After Thursday's 6-1 loss to the Cubs, Mets manager Terry Collins recalled an exchange he had with 15-year veteran Michael Cuddyer.
"I talked to 'Cuddy' during the game," Collins said. "I asked him, 'In all the years and places you've been, have you ever seen anything like this?' He said, 'Never.' "
Collins was referring to the Mets' anemic offense, and Cuddyer's observation was not far off.
The Mets are hitting .232 as a team, and only three teams in the last 30 years have posted a worse batting average. It also is the fifth-worst mark in franchise history, ahead of only the 1968 (.228), 1972 (.225), 1965 (.221) and 1963 (.219) Mets teams.
Their .297 on-base percentage is the sixth worst in club history, and though the team's offense is partially suppressed by both its pitcher-friendly home ballpark and the low offensive environment leaguewide (the National League batting average is .253 this season, ranking 109th in the 140-year history of the league), it still looks poor after taking these contextual factors into account.
According to the stats website FanGraphs.com, the Mets came into Thursday with a wRC+ of 86, meaning that after adjusting for ballpark factors, the Mets' total offensive production has been 14 percent worse than league average (the stat is scaled so that 100 is always average).
That is 27th in the majors this season and ties them (with the 1992 Mets) for 17th worst in franchise history. It also is the 20th-worst mark since 2010.
Relative to their competition this season, the Mets are 29th in slugging percentage (.359), 23rd in strikeout rate (21.1 percent) and 27th in RBIs per plate appearance with runners in scoring position.
The offense has gotten a boost from Lucas Duda (126 wRC+) and Curtis Granderson (124 wRC+), but they are the only Mets who have enough plate appearances to qualify for the league lead who have been better than average in this metric.
After signing a two-year, $21-million contract in the offseason, Cuddyer has a .243/.297/.365 slash line, which translates to an 89 wRC+. Wilmer Flores (82) and Juan Lagares (76) also have been below the league average.
Sign up for Newsday’s Mets Messages for updates directly to your phone via text, free with a Newsday digital subscription. Learn more at newsday.com/metstext.