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Mets Player Performance Meter: Pitchers, August 7-13

A quick review of how the Mets’ pitchers fared over the past week.

Atlanta Braves v New York Mets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

With the Mets down several pitchers due to trade and injury, the pitching staff carousel continues to turn and this week, we have several poop emoji-worthy performances to discuss. Kodai Senga continues to be the ace of the staff and José Quintana continues to be excellent as well, though he has nothing to show for it. Beyond that, it’s pretty ugly all around.

The Mets only won three games this week and Kodai Senga started two of them. He delivered two more quality starts for the Mets this week, yielding five runs in twelve innings across both starts, striking out thirteen batters and walking only four. All three of the runs Senga gave up against the Braves on Sunday came in the first inning and it looked like he was heading for a rough night, but he bounced back to go six innings anyway, allowing the Mets to come from behind. He is now 9-6 on the year with a 3.30 ERA.

José Quintana gave the Mets a quality start this week too, but unfortunately it seems like the Mets don’t want to give him the run support they’ve given Senga. Quintana took the loss in Game 2 of last Saturday’s doubleheader, despite yielding just one run on four hits in six innings of work. He walked three and struck out four in the outing. But the Mets got shut out and Quintana fell to 0-4 on the season despite carrying a 3.03 ERA.

Trevor Gott is the only Mets pitcher to be unscored upon this week, as he is having himself quite the rebound with his second week in the green after a rather inauspicious beginning to his Mets tenure. He came into last Saturday night’s game in the seventh when it was still close and delivered a scoreless frame in relief of Quintana before the pitchers that followed him let the game get away. He also pitched a scoreless seventh inning in last Tuesday’s loss to the Cubs and did the same the following day, earning his eighth hold of the season.

That about does it for the good news on the pitching side of things this week. The only other pitcher to earn a positive grade is Jimmy Yacabonis, mostly for his Herculean work in long relief in the opening game of the Braves series. He pitched 3 23 innings in that game and gave up just one run. The game was long gone at that point, but he saved the rest of the bullpen. Yacabonis also pitched a scoreless ninth inning in the lopsided victory in the opening game of the Cubs series. For this effort, he was rewarded by being outrighted to Syracuse, after which he elected free agency.

Yacabonis pitching in long relief was necessitated by Tylor Megill’s poor start on Friday, in which he gave up six runs (five of them earned) on nine hits in 5 13 innings of work. Megill struck out three batters and walked one. It was a poop emoji-worthy performance, but the Mets were also shut out that night, so it’s not like it would have mattered very much if Megill had pitched well. Still, Megill’s season ERA stands at an ugly 5.64.

Megill’s ERA is still lower than Carlos Carrasco’s, but Carrasco had an encouraging performance this week against the Cubs in last Tuesday’s loss. He lasted only five innings, so it’s hard to really give him a positive grade for it, but he gave up just two runs, which is an improvement over his recent body of work. He struck out five and walked two in the outing.

Drew Smith took the loss in that contest, giving up a go-ahead solo homer to Mike Tauchman in the eighth inning. Smith’s week started well enough; in last Monday’s win he helped Brooks Raley out of trouble by recording the final out of the eighth inning via the strikeout. But things went downhill from there. After taking the loss last Tuesday, he gave up three insurance runs to the Braves in the nightcap of Saturday’s doubleheader, putting that game out of reach in the eighth inning. Only two of those runs were earned, but it was still a very poor performance from Smith; he recorded just one out in the frame.

Phil Bickford followed Smith on Saturday night and gave up two additional runs in 1 23 innings of work, but the game was already well out of hand at that point. Bickford’s other outings this week were much more positive. He pitched a 1-2-3 sixth inning in relief of Carrasco last Tuesday and then earned his first save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning with two strikeouts in the series finale against the Cubs.

Last Wednesday’s victory began with a decidedly meh performance from David Peterson, but it was enough, as it turns out. Still being stretched back out, Peterson went just 3 23 innings and threw 62 pitches. Over that span, he gave up two runs on four hits. Encouragingly, he struck out over twice as many batters as he walked (5 K, 2 BB).

Grant Hartwig earned the win in that game for 2 13 scoreless innings in relief, giving up just one hit in the appearance and striking out two. Unfortunately for Hartwig, for as good as that performance was, his other outing this week was poor. After the Mets put up a six spot in the fifth inning on Sunday to open up a four-run lead, Hartwig (and Brooks Raley) allowed the Braves to get back in the game, giving up a solo homer to Sean Murphy in the seventh and a one-out double to Austin Riley in the eighth. Riley would eventually score, his run being charged to Hartwig.

Riley scored on a two-run bomb by Matt Olsen, surrendered by Brooks Raley, which brought the Braves within a run. Raley was able to retire the next batter, but then came out of the game in favor of Smith, who recorded the final out of the frame to (barely) preserve the lead. Raley did, however, contribute 1 23 scoreless innings in the victory in the series opener against the Cubs.

After the Mets staggered through the eighth inning on Sunday, Adam Ottavino pitched a scoreless ninth to protect the one-run lead and earn his seventh save of the year, allowing the Mets to scratch one victory out of the otherwise horrid Braves series. Ottavino also came in to try to earn the save in the series finale against the Cubs and failed to record an out, allowing a leadoff solo homer to Seiya Suzuki, a single, and a walk before being pulled from the game in favor of Bickford. Ottavino did pitch a scoreless ninth inning in Tuesday’s loss, allowing two hits, but also striking out two.

Josh Walker preceded Ottavino in both of Ottavino’s outings, recording the final out of the eighth inning last Tuesday before Drew Smith coughed up the lead and then also tossing a 1-2-3 eighth inning complete with two strikeouts to earn his first hold of the season the following day in the series finale victory. Unfortunately, Walker’s week ended poorly, as he gave up two runs on two solo homers in Saturday’s shellacking in Game 1 of the doubleheader. But Walker can simply join the club of Mets pitchers that gave up home runs in that game. Even more unfortunately, Walker was placed on the injured list with a right oblique strain yesterday.

Okay, I avoided discussing Saturday afternoon’s game until now. I guess we have to do it though. Let’s waste very few words here. Denyi Reyes started the game and it did not go well. He gave up five runs on eight hits 4 23 innings of work. To his credit, he was the only Mets pitcher that day who did not give up any home runs, but he did walk four batters. With the Braves already up big, Reed Garrett—serving as the 27th man for the doubleheader—poured gasoline on the fire, giving up an additional six runs in 2 13 innings of work, including two home runs. Poop emojis all around. Danny Mendick, who gave up an additional eight (yeah, eight) runs, including—you guessed it—two home runs is spared because he’s a position player. Now let us never speak of that game again!