FanPost

Does How You Lose Matter?

After getting swept out of LA the Mets find themselves at an even 10 games under .500 with a 54-64 mark/.458 winning percentage.

It sure seems like the club has been playing better after a bumbling start and a look at sub-samples of wins-losses seems to bear that out

Since their lowest win pct. mark of .369 (17-29) they've gone 37-35/.514. That's .500+ ball for the past 72 games - nearly half a full baseball season.

Since being a season low 15 under .500 (25-40 .385) they've gone 29-24 .547. That's 53 games (1 game shy of 1/3 a full season) at an 88-win pace.

So it seems that after sorting through a bunch of personnel issues (the OF, the OF, the bullpen, Ruben, Marcum & Ike) Sandy has built a club capable of playing .500+ ball for an extended period of time.

So does this mean the Mets are just a couple of moves away from contention?

Well, Ike and Tejada are painful reminders that regression is unpredictable and can be a bitch. And DW proves that you can never take anyone's health for granted. How likely is it that Marlon Byrd, even if he's re-signed, will maintain his 2013 level of production? Will Harvey be quite as dominant? Will he continue to suffer from a lack of run production?

But every team can be hurt/helped by progression/regression and injuries. Since they can't be quantified I'll stipulate that it's impossible to measure the Mets as being any better/worse than any other club on that front heading into 2014.

What about how the Mets are losing?

Most AA readers are familiar with the Mets having a slightly better run differential than their record reflects. That's encouraging but at only a 2-game difference it's not wildly off-the-mark.

To this viewers eyes the Mets appear to be "in more games" than earlier in the season. Is it an illusion or can I keep my current eye-glasses? I took a look at the Mets 64 losses and grouped them by losing margin. So -1 equals a one run loss while -11 means we got stomped.

First, season-to-date.

Loss Size

Number of losses

Pct. of Total Losses

Cum Pct. of Losses

-1

23

35.9%

-2

9

14.1%

50%

-3

7

10.9%

60.9%

-4

9

14.1%

75%

-5

6

9.4%

84.4%

-6

4

6.3%

90.7%

-7

2

3.1%

93.8%

-8

1

1.6%

95.4%

-9

1

1.6%

97%

-10

0

0%

-11

1

1.6%

98.6%

-12

0

0%

-13

1

1.6%

100%

Not sure what league averages are but having over 1/3 of all losses be by a single run sounds pretty good. And the fact that a full 50% of the club's losses have been by 2 runs or less makes it look like half of those losses were games that we had a decent chance to win. So in 32 of our losses the combined run differential was 41 runs. That sounds like an upgrade to LF to me. But of course, it's a lot more complicated than that.

But I'm more interested in whether or not the club is playing better of late. Being over .500 for an extended period certainly suggests so. But how about the games we are losing?

This chart compares our loss patterns as two groups - first our losses in the months of April+May+June combined compared to our combined losses in July+August.

Loss Size

First 3 months

Pct. of Total Losses

Jul-Aug

Pct. of Total Losses

Pct. Diff.

-1

14

31.1%

9

47.4%

16.3%

-2

5

11.1%

4

21.1%

9.9%

-3

5

11.1%

2

10.5%

-0.6%

-4

8

17.8%

1

5.3%

-12.5%

-5

5

11.1%

1

5.3%

-5.8%

-6

3

6.7%

1

5.3%

-1.4%

-7

2

4.4%

-4.4%

-8

1

2.2%

-2.2%

-9

1

2.2%

-2.2%

-10

-11

1

2.2%

-2.2%

-12

-13

1

5.3%

5.3%

Avg Loss

Avg Loss

Total

45

-3.5

19

-2.8

If you can get past the fact that the 2nd sample is less than half as large as the first sample, then maybe we should get a bit excited.

For the first 3 months 31% of losses were by a single run - since August nearly half! On top of that we've doubled the percent of two-run losses!

Add those together and we go from having lost 42% of our games by one or two runs during the first three months of the season to 68% since August! Essentially over 2/3 of our losses have been nail-biters versus 4.2 in 10 in the first half.

When you look at blow-outs a similar trend is found. In the first 3 months 28.8% of the Mets losses were by 5 or more runs. Since the calendar turned to August? Only 16.1% - a difference of nearly 13%.

And when you look at the average margin of loss it's dropped from -3.5 runs per loss to -2.8 runs per loss.

W

L

RS

RA

Pct.

April

10

15

119

118

.400

May

12

15

88

126

.444

June

11

15

99

111

.423

3 Mo. Tot.

33

45

306

355

.423

W

L

RS

RA

Pct.

July

15

12

128

110

.556

Aug

6

7

44

42

.462

2 Mo. Tot.

21

19

172

152

.525

I may be grasping for straws here but so far the Mets are doing something many AA posters have clamored for - having a better second half than first.

Not only are the Mets playing .500+ ball but when they lose they're competing. Here's to hoping this is a sign that this rebuilding cycle has finally bottomed out and that the current run represents the start of an accelerated climb.

This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any vetting or approval process. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions, reasoning skills, or attention to grammar and usage rules held by the editors of this site.

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