This season is 45% complete and not 1 Met has a home run total as high as his uniform number. It's not like we were counting on Elmer Dessens to lead the way either.
Gary Sheffield wears 10; he has 9.
David Wright wears 5; he has 4.
Luis Castillo wears 1; he has 0.
The Mets wear glum expressions of late; they have reason.
Right now the Mets aren't doing much of anything effectively, starting with staying healthy. But what they're really not doing is hitting home runs. They're not hitting them in their home park and they're not hitting them in a whole lot of other venues.
After 73 games, no Met has reached double-digits in home runs. This seemed distressingly uncommon, so I availed myself of Baseball Reference and Mets By The Numbers and checked a couple of 2009's notably offense-deficient predecessors for guidance.
In 1980, the year the Mets were at their most legendarily powerless — when the Daily News measured them every morning against Roger Maris and both maxed out at 61 — it took 84 team games for Lee Mazzilli to hit 10. He wore 16 and would lead the team with 16. Steve Henderson, whose 1st home run that year came in the Mets' 55th game (and what a game it was), wore 5 and eventually hit 8, making him the only 1980 Met to outhomer his uniform number.
In 1972, when no Met collected as many as 100 hits (in 156 games, due to the strike), it took 102 team games for John Milner to hit 10. Milner wore 28 and would lead the team with 17, but 3 Mets (Rusty Staub, Ed Kranepool and Jim Fregosi) outhomered their single-digit uniform numbers. Jim Beauchamp wore 5 and hit 5 after switching from 24 in deference to Willie Mays.
If Gary Sheffield is healthy enough to make it to Philadelphia, I like his chances of his getting to 10 in Citizens Bank Bandbox. Should Carlos Beltran's bone bruise heal before long, I'd think he'd stand a good shot of doubling his currently frozen total of 8, which would top the 15 on his sorely missing back. David Wright, provided an anvil doesn't fall on his head, is gonna hit at least 2 more home runs between now and October 4…probably more.
Alex Cora wears 3 and has homered 0 times. But he did single Saturday night against A.J. Burnett, 1 of the 9 hits the Mets have collected in their past 3 games, 1 of the 7 singles the Mets have recorded in those very same 26 innings, 1 of 1 hit — singular — the Mets accumulated in losing to the Yankees by a wide margin for the 2nd consecutive night.
Good pitching beats good hitting. What it does to virtually no hitting is almost unspeakable.
ADDENDUM: We're 0-4 versus this particular opponent on Saturday nights. One loss was a World Series game whose first pitch was dictated by Fox. The other two were parts of day-night makeups, including one in which Roger Clemens committed an act of assault for which he should have served time. This one, however, was scheduled voluntarily by the Mets. One thing may have nothing to do with another, but I'd ask management to never, ever go out of its way again to play the Yankees on a Saturday night. The phrase “just asking for trouble” leaps to mind.
Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start reading a copy of Faith and Fear in Flushing: An Intense Personal History of the New York Mets, available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or a bookstore near you. Keep in touch and join the discussion on Facebook.