It has been standard operating procedure for even really good lineups to be shut down in October, because good pitching is almost always the preeminent force in the postseason.
To date, the Chicago Cubs, stacked with the best collection of young, dynamic hitters we've seen in years, have not stopped hitting in the playoffs, at least in the small sample size of five games. The Cubs are hitting .237 with a .316 on-base percentage, but on the strength of 12 homers, they've scored 24 runs in those five games.
They will face a very different challenge against the New York Mets, as ESPN colleague Justin Havens noted in this internal memo he sent out Friday:
It's worth noting just how much of a problem the Mets' velocity could be for those Cubs hitters. Looking at all pitches thrown 94 miles per hour or greater this season, the Cubs ranked near the bottom of the NL against those pitches. Consider this:
• The Cubs hit .229 in at-bats ending in a pitch 94 miles per hour or greater, last in the NL.
• No team in the NL swung and missed more often (24.0 percent) at pitches of that velocity.
• Only two NL teams (Braves, Rockies) posted a higher pop-up rate on high velocities than the Cubs.
As you would guess, this is particularly troubling given the opponent.