Mets best and worst hitters in July so far

Through July 11, five Mets batters who have been in the batters box for at least 50 pitches have hit at least .300 led by Jeff McNeil, who is hitting .367. Just missing the cutoff is Dominic Smith, who has the highest SLG (.595).

Four Mets hitters are below the Mendoza line. Tied for the lowest batting average at .143 are Michael Conforto and Jonathan Villar, and though Villar’s faced fewer than half as many pitches as Conforto his SLG is more than double Conforto’s (.571 vs. .250).

The luckiest batter is Luis Guillorme, whose BA is 94 points higher than his xBA; whereas, the unluckiest batter is Pete Alonso. His BA is 69 points lower than his xBA.

Batting stats of Mets who have been at the plate for at least 50 pitches thru July 11

Source: Baseball Savant

Conforto’s bad luck with fastballs

This season Michael Conforto has played only 51 games because of a right hamstring injury; however, in those games he has hit only .195 with an an SLG of .277 and an OBP of .342. His primary problem has been to get on base when the pitch is a fastball.

Against fastballs his batting average is .145. However, his xBA is 97 points higher, so Lady Luck has not been on Conforto’s side. Further, when he has put the fastball in play, which he has done 59 times, he has hit only four doubles and no home runs, resulting in an SLG of .193, 97 points lower than the xSLG of .385.

Against breaking balls and off-speed pitches he has had better luck, hitting .250 (xBA = .247).

Before this season, never hit less than .267 against fastballs, a pitch against which in 2020 he hit .327.

Conforto’s career stats against fastballs

Source: Baseball Savant

Tigers and A’s Share “One”

In 1920 the Detroit Tigers played 155 games, finishing the season with a 61-93-1 record. The “one” occurred on August 3 in their 122nd game against the Philadelphia Athletics at Shibe Park.

Fifteen innings after the game began, though 16 runners had crossed the plate, it ended without a winner.

It was never finished.

Each team used only two pitchers. For the Tigers, RHP Doc Ayers started the game and, after 6.2 innings, was replaced by LHP Red Oldham, who gave up only one earned run. The A’s started with RHP Slim Harriss. He lasted one inning: Five runs crossed the plate, but only one was earned. His successor, LHP Roy Moore, gave up 13 hits, but only three runners scored.

Combined, the teams got 30 hits. Center fielder Ty Cobb led the Tigers offense, getting four hits. A’s third baseman “Jumping Joe” Dugan did even better. He got five hits.

From Wikimedia Commons

Only five of the game’s hits were for extra bases, all doubles.

That season, the Tigers hit just 30 homers. Outfielder Bobby Veach, who led the team in homers with 11, hit more triples (15) than homers. The Tigers hit 72 triples, but that was only fifth-best in the American League, the White Sox hitting the most three-baggers, 98, one shy of the Brooklyn Robins’ MLB-leading 99 triples, the league as a whole hitting 621 versus only 369 homers.

Only two teams hit more home runs than triples, the Philadelphia Athletics and New York Yankees, Babe Ruth blasting 54 in his first 50-plus season.

The Babe, not known as a triples hitter, hit nine in 1920 and 136 in his career.

From Wikimedia Commons

Eddie Ainsmith caught the whole game for the Tigers; whereas, for the A’s, Cy Perkins started the game, staying in it long enough to get seven plate appearances, the same number as his replacement, Glenn Myatt, the game’s starting right fielder. Though the boxscore does not reveal when Myatt switched positions, his replacement in right field, Dick Burrus, did not have a plate appearance, so it had to be late in the game.

The teams made nine errors. The A’s made six of them. Dugan’s error was his 29th of the season. Despite that, a BR Bullpen article says that he was “[a] brilliant fielding third baseman.”

Two men umpired it. George Hildebrand was behind the plate and George Moriarty at first base. Four umpires in a regular-season game did not begin until 1952.

The game lasted three hours and four minutes, but then, in those days baseball’s clock ran faster.

Other tie games in MLB history

Mets Catch McCann

Artwork based on Image by Anne & Saturnino Miranda from Pixabay

When J. T. Realmuto priced himself beyond what the Mets wanted to pay, they focused their attention on a catcher who did not have Realmuto’s acclaim but was getting the job done: James McCann.

Though the Mets signing of reliever Trevor May was a significant move, at least one news source viewed McCann’s acquisition as the team’s first “big” one under their new ownership, one not burdened by the financial problems that handcuffed the Wilpons and limited the team’s player options.

There was competition for McCann. Fortunately, the Mets won. According to Maria Torres, a writer for the Los Angeles Times, the Angels offered McCann only a three-year deal.

A White Sox blog called McCann’s loss a “tough” one, adding that “The White Sox are losing a very important piece to their team with the departure of McCann.”

The blog article’s author, Vincent Parise, concluded his piece with this paragraph:

What are the New York Mets adding in McCann? They are getting a catcher who can do it on both sides of the ball. He can hit very well and be a phenomenal defensive catcher. He also is a fantastic leader for a clubhouse and will bring that dynamic to New York. He gets to work with pitchers like Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Marcus Stroman which should be really fun for them all. The New York Mets got a lot better today and should be very happy with the player they are getting.

Mets players have already started praising the team’s new catcher. One member of the Mets starting rotation, Marcus Stroman, expressed his satisfaction with the McCann acquisition.

We are in a new era of Mets baseball.

Let’s go Mets!