The New York Mets have gotten off to a very promising start so far in 2022 through the first two weeks of the regular season. After winning three out of four games on their most recent homestand series against a very respectable San Francisco Giants team, the Amazins have come out the gate hot, winning their first four series of the new season. Overall they start the year 10-4 before heading out to Arizona to face the Diamondbacks. And one of the main reasons why they are doing this happens to be their new clutch offense.
We all knew that last year the Mets were amongst one of the best teams in the National League when it came to quality starting pitching as well as solid relief pitching. This was especially evident through the first 100 games of the season. But one area where they really started to get exposed as the season progressed was their lack of clutch hitting. The Mets ranked 28th out of 30 MLB teams in batting average last season when hitting with runners in scoring position and two outs. They batted a measly .204.
But the additions of Mark Canha, Eduardo Escobar and Starling Marte along with the resurgences at the plate of Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil have all of a sudden made the orange and blue bats one of the more potent line ups in all of baseball early on. This year the Mets are the second best team in all of baseball in hitting for average with runners in scoring position and two outs. They are batting over .350 coming into their fifteenth game of 2022.
The New York Mets' offense is making an about-face from their 2021 performance and are one of the best two-out clutch hitting teams in Major League baseball to start 2022.
The new found clutch hitting is also paying dividends in the box score stats for this Mets offense. They are averaging close to 4.8 runs a game and are amongst the top teams in baseball when it comes to hits and runs scored as a team. They rank top five in the National League with 8.57 hits per game.
New hitting coach Eric Chavez and manager Buck Showalter have pointed it out in the media that they have emphasized for their hitters to not try to hit the ball out 400 feet every plate appearance. Instead they have coached the Mets hitters to grind out every at bat and make the opposition pitchers throw strikes and go deep in counts. Most importantly they are coaching the Met hitters to just simplify their approach and make contact and either go up the middle or the other way with their hits.
Last season a major reason for the Met's collapse heading towards their final 60 games of the regular season was their inability to drive in runners in scoring position late in games. From August 13th forward, the Mets led the Majors with 15 losses by one run. Their stellar starting pitching ERA in the first half of 2021 masked their hitters' inability to perform in clutch situations, but after the All Star break, Mets starting pitchers came back down to earth and pitched sub par from late July and onwards. The offense wasn't able to pick them up and everything came undone.
So far 2022 is looking like a complete 180 turn around in team dynamics. If New York's timely hitting continues to persist throughout the regular season and their starting pitching continues to be as dominant as they have been these first two weeks, then there is no doubt that this ball club will have a legitimate chance to compete for a World Series ring five months from now.