The Mets lost a game 25-4 this week, so you know there’s bound to be some poop emojis in this week’s pitching meters. The good news, though—if you can call it that—is that outside of a few very poor pitching performances in that game (which include Jose Reyes, not evaluated here), the pitching staff did quite well this week. Even though the Mets won just one game this week, all of the other games outside of Tuesday’s blowout loss were close.
Let’s start with the 25-4 game and peel that band-aid off quickly. Perhaps my favorite weird stat of all from that game is the fact that Steven Matz had a 94.50 ERA, but a 1.66 FIP, due to a ball ricocheting off Wilmer Flores’ glove that was not called an error. Obviously it was Matz’s worst start of the season, as he was unable to get out of the first inning, with the score 7-0 before the Mets even came to bat. But later it was revealed that Matz has been dealing with dead arm for his past few starts and an MRI revealed a flexor tendon strain that landed him on the disabled list.
Obviously, things got even worse from there due to a parade of bad pitching performances. Jacob Rhame gave up six additional runs in his two innings of work. He was optioned to Triple-A shortly thereafter. However, he is now back with the team, taking Anthony Swarzak’s spot after he went on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation.
It’s unfortunate for Swarzak, who seemed to be finally on his way to figuring things out and had a nice run of success prior to going down with the injury. He pitched a scoreless ninth inning on Friday night in relief of Jacob deGrom, keeping the Mets within a run, before hitting the DL.
Tim Peterson also lost his roster spot to Tuesday’s debacle. He gave up three runs on two hits—including a home run—and walked a batter over 1 1⁄3 innings of work. He was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas when Syndergaard was activated from the disabled list.
Tyler Bashlor was the other pitcher that got shellacked on Tuesday, giving up three runs on two hits and two walks in just 2⁄3 of an inning. To cap off his rough week, he also gave up the game-winning home run to Nick Markakis in the tenth inning of yesterday’s game. Bashlor holds an ugly 21.60 ERA for the week.
The only two pitchers to escape unscathed on Tuesday were Jerry Blevins and Drew Smith, who pitched back-to-back scoreless innings ahead of Jose Reyes after most of the damage had been done. That represented Smith’s only work for the week, but Blevins had two additional appearances, doing well in both of them. Blevins recorded the final two outs of the seventh inning and the first out of the eighth inning in Tuesday’s loss without allowing a baserunner. He also got a big out in yesterday’s game in the seventh inning after the Braves tied the game. He was brought in with the go-ahead run on second and two outs and got Ozzie Albies to ground out and end the inning.
Corey Oswalt was the starter in yesterday’s game, filling in for the injured Matz and performed well yet again. He was pitching an excellent game until he gave up the game-tying home run to Inciarte in the seventh. But all told, it was still a solid outing for Oswalt, who threw 6+ innings, allowing three runs on eight hits, striking out four and walking none. With Steven Matz slated to miss just one start, Oswalt’s future in the rotation remains uncertain, but the Mets should give him more innings down the stretch to determine if he is really a piece for next season.
Paul Sewald came in the game yesterday after Oswalt was unable to record an out in the seventh inning and got two key outs before Blevins was able to finish the inning with the game still tied. Sewald also didn’t allow any baserunners over 1 1⁄3 innings of work in Thursday’s loss.
After finishing the eighth inning in relief of Blevins yesterday, Seth Lugo gave up a go-ahead run in the ninth on a single by Ronald Acuna Jr. Lugo was bailed out when the Mets tied the game in the bottom of the inning. Lugo allowed two runs in Wednesday’s loss to the Nationals, but both were unearned due to fielding errors by Jose Reyes and Wilmer Flores.
Noah Syndergaard started Wednesday’s game, his first start since being sidelined with hand, foot, and mouth disease. He pitched well, allowing three runs on six hits in seven innings of work. He struck out four and walked one. He took the loss for that effort, as he got the deGrom treatment, getting little run support from the offense.
Speaking of deGrom, it was the same old story for him this week. He threw eight innings, gave up two runs, and got the loss. He struck out nine batters and walked just one in the outing. He even drove in the only Mets run of the night himself with one of the Mets’ two hits on the night.
Jason Vargas also took the loss this week for his mediocre effort against the Braves on Thursday, his seventh loss of the season. Vargas gave up four runs on six hits in five innings of work. He walked three and—surprisingly—struck out seven. To be fair, he didn’t get any run support either. The Mets’ bullpen was perfect behind Vargas, but they still lost 4-2.
The only pitcher that seems to have avoided taking losses lately is Zack Wheeler, who has sent a loud and clear message in the aftermath of the Mets choosing not to deal him at the deadline. He was spectacular on Saturday in the team’s only win of the week, tossing seven scoreless innings, giving up just three hits and striking out nine while walking only one batter.
The bullpen did its job behind Wheeler to get him the win. Bobby Wahl, one of the players that came to the Mets in return for Jeurys Familia, was called up this week from Triple-A and had a strong debut week out of the bullpen. On Saturday, he was immediately put in an important situation, tasked with protected Wheeler’s lead in the eighth. He got the first out, but then gave up two consecutive singles to bring the tying run to the plate. However, he got a big strikeout in Ronald Acuna Jr. for the second out before Mickey Callaway turned to Robert Gsellman to finish things off, earning him a hold. Wahl also threw 2⁄3 of an inning in Thursday’s loss, not allowing a baserunner.
It was a good week for Gsellman, who earned the save on Saturday for getting the final out to escape Wahl’s jam and following that up with a perfect ninth inning. It was his sixth save of the season. Gsellman also pitched a scoreless ninth on Thursday. He boasts a 0.00 WHIP for the week.