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Mets Player Performance Meter: Pitchers, August 21-27

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

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at New York Mets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Given that the Mets went 2-4 this week, this meter probably looks a lot better than one would expect. But really, the negatives for this week can be summed up by two poor starting pitching performances. The bullpen actually fared quite well this week, despite new pitchers continuously churning up and down from the minor leagues.

We’ll get the bad performances out of the way first. Obviously the worst pitching performance this week and the one lone poop emoji was that of Carlos Carrasco on Saturday. Carrasco pitched about as poorly as one can pitch, giving up five runs on seven hits in just 1 23 innings of work. There isn’t much more to say at this point. Carrasco’s season ERA is rapidly approaching seven and it’s looking more and more every day like he may just be cooked. It is arguably irresponsible to keep sending him out there at this juncture rather than giving someone like Joey Lucchesi or Mike Vasil a chance in September.

Somehow, though, the bullpen threw 7 13 scoreless innings on Saturday after Carrasco left the game and actually gave the Mets a chance to come back in the game. Though no single pitcher earned a fireball on his own, I would argue that collective performance deserves an honorary fireball. Sean Reid-Foley was the first pitcher to come in the game in the second inning and stopped the bleeding with a strikeout of Mike Moustakas and then went on to pitch a scoreless third inning as well. It was a triumphant return to the mound this week for Reid-Foley, who also pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning in Wednesday’s loss in his first appearance back in the big leagues after getting Tommy John surgery last May, striking out the first batter he faced.

Phil Bickford followed Reid-Foley on Saturday with two scoreless innings of work, striking out two batters and walking one in the process. Bickford earned the win in Monday’s victory for 1 13 scoreless innings complete with three strikeouts. It was nearly a perfect week for Bickford, but he coughed up two runs on three hits in 1 23 innings of work in Wednesday’s rubber game loss. But, those runs were simply tack-on runs in a game in which the Mets were shut out.

Which brings us to the other poor pitching performance this week. José Quintana had arguably his worst start as a Met on Wednesday, giving up five runs on nine hits in 5 13 innings of work. Quintana was effective through the first five innings, but seemed to run out of gas in the sixth. The Braves put up three runs against Quintana in that inning before he was removed in favor of Bickford, who allowed an inherited runner from Quintana to score in addition to two runs of his own. Quintana took the loss and it was arguably the first time he deserved it, but the Mets still didn’t give him any run support, so it wouldn’t have mattered very much even if things hadn’t blown up for him in the sixth.

Now that the poor performances are out of the way, we can talk about the good ones. David Peterson started both games the Mets won this week—though one of his performances was much better than the other one. On Monday, Peterson was okay, giving up four runs on seven hits through 4 23 innings; he fell victim to the long ball with Marcell Ozuna taking him deep twice in the outing. But luckily the Mets had their hitting shoes on that day and went on to win the game rather handily. Peterson really earns the up arrow for his start yesterday in which he shut the Angels out for six innings, giving up the only run charged against him in the seventh inning on a single, a walk, a bunt single, and a groundout. Peterson struck out eight and walked three batters in the outing. Sadly he did not earn a win, as the Mets’ bats were similarly lethargic against Griffin Canning, but Peterson did keep the game close, allowing for the eventual walk-off victory.

The Mets were briefly behind yesterday because Drew Smith allowed a go-ahead home run to Luis Rengifo in the eighth. The long ball has been an issue for Smith all season and this one sullied what was otherwise a good week for him. Smith began his week with a scoreless ninth inning in which he struck out two batters to seal Monday’s victory and he was part of the combined bullpen effort on Saturday, contributing a scoreless sixth inning. Luckily for Smith, the Mets rallied in the bottom of the eighth inning yesterday to tie the game, letting him off the hook.

Adam Ottavino then pitched a scoreless ninth, retiring the side in order. He earned the win—somehow his first of the season—when the Mets walked it off in the bottom of the ninth. That capped off a clean sheet for Ottavino, who pitched a scoreless eighth inning in Monday’s victory and a 1-2-3 eighth inning in yesterday’s game.

Sam Coonrod was part of the bullpen’s collective scoreless effort in Monday’s victory, pitching a scoreless seventh inning before Ottavino and Smith took care of the eighth and ninth. Coonrod’s other outing this week did not go quite as well. He recorded the first two outs of the ninth inning in Friday’s game, but he also walked two batters and threw a wild pitch in the process. The runner from third would eventually come around to score an insurance run for the Angels, which was charged to Coonrod.

It was Brooks Raley who allowed the RBI single that scored the run, but he bounced back to record the final out of the inning after that. Raley’s other two outings this week transpired without incident. In a one-run game on Tuesday, and a runner in scoring position, he recorded the final out of the eighth inning via a strikeout of Michael Harris. He also worked around a hit and a walk to pitch a scoreless ninth inning on Saturday to complete the bullpen’s strong collective effort.

Adam Kolarek is the only reliever who pitched on Saturday who I have not mentioned yet; he pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning with a strikeout. Kolarek was not scored upon in any of his three outings this week. Kolarek came into Tuesday’s game in the fifth inning and stranded his inherited runner and pitched two total scoreless innings, striking out two batters and walking one. Kolarek also recorded three outs without giving up a run on Friday night. For his 0.00 ERA in six total innings of work since being called up on August 19, Kolarek was rewarded by being designated for assignment yesterday.

Kolarek’s two scoreless innings of work on Tuesday came in relief of Tylor Megill, who didn’t pitch particularly well, but kept the Mets in the game. He gave up only three runs on the eight hits he surrendered, but he lasted just 4 23 innings. The killer was the solo homer he gave up to Marcell Ozuna in the fifth inning, which ultimately proved to be the difference in the game.

Reed Garrett came in the game after Kolarek on Tuesday and recorded the final out of the seventh inning and the first two outs of the eighth inning before yielding to Raley, who managed to strand Ronald Acuña Jr., who doubled off Garrett to end his appearance. That was Garrett’s only appearance of the week before he was optioned back down to Syracuse when Reid-Foley was activated.

Trevor Gott also only appeared in one game this week and that was on Friday, when he recorded the final out of the eighth inning via a strikeout, stranding a base runner at second base.

Kodai Senga started Friday’s game and was excellent again, but sadly took the loss because the Mets only scored one run that night. Senga gave up just two runs on four hits over 6 23 strong innings of work. He walked three batters and struck out ten; it was the third time he struck out double-digit batters this season. His shrinking season ERA stands at 3.17.