3. As hitting, and especially clutch hitting around the league improved, the Mets' offense got worse.
The new rules that MLB implemented starting in the 2023 season called for some expected trends, such as increases in batting average, runs scored, stolen bases, and of course, a decrease in times of games. The last two were trends the Mets went along with; their stolen base counter nearly doubled from last year (62 to 118), and played in 129 games that lasted fewer than three hours (compared to 57 last year).
But as the league batting average increased by five points, the Mets' team batting average decreased by 21 points (from .259 to .238). The Mets had everything going on offensively last year under hitting coach Eric Chavez, who used his time as a player when playing against those relentless lineups from the last Yankees dynasty to fuel his approach that worked so well with the Mets' hitters. Chavez eventually got rewarded by being promoted to the bench coach role with the Mets.
But Jeremy Barnes couldn't yield the same results for the Mets despite most of the same group of players returning. And perhaps the most puzzling storyline of the 2023 Mets was why they didn't hit consistently well relative to last season, and how they regressed while most of the league progressed. The BABIP decreased from .302 to .275 this year (7th to 29th).
But this season boiled down to the lack of clutch hitting from the Mets. The most staggering clutch stat about the 2023 Mets was that with a runner on third and less than two outs, the Mets hit just .241. To put that in context, the next worst team batting average in that stat was .287, a crazy 46 point difference.
Also, the Mets hit .243 with runners in scoring position compared to .269 last year, with 80 fewer hits.
If the Mets want to go back to the playoffs next year, the Mets must improve on situational hitting, or they will have to ask much more from their pitching staff.