Monday, June 29, 2009

Both blog writers and real-life people seem to feel that the Mets have been a huge disappointment this season, but I'm not sure if there's anything to be disappointed by other than all the injuries.

Here's a simple exercise - look at the pre-season projections for everyone who's played for the Mets, multiply by how much they've actually played, and see how many runs we should've reasonably expected this team to score and give up.

For hitters, I took the PECOTA projection of EqA (which is a measure of overall offensive value), looked at the actual number of PA for every hitter who has played for the Mets this year, and then made a small adjustment for the park factor. According to the pre-season projections, the Mets should've scored 324 runs so far this year.

For pitchers, I took the PECOTA projection for ERA for each pitcher and then multiplied by their actual IP to determine how many earned runs the team was projected to allow. Since PECOTA doesn't project unearned runs, I assumed an average number of unearned runs for the team as a whole (the average MLB team has given up 26 unearned runs this year). The PECOTA projections come out to 332 total runs allowed.

Here's a table comparing the PECOTA projections to the actual performance of the team this year:

PECOTA Mets 324 332
Real Mets 333 338

The Mets have been slightly better on offense than projected and slightly worse on pitching/defense, and pretty much the same if you combine the two.

So, blame Omar for putting together a crappy team. Blame the trainers for failing to keep the team healthy. But, it's hard to blame Manuel and the coaching staff for failing to get adequate performance from the players they've been dealt.

Friday, June 05, 2009

One of the defining memories of Joe McEwing is that he OWNED Randy Johnson. As the years have gone by, it's hard for me to remember why exactly we were so confident when Super Joe squared off against the Big Unit.

Fortunately, in honor of Johnson's 300th win, Buster Olney posted some interesting tidbits about the surly giant, including the following:

Best Game By a Hitter Against Randy Johnson
May 21, 2000: Probably the best game by a hitter who measured at least a foot shorter than Johnson. Little utility man Joe McEwing had two doubles and a home run against Johnson, making him the only batter with three extra-base hits in a game against the Unit (all eight of the Mets hits against Johnson went for extra bases). The matchup included a 12-pitch battle in the fifth inning in which McEwing fouled off seven two-strike pitches before doubling. This was a day in which Johnson struck out 13, but the Mets rallied from deficits of 1-0, 3-2, and 5-3, before winning 7-6 on a ninth-inning hit by Derek Bell. McEwing would score the winning run."He's a good little ballplayer," Johnson told the media afterwards, keeping his description of McEwing brief.

Unfortunately, a little further research indicates that McEwing only had the one great game. His career line against Johnson excluding that one game:

40 AB, 8 H, 2 2B, 3 RBI, .200/.195/.275,  .470 OPS

Interestingly, McEwing had more plate appearances against Johnson than any other pitcher.

If you want a crappy player who did actually own Randy Johnson, there's Randy Velarde, who had a .452/.500/.548 line in 46 career plate appearances, owning the highest OPS against Johnson of any player with 40 plate appearances.

In other news, Turk Wendell did in fact own Mark McGwire, who was 0-8 against #99, with 6 Ks and 3 BBs (one of which was intentional).