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Mets Player Performance Meter: Pitchers, May 16-22

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

New York Mets v Colorado Rockies Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Although the Mets won five of their seven games this week and this week is yet another mostly positive pitching meter, this week the Mets’ pitching staff faced their biggest challenge of the season to-date: Max Scherzer will be out six to eight weeks with an oblique strain. For a team that is already missing Jacob deGrom until at least late-June and is still without Tylor Megill for the time being, this is a massive blow. Trevor Williams made two starts this week and will be a part of the rotation moving forward, as will David Peterson, who will appear on next week’s meter. At this stage, the Mets’ starting pitching depth is more or less exhausted and the bullpen is having to take on more innings as well without the likes of Scherzer and deGrom around to provide an almost guaranteed quality start.

Luckily this week, like most weeks, the Mets mostly concentrated all their bad pitching performances into one game, which was a lopsided loss. The Mets were otherwise competitive in every game this week. The month of June will be a challenge for this pitching staff, but hopefully the eight game lead the Mets have built in the NL East will help them weather the storm.

We’ll start with the aforementioned lopsided loss, which did not begin as a laugher. Due to the doubleheaders this week, Trevor Williams had to start on three days rest on Saturday night and unfortunately the Rockies tagged him for two early home runs. But Williams gave up just one other hit besides the two long balls and did settle down to ultimately give the Mets four innings of work, over which he was charged with four runs, striking out two batters and walking none. The Mets clawed back two runs in the second inning, so it was still a ballgame when Williams left the mound, but things got out of hand for the bullpen after that. Williams did fare much better in his first outing this week; he tossed four scoreless innings in the day game of Tuesday’s doubleheader, giving up just four hits and striking out six batters while walking none.

The Rockies put up a seven-run sixth inning against the Mets on Saturday night after Williams left the game and that began with Adonis Medina’s first poor outing as a Met. In fact, the outing was outright nightmarish for Medina. After wriggling out of a bases loaded jam to pitch a scoreless fifth, Medina went out for a second inning of work and that is when things went south. I won’t go through all the gory details, but he made an error on a pickoff attempt and gave up a two-run homer to the rookie Brian Serven. All told, he was only able to get one out in the inning and was charged with five runs over 1 13 innings. The only reason Medina does not get a poop emoji for this performance is because his other outing this week was great; in the nightcap of Tuesday’s doubleheader, he provided 2 23 scoreless innings of relief in a close game.

Chasen Shreve came in the game on Saturday to try to put the sixth inning to bed, but was unsuccessful. After striking out Charlie Blackmon and intentionally walking the dangerous C.J. Cron, Shreve gave up three consecutive hits that tacked on three additional runs, one of which was charged to Medina. Unfortunately for Shreve, that was his only outing for the week.

After that somewhat demoralizing loss, the Mets needed a bounce back performance in the worst way and they got that from Taijuan Walker. Walker accomplished the extremely impressive feat of shutting the Rockies out at home over seven innings of work. He scattered five hits, walked two, and struck out six, keeping his career-long success at Coors Field going. He earned his second win of the season for that effort. The only reason he does not get a fireball this week is because his other start this week was not quite as good. In the night game of Tuesday’s doubleheader, he yielded three runs on seven hits over five innings of work in what was ultimately a Mets loss. He walked two batters and struck out four in that outing. Still, he did enough to keep the Mets in the game in that start.

Adam Ottavino and Joely Rodríguez both worked in relief of Walker in both his starts this week and earn up arrows for their overall body of work, although both contributed to Tuesday night’s loss. After registering a key third out in relief of Medina with men on to finish the eighth inning and keep the game tied, Rodríguez came back out to start the ninth and walked two batters before bouncing back to strike out Nolan Arenado for the second out. Ottavino then came in to try to finish the game, but gave up a go-ahead single to Tyler O’Neill that would go on to be the game winner. But the week improved from there for both relievers. After Max Scherzer motioned to the dugout in the sixth inning of Wednesday’s game and took himself out of the game, it was Ottavino who got out of the inning without allowing his inherited runners to score. He went on to pitch a 1-2-3 seventh inning as well. Ottavino also finished the sixth inning for Carlos Carrasco in the day game of Saturday’s doubleheader and did allow an infield hit that scored a run (charged to Carrasco), but he did well to limit the damage. Then to cap off his week, he recorded the first two outs of the eighth inning of yesterday’s game. He did walk two batters, but Rodríguez came to the rescue and got Ryan McMahon to line out to end the inning. Rodríguez also contributed a scoreless inning in Saturday night’s loss with two strikeouts.

Edwin Díaz completed the shutout of the Rockies yesterday with a scoreless ninth inning to earn his tenth save of the season. He gave up one hit and struck out two batters in the outing. It was Díaz’s second save of the week, but he also blew a save. His week began with a scoreless ninth inning in Game 1 of Tuesday’s doubleheader. He gave up a hit and a walk, but he struck out three to complete the save. It was Thursday’s game in which Díaz got tagged with his second blown save of the season. He gave up a leadoff single to Harrison Bader, bounced back to retire the next to batters, but then issued a walk to the light hitting Brendon Donavan to bring up Paul Goldschmidt, which was his true mistake. Goldschmidt predictably singled to tie the game. Díaz limited the damage to just one run though, even after walking another batter. And the Mets ultimately came back to win the game thanks to Pete Alonso’s walk-off homer.

The true pitching hero of Thursday’s walk-off victory was Colin Holderman, who did allow the free runner to score on a double play, but kept the Cardinals to just one run in the top of the tenth to set things up for the walk-off. Holderman earned the win for that effort. Holderman also pitched a scoreless ninth inning in Wednesday’s lopsided victory.

It was Chris Bassitt who started Thursday’s game and he wasn’t exactly sharp, but he did enough for the Mets to win. Bassitt gave up nine hits in 6 13 innings of work but limited the damage to just four runs. He gave up two home runs, but luckily both were solo shots. He struck out three and walked one in the outing. It may be unfair to say it, but Bassitt is now the staff ace and the Mets are going to need more from him than that moving forward.

Before the ball was passed to Díaz on Thursday, Drew Smith earned his tenth hold of the season and gave the Mets 1 23 innings of strong work in relief of Bassitt. He did allow an inherited runner to score on a sac fly in the seventh, on which Jeff McNeil made a fantastic play in foul territory, but he stopped the bleeding there and followed that up with a scoreless eighth. Smith also tossed a scoreless inning in relief of Carlos Carrasco in Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader. The only time Smith was scored upon this week was in Game 1 of Tuesday’s doubleheader. He gave up a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth inning, but the Mets held on to win the game regardless.

It took a group effort from the bullpen to pull out that victory in Game 1 on Tuesday since Trevor Williams is still not completely stretched out. Jake Reed earned his first win of the season with two scoreless innings of work in that game. He struck out two and walked two in that outing. Reed also pitched in relief of Williams in Saturday night’s lopsided loss, tossing a 1-2-3 eighth inning.

Seth Lugo was the final piece of the puzzle on Tuesday in what was a week of mixed results for him. He earned his seventh hold of the season for a 1-2-3 seventh inning in Game 1 on Tuesday, but did not pitch well the following day. He gave up a two-run homer to Nolan Arenado in the eighth inning on Wednesday that brought the Cardinals within two runs. Luckily for him, the Mets broke out in the bottom of the inning to open up a large lead. But Lugo finished off his week on a very strong note, pitching the final two innings in relief of Carrasco in Game 1 on Saturday to secure that victory and save the rest of the bullpen. He gave up one hit and struck out three in that outing.

Carlos Carrasco earns his fourth win of the season for his exceptional work in Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader. He was very economical in setting aside the Rockies, but due to the altitude and bad weather conditions affecting him, he was only able to go 5 13 innings. But it was still a strong outing; he managed to scatter seven hits and give up just one run. He struck out four batters and walked none. This is true for every starter on the staff, but the Mets will be more reliant on Carrasco than ever as they continue to solider through without deGrom or Scherzer in the rotation.

Before he took himself out of the game with the oblique injury, Max Scherzer put together a fine outing on Wednesday. He gave up two runs on seven hits in 5 23 innings, striking out four batters and walking none. That effort earned him his fifth win of the season. It goes without saying, but the Mets will miss Scherzer immensely—not just his pitching, but his presence in the dugout as well.