As usual, the Mets’ pitching staff seemed to concentrate their badness into a couple of ugly games, which ended in two Mets losses—one on Tuesday and one on Friday. Put simply, the main guys in the rotation pitched well and David Peterson pitched a poor game filling in for the injured Max Scherzer. Joely Rodríguez had himself a horrible outing on Friday as well, but other than that the bullpen mostly pitched well this week.
We’ll get the ugly out of the way and start with Friday’s game, which featured two poor pitching performances wrapped into one. David Peterson was once again unable to get out of the fourth inning, despite striking out seven batters. Over 3 2⁄3 innings, he gave up three runs on five hits, including a two-run homer to the previously slumping Garrett Cooper. For that performance, Peterson took his fourth loss of the season. He is on turn to pitch in tonight’s game, but the Mets might opt to give that start to Trevor Williams instead.
Trevor Williams threw just one inning in relief this week and it came in Saturday’s laugher. Williams pitched the eighth inning and gave up a run on two hits while striking out two batters. The run hardly mattered, as the Mets were many runs to the good at that point in the game.
The Mets nearly had a chance to come back in Friday’s game, but a poor performance from Joely Rodríguez put the game out of reach. In a game in which the Mets were down by just one run, Rodríguez gave up a two-run homer in the eighth to give the Marlins some insurance and then failed to even make it through the inning, walking two straight batters after the home run. That represents his only work for the week, for which he earns a poop emoji.
Rodríguez’s outing was so poor that it forced Edwin Díaz to come into the game just to get some work. Díaz recorded the final two outs of the eighth inning on Friday without incident—one of them via the strikeout. Since the Mets did not play in any close contests this week, that was Díaz’s only appearance for the week.
Immediately after Peterson’s early exit on Friday, Tommy Hunter recorded the final out of the fourth inning without allowing his inherited runners to score, but he did give up a run in the following inning on a pair of doubles. Hunter also allowed a meaningless run in Tuesday’s loss, allowing a homer to O’Neil Cruz before recording the final out in the eighth inning taking over for Bryce Montes de Oca, who had a poor outing.
It was a bad week for Bryce Montes de Oca after a positive debut for the Mets last week. Similar to Rodríguez in Friday’s loss, Montes de Oca allowed a winnable game to get away from the Mets. The Mets had pulled within two in the seventh inning and Montes de Oca worked around a hit to pitch a scoreless bottom of the seventh. But then he came out for a second inning of work and that’s when things went downhill. A walk, a single, a wild pitch, and another single plated two insurance runs for the Pirates. One of the runs from Cruz’s subsequent two-run homer was charged to Montes de Oca as well, making for an ugly final line. Montes de Oca also pitched in Saturday’s laugher and allowed a run in that outing as well, but at least it was an inconsequential run and he was able to get through the inning. He struck out three batters in the outing.
Perhaps lost among the poor pitching performances on Tuesday and Friday were two clean outings from Mychal Givens, who is quietly putting together a strong September after a rough start in a Mets uniform. On Tuesday, Givens worked around two hits to pitch a scoreless sixth inning, striking out three batters in the process. And even more impressive, Givens tossed two scoreless innings on Friday. In that outing, he allowed a hit, walked a batter, and struck out a batter.
Givens’ scoreless sixth inning on Tuesday came in relief of Taijuan Walker, who was shaky in that start, but bounced back to pitch a gem on Sunday. On Tuesday, Walker took his fourth loss of the season, allowing four runs on six hits to a mediocre Pirates offense. He struck out three and walked two in the outing. On Sunday though, Walker went seven strong innings—the only damage off him a solo homer by Brian Anderson in the fourth inning. Walker struck out a whopping ten Marlins and walked none en route to his eleventh win of the season.
Brian Anderson struck again in the eighth inning on Sunday, hitting a two-run homer off Seth Lugo. But given the deficit the Marlins were facing, these were not runs that mattered a whole lot. It was a rare misstep for Lugo, who had been so solid of late. But, Lugo’s other outing this week was a good one—two scoreless innings in relief of Chris Bassitt in Game 1 of Wednesday’s doubleheader. He allowed two hits, struck out a batter, and walked none in that appearance.
Chris Bassitt was fantastic on Wednesday afternoon, giving the Mets exactly the performance they needed after three straight losses and righting the ship. Bassitt gave up just one run on five hits in seven innings of work, striking out ten batters and walking one. That performance earned him his thirteenth win of the season and a fireball for the week.
Jacob deGrom followed up Bassitt’s fireball-worthy performance with one of his own in the nightcap on Wednesday. deGrom pitched seven shutout innings, working his way up to 91 pitches. He walked one batter and struck out eight. And for once, the Mets gave him a lot of run support to work with and so he cruised his way to his fifth win of the season, lowering his season ERA to 1.66.
Adam Ottavino kept the shutout going in the eighth inning, tossing a 1-2-3 frame with a strikeout. Ottavino also worked the ninth inning in Sunday’s lopsided victory and pitched a 1-2-3 inning with a strikeout in that outing as well. Like Díaz, the Mets’ setup man did not find himself in many high leverage situations this week, but did his job anyway. His season ERA is now 2.06.
With the Mets up by double digits in Game 2 on Wednesday, it was the perfect time to turn to newest Mets bullpen addition Alex Claudio, who tossed a scoreless ninth inning to complete the shutout for the Mets. He allowed a hit and struck out one batter in his Mets debut. Claudio also worked around a walk to pitch a scoreless ninth inning in Saturday’s lopsided victory.
Despite Montes de Oca and Williams each allowing a run in relief, Carlos Carrasco still cruised his way to his 14th win of the season on Saturday, bouncing back nicely from his rough return from the injured list last week. Carrasco pitched six strong innings, allowing one run on four hits and striking out six batters while walking none. Carrasco needed just 74 pitches to notch the quality start.