Walking to Wins

The Mets are fourth in the NL in walks with 187 — though, there are several teams within four or five free passes, so you could say they’re middle of the pack.

Those 187 walks translate to an average of close to 4 bases on balls per game (3.8, to be exact).

In May, however, I’d like to point out a few details.

May record: 9 wins, 14 losses.

Of those 14 losses, they walked 3 times or less 11 times. And of those 11 times, 9 times it was 2 walks or less.

Among their 9 wins, they walked 4 times or more 6 times.

So, when they drew at least four walks in a game, their record was 6-3.

Interestingly, when the Mets won 14 and lost 12 in March/April, they averaged nearly 5 walks per game (4.77 to be exact). So far in May, they are averaging a hair under 3 walks a game (2.8).

Again: 14-12 record while drawing close to 5 walks a game. 9-14 record while taking under 3 free passes per game.

Added bit of trivia: in 9 games vs. the Braves, the Mets drew 20 walks (about 2 per game), and have a record of 2 wins, 7 losses. In two of those losses, they did not draw ANY walks, and drew only one in two of the others.

Coincidence? Not likely.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. David W. May 27, 2008 at 7:12 am
    A perfect example of your point was the bottom of the first inning last night. Bases loaded, nobody out, and the next three batters go down on exactly 6 pitches. Delgado works the count to 2-0, then, on a hitter’s count, swings at a pitch that looked high and outside, pops up weakly to left field, a run scores on Gonzalez’s weak arm. Schneider then swings at the first pitch, grounds weakly to first. Evans swings at the second pitch–to his credit, hits it hard. But a pitcher is on the ropes and the Mets give him a hand and help him back on his feet. Meanwhile, our bullpen is exhausted.
  2. isuzudude May 27, 2008 at 8:24 am
    With as anemic as the offense has looked, is it time HoJo gets the heave-ho? I know the struggles can’t and shouldn’t solely be blamed on him, but it stands to reason that the Mets’ hitters need a new voice giving them better advice on their approaches at the plate.
  3. joe May 27, 2008 at 9:13 am
    Hard to say if you can blame HoJo … though he has influence, he has little power over the players. It’s not like he can bench or fine anyone for a bad approach — how do you motivate these Mets? They’re all well-paid, they all know there’s no one behind them to take their job. So if you fire HoJo, who is going to come in and get the batters to change their thought process? They didn’t listen to Rick Down, they didn’t listen to HoJo, Rickey had little effect … even if you could bring Ted Williams or Charley Lau back from the dead I doubt it would make a difference.

    Ironically, the one guy on the Mets who is (was) hitting — Ryan Church — credits HoJo for his early season success. Why can Church listen and no one else?

  4. joe May 27, 2008 at 9:14 am
    David W – excellent points. Willie Randolph describes things like this as “the other pitcher shutting us down”, when in fact, the Mets shut themselves down.
  5. Micalpalyn May 27, 2008 at 10:22 am
    Hojo is not the issue. In fact before church there was Dw, possibly the reason Hojo got that job. However it does not seem he translates to all players.

    Again: I think leadership is the issue. I have NEVER criticised Omar, but i do think his stubborn support of Willie could be his undoing.

    I was listening to the Sat gameon WFAN, but had FOX TV on. They showed the Atlanta game with Randy Johnson. The point is that the announcer made a huge point about Cox and Melvin as 2 managers that aggressive challenge the umpires on close calls and strikezones…..is it any wonder that Glavine gets pitches 6 inches off the plate at home? that the braves are 22-7 at home?

    Isuzu: why does a team respond after a managerial change? IF the central point is that this team sucks then THE best way to show it would be to fire Willie and see if it continues to suck. MY view is Santana, Maine, Ollie, Pedro, DW, Reyes, Church and Schneider represent among the most talented cores of players in baseball. Add some confidence and this team will take off……………..(i am para-phrasing your point from 20 games ago. the difference is your catalyst was supposed to be a winning streak.)…….my point is we need that 50 game overdue change in leader.

    The change in leader will take time to manifest- But it needs to happen.

    BTW: Essentially SK (?) was right. Benching IS the answer. Obviously you cant bench everyone. And benching is not always a punishment. In the case of DW and Reyes they need to slow the game down. They are having the baseball equivalent of a nervous breakdown or academic burnout. The game is not fun, relaxation is no longer apart of their make up. They are trying to hit grand slams every time up…………on pitches out of the zone.

    Where we slammed in Atlanta…………….I dont think so. They feasted on a team with no MOJO. they sat and waited for fat pitches, took 2thousand walks and singled us to death………hardly a beat down.

    I beleive this team will rip the NL apart. But Willie wont be here when that happens.

  6. joe May 27, 2008 at 10:32 am
    Agreed on HoJo … in fact, a post is coming here in about an hour with some advice for the Mets hitters to listen to him.

    Mic, don’t worry, Willie is as good as gone, IMHO. My guess is that the Wilpons didn’t fire him yet because they want to find a suitable replacement. Omar has to stand by Willie — otherwise, he would have been fired.

    And I still have to point out that the personality of the manager will mean little if the Mets don’t trash a few of the current players and replace them with some on-field leaders. Show me an NL or AL champion, at any time in history, who didn’t have at least one guy who was a strong leader.

  7. Micalpalyn May 27, 2008 at 10:41 am
    Back to Don Omar:

    Omar has a problem; I dont think he wants to replace willie too soon, nor is there any obvious candidate. I’d like Wally. But i think the Media in NY would castrate him. Possibly he could come in as a bench coach. That leaves Gary Carter as the next best name I can think of. a 3rd name is Lee Mazzili, there is also John Gibbons and Buck Showalter.

    One of my friends is a Twins fan. He had said Twins fans hate Gardenhire. I said I’d love to have Ron Gardenhire. Gardenhire was lauded this past weekend on his work with the younger twins. I think Omar wants someone…possibly someone that is not available yet and does not want to simply have an interim manager…….See link below. Gardy is a FA this yr.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Wally_Backman
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ron_Gardenhire
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Mazzilli
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Carter

  8. joe May 27, 2008 at 11:27 am
    Wally has no chance, neither does Carter. Mazzilli, maybe. Gibbons has a job. Showalter … hmm …. maybe?

    I’d be surprised if Gardenhire went anywhere; he’s been with the Twins since Tom Kelly left (what’s this, his 7th year?), and seems quite happy. Why leave a good thing? The Twins kept Kelly around for 15 years — like the Braves and similarly strong, well-run organizations, they are built on stability. I could be wrong, though. Even if he is interested, what kind of effect would he have on the “win-now”, veteran-heavy Mets? He’s been leading kids all these years, and with Johan in place, the Mets will replace their current veterans with more veterans … there will not be a youth movement.

    I wouldn’t worry about replacing Willie right now … I’d worry about moving Carlos Delgado as quickly as possible, and replacing him with someone who will either lead, follow, or get out of the way. Omar needs to think about how he can make this David Wright’s team.

  9. Micalpalyn May 27, 2008 at 11:34 am
    Back referencing Isuzu: We all acknowledge Isuzu is the vein of conservatism and logic (normally), on this blog. Isuzu has pointed out that The Mets won 88 games last yr and 94 the yr before…with these players. The fact we are descending implies a need to get aggressive and start bullying the opposition. (not a willie thing)……..Thats hard to do when you are instructed to use queensbury rules and the opponents are using youth and speed and are audacious.

    Note MLB rumors has Scott Hatteberg and Julian Tavarez as options….and a ‘blow something up’ (attitude) on Metsblog. Tavarez might not be here in the end …I dont think pitching is our issue. I think the offense is. Would they DFA Delgado? I think a trade to Seattle makes sense (vidro at DH?).

  10. Micalpalyn May 27, 2008 at 10:40 pm
    I think you answered that with your next post…….(the hojo one).

    methinks del could be done. remember mike dejean? He who was cut when he said’ its just a game’. Did that have a ripple effect? Did cutting alay soler after he imploded in that yankee game?

    could this be the biggest cut yet? Really they eat 10 M if they do. Hatteberg? I thinkhe’d put up del numbers or better, pave the way for carp, AND help balance the clubhouse.

    RE: gardy. WILLIE was brought in to help mentor the YOUNG Mets….having weaved great stories of how he helped Jeter, Posada, Rivera etc. In don omar’s scheme there is always talent coming thru. as such we need mentorship for Evans, carp, F-mart, Muniz, niese and Kunz.