The Mets have started off the season hot after a few postponements, but what are some takeaways from the season?
Nimmo is getting on base
The point of baseball is to score more runs than the opponent, and you can’t score many runs unless players get on base. Currently and over the past few years, not many in baseball are better at it than Brandon Nimmo. Currently leading the MLB in OBP with a .583, Nimmo is continuing his show his ability to get on base with the best the MLB has to offer. His eight walks in 36 PA puts him on a pace(130) to have perhaps a top 50 season when it comes base on balls. When you add in his known ability to take an HBP and the improved lineup in Queens helping him get better protection, Nimmo has a good shot to surpass the Mets’ single-season OBP record of John Olerud in 1998(.447).
Jacob deGrom continues to dominate, but just as dominant is the Mets’ offense inability to score in his starts. In 78 starts since the start of the 2018 season deGrom has an ERA of 2.08, yet the Mets are 36-42 in those starts. A perfect example of this unexplainable trend was last Saturday when deGrom tied a career-high with 14 strikeouts versus the Marlins and lost the game due to a rookie taking an 0-2 100.4 MPH pitch over the wall. It was the first time anyone has ever taken deGrom deep on an 0-2 count and the first home run ever hit at that velocity in that high of a location in the Stat-cast era. The offense, or lack thereof, mustered three hits and lost the game three nothing after Edwin Diaz came in and gave up two runs in the ninth.
The early season returns on some of the Mets’ biggest stars have not been as positive as the team would have hoped for. Francisco Lindor has made some spectacular plays in the field yet his offense has not been as good as he is hitting .222 with a one in both the RBI and XBH categories. He has walked seven times compared to two strikeouts so there is some light at the end of his tunnel. The same cannot be said for Michael Conforto . Going into the season with talks of a major extension possibly in his future, Conforto has been completely lost at the plate so far. With three hits and eight strikeouts, the contract year is not starting out the way he would have liked it too. The stops, starts, and stops of the early season have not helped most of the Mets’ hitters as overall the team is having a hard time getting into a rhythm aside from the above-mentioned Nimmo and Dominic Smith. Hopefully, the Covid, rain, and even snow that has caused the Mets to have only played 8 games heading into Saturday’s doubleheader are over and the bats can get some consistency moving forward.
Peterson bounces back
After struggling with the Phillies in his first start of the 2021 season, David Peterson came back to face them again on Wednesday. The results were much more positive as Peterson went six innings of one-run ball and struck out ten in what was one of the most impressive outings of his early career. Considering his previous start vs them and his struggles with Philadelphia in 2020, watching him bounce back and pitch a great game has to give the team and fans confidence in him going forward as the team needs quality starting pitching as it awaits the return of some of the injured staff.