The Mets’ pitching meter continues to be more pleasing to look at than the hitting meter. Outside of another poor Carlos Carrasco start against the Astros, which he redeemed yesterday and a predictable result of a Trevor Williams vs. Martín Pérez pitching matchup, the Mets’ pitching staff fared fairly well this week. Taijuan Walker in particular was excellent, but like Peterson the week before, he was not given any run support and the game was lost in the late innings. This time it was Drew Smith rather than Adam Ottavino who surrendered the late-inning homer, but Wednesday’s loss was more on the offense not getting it done than it was on the bullpen. Max Scherzer is due to return to the rotation tomorrow, but it is unclear how long Chris Bassitt will remain on the COVID injured list, so it’s possible Williams may get another start.
As I alluded to above, there are a few logistical notes to take care of for this meter. Chris Bassitt did not make his scheduled start this week and was placed on the COVID injured list. It is unclear how long he will be sidelined. R.J. Alvarez was called up from Triple-A to take Bassitt’s roster spot and has not debuted with the Mets yet, but will appear in next week’s meter if he logs any innings. Due to the fact that the Mets had two off days this week, they were able to pitch David Peterson on regular rest on Friday in place of Bassitt. Yesterday, Peterson was placed on the paternity list and Colin Holderman was recalled from Triple-A to fill his roster spot. Holderman will also appear in next week’s meter if he makes any appearances in that time.
On Friday, David Peterson delivered yet another fantastic outing—his third straight strong start in a row leading up to the birth of his son. Peterson delivered a quality start—three runs on five hits over six innings of work. He also reached double-digit strikeouts again, fanning ten Rangers while not issuing any walks. With that effort, Peterson earned his fifth win of the season.
The bullpen did a great job holding a one-run lead in relief of Peterson on Friday night, starting with Seth Lugo, who was freshly activated from the paternity list himself for Friday’s game. Lugo pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning with two strikeouts to earn his twelfth hold of the season. That represented his only work for the week.
Adam Ottavino followed with a scoreless eighth inning to earn his tenth hold of the season and set things up for Edwin Díaz. After the hiccup last week where he gave up the walk-off home run, Ottavino has bounced back this week. He tossed a 1-2-3 eighth inning in yesterday’s victory to earn his eleventh hold of the season. His season ERA is a sparkling 2.67.
Edwin Díaz earned the save in both Mets victories this week, bringing his save total up to 18 for the season. On Friday he finished off the bullpen’s strong work with a 1-2-3 ninth inning with two strikeouts and yesterday he wriggled himself out of trouble by working around a hit and a single and also striking out two batters to pitch a scoreless ninth inning. Díaz also appeared in Wednesday’s game in a high-leverage, non-save situation; with one out in the eighth inning in a scoreless game, Díaz entered the game in relief of Taijuan Walker to face the heart of the Astros batting order. He hit a batter with a pitch and gave up a single, but struck out Yordan Alvarez and Alex Bregman back-to-back to keep the game scoreless. Díaz was named National League Reliever of the Month for June, posting a 0.93 ERA for the month and going 5-for-5 in save opportunities.
Unfortunately, the scoreless tie in Wednesday’s game was snapped in the top of the ninth inning when Jason Castro hit a two-run homer off Drew Smith. Smith got tagged with his second loss of the season for that mistake, which represents his only work for the week.
That spoiled a truly incredible start from Taijuan Walker in which he went toe-to-toe with future Hall of Famer Justin Verlander. Walker tossed 7 1⁄3 scoreless innings against an extremely potent Astros lineup, giving up just four hits. He struck out three and walked two in the outing. Even though the Mets could not pull off a victory in that game (that Verlander guy is pretty good too, I guess), Walker still earns a much-deserved fireball for his efforts. His season ERA is down to 2.72.
Ottavino and Díaz’s efforts in yesterday’s victory came in relief of Carlos Carrasco, who pitched a very good game yesterday after getting pummeled by the Astros (again) on Tuesday. It was beginning to look bleak for Carrasco, who did not miss any time due to the back tightness he experienced in his previous outing in Houston, but was still shelled for six runs in 4 1⁄3 innings. It turns out the Astros—in addition to just being a good baseball team—probably just have Carrasco’s number. He was much better yesterday, yielding just one run in 5 2⁄3 innings of work against the Rangers. He surrendered six hits, struck out eight batters, and walked only one. With that effort, he earned his ninth win of the season, which is the most on the team and second-most in the National League.
After Carrasco exited the game yesterday and before Ottavino set things up for Díaz, Joely Rodríguez delivered 1 1⁄3 scoreless innings of work with two strikeouts to earn his eighth hold of the season. Rodríguez was charged with a run on Saturday when he pitched a scoreless seventh inning, but then walked the lefty Josh H. Smith to lead off the eighth. Smith would come around to score an insurance run for the Rangers, which was charged to Rodríguez.
It was Tommy Hunter who gave up the RBI single to Corey Seager that plated Smith and Hunter would go on to give up another run of his own in his second inning of work in the the ninth inning to Leody Taveras. Although those tack-on runs didn’t end up making the difference in the game on Saturday, it ended a run of strong outings from Hunter, who will try to bounce back next week.
The Mets were behind early on Saturday due to a disastrous second inning by Trevor Williams. The Rangers put up a four spot against him via two home runs—a three-run shot by Kole Calhoun and a solo homer by catcher Jonah Heim. Calhoun homered again off Williams in the fourth inning and Heim followed with a single and Buck Showalter decided he had seen enough of Williams, who was pulled after just 3 2⁄3 innings. Over that span he was charged with five runs; he struck out three batters and walked one. Williams also pitched once in relief this week due to Carrasco’s early exit on Tuesday. He pitched 2 1⁄3 scoreless innings in that lopsided loss, striking out four batters and walking two. With Max Scherzer due to return on Tuesday, Williams will likely be booted from the rotation, but that will partially depend on how long Chris Bassitt remains on the COVID list.
Chasen Shreve entered the game in relief of Williams on Saturday to face the lefty Brad Miller and try to stop the bleeding. He was successful and struck out Miller, who was the only batter he faced on Saturday. Shreve’s other outing this week was not nearly as successful. With Tuesday’s game already pretty out of hand due to Carrasco’s poor start, Shreve once again poured gasoline on the fire. With one out and a man on, Shreve came in the game and ultimately gave up two more long balls and was charged with three runs. He recorded just one out before Williams had to come in the game for mop-up duty and bail him out. Although the Mets have a few optionable relievers on their roster, Shreve has pitched so poorly lately that it’s possible his roster spot could be in jeopardy.
One of those optionable relievers is Adonis Medina, who once again did yeoman’s work in long relief in two Mets losses this week. He pitched two scoreless innings in each of the contests on Tuesday and Saturday. He struck out two batters in the process, both in Tuesday’s outing. He gave up three hits across the two outings and did not walk any batters. His ability to pitch multiple innings has been huge for the Mets during the stints he’s been with the big league club.