On a macro level, this pitching meter probably looks better than one would expect, but Mets’ pitching staff pitched to a very solid 3.90 ERA overall and the 1.2 fWAR they accrued as a unit is second in the National League for the week. The rotation is healthy again, and the bullpen continues to scrape by, but fared less well this week than they had the preceding week. However, the only truly poor start this week was Noah Syndergaard’s on Friday night and so the Mets were in every single game this week into the late innings and just as was the case with the offense, they got some key performances from some unexpected places.
We’ll get Noah Syndergaard out of the way first, since he earned the only poop emoji on the staff this week. After two straight quality starts, Syndergaard faltered again this week. While he did manage to strike out nine batters in 5 1⁄3 innings of work, he gave up six runs on ten hits to the worst hitting team in the American League. The Mets hung in there the whole game and made it exciting, but the truth of the matter is that Syndergaard should have been better.
After Syndergaard put two on with one out in the sixth inning on Friday, Tyler Bashlor came on to pitch in relief and was tasked with holding the Mets’ skinny one run lead. He did allow a sacrifice fly, the run for which was charged to Syndergaard, but otherwise managed to wiggle out of trouble. It was Bashlor’s first blown save of the year, but obviously a tough luck one. Besides Friday’s game, Bashlor had one good outing and one bad one this week. After the Mets opened up a 6-1 lead in Wednesday’s game in the eighth inning, Mickey Callaway was able to sit Edwin Diaz down and called on Bashlor instead to finish it off. He did so, working around a hit to pitch a scoreless ninth. However, Bashlor coughed up another lead in Saturday’s game, and this time it was all on him. He walked a batter and then gave up a two-run homer to Brandon Dixon in the sixth inning, which allowed the Tigers to take a 3-2 lead. Bashlor also recorded the final out of the eighth inning in Tuesday’s game.
Even though Syndergaard pitched poorly on Friday, it was Drew Gagnon who took the loss. Gagnon had been coming off a great run of success out of the bullpen, but that ended Friday when he gave up three runs in the seventh inning. However, that was one of three games in which Gagnon appeared this week and he earned the win in the other two. He earned the win on Wednesday for a scoreless eighth inning, after which the Mets would take the lead. He also notched a win on Monday, tossing two scoreless innings in relief of Wilmer Font.
Font went only four innings, but kept the Mets in the game, giving up two runs on three hits. He struck out three batters and walked four. Luckily the Mets were able to get to Patrick Corbin early and the bullpen performed admirably in relief that day. With the return of both Steven Matz and Jason Vargas, Font has now been pushed to the bullpen. He worked two scoreless innings of relief in Saturday’s extra inning victory.
When Seth Lugo hit the injured list with shoulder tendinitis, the Mets selected the contract of Hector Santiago, who did well in his first two appearances as a Met. He tossed a scoreless ninth inning on Friday with the Mets down two, keeping the deficit narrow and giving the Mets a chance to come back. He got the win the very next day, twirling two scoreless innings in extras and the Mets walked it off in the bottom of the thirteenth.
Jason Vargas was the starter in that extra inning victory and did pretty much what one would expect of him in his first start back from the injured list. He went five innings, scattering five hits and giving up just one run. He struck out three batters and walked three batters.
It’s been a week of mixed results for Robert Gsellman, who has been relied upon heavily in Lugo’s absence. He appeared in four games this week and mostly performed well, but had one horrific outing. That came on Thursday, in which he allowed three runs in the eighth inning, coughing up the lead. However, he also got the win that day, since the Mets came back to score three runs in the bottom of the eighth against the Nationals bullpen. Gsellman also earned two holds this week. The first of those came on Monday, when he logged the final two outs of the eighth inning. He pitched an uneventful scoreless seventh inning in relief of Jacob deGrom on Wednesday. Then, he also earned a hold on Saturday, despite being charged with the tying run. He pitched a scoreless seventh, but then was removed from the game with two outs in the eighth with a runner on second, who would eventually come around to score.
Speaking of relied upon heavily, with all of the close games the Mets played this week, Edwin Diaz made five appearances and notched three saves, but also blew his first save of the season, which came in that eighth inning on Saturday. Diaz was tasked with getting a four-out save, but gave up a single, allowing the tying run—charged to Gsellman—to come around to score. He did strike out the next batter to keep it tied and the Mets would go on to win, but it would take thirteen innings for the to do so. However, Diaz still did save three games this week. He notched his eleventh save on Monday, his twelfth save on Thursday, and his thirteenth save yesterday. Diaz also pitched once this week in a non-save situation. He came in and pitched a scoreless ninth inning in a tie game on Tuesday, setting it up for the Mets to walk it off in the bottom of the ninth.
Zack Wheeler was the starter on Tuesday and also yesterday. He delivered a quality start in both outings. He went seven innings on Tuesday, giving up three runs on four hits, striking out six and walking two. He was arguably even better yesterday. He pitched into the eighth, but came out of the game after one out in the inning. His final line was three runs on five hits in 7 1⁄3 with eight strikeouts and just one walk. Wheeler told Tim Britton of The Athletic that he is starting to find his slider again, which may explain his recent run of success, at least in part. A stretch of starts resembling his second half from last year would be huge for the Mets.
Perhaps the highlight of yesterday’s game was Jeurys Familia’s performance. He came in the game with one out in the eighth with two runners on base. He struck out two batters in a row and looked perhaps the filthiest he’s looked all season long. This was a positive note to end an up-and-down week for Familia, who is being eased back into his setup role, but will be relied upon by the Mets in Lugo’s absence. In contrast to yesterday’s performance in relief of Wheeler, Familia blew the lead in relief of Wheeler on Tuesday. He gave up two hits in a row to lead off the inning, which tied the game. He retired just one batter on a sac bunt and then was removed from the game. One of the runners he left on base would come around to score, so that run was also charged to him, making three runs in all in just 1⁄3 of an inning. On Monday, Familia logged a scoreless seventh, but put a runner on base in the eighth that would eventually come around to score, charging him with the run. Nonetheless, he earned the hold anyway that day. Familia did, however, toss a 1-2-3 inning on Thursday and a scoreless inning on Friday.
Both times Familia left the game with runners on base, it was Daniel Zamora who allowed his inherited runners to score. On Monday, Zamora allowed a single—the run charged to Familia—and then was taken out of the game, failing to retire a batter. On Tuesday, Zamora allowed a double to Juan Soto before striking out Gerardo Parra for the second out. That run was also charged to Familia. But Zamora, did pitch a scoreless inning in Saturday’s extra-inning game, salvaging his week.
After earning the poop emoji last week, Jacob deGrom bounced back to deliver a quality start on Wednesday. The Mets rallied late, so he was unable to get the win for his efforts, but he still allowed just two hits and one run over six innings of work, striking out eight batters and walking three.
Steven Matz worked in and out of trouble on Thursday, allowing just one run despite giving up ten hits over his six innings of work. That was thanks in part to seven strikeouts against just two walks. It was a good follow-up to his short outing in his first start back from the injured list in which he only was able to go 3 2⁄3 thanks to a pitch limit. Due to the bullpen faltering, Matz was unable to get the win, but the Mets rallied back to win the game.