Monday, July 8, 2013
The series in Metrics (Mets vs. Brewers)
By Mark Simon
Summarizing another road series win for the Mets:
Hefner’s great start
Jeremy Hefner allowed one run and two hits over seven innings in Sunday’s win. Hefner’s good stuff was evident from the first batter when he struck out Norichika Aoki, the toughest hitter in the majors to strike out from a statistical perspective. Aoki swung and missed at a changeup out of the strike zone. It was the first time he’d missed a pitch out of the strike zone in two weeks.
Adam Rubin mentioned the velocity increase for Hefner, the specifics of which are this: In his first four appearances of the season, his fastball averaged 89.4 mph. In his last 14, he’s averaged 91 mph and hit 93 or faster a total of 65 times, including 10 times in Sunday’s win.
Sunday’s unusual win
The Mets scored two runs, both unearned, in their victory on Sunday. It marked the first time they won a game without scoring an earned run since April 25, 2010. They had lost their previous 37 games in which their opponent allowed no earned runs.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis busted from a season-long slump by going 4-for-4 and reaching base six times in the Mets win on Friday night.
Nieuwenhuis is the only player in the majors in the last two seasons to reach base six times (without reaching via error) and have five RBI in the same game, and the first Met to do so since Edgardo Alfonzo in 1999.
Nieuwenhuis is one of only four Mets to be perfect at the plate in such a game, along with Dave Magadan (1990), Carl Everett (1995) and Alfonzo.
Satin’s hitting streak
Josh Satin extended his hitting streak to 11 games with three hits on Sunday. In that stretch, he is hitting .409 with a .480 on-base percentage and a .500 batting average on balls in play.
Satin has eight doubles during the hitting streak, the most for any player in baseball since June 25.
Satin’s approach at the plate has mirrored that of Lucas Duda, except he’s done more damage than Duda while being passive at the plate.
Satin has the lowest rate of swinging at a pitch among the 386 hitters who have seen at least 300 pitches this season (32.7 percent). That holds whether the pitch is in the strike zone (a 48.5 percent swing rate) or out of the strike zone (12 percent “chase rate”).
Wheeler wasn’t that bad
Zack Wheeler lasted only five innings but managed to earn his second win of the season on Friday night. Positives for Wheeler included:
He netted 11 swings-and-misses, as many as he notched in his previous two starts combined.
The Brewers rate of putting swings in play (32 percent) was the lowest for any team in Wheeler’s four starts.
He threw a higher percentage of fastballs in the strike zone (53 percent) than in any of his previous three starts.
Murphy’s defensive slump
Daniel Murphy has had a recent run of shaky defense, the struggles coinciding with his brief move to first base to accommodate Jordany Valdespin after the demotion of Ike Davis.
Entering June 9, Murphy rated average as a defender this season (0 Defensive Runs Saved), and had made significant improvements from last season. But he now stands at -5 Defensive Runs Saved, with -3 as a second baseman and -2 in his brief stint at first base.