The Mets lead the National League in the one statistic no one thought they would

The Mets have made more errors than any other National League team.
New York Mets v Atlanta Braves
New York Mets v Atlanta Braves / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

Thank goodness for the New York Mets pitching staff and timely hitting from guys in the bottom of the order. The 11-8 Mets who’ve now been victorious in five straight were supposed to be built differently. They would win games by playing good fundies. Defense would be their key to success.

This hasn’t been the case. The Mets have made a National League leading 17 errors. Only the Boston Red Sox have a worse fielding percentage in all of MLB.

The biggest culprit has been backup catcher Omar Narvaez who has already been charged with 4 errors this season. More surprising is the once defensively-sound Joey Wendle who has made 3 already including a big one on Friday. Several pitchers have been charged with an early error as well, quickly adding to the total.

Advertised as a strength, poor defense has held the Mets back

The Mets made 3 more errors in their Friday win against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Their lead is only one over the Arizona Diamondbacks. A far greater problem than the occasional error is the inability to throw out runners attempting to steal.

Only the Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates have yet to throw out a base runner attempting to steal. Only 16 attempts have been made against the Pirates versus the perfect 26 for 26 against the Mets. Thanks primarily to the pitchers keeping runners off the bases has this been something they were able to overcome.

In a season where Brett Baty seems to have made huge strides as a third baseman, Brandon Nimmo was able to move to left field, and the team brought in Harrison Bader to give them Gold Glove work in center field, one would assume they were getting the job done with the leather. Not so. The part-timers, Wendle and Zack Short, have already made some notable errors. Other numbers like defensive runs saved don't have enough of a sample size to really read too much into. For what it’s worth, they aren’t so hot.

Defense is one of those skills like running quickly that don’t usually disappear without explanation. Age is often one. Playing through an injury is another. It’s one of the big factors why Starling Marte is less of a complete player. At least he is hitting.

It doesn’t seem to be counted anywhere, but the Mets do appear to have taken advantage of errors by the opponent—mental or otherwise. The Dodgers had two of their own on Friday.

Mets pitchers have been charged with 18 unearned runs this season. Their 59 earned runs is the third-lowest in baseball. Outmatched yet again by the Red Sox, they’ve given up 56 earned runs for a tie alongside the Kansas City Royals for the fewest in MLB. However, all of their errors have led to 82 runs charged against them.