One of my favorite early-season games is Fun With Small Sample Sizes. Early in the year, the numbers are super wacky. That’s why we constantly urge you not to read too much into, say, five games to open the season in 35 degree weather. But small sample sizes can produce some funny numbers, as well.
For instance, did you know that if Jim Henderson keeps up his current pace of 21 strikeouts per nine innings, pitching three innings every five games and ending up with at least 90 innings pitched, he would break Brad Lidge’s record by over six full strikeouts? Or how about Noah Syndergaard, whose 13.50 K/9 would blow away the best season by the likes of Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and Sandy Koufax if he maintained it for a full season? It really is a great game. It should also give you some context: it’s early. Breathe, enjoy the fact that baseball is back, and opt for (avoiding) dingers over the horrible truth.
|Player||Last Week||This Week||Comment|
|Antonio Bastardo||--||So far, so good for Bastardo. After a rough spring, the valued lefty setup man has two shutout innings, allowing just one baserunner to three strikeouts. More of the same, please.|
|Jerry Blevins||--||Mr. Perfect stayed that way to open the season, and now has 6.2 innings pitched as a Met without allowing a baserunner. Thanks, Infield Fly Rule!|
|Bartolo Colon||--||Bart continued his run as the King of Command, opening the year with an 8:0 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He pitched six excellent innings against the Phillies in an unfortunate 1-0 loss and saw his first relief appearance on opening night. That 1.23 ERA is clearly bulletproof.|
|Jacob deGrom||--||Concerns about everything from his velocity to his unborn son followed deGrom into the Mets home opener. All he did was strike out six, walk nobody, and scatter five hits across six innings. Ho hum. He’ll miss his next start with some lat tightness, which is something to keep an eye on.|
|Jeurys Familia||--||Jeurys Familia throws a very heavy baseball, and throws it very very hard. He’s 1-for-1 in save opportunities thus far.|
|Matt Harvey||--||Say it with me: "Matt Harvey will be perfectly fine." There, feels good doesn’t it? Harvey’s 4.63 ERA across two starts and 11.2 innings shouldn’t be cause for any concern going forward, but paired with his 5:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 1.61 WHIP make the red arrow necessary.|
|Jim Henderson||--||Henderson has struck out seven of the nine batters he’s faced. He got the other two out, too. His velocity is all the way back, and he seems to have already claimed a late-inning role.|
|Steven Matz||--||--||Matz makes his season debut tonight.|
|Addison Reed||--||Not much to glean from Addy’s two appearances. No strikeouts yet, and three baserunners allowed of nine he’s faced. He’s fine.|
|Hansel Robles||--||Robles returned from his suspension and got back to striking people out. His FIP- is 9. That’s pretty cool.|
|Noah Syndergaard||--||Thor’s a wrecking machine. His first start was dominating, and he looks poised to continue that trend. Consider him the Mets’ Barry Zuckercorn: He’s very good.|
|Logan Verrett||--||Verrett is a pretty solid pitcher stuck behind the best rotation on earth. He had a bad first appearance, but he only threw the one inning. He’ll get a neutral until he gets a second inning, which we can then make bold sweeping claims about.|