The New York Mets are going through a much worse stretch than they had at any point in 2022. It is a team-wide issue as there is not just one area of the team struggling. To me, there are 5 obvious areas the Mets need to improve to get the season back on a World Series track.
5. NY Mets need to do better in 1st innings
The 1st inning has been a huge problem for the Mets all season. They have been outscored 36-9 in 1st innings and have given up a run in the 1st inning for 7 straight games. NY Mets pitchers have given up the most runs in the 1st inning in MLB. It is difficult to constantly play from behind and have to make comebacks to win. It seems falling behind in 1st innings deflates the offense as well. Lately, when they get down big early the offense does not produce.
4. NY Mets need to work the count like they did last year
The biggest thing that defined the Mets last year is the way they worked the pitch count of opposing starters. Almost daily the Mets word force pitch counts up to 25-30 pitches in the 1st inning. This would result in the starter leaving early and allow the Mets to tee off on the other teams middle relievers. The exact opposite is happening to the Mets this season. They are the ones whose starters pitch counts are getting raised and they are the ones whose middle relievers are getting rocked.
3. NY Mets need to hit for more power
Hitting home runs is the easiest way to score runs. The Mets do not hit enough of them. They are 18th in MLB in home runs per game at 1.05. When a team is not hitting home runs they need to string together multiple hits to score. That is not happening for the Mets this season. There are two possible solutions in Triple-A in Mark Vientos and Ronny Mauricio, who have hit a combined 18 home runs so far.
2. NY Mets need to hit better with runners in scoring position
If the Mets are not going to be a big home run hitting team they need to be able to hit in the clutch. That is not happening this season either. They have left the 3rd most runners in scoring position in baseball. Not being able to get the big hit has been a huge problem this season. The good news is this is something that usually evens out throughout a season. The Mets also have the 4th worst BABIP% in MLB. This means they have been unlucky on balls hit in play so far. They should be due for some positive regression.
1. NY Mets starters need to pitch deeper in games
This is by far the biggest problem for the Mets this season. NY Mets starters are averaging less than 5 innings a start so far. They have a 5.28 ERA overall. It has been ugly. Getting more length from the starters would mean fewer innings from the minor-league quality middle relievers the Mets have been throwing out there. The ERA for relievers who have thrown at least 7 innings and are not named Robertson/Ottavino/Smith/Raley is 5.79. Getting better starting pitching would solve most of the Mets problems. It would help with their 1st inning problem and would put less pressure on the offense.