Okay, so there wasn’t a scene in Moneyball where Brad Pitt said he wants a team built around a weak starting pitching performance and a lot of hopes and prayers with the bullpen. For the New York Mets on Tuesday, they still managed to channel their inner-Billy Beane and score 7 runs in their victory with only 4 hits.
How’d they pull this off? It’s all about timing.
Two big swings was all they needed in this 7-5 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. In the sixth inning, a one out hit by pitch and a single put two on for Pete Alonso to hit a three-run blast. The very next inning, three straight walks helped load the bases for Francisco Lindor who hit a grand slam.
The Mets version of Moneyball was on display during their latest win
With a .331 OBP, the Mets are second to only the Los Angeles Dodgers in this ever-important category. The Mets are actually tenth in walks and fifth in batting average. It’s their league-high 103 hit by pitches which has made the difference in putting so many men on base. They’ve taken the Rudi Stein approach at the plate more often than anyone else.
Their ability to get on base this regularly is an ode to the old Moneyball tactics of the Oakland Athletics from the early 2000s—a franchise they’ll face once done with the Brewers. This has been a reason why the Mets have held onto first place for much of the year. Getting on base sets up for bigger and better things.
Because the Mets don’t hit home runs like some of the other best teams in baseball, they do need to be elite somewhere else. Clogging up the base paths is what they do better than almost anyone else. The important thing is to have it happen right before the big boppers like Alonso and Lindor get their hacks.
On a Steve Cohen budget, the Mets have found their own way to play some Moneyball. They clearly had some of this in mind during the offseason when they brought in high OBP guys like Mark Canha and Starling Marte—members of the 2021 A’s as well.
It wouldn’t be a shock to learn Buck Showalter is the master behind this. Seeing as it is September and many arms a little more tired, he may have asked his hitters to be a little more patient. It won’t always pay off. Many times, a bases loaded situation ends with a weak pop up. But when it does work, the Mets look unstoppable.