Given how many close games the Mets lost this week, this meter actually doesn’t look too bad. The grades themselves sort of mask the bad performances though, as they were spread out among various members of the bullpen with several relievers having one bad appearance balanced by one or more good appearances. Overall, the starting rotation performed well with Justin Verlander starting to look like himself again and David Peterson making a positive impact in his return to the rotation.
We’ll start with Justin Verlander, who earns the sole fireball this week for twirling twelve scoreless innings in total this week across two starts. On Monday, Verlander threw five scoreless innings, but it wasn’t enough, as the Mets ultimately lost 2-1. But that’s not on Verlander, who scattered five hits and struck out five in the outing. That outing alone wouldn’t be enough for the fireball, but Verlander was even better on Saturday, the only run off him being unearned thanks to a botched double play attempt. Verlander struck out six and walked only one on Saturday, earning his third win of the season.
David Peterson was the other starting pitcher to make two starts this week and was solid in his return to the rotation. He was particularly good on Tuesday—the only game the Mets won in the Brewers series. In that victory, Peterson tossed six scoreless innings, despite traffic on the base paths. He induced two key double plays to help keep the Brewers off the board and the Brewers went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position in total that day. Peterson racked up five strikeouts and earned his second win of the year. The results weren’t quite as good yesterday, mostly because Peterson only managed to last four innings. But he limited the damage, allowing just one run over that span. He struck out three batters and walked three batters in yesterday’s victory.
Grant Hartwig pitched the bulk of long relief for Peterson yesterday, ending his week on a high note and making up for his misstep earlier in the week. Hartwig earned the win in yesterday’s game for his two scoreless innings of work, complete with three strikeouts. Hartwig unfortunately took the loss in Wednesday’s game for allowing the go-ahead run in the sixth inning, but did pitch a scoreless ninth inning on Friday after the Mets fell behind by a run in that game.
Kodai Senga started Wednesday’s game and was solid, but threw too many pitches as he often does. He was only able to last five innings, but gave up only two runs on five hits over that span. He struck out a whopping eight batters and walked two. Senga did enough to keep the Mets in the game, but the bullpen and the offense let him down this week.
Adam Ottavino allowed two insurance runs in the eighth inning on Wednesday, but did not break in any of his other outings despite coming close a couple of times. On Monday with the Mets down a run, Ottavino pitched a scoreless seventh inning despite walking two batters. His most stress-free outing came on Saturday, in which he worked around a walk to pitch a scoreless ninth inning, earning his sixth save of the season. Ottavino came in the game in the eighth inning yesterday with a runner on base and two outs. He proceeded to throw a wild pitch, walk Wilmer Flores, and then load the bases on a hit by pitch before striking out J.D. Davis to end the inning and preserve the two-run lead.
David Robertson then sealed the victory yesterday with a 1-2-3 ninth inning complete with two strikeouts, ending his week on a high note. Robertson appeared in four games in total this week and had three good appearances and one very costly one. He pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning with the Mets down a run on Monday and did the same on Thursday. The trouble came in Friday’s game. The disaster began when Pete Alonso committed a throwing error with one out in the eighth inning with Robertson on the mound. Things snowballed from there. Robertson walked J.D. Davis and then gave up a go-ahead three-run homer to Patrick Bailey that ended up being the difference in the game.
Friday’s game began with a decent start by Carlos Carrasco, who yielded two runs on five hits through five innings of work. He struck out six batters and walked three in the outing. While Carrasco has not been exactly his old self, he’s been much better since returning from the injured list; he spends his second straight week out of the red.
Jeff Brigham earned a hold for 1 1⁄3 scoreless innings in relief of Carrasco on Friday, but unfortunately his other two outings this week were poor. The Mets shut out the Brewers for the first seven innings on Tuesday before Brigham came in the game for the eighth and allowed two runs. Luckily that didn’t really matter and the Mets still won the game easily, but Brigham’s bad outing yesterday was much more costly. Brigham began the seventh inning and was only able to record one out. He started off the frame with a walk and then allowed a two-run homer to Blake Sabol to put the Giants within striking distance. He then struck out Wilmer Flores but then allowed a single and that run would eventually come around to score as well.
In both instances, Brigham was followed by Dominic Leone. Leone allowed a double to J.D. Davis in the seventh inning yesterday, which brought the Giants within a run; that run was charged to Brigham. But Leone was able to stop the bleeding there and preserve the lead. Leone came in the game after Brigham on Tuesday as well and recorded the final out of the eighth inning and pitched a scoreless ninth inning as well. He struck out three batters in the outing. Mopping up messes was a theme for Leone this week; he also allowed the (inherited) go-ahead run to score in Thursday’s loss.
That go-ahead run on Thursday was charged to lefty T.J. McFarland, freshly called up from Triple-A this week; he took the loss in that game. He came into a tie game in the seventh inning and recorded the first out, but then allowed a single and hit a batter with a pitch before being removed in favor of Leone, who allowed a single to score the go-ahead run. McFarland did, however, pitch a scoreless ninth inning in a lower leverage situation the day before after Ottavino allowed the insurance runs to the Brewers.
McFarland’s messy outing on Thursday came in relief of Max Scherzer, who pitched six solid innings. He allowed seven hits, but limited the damage to just two runs, which came on a two-run homer by Victor Caratini in the sixth inning after Scherzer had kept the Brewers off the board through five. Scherzer walked two batters and struck out nine in the outing.
After the Mets went down by a run on Thursday, Drew Smith pitched a scoreless inning complete with a strikeout to keep the Mets within striking distance. Smith had a solid week overall, but his first outing back from his ten-day suspension for sticky stuff was a rough one. He came into the game on Monday in relief of Verlander in the sixth inning with the Mets holding onto a tenuous one-run lead and allowed a go-ahead two-run homer to Joey Wiemer. Luckily for Smith his week improved after that. He bounced back the next day and worked around two walks to pitch a scoreless seventh inning in a lower leverage situation. He ended his week on a high note as well, earning his ninth hold of the season in relief of Verlander in Saturday’s victory.
Pretty much the only reliever in the Mets bullpen without sin this week is Brooks Raley, who appeared in four games and did not allow a run in any of his appearances. Raley began his week with a scoreless eighth inning on Monday after Smith blew the lead. He also appeared in Wednesday’s game, recording the final two outs of the seventh inning and the first out of the eighth inning before being replaced by Ottavino. On Friday, he earned his fifteenth hold of the season for following Brigham and recording the final two outs of the seventh inning before things fell apart for Robertson in the eighth. And he earned yet another hold yesterday, retiring all three batters he faced—two via the strikeout.