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Mets Player Performance Meter: Pitchers, July 9-15

A quick review of how the Mets’ pitchers fared over the past week.

MLB: Washington Nationals at New York Mets Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

When looking at this meter compared to the position player meter, it is obvious that the Mets’ success this week has come on the back of good pitching. The starting rotation continues to be solid and outside of a spot start from Drew Gagnon, Mets starters have kept the Mets in games this week. There were a couple of poor individual performances out of the bullpen, but as a unit, the bullpen did very well this week in a season where it has often been a weak point of the team.

Jacob deGrom has a fireball again. Ho-hum. He threw eight scoreless innings again. Ho-hum. He walked away with a no-decision and the Mets walked off the game. Ho-hum. He gave up just five hits and one walk over those eight innings, striking out seven. This week he will pitch in his second All-Star game.

Surprisingly though, deGrom does not lead the pitching staff in fWAR this week. That distinction belongs to Corey Oswalt. Of course, he had two starts to deGrom’s one start, but the 0.4 fWAR Oswalt put up this week is still a testament to the strides he’s made. In his start on Monday in the nightcap of the double-header, Oswalt gave up just one hit over six innings. Unfortunately, that hit was a bases clearing double to the pitcher Aaron Nola, who is a pretty tough pitcher to face off against and Oswalt took the loss for that effort. Then in yesterday’s start, Oswalt was great through five, allowing just two hits and one run. But he was pulled for a pinch hitter after just 59 pitches and the bullpen imploded in the seventh on the way to a Mets loss. However, Oswalt is making his case to remain in the rotation even once Jason Vargas returns.

Anthony Swarzak, Tim Peterson, and Jerry Blevins combined to give up five runs in that seventh inning. Swarzak failed to retire a batter, walking two hitters, who would both come around to score. Swarzak did record the final out in the eighth inning in relief of Zack Wheeler on Saturday, but overall he has been bad since his return from the disabled list.

Peterson inherited Swarzak’s baserunners and gave up two singles to allow both of those runners to score before recording two outs. Peterson also surrendered a single to the only batter he faced on Thursday. He did, however, earn the win for a scoreless tenth inning ahead of Wilmer Flores’ walk-off home run in the first game of Monday’s double-header.

Blevins was tasked with getting the final out in the seventh inning yesterday, but he hit two consecutive batters with pitches and then gave up a single. He was only able to escape the inning due to Trea Turner being caught stealing. Blevins also inherited Peterson’s baserunner on Thursday and gave up a two-run homer to Bryce Harper. He did, however, pitch 1 23 scoreless innings of relief to finish the game on Monday night.

Outside of Swarzak, Peterson, and Blevins, the bullpen had an excellent week. Chiefly, Jeurys Familia had arguably his best week of the season. He threw four innings this week, all of them perfect innings. He notched his 17th save of the season in Saturday’s win. He also pitched a scoreless ninth in relief of deGrom on Wednesday to keep the game scoreless ahead of Nimmo’s walk-off home run in the tenth.

Robert Gsellman, who had himself a bounce back week after hitting a rough patch, earned the win on Wednesday by pitching a scoreless tenth, working around a hit and a walk. He also played a role in the walk-off win on Monday, getting the last two outs of the eighth inning in relief of Seth Lugo, stranding his two inherited baserunners. Gsellman also pitched the last two innings of Friday’s win, earning his fourth save of the season. He gave up a run in the eighth, but pitched a quick ninth to seal the victory.

Noah Syndergaard did enough on a limited pitch count to earn the win in Friday’s start, throwing five strong innings in his return from the disabled list. He also helped himself with an RBI single. Hopefully he can build on that start and have a strong second half.

Seth Lugo did some heavy lifting out of the bullpen this week and was brilliant once again, throwing 5 23 scoreless innings on the week. He pitched 2 23 scoreless innings in relief of Zack Wheeler in Monday afternoon’s win, despite his command being a little off, walking four batters. He gave the Mets another two scoreless innings in relief of Syndergaard on Friday and pitched a scoreless sixth inning yesterday to keep the game tied at one before the seventh inning blew up on the Mets.

Wheeler, meanwhile, was back to his old tricks again on Monday, going just 4 23 innings in the first game of a double header when the Mets desperately needed him to be efficient. He gave up seven hits and three runs and threw 102 pitches over that span. He did, however, also strike out an impressive eight batters in the start. But Wheeler followed up Monday’s start with a fantastic outing on Saturday—much better than his final pitching line indicates. This time, he was able to go deep in the game and give the Mets 7 23 innings. He weaved out of a bases loaded jam in the sixth, allowing just one run, but a Jose Reyes defensive miscue extended the seventh inning for the Nationals and Wheeler gave up a two-run homer when the inning should have been over.

Due to the Mets’ tightly packed schedule this week with the double-header on Monday, Drew Gagnon was tasked with an emergency spot start on Tuesday. Things did not go well for the young righty, as he gave up six runs on seven hits—including two home runs—in 4 23 innings.

Tyler Bashlor and P.J. Conlon were asked to do mop-up duty in relief of Gagnon on Tuesday and did well. Bashlor gave up one run gave up one run in his 2 13 innings of relief. He also pitched a scoreless ninth in yesterday’s game after the Nationals had taken a five-run lead.

Conlon followed Bashlor with two scoreless innings on Tuesday, working around three hits and striking out three batters. Conlon was optioned back down to Triple-A Las Vegas when Syndergaard was activated from the disabled list on Friday.

Paul Sewald contributed a scoreless inning to Monday night’s loss in relief of Oswalt, representing his only work for the week. He struck out two batters in the frame.

Jacob Rhame was also unscored upon this week over 2 13 innings of work. Rhame recorded the first out of the eighth inning of Monday night’s game before being removed for Blevins, owing to the fact that Odubel Herrera was on deck to pinch hit. But Herrera was never officially announced into the game, so Gabe Kapler called him back, opting for a right-handed option instead. Rhame pitched a scoreless eighth to keep the Mets within striking distance in Thursday’s loss. He also pitched a scoreless eighth yesterday in mop-up duty. Unfortunately since all of his work came in losses this week, it went largely unnoticed, but this can be considered a step forward for Rhame, who has had a rocky up-and-down season.

Steven Matz put forth a solid start on Thursday, but facing off against Max Scherzer is certainly a tough matchup for anyone and he took the loss in the effort. Matz gave up three runs in 6 13 innings and was unfortunately victimized by two home runs to Anthony Rendon. He found himself in a jam during a large portion of the outing, giving up eight hits and two walks, but was able to work out of it to keep the game close.