New York Mets News

Pitching And Defense Key Mets Hot Start

By Rich Sparago

As the Mets prepare to take on the Colorado Rockies Friday in Denver, New York has a 15-12 record, percentage points behind the Washington Nationals for second place in the NL East. The Mets have a .220 team batting average, along with a team on-base percentage of .298. They’ve hit just 17 home runs. However, their pitching and defense have spurred their early success.

August 27, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Jon Niese throws against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: John Munson/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

How good has the pitching been? On Thursday night, Bartolo Colon pitched 4 2/3 innings, and it was the first time all season that a Mets starter had not gone 5 innings (with the season 17% complete). The Mets’ starters have posted a 3.65 ERA, having pitched 167.2 innings and allowed 158 hits. They’ve struck out 142 and walked just 51. After a tough start, the bullpen ERA stands at 3.83. The relievers have tossed 84.2 innings and allowed 82 hits. They’ve struck out 79 and walked 34. Overall, the team’s ERA is 3.71.

The Mets’ defense has been fantastic. The team’s fielding percentage is .987, which ranks second in the NL behind Cincinnati. The Mets have allowed just 6 stolen bases, the fewest in the major leagues. Eric Young, Junior leads the team with 3 outfield assists, followed by Kirk Nieuwenhuis with 2.

The question is whether or not the Mets can sustain their winning ways with limited offense. The odds are that they cannot, since the starting pitching is not likely to sustain its current pace. To be successful, the Mets will need more from Chris Young (.233), David Wright (.252), Curtis Granderson (.141). However, it’s reasonable to assume that these players will get going offensively, and with strong pitching (and more on the way), this could be a fun summer in Queens.

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