Last season the New York Mets set a dubious record. Greatest differential between Grand Slams hit and Grand Slams allowed, from the Allowed perspective. At least as far as I can find on Baseball-Reference. The Mets allowed 12 grand slams in 2010, and hit zero. Zero. The Mets offensive struggles with the bases loaded were well documented - they had an OPS of .590 with the bases drunk. I also watched as they allowed, seemingly, a salami at every possible opportunity. The Mets allowed 12 more grand slams than they hit. Or as Larry Hockett would say “New League Record.”
Going old school and looking up this record in The Sporting News Record Book (from 1993), I could see that the Mets had a real shot at the record during the season. Thumbing, electronically, through B-R, I found that the 1996 Detroit Tigers allowed 14 GS, which it appears, is the record. Congratulations, Detroit! The National League record was set by the 2000 Montreal Expos, also allowing a dozen.
The difference between those two teams and the 2010 Mets was success at the plate. The Tigers also managed to hit four grand slams of their own, for a difference of 10. The Expos only hit one, giving them a difference of 11, but that is still one more than the Mets hit last year.
I have read enough studies not to put too much worry into situational hitting successes and failures. Like the weather in so many places, just wait a few minutes and it will change. So when the Mets had such a huge gap in the GS column, I shrug it off as an anomaly, and look forward to the next season.
So last night when John Buck, who can hit home runs, hit a grand slam, I thought to myself “You have got to be kidding me.”
Then I think about things that might not make it as unlikely, mostly driven by chance. The Mets pitchers aren’t a collection of big-time fly ball pitchers allowing scads of HRs in all situations. The Mets pitchers do seem to struggle with “out pitches”. Sure enough, Buck started the count 0-2, and then Pelfrey couldn’t put him away. Is there anything to that? Does a pitching staff philosophy put pitchers in this situation - not having the big strikeout pitch? I can tell myself that I know that this is just bad dice rolls. After all, Pelfrey didn’t give up any grannies last year.
Or the Mets are just a bunch of chokers…
Posted: April 02, 2011 at 11:35 AM | 8 comment(s)
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