The overall picture for the pitching staff is a little more positive than that for the hitters. However, it still wasn’t a great week for Mets pitchers. Jacob deGrom leads the staff in fWAR this week, despite exiting the game after four innings on Wednesday, so that is pretty telling.
Of course, deGrom did pitch really well in the four innings he did throw on Wednesday. He gave up just four hits and struck out six. Originally, the plan was for deGrom to start today’s game. However, out of an abundance of caution, the Mets have placed deGrom on the 10-day disabled list and P.J. Conlon will make his major league debut in deGrom’s stead.
Steven Matz was the brightest spot amongst the starting pitchers this week, having a bounce back performance against the Rockies on Saturday, surrendering just one run—a solo home run to Nolan Arenado—on three hits. It was Matz’s best start this season.
Seth Lugo also had himself a very good week, throwing five scoreless innings of relief. The Mets ultimately lost both games Lugo appeared in, but not out of lack of effort on Lugo’s part. He kept the team in two very close games. He pitched the final two innings of Syndergaard’s start on Tuesday, which the Mets lost by just one run. He then threw the final three innings on Friday in relief of Zack Wheeler, as the Mets’ comeback fell just short.
Noah Syndergaard gave the Mets two quality starts this week, but he has not been his dominant self. He took the loss in Tuesday’s game against the Braves, giving up just three runs, but also surrendering ten hits and striking out just three. In yesterday’s game against the Rockies, Syndergaard again wasn’t missing too many bats and many observed that he seemed to lack trust in his four-seam fastball. He also walked in a run for the first time in his career. But he made the pitches when they counted and got out of big jams, ultimately giving up just two runs over his six innings of work.
Zack Wheeler had a very poor start on Friday, giving up eight runs on ten hits—five of those eight runs coming in the first inning alone. The best one can about his outing is that he settled down somewhat after the first inning and was able to pitch six innings. However, in the one game this week where the Mets’ offense seemed to get it together, Wheeler put the game out of reach.
Jason Vargas followed up his atrocious Mets debut with another awful start on Thursday, giving up six runs and eleven hits over 4 2⁄3 innings. He walked two and struck out three. The fact that his ERA went down after that performance is impressive. He now holds a 16.20 ERA on the season.
Matt Harvey pitched two innings out of the bullpen this week in relief of Vargas and also got shelled for five runs on three hits. He also walked three batters. This seemed to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, as Harvey was then designated for assignment.
Hansel Robles came up to take Harvey’s roster spot and his first appearance back in the big leagues did not go well, as he gave up a home run to Ian Desmond in the eighth inning yesterday that would ultimately be the difference in the game.
Two members of the bullpen that had been performing exceptionally well up until this point—Robert Gsellman and Paul Sewald—also had down weeks. Both got hit hard after deGrom’s early exit on Wednesday. Sewald was tasked with the job of long relief and went three innings, surrendering three runs on five hits, including a home run. Gsellman fared even worse, giving up two home runs and four total hits, resulting in another four runs. Both attempted to bounce back in Saturday’s game and Sewald successfully did so, throwing a nine-pitch scoreless seventh inning in relief of Steven Matz. Gsellman’s outing also began in an impressive fashion, as he pitched a strong eighth inning. But things unraveled in his second inning of work, where after retiring the first two batters, he hit a batter, gave up a weak single, threw a wild pitch, intentionally walked a batter, and then gave up a single that would have plated two runs instead of just one if not for the arm of Yoenis Cespedes.
But after a pretty bad start to the season, Jerry Blevins’ stock has risen again. He is still being used by Mickey Callaway pretty much strictly as a lefty specialist, but he has a clean slate in his three appearances this week. He struck out two and did not walk a batter over his 2 2⁄3 innings of work.
A.J. Ramos continues to thrive with a somewhat reduced workload. He has quietly been one of the more reliable members of the bullpen of late. He did not give up any runs this week in his 1 2⁄3 innings of work over three games. His impressive -0.45 FIP leads the staff for the week.
Jeruys Familia, too, has seen limited time on the mound with the Mets being behind in the game for most of the week. His only appearance of the week was in Thursday’s blowout loss, giving up just one hit in his scoreless inning of work.