The New York Mets starting pitching took a big hit at the end of last season when they learned that they would be without ace Matt Harvey for the entire 2014 campaign. Though they currently rank 14th in strike outs and 19th in ERA, it is their inability to get a hit that has Mets fans shaking their heads.
Through the first month of the season, the Mets starting pitching staff remains hitless. Not only has the streak climbed to an embarrassing 0-for-58 with 31 strikeouts, but the Mets pitchers have set a new major league record for consecutive at-bats without getting a hit, breaking a 100 year old record set by the St. Louis Browns back in 1914. It only took the Browns 46 at-bats before they managed a hit, but the Mets record is even more of a shocker considering the strides made in athletic training over the past century. However, some will argue that the art of hitting a baseball has not changed much over the years.
“I think you have to put it in perspective,” said Mets starting pitcher Dillon Gee on the hitless streak. “It’s not our main job. I think we’ve pitched well — that’s our main job.”
Gee’s assessment of the teams pitching this season is fair. The team ranks in the middle of the league for most pitching categories including ERA, strikeouts, wins, innings pitched, and walks, but a Mets pitcher has yet to go the distance this season and team remains without a complete game.
This should not be a big surprise that a major league team’s pitching staff is under performing at the plate. The Milwaukee Brewers pitchers, who are currently 5-for-65 at the plate, are second only to the Mets this season and their team has managed a .077 average at the plate.
Even if the team was fortunate to have Matt Harvey back this season, they wouldn’t necessarily be a threat at the plate but would likely have a hit by now. Harvey has a career batting average of .145 in 76 at-bats. Manager Terry Collins is not worried about the teams woes at the plate, but believes extra practice can only benefit his pitching staff.
“It’s not a big deal, it’s the pitchers hitting, not like we are going to turn them into batting champions,” the Mets manager said. “They hit every day, but they hit in the batting cages, they hit off the machine. So it’s just a different visual when you hit on the field and have somebody throwing at you.
“So we are going to have them hit on the field and get used to seeing what it’s like and getting out there and getting in the batters box, with all the surroundings,” Collins continued. “Not that it is going to make a huge different. but we are going to do a little more outside batting practice.”
The Mets are getting ready for a weekend series at home against the Phillies as they look to end this disconcerting streak. They might have a good chance against a Phillies pitching staff, who has the eighth highest ERA allowed this season with a 4.28 average. If they can’t get it done against Philidelphia, they might have a tough time in their next two series as they get set to take on the Yankees and Nationals, who have the third best ERA this season. The Mets currently rank fourth in the National League East.