The New York Mets looked to be righting the ship offensively at the end of the first half. The Mets showed some power and timely hitting as they won eight of 10 at Citi Field, leading some to believe that the team's offensive woes may finally be behind them. After recording only four hits in five straight games, it has become pretty clear the Mets left their bats home for the second half.
The Mets are averaging three runs a game after the All Star Break and have scored the fewest runs in the league in the second half. The Mets also are last in the league in batting average (.210) and slugging percentage (.304) during the second half, while striking out 239 times in that span. The obvious question is to ask where all the offense went. The answers can be found by looking at each member of the regular lineup since the All Star Break.
Curtis Granderson: Curtis Granderson was a major catalyst for the Mets' late first half run when he was moved to the leadoff spot. Granderson has always been a streaky hitter though, and he has gone ice cold since the All Star Break. Granderson is hitting only .173 with one homer and four RBI's after the break and has struck out 26 times in 110 at bats.
Daniel Murphy: The Mets' All Star representative appears to be tiring, as he has fallen off a cliff over the last week and a half. Murphy has hit only .214 over the last seven days, and was held hitless in the Cubs' series until a ninth inning double yesterday. Mets' skipper Terry Collins has indicated he believes Murphy is tired and wants to get him a day off today against Scott Kazmir in Oakland.
David Wright: We discussed Wright's power outage last week, and getting hit in the shoudler during the Cubs' series certainly won't help matters. Wright is hitting only .232 since the ASB with no homers and eight RBI's. Wright has only contributed two doubles to the cause.
Lucas Duda: Lucas Duda was the only Met who hit immediately after the All Star Break, and his power helped the Mets win some key games on their 10 game road trip. Duda, the Met of the Month in July, hasn't done anything since the calendar flipped to August. Duda has hit only .211 with two homers and five RBI's in that span, but he has been getting pitched around a lot. Duda's on base percentage in August is .324, so he has at least been drawing his walks.
Travis d'Arnaud: d'Arnaud is doing decently after the All Star Break, hitting .258 with four homers and 11 RBI's. There isn't much to criticize here, as d'Arnaud has performed much better since his demotion to Las Vegas in June.
Left Field: Chris Young dragged the Mets down while he was getting extended playing time, and he finally got the boot last week. Matt den Dekker has been the primary left fielder since he was recalled, and while he led the PCL in batting average it hasn't translated to the major leagues yet.
Juan Lagares: Lagares is hitting .235 since the All Star Break with no homers and 11 RBI's. Lagares also went into a tailspin over the last week and a half, hitting only .136 over his last seven games.
Shortstop: Ruben Tejada was miserable at shortstop, getting himself benched for Wilmer Flores 10 days ago. Flores has not been terrible defensively, but he has struggled with the bat. Flores is hitting only .228 on the season and has yet to hit anywhere close to how he did in Las Vegas.
In summary, the Mets have gotten next to nothing from their top four hitters in August, which has bogged the whole offense down. Wright's injury certainly has to be factored in here, but the other bats simply aren't picking up the slack. The Mets' best offensive performer of late has been Travis d'Arnaud, and he simply isn't ready to carry the offense on his own. Eventually Granderson and Murphy will heat up again, so the offense should improve naturally. Either way, the Mets will need to make some additions in the offseason to upgrade this unit.
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