A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Fun Facts

Aaron Heilman is a good pitcher. Let us not get on the poor guy's case as he has gone from non-prospect to one of the top relievers in the game and a few bad outings should not spoil that.

Fun fact. The Phillies won as many Playoff games as the Mets in 2007. Also, the Phillies are the third best team in the division. Another fun fact. Kris Benson has a higher career ERA+ than Brett Myers. I will not deny that Myers has talent and at 27 has room to grown, but he certainly has not fulfilled his expectations so far. Also, in the bullpen last year, he posted an ERA+ of 107 which is really not all that good for a reliever. Aaron Heilman put up an ERA+ of 140 after posting 130 and 120 in the previous two seasons.

Once the fact that the Phillies have maybe two potentially league average starters at best and at least two below average starters after Hamels sets in, Philly will start to get worried. People easily forget Kyle Lohse was one of the reasons they snuck into the playoffs. Without someone stepping up again, it will be really hard for them to keep up with the Mets while they will be left to sift through the scrap heap once again for a solution.

This is about the time Philly fans start pounding their chests and say that their offense will carry the team. To that we must point out the obvious that the Phillies are not really a better offensive team. I know they are considered the offensive cream of the crop in the NL, but I look at their lineup and I'm left scratching my head. Their road OPS was a full .039 lower than their home OPS last season. In fact, the top three teams in road runs in 2007 were the Phillies, Mets, and Braves in that order and they were tightly packed.

Those three teams are shockingly equal on the road.

Check it: BA OBP SLG OPS
Phillies .268 .350 .442 .793
Mets .280 .346 .439 .785
Braves .282 .340 .452 .792

The Met rotation allowed 71 less runs than the Phillies did in '07. For me, you have clear case for the Mets to be labled as favorites over the Phillies and I do not see it as something that can even be debated coherently. After the first game of this series, some people would have you believe something different. However, I think we are all smart enough to realize one, two, three, four, five, etc... games are not enough to start drawing major conclusions and I think we all smart enough to realize while the Phillies offense if good, their home park allows them to put up gaudy numbers.

As strange as the season has started, the Mets are still in 2nd place. Me? I am not complaining and I am not worrying about the Phillies.

* * *

  • How about a little optimism?

    Nick (Long Island, NY): Any opinion on Mike Pelfrey's performance last night? Hopefully this could be the confidence boost he needs to trust his stuff and become more consistant.

    Keith Law: The groundballs - 10 of 12 field outs, I think - are a great sign. And he did it against one of the best lineups in the league.

  • Retribution for Schoe in front of the home crowd is nice. Pagan is nice. Reyes being out at home and being called safe is nice. Nice. Nice, nice, nice. That game last night brought a little smile to my face and helped me remember why I miss baseball in the winter.

  • Vargas is finally inked and that is good.

  • How do you not root for this guy?

    “I finally had a chance to start in Philly, and I gave them eight quality starts out of 12,” Figueroa said, a note of annoyance in his voice. “Then they sent me to the bullpen. And the questions start again.”
    Then came Milwaukee, then Washington, then Pittsburgh. His major league performance was a little worse than average. No team gave him even a dozen starts.
    “I know my rap has been that I’m a quadruple-A pitcher,” Figueroa said. “Well, I have had very limited opportunities to get the ball every fifth day and start.”

    Focus your anger Nelson. Focus.

  • And I repeat, don't panic.

  • At this point, it looks like the Brewers made the wrong call. Of course, it is about keeping your money free for guys like Braun, Fielder, Gallardo, and Weeks rather than tying it up in Cordero, but they did give Gagne $10m to do nothing this season.

  • Silly. Can someone just sign Bonds already? I mean, get over it. Yes, he is a jerk (though I do not 100% agree). Yes, he did roids. Yes, he is a distraction. However, the man can rake. His last three OPS+ have been 174, 156, and 170 and no one wants him?

  • Johnson is going to be on a different team shortly and the early speculation is the Giants might be landing spot.

  • I like this deal for the Indians and I do not think it impairs their ability to get CC. Actually, it might help being they have some more cost certainly for their number crunchers to factor in.
  • Labels:


    Anonymous Two-By-Four said...

    The offensive stats you presented are basically an average over a large set of numbers but don’t include some scenarios that may be more revealing. A fellow engineer and Yankees fan was complaining about the Yankees offense. I pointed out the team scored over 900 runs last year. He claimed that was a misleading stat. It was his position and perception that if you looked at a distribution of offensive categories and suitably break them down you would see that the Yankees feasted on weaker starters and relievers (padding their stats so to speak) and were noticeably weaker against the better pitching; weak enough that it cost them in the playoffs every year. He also claimed their offense was extremely streaky and would go from feast to famine and back again. He then performed an analysis (he used math-cad as a tool) that seemed to justify his original premise. Now, I have not performed a similar analysis on the Mets stats and I’m too damn lazy to do so but it does seem that the Mets tend to follow a similar path. But of course I could be wrong because many times perception does not agree with quantifiable facts. It would be interesting to see how the Mets, Braves and Phillies stack up under this scrutiny. So Mike using your official capacity as one of the geeks at Metsgeek would it be possible to obtain this information or provide a link to it from some of the egg-heads over there?

    11:21 AM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    What the fuck? I mean, it's Friday man. That means no thinking. I'm actually considering banning you.

    Yes, my look is rudimentary for sure, but I do not see a big discrepancy between the offenses with my naked eye and especially if you take out the park factors, which basically means I can lazily look at the away stats. That is why I simply did what I did.

    The Mets had an OPS+ of 106 and 107 the last two seasons while the Phillies had an OPS+ of 106 and 111. Color me unimpressed!!!!

    I just think their offense, while good, is not appreciably better, if at all, in 2008.

    11:37 AM

    Anonymous Dep said...

    LOL Mike. That was a bit heavy for a friday morning. sorry i havent posted all week, busy week for me.

    Good post, met fans need to cut Heils some slack. People are going nuts on him EVERYWHERE. deep breaths folks.

    he's been mr. dependable in the bullpen ALL THE TIME these last few years, never gets hurt (hey duaner), always takes the ball. Those innings pile up, i bet not that many relievers have many more innings than he does on his arm the last 2+ years. It adds up. Add to that he's traditionally a slow starter and he's having a rough patch. He will right himself and be there for us, I have no doubt of this!

    I honestly felt that play at the plate was a dead-tie. it was so damn close. Either way bout time we got a break :)

    Good stuff metsies.

    Do we play this weekend? The forecast is NOT good. All 3 games could get canned or all 3 could be played. Saturday looks the worst bet of the 3.

    Would a rainout tonight be the worst thing in the world? maybe not.

    I do like Figuero as a person a lot, as a pitcher, we'll see....His curve is sweet, not sure about his other pitches being good enough to hold his own.

    11:58 AM

    Anonymous Dep said...

    I also feel that Jose Reyes giving home the plate ump some good ole puppy dog eyes helped get him that call.

    Use all your skills JOSE!!!!!!!!! :)

    12:00 PM

    Anonymous Pavan said...

    HAHA! Mike, you had me in tears with your friday comment.

    I'm glad to see Pelfrey turn a corner and Vargas signed... we do have some depth now. Anybody know how Niese has been doing so far in the minors?

    I agree on Heils... people were killing him yesterday over on metsgeek. He's been our best set up man for years now, and worked in tons of important games. He's blown a few, but he's been solid in the vast majority. He has been pretty shitty against the braves and phillies, but I think thats more than likely a small sample size.

    I would rate the phillies offense is ahead of the mets... not by a vast amount but visibly. When you factor in defense and pitching, the Mets are vastly superior though. They will win this division, and it won't be close.

    I was shocked to hear the Mets are in second. With all the doom predictions a few days ago, you'd think they were the tigers.

    12:14 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    dep, forget weather reports. It's on. Brewers? They will get these games played.

    Reyes' puppy dog eyes might have helped out the situation. It was good to see him show some life.

    Heilman is too good to be bad. Relievers are up and down year to year, but he's legit. He's the type of guy that is a long term projected good reliever and possible closer.

    pavan, i try. Pelfrey turned a corner? When? Let's give him a few more starts.

    I would rate the phillies offense is ahead of the mets... not by a vast amount but visibly. When you factor in defense and pitching, the Mets are vastly superior though

    I'm not saying they might not slightly ahead. The difference is to minimal and when Alou comes back, I think they stack up and over them. Just me though!!!

    I was shocked to hear the Mets are in second. With all the doom predictions a few days ago, you'd think they were the tigers.

    Right! Am I alone here?

    12:36 PM

    Anonymous benny blanco from da bronx said...

    Aaron Heilman is just having a tough time i nthe beggining of the season, he can't be perfect all the time. He'll get better soon enough.

    Even if the Mets lost yesterday honestly there was nobody to get mad at, it was a well played game by both teams. There would have been no scapegoat if the Mets lost, which is amazing.
    BUT THE METS WON and took the series!

    I'm TRYING real hard to get to Philly for next friday's game against the Mets. Only ting standing in my way is work. Shit, I'm gonna have to work some magic.

    With the Phillies offense once you get passed Ryan Howard its time to smile, but then again with the Mets once you get passed Beltran, its time to smile for the opposition. Although Delgado can change that and it seems like Church has potential. And Alou makes the lineup scary for about 80 games a year.

    Going around the blogosphere everyone is all happy and celebrating Mike Pelfrey's 5 inning performance and all I could think about is, how would people be acting if the Mets had Johnny Cueto?
    I think, screaming and crying of happpiness would occur, there would be looting, and people's heads would just explode for the excitement.

    Schoe came into to a chorus of boo's and left to loud cheers, amazing. We are such fickle people.

    I like Figuerroa, he hasreally good control. I he has his control, I expect a quality start.

    Yeah but Gagne is given 10 million to suck for just one year. Havn't you noticed around the league, the cool thing to do is vastly overpay for one year rather than give them 3 or 4 years?
    Andruw Jones got like $18 million for 2 years rather than get $15 million over 4 or 5 years.

    He also claimed their offense was extremely streaky and would go from feast to famine and back again.

    Well isn't every offense like that? The Mets are certainly like that, only sometimes there's no logic to thier offensive explosion, sometimes a rookie, sometimes the best pitchers in the game. They'll dominate for two days and then go back to sleep. Well atleast this is the case so far, in 2006, they were just a machine, I really hope they can return to that.

    Just when you thought recklessness was abandoned here comes Al Reyes to the rescue!
    Per rotoworld:
    ording to the St. Petersburg Times, Al Reyes was arrested early Friday morning "after falling down, picking a fight and spitting blood at the patrons of a popular Hyde Park night spot."

    Whoever signs Barry Bonds, cares about winning.

    12:51 PM

    Anonymous ossy said...

    if i dont see alou or el duque in uniform again, i'll be ok

    1:01 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Pavan - Niese has been fantastic so far: 11 IPs, 1 R, 3H, 2BB, 10K. Parnell, on the other hand, has been hit around hard twice.

    As for AA hitters, FMart is off to a slow start, but Nick Evans, Mike Carp, and especially Dan Murphy have all been raking (over 1.000 OPS). Dan Murphy will be very interesting - he (kinda) reminds me of Wright, actually - and I think he will come quick. Wonder how we handle that? Trade bait? Move him to first? Second? Bring him up as back up infielder late in season, see what happens? Mark my words, Murphy will be a good major leaguer...


    1:30 PM

    Blogger mr. met said...

    I share your unbridled joy as well Benny.

    Al Reyes is nuts.

    Ossy, no love for Alou? Isn't this what we all expected? As long as he is here for playoff time, I'm ok.

    ube...Dan Murphy looks like a good player. I've been happy with what he's done so far as a Met. Can he play second? Doubt it. But first is a interesting for sure.

    Niese needs a break out year and so far, he has not disappointed. Great to see that control.

    1:43 PM

    Blogger Sidd Finch said...

    Gagne has lost command of his changeup, and people are waiting for his fastball. The old Gagne would have blown it by people, the new Gagne is more like Gagme.

    Mr. PeePeeHands will be back when it counts. I sure hope Pagan and Church keep up the good work, it will make it difficult to pick who plays and who doesn't. A nice problem to have.

    1:58 PM

    Anonymous tc said...

    I went to the Daily News website to read about Pelfrey and Wagner, but was too distracted by Raismann's moustache on the top of the page to continue any further.

    I'm no weather man, but according to weather.com, tomorrow between 1-6pm there will be no rain. Play away.

    Gagne used to DOMINATE. He still has some nasty stuff, but when you can sit back and wait on pitches with him, game over.

    Figueroa is a nice story, hopefully he will pitch well tonight vs. Parra (whom I like as well).

    Heilman will be fine, I'm not concerned until this happens 3 or 4 times in a row.

    Viva Schoeneweis.

    3:26 PM

    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    So, if Philly's advantage is in their park, all the Mets have to do is go in everytime and win 2 of 3. OVER

    11:03 PM


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