The Mets have hit the field more often than any other team in the league.
You probably already knew this.
What you might not know is that the next closest team, the Colorado Rockies, are closer to the 22nd-place teams than to the No. 1 Mets. Entering games on Wednesday, the Mets had practiced 18 times, and the Colorados had a much less painful 11. One team, apparently protected by the Pittsburgh Pirates’ force field, has yet to hit a pitch.
AT Tuesday’s game against the CardinalsThe Mets have lost three times, including one when Pete Alonso wore a helmet for the second time this season. Francisco Lindor hit one in the face earlier that year when he cracked a tooth, and Dom Smith and Starling Marte also wore one each Tuesday in St. Louis.
Somehow, the Mets scored 18 times in their first 19 games.
Starting pitcher Chris Bassitt, who hit the batter himself Tuesday night, didn’t hold back when asked about this growing epidemic.
“MLB has a very big problem with baseballs. bassitt said. “They are bad. Everyone knows this. Every pitcher in the league knows this. MLB doesn’t care. They do not care. We told them about our problems with them. They do not care”.
With pitchers throwing harder than ever, this is clearly a problem that Major League Baseball needs to address. Ketcher James McCann advocated a sit-down between MLB pitchers and officials to develop a league-approved substance that could help improve traction. Whatever comes from these bizarre, almost magnetic forces that cause the Mets to fall so often, the numbers are now too staggering to ignore.
In those first 19 games, the Mets played 734 matches. Eighteen of them ended with one of their forwards getting a fresh tattoo of Rawlings, meaning that 2.4% of their total plate hits resulted in a fielding. In 2021, the league average was 1.1%, and as recently as 2017, the rate was less than 1%.
The Mets are currently close to getting 153 in 162 games. This will break the record set by last year’s Cincinnati Reds, which held out 105 HBP. Interestingly, the two teams with the most shots since MLB integration were created last season. Just behind the 2021 Reds is the 2021 Dodgers, who have been tied 104 times. Five of the 12 hardest-hit teams in the integration era (including the Mets) date back to 2021, when MLB cracked down on pitchers using foreign substances midseason.
On an individual level this year, seven different Mets have taken one for the team, and five of them (Alonso, Marte, Smith, McCann and Mark Caña) have already done so multiple times. No other team has more than three players who have already received several hits. Alonso and Marte are tied for the league lead with Anthony Rizzo, the infamous plate player who leads all active players in hits by a wide margin. Second on the list is Marte, who has made roughly 13 shots a year since his debut in 2011. At the current rate, if Marte plays even 140 games, by then he will have 32 baseball-sized bruises. the season is over and he easily surpassed his career high of 24.
The modern record for field hits in a season is held by Ron Hunt, a 1971 exhibition infielder who led the National League in field hits every year from 1968 to 1974. In 1971, Hunt received 50 hits. Alonso and Marta will have to work hard if they want to match this level, but both could easily break the Mets record set by their current teammate.
In 2018, Brandon Nimmo ran too far at 22 innings. A year later, Jeff McNeil was one balloon short of Nimmo’s record. At their current rates, Alonso and Marta could be 23 by early August.
Maybe by the end of the season there will be some acceptable handle material to ensure this doesn’t get out of hand. Most of these sky-high numbers can also be attributed to chance luck, although each successive pitch that hits the Met will raise more and more questions about intentionality.
What is certain is that the Mets were losing almost one ball per game. The 2019 Mets are eighth in modern history with 95 pitches. If things continue in this dangerous clip, the guys from 2022 will look back at the 2019 team and wonder why it was so easy for them.