's pitches in that one at bat. The Mets were swinging often and early. In anti-Burnett fashion, Glavine threw 52 strikes in his 96 pitches thrown. The Marlins were not swinging often and not swinging early. Glavine walked four and when he's not on or getting his calls, the Mets will lose. The Defense was not helping out, but the Mets had no shot of winning.
On the offensive end, the Mets had no spark. Jose Reyes' OBP & AVG have gone from .393 to .364 to .342 to .333 to .326 to .300 to .278 in a matter of seven games. He now has gone 54 at-bats without seeing a walk and while he was batting .342, his lack of walks was not a problem. However, the Mets need him to spark the team and they need him to spark the team more than 28% of the time. It starts with and I'm not sure he can provide that spark at this point. There are other options currently until he develops his batting eye, but how long Willie will hold out is the question.
The Mets six game winning streak was impressive, but it was more timely hitting than anything. Their pitching kept them in the game, and timely hitting won. Timely hitting will not continue forever and if the Mets are going to continue winning they need to stop playing catch up baseball and put forth some games which they are not battling from behind. So far, their offense looks too much like last year, which is killed by double plays and dependent upon a big hit to win the game. While that is ok sometimes, you simply cannot have every game come down to that or you will find yourself looking up at everyone in the division. I still think the Mets can take the division, but some tinkering is needed.
And that was before Bannister shut down New Hampshire on three hits over 5 1/3 innings Sunday in the Mets' 4-2 win at NYSEG Stadium. Bannister was pulled as he neared the 85-pitch count the parent club has ordered, throwing 54 of his 83 pitches for strikes to fan eight as he improved to 3-0 this season.