Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Mets and the Curse of the Big Inning

The Harry Potter-esque structure of the title of this post is far from a fantasy. In fact it's a painful reality that the Mets need to deal with.

The Mets currently have a record of 13-12 after a painful end to their road trip which concluded with getting swept by the meager Astros. But the most significant stat of the season so far is that in 11 of the 12 losses the Mets have this season Mets pitchers have given up 3 or more runs in one inning.

Mets pitching is cursed by the big inning.

The only exception was the second loss of the season against the Nationals where 1 run was scored in the 2nd inning and then in each of the last 3 innings. These big innings have as much to do with mental toughness as they do with making the right pitches.

RA Dickey has been victim to the big inning, mostly by giving up a 3-run home run which has to do with not making the right pitch. Chris Schwinden, Manny Acosta and Miguel Batista on the other hand have experienced innings where when one run scores they just lose control and see the flood gates open.

The Big Inning affects starters and relievers alike and it puts this young lineup in a precarious position especially when they're down early like they were constantly in the Houston series. When you find yourself down 3-0 in the 2nd inning, hitters tend to press a bit more and they don't play loose. Then any additional run scored just buries the team a bit more.

This is a major problem that has to be addressed by Collins and his staff. The Mets can't afford to have Big Innings against them this often. I understand that it's bound to happen every once in a while but when it occurs this often, it's an issue that has to be dealt with.

Even in 4 of the Mets wins, pitchers have given up 3 or more runs in an inning. Before it becomes an epidemic that cripples the psyche of this team and adds more digits to the loss column, the Mets need to face the reality that their pitcher's problems are producing staggering results.