It’s true that the Mets have certainly scored more runs this week, but the Coors Field effect unfortunately works for both teams. So the Mets have given up a lot more runs this week too. Jacob deGrom was essentially the only pitcher to survive Coors Field and it’s the new faces in the bullpen that have been successful this week, while some of the stalwarts have struggled.
Let’s turn to Jacob deGrom—the only shining light in the darkness. He was brilliant in Coors Field when nearly everyone else faltered, scattering five hits over eight innings and allowing just one earned run and striking out seven. The Mets finally gave deGrom some run support and he was able to earn the win. Unfortunately, he was not able to earn the win on Saturday, despite a solid effort, allowing three runs in six innings. It was a quality start, but it was still one of his worst of the year, which speaks to how good he has been. But, as he is wont to do, he kept the Mets in the game despite not having his best stuff.
Robert Gsellman put the game out of reach for the Mets on Saturday, when he surrendered a grand slam to Matt Kemp in the eighth inning and five total runs over his two innings of work. It capped off what was by far Gsellman’s worst week of the season. Gsellman took the loss in Wednesday’s game when he allowed three runs in the fifth inning.
Gsellman’s pounding at the hands of the Rockies came in relief of Seth Lugo, who struggled at Coors Field with the inability to throw his curveball effectively at high altitude. Lugo gave up six runs—only three of them earned due to a Todd Frazier error—in three innings of work. We will see how Lugo responds once on the mound back at sea level.
Paul Sewald worked a scoreless inning preceding Gsellman’s meltdown on Wednesday. But he failed to retire a batter in the eighth inning of Thursday’s game when he gave up a walk and a single to lead off the inning. The leadoff single would come around to score and that run was charged to Sewald’s account. Sewald was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas in favor of Drew Smith.
Drew Smith, the piece that came back to the Mets in the Lucas Duda trade, had a positive Mets debut this week. He pitched both days this weekend and did not surrender a run. He pitched a scoreless ninth after Gsellman’s implosion on Saturday, working around two walks, and a scoreless tenth in yesterday’s bullpen-wide extra inning effort, again working out of a jam.
The same day that Paul Sewald was optioned to Las Vegas, Hansel Robles was designated for assignment. Robles exacerbated the damage done by Jason Vargas on Tuesday, allowing two additional runs on three walks and two hits, including a home run. He was picked up off waivers by the Angels and has already given up a home run on his new team.
Jason Vargas, who had been showing signs of improvement, had a disastrous outing on Tuesday. Then again, like Seth Lugo, he is certainly not a pitcher well suited to Coors Field. Nonetheless, it was bad. He gave up seven runs on nine hits and the Rockies homered three times. He exited the game after just 2 1⁄3 innings of work. He now finds himself on the disabled list with a strained calf he sustained while conditioning.
Vargas’ late scratch meant that the bullpen had to cobble together a game yesterday and some pitchers were more successful than others. Jerry Blevins was designated the “opener” of the game, despite the Dodgers having right handed hitters all lined up to face him. The result was as expected. He gave up two solo homers to lead off the game. He did settle in after that, however, pitching a scoreless second inning. Blevins did his job in the two other outings he had this week, pitching a scoreless 2⁄3 of an inning on Thursday and retiring the lefty he was tasked with on Friday.
Tim Peterson threw two innings following Blevins yesterday and gave up a solo home run to Cody Bellinger, which is the only blemish on his record this week. He threw two scoreless innings on Tuesday and 1 1⁄3 scoreless innings on Thursday. With the bullpen being shuffled around him, he has proven that he deserves to stay up with the big club.
Next in the parade of Mets’ relievers yesterday was Chris Beck, who is continuing to show why he was available on waivers in the first place. He too surrendered a home run yesterday, but to be fair, almost everyone did. The home run was the only hit he gave up in 2 2⁄3 innings of work yesterday. He also walked a batter. He gave up a run in each of his other two appearances this week, which puts his ERA at 5.06 for the week.
The most damage in yesterday’s game came against Anthony Swarzak, who had a bad week this week. He gave up two home runs in yesterday’s game, to the tune of 3 runs in 1 1⁄3 innings. He continues to alter good performances with bad ones. Before yesterday’s shellacking, he pitched a perfect eighth inning on Friday, needing just seven pitches to do so. However, he gave up a run on two hits in two innings of work on Wednesday.
Jeurys Familia pitched a scoreless ninth in yesterday’s game, giving the Mets the opportunity to walk it off in the ninth. He also pitched a scoreless eighth on Wednesday, working around a hit, capping off a week in which he went unscored upon.
Unfortunately the Mets did not walk it off in the ninth yesterday, nor did they walk it off in the tenth after Smith’s scoreless inning, leaving Chris Flexen—back from Vegas for the second time in a very short period of time—the task of trying to keep the Mets in the game. He took the loss, surrendering a solo home run to Justin Turner in the eleventh inning. He gets spared the down arrow, as he certainly was not the only Mets pitcher to give up a home run yesterday, nor was he exactly put in a position to succeed being shuttled back and forth from Vegas, despite the Mets knowing he may be needed. Let’s see how he does over a larger sample.
Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler, who had both been showing such positive signs lately, did not get good results this week. Zack Wheeler, too, gets spared the down arrow despite his mediocre line from Friday night’s start—four runs on five hits and three walks in seven innings with seven strikeouts. Wheeler had been cruising until the sixth inning and unfortunately made one very costly error which resulted in a grand slam that ruined his night and pegged him with the loss.
Steven Matz was a Coors Field victim this week, allowing all five of his runs in the first two innings, three of which were the result of a three-run homer off the bat of Nolan Arenado in the first inning. To his credit, Matz settled down after that, going on to pitch 5 2⁄3 innings. But the deficit proved to be too much to overcome for the Mets and he was tagged with the loss.