You can trace the Mets' offensive arc through the swing of one man. Through four months of the season New York scored a miserable 3.5 runs per game. Yoenis Cespedes arrived from Detroit on Aug. 1 and the party began: a 41-game romp through the NL in which the Mets won 30 times, scoring more than six runs per game as Cespedes hit .309/.356/.691 with 17 homers. There was briefly even talk of him as an MVP candidate. Unfortunately Cespedes went cold, scratching out a .218/.279/.327 line over the next three weeks without a single long ball. The Mets' lineup went with him, dipping to 3.6 runs per game during his slump. For all the talk of outfielder Michael Conforto (.270/.335/.506 since his call-up on July 24) and catcher Travis d'Arnaud (.256/.340/.464 since his July 31 return from an elbow sprain) and even the resurgence this season of outfielder Curtis Granderson (.259/.364/.457, his best work since 2011), New York's revival was about a Cuban outfielder on his fourth team in 13 months going nuts on a new league for six weeks. Cespedes's righthanded power will be critical in the Division Series, where the Mets will face three lefthanded Dodgers starters. That neutralizes Conforto (.214/.267/.214 against lefties) and Granderson (.183/.273/.286). The likelihood of low-scoring games will also increase the need for a quick-strike offense. Cespedes remains the Mets' best chance to produce crooked numbers.
This is an article from the Oct. 12, 2015 issue