Last week, twenty different pitchers appeared in a game for the Mets. This week, it was only eleven different pitchers. And unsurprisingly, the results were much better. Other than Friday’s game, which the Mets bounced back to win, the pitching staff held the Rockies to one run or less over the weekend. And the blame for the sweep at the hands of the Yankees can mostly be placed at the feet of the offense, as holding the formidable Yankee lineup to just four runs is a completely fine performance. Other than a couple of isolated poor performances, this meter paints a much kinder picture than last week’s.
After a less than stellar performance last week, David Peterson bounced back in a big way on Saturday, tossing six shutout innings against the Rockies. He yielded just four hits and struck out seven batters while not walking any. The only negative thing you could say about Peterson’s performance is that he needed over 100 pitches to get through the sixth, as the Rockies worked a lot of deep counts against him. But nevertheless, he gave the Mets the performance they needed, earning his seventh win of the season as he continues to fill in for Carlos Carrasco, who is getting close to a minor league rehab assignment.
Taijuan Walker, who went down with an injury along with Carrasco last week, ended up missing just one start. Like Peterson, the only knock against Walker is that he didn’t go deep into the game; he lasted just five innings on Tuesday. But, the Mets were clearly being cautious with him. He looked sharp in the start against the Yankees, allowing two runs on four hits over his five innings of work. One of those runs came on a monster solo home run off the bat of Aaron Judge, which, you know, will happen. Walker struck out three batters and walked two in the outing and left the game with the Mets still in striking distance.
And the Mets did come back to tie the game. But unfortunately, Joely Rodríguez had a poor outing in relief of Walker on Tuesday. He entered the game in the seventh inning with the game tied at two runs apiece and only recorded one out—a sacrifice bunt. Otherwise, he allowed three singles, which plated the go-ahead run. Another run would eventually come around to score as well, meaning that Rodríguez was charged with two runs in 1⁄3 of an inning. The only thing that saved him from the poop emoji this week is that his other outing was a good one—a scoreless eighth inning in relief of Max Scherzer in yesterday’s game.
It was Adam Ottavino who came in to clean up Rodríguez’s mess in the seventh inning on Tuesday. He did stop the bleeding, but not before giving up a single to Aaron Judge that scored a run charged to Rodríguez. If not for that, Ottavino would have likely gotten a fireball for a strong week of work. He came back out to the mound on Tuesday to pitch a 1-2-3 eighth inning and was unscored upon in that frame or in any of his other outings this week. In fact, he earned saves in both of his other outings this week—one with a scoreless ninth inning in Thursday’s win in relief of Jacob deGrom and the other with a scoreless ninth inning in relief of Peterson on Saturday. They are Ottavino’s first two saves of the season. He remains the most reliable reliever in the Mets’ bullpen besides Edwin Díaz.
Seth Lugo is also firmly in the circle of trust at the moment with another fine week of work. Before things unraveled for Rodríguez on Tuesday, Lugo contributed a scoreless sixth inning with two strikeouts. Lugo bent, but did not break on Thursday when he allowed two hits, but struck out three batters to pitch a scoreless seventh inning in relief of Jacob deGrom to earn his 15th hold of the season. He then finished his week strong with a 1-2-3 seventh inning with two strikeouts in relief of Peterson on Saturday, which notched his 16th hold of the season.
It was a bounce back week for Trevor May, who may be finding his groove again. May also contributed a scoreless inning on Saturday to help complete the shutout, striking out two batters in the eighth inning. May also recorded a king-sized out in Monday’s game. With Scherzer having already allowed a run in the inning and runners on first and third with two out, May came in the game to strike out Anthony Rizzo to avoid further damage and give the Mets a chance to come back and win.
Unfortunately the Mets did not come back and win on Monday and Max Scherzer got hung with the first of two tough luck losses on the week. Given that he lost both games he pitched this week, you’d think he pitched poorly. But, he did not. His outing against the Yankees was the worse of the two, but it was still perfectly fine. He allowed four runs on seven hits in 6 2⁄3 innings of work, striking out three and walking one. But by far the greater injustice was Scherzer taking the loss yesterday for allowing just one run in seven innings of work against the Rockies. In that outing, he struck out a whopping eleven batters and walked just one, leapfrogging Justin Verlander on the all-time strikeouts list. However, the Mets’ offense was unable to break through against Germán Márquez and Scherzer took his fourth loss of the season in a 1-0 defeat. I would have awarded Scherzer a fireball for that performance, but it is tempered by his so-so start against the Yankees. Still, it was a strong (if tough luck) week on the whole for the Mets’ co-ace.
The Mets’ other ace does earn his deGoat fireball for his performance this week, though. Against the Rockies on Thursday, Jacob deGrom gave up a solo homer to Ryan McMahon and nothing else through six innings of work. He yielded just three hits in total, walking one batter and striking out nine. For that performance, he earned his third win of the season. His season ERA is now 2.15.
Although it was Ottavino who earned the save in relief of deGrom on Thursday, Edwin Díaz did appear in the game. Buck Showalter opted to use Díaz in the eighth inning against the Rockies’ best hitters and leave the bottom of the order to someone else. Although Díaz walked C.J. Cron and then allowed a single to José Iglesias with two out, he bounced back to strike out Randal Grichuk on three pitches, proving Buck’s decision to be a good one. Díaz also pitched the top of the ninth in a tie game on Friday night and worked around a hit to pitch a scoreless frame, which earned him his third win of the season when the Mets walked it off in the bottom of the ninth.
Chris Bassitt was not at his sharpest on Friday night, but he did enough. Bassitt did not have his strikeout stuff in this outing; he only struck out one batter all evening. But, he efficiently induced soft contact to make it pretty easily through the first five frames. It was the sixth inning that got away from him. A bloop hit, a walk, a double, and a single netted the Rockies three runs off Bassitt in that frame, but he bounced back to pitch a 1-2-3 seventh inning. He took the mound for the eighth inning, but was clearly given a leash of just one baserunner, as he allowed an infield hit with one out and was removed from the game. That baserunner would come around to score, settling Bassitt’s final line at four runs on eight hits over 7 1⁄3 innings of work.
It was Mychael Givens who allowed his inherited runner from Bassitt to score and then some. With a skinny one-run lead to protect, Givens allowed a single and hit a batter with a pitch to load the bases. He then bounced back to strike out Randal Grichuk, but then allowed a bases-clearing double to Elias Díaz to give the Rockies a 6-4 lead before getting Connor Joe to pop out to mercifully end the inning. Luckily the Mets came back to win the game in walk-off fashion, but this awful performance from Givens would normally earn him a poop emoji this week, except he did pitch a scoreless eighth inning in relief of Max Scherzer in Monday’s loss. Still, Givens continues to have a terrible time of things since becoming a Met; his Mets ERA is now 9.58, compared to his 2.66 ERA with the Cubs in the first half.
Trevor Williams did not appear in a game this week.