Because the Mets only played in four games this week and one of them was rain-shortened, many of the Mets’ pitchers did not appear in a game this week. Max Scherzer is currently suspended and will pitch on Wednesday. Denyi Reyes’ performance in today’s game will be reflected in next week’s meter. Neither Tylor Megill nor Drew Smith pitched this week (Megill is the starter in Game 2 of tonight’s doubleheader).
The starting rotation had a bad week, with longevity continuing to be a problem, as Mets pitchers fail to make it past the fifth inning. This is continuing to tax the bullpen, which was okay, but not great this week. David Robertson continues to be the lone consistent bright spot on the pitching staff. It’s all a bit of a mess, but reinforcements should be forthcoming in short order with the returns of Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and Carlos Carrasco.
We’ll start with David Peterson, who pitched in the rain in Friday’s miserable rain-shortened defeat. Peterson put up four zeros in the first four innings. Just when you thought he had maybe started to right the ship, things fell apart for him in the fifth, culminating in a three-run homer surrendered to Matt Olsen that all but put the nail in the coffin. All told, Peterson was charged with four runs on five hits in five innings of work. He struck out six batters and walked one. With the rain falling and knowing that the weekend’s forecast would hold yet more poor weather, the Mets and Braves played through the rain until it was an official game and then Peterson was tagged with the loss—his fourth of the season. Peterson was subsequently optioned to Triple-A, where he will hopefully make the needed adjustments to see the success that he saw last season in the majors.
The rest of the cobbled together rotation didn’t fare much better this week. José Butto started Tuesday’s series opener against the Nationals and took the loss, giving up two runs on four hits in 4 2⁄3 innings of work. The real problem for Butto in the outing was the walks; he issued six of them, which is not a recipe for going deep into a ballgame. The Mets were shut out, so Butto’s performance didn’t matter much, but he took the loss. Butto was optioned to Triple-A, but is active as the extra man for today’s doubleheader.
Jimmy Yacabonis followed Butto in long relief and poured gasoline on the fire by giving up an additional three runs on six hits in his two total innings of work. He struck out three batters and walked none in the outing. That being his only work for the week, he gets tagged with the poop emoji.
Kodai Senga gave the best performance of any Mets starter this week, but it was still nothing to write home about. He did strike out seven batters in five innings of work, but he also walked four and was once again gassed by the middle innings. He gave up two runs on five hits over that span. Because the Mets’ offense went silent for the second straight night, Senga took the loss for this effort. Hopefully the extra rest the Mets are giving Senga this turn through the rotation will help him adjust to a Major League workload.
Jeff Brigham came in to relieve Senga on Wednesday and gave up an insurance run in the form of a Jeimer Candelario solo homer, but nothing else over 1 2⁄3 innings of work. He walked one and struck out two in the outing, which was his only outing of the week.
Brooks Raley assisted Brigham by recording the final out of the seventh inning on Wednesday without incident, but his next outing the following day was his worst as a Met. After a rough start to the eighth inning by Tommy Hunter and a botched double play by Francisco Lindor, Raley came in to end the threat, but did just the opposite, giving up a go-ahead grand slam to CJ Abrams. Raley was charged with two runs in the outing. It was Raley’s league-leading fourteenth appearance this season and he seems to be the primary victim of the Mets overtaxed bullpen, subsequently going on the injured list with elbow inflammation.
Tommy Hunter’s poor performance set things up for the nightmarish eighth inning on Thursday, which luckily the Mets overcame by coming back to win the game. Hunter came in the game in the sixth with two runners on and one out and allowed two runs to bring the Nationals within a run. He bounced back to pitch a 1-2-3 seventh, but was sent back out for the eighth and failed to record an out, hitting the first two batters he faced with pitches and then being the victim of the aforementioned botched double play. Raley failed to clean up the mess and Hunter ultimately gave up three runs—only two of them earned due to the error. Because the Mets came back to win the game, Hunter ironically earned a hold for that effort. Hunter’s outing on Tuesday went much more smoothly; he followed Yacabonis and worked around a hit to pitch 1 1⁄3 scoreless innings with one strikeout.
After not being used in last Sunday’s game, Adam Ottavino pitched the ninth inning on Tuesday with the Mets down five runs and pitched again the following day, in part because the Mets knew he would be unavailable for a couple days as he spent part of the week on the paternity list. He pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning on Tuesday, but his outing on Wednesday did not go as smoothly. He gave up an insurance run to the Nationals in the eighth on a walk, his own throwing error on a pickoff attempt, a stolen base, and a single. He struck out two batters as well in the outing. Ottavino was activated from the paternity list on Saturday.
David Robertson also pitched on two straight days this week on Wednesday and Thursday. He is the only pitcher on the Mets staff to put up a clean sheet this week. He worked around a walk to pitch a 1-2-3 ninth on Wednesday, striking out two batters. And he earned his fifth save of the season on Thursday in the Mets’ only victory of the week, pitching a 1-2-3 ninth inning with two strikeouts after the Mets came back to take the lead in the eighth.
Joey Lucchesi made his second start of the season in Thursday’s game and was okay, but not nearly as sharp as he was in his first outing. He gave up just one run over his first five innings of work, but as seems to be the pattern, the sixth inning proved to be his undoing. He allowed a single, recorded the first out, but then allowed another single to bring the tying run to the plate. He was removed from the game in favor of Hunter, who allowed both of the inherited runners to score. All told, Lucchesi was charged with three runs on five hits in 5 1⁄3 innings of work. He struck out three batters and walked two. It wasn’t the masterpiece that was his first start, but it was enough to keep the Mets in a game they ultimately went on to win.