Since the Mets did not win a single game last week, it’s safe to say that this meter isn’t going to look very good. With both Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander traded, David Peterson and Tylor Megill are both back in the Mets’ rotation. There are some new faces in the bullpen as well and none of them have exactly distinguished themselves thus far. José Quintana was the only starter to give the Mets a quality start this week. In fact, he gave them two, but the Mets still lost both games. Figures.
José Quintana is far and away the standout performer in this week’s meter, but he is suffering from a lack of run support—perhaps inherited from Jacob deGrom before him. On Tuesday, Quintana gave up three runs over 6 2⁄3 innings of work with most of the damage coming in the seventh inning when Trevor Gott was unable to complete the inning cleanly in relief of Quintana. Quintana walked two batters and struck out two batters in that outing. He was even better on Sunday when he held a powerful Orioles lineup to just two runs on six hits over six innings of work. He struck out six batters and walked two in that outing, but sadly took the loss because the Mets were shut out for the second time over the span of six games.
Trevor Gott came in to replace Quintana in both Tuesday’s and Sunday’s games and had disparate outcomes. On Tuesday, Quintana was removed from the game with two runners on and two outs and Gott was tasked with recording the final out. Gott allowed a single, which scored a run that was charged to Quintana. But he stopped the bleeding there, bouncing back to strike out Bobby Witt Jr. to end the inning. Things went better for Gott on Sunday when he was given a clean inning to work with and he pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning in relief of Quintana. Gott also worked around two hits to pitch a scoreless inning in Friday’s game, striking out two batters in the process.
The Mets went on to take the lead in the top of the eighth on Tuesday, but then Adam Ottavino allowed the tying run in the bottom of the frame without giving up a hit, thanks to a leadoff walk, a stolen base, a groundout to advance the runner, and a sacrifice fly. Ottavino limited the damage to just one run and bounced back to pitch a scoreless eighth inning following Quintana and Gott in Sunday’s loss.
With Tuesday’s game tied, Drew Smith came in the game and pitched a scoreless ninth inning. It was a good week for Smith, who posted a clean sheet, also pitching a scoreless ninth inning in Friday’s game complete with two strikeouts. Smith and Gott were the only Mets relievers to not be charged with any runs this week.
With the Mets having taken the lead in the top of the tenth on Tuesday thanks to Francisco Alvarez’s home run, Brooks Raley came in the game and allowed a leadoff double to Bobby Witt Jr., which scored the free runner. Things only went downhill from there. He allowed an RBI single to MJ Melendez to tie the game. He did get Salvador Perez to pop out for the first out, but the eventual game-winning run was put on Raley’s ledger as well, though it was unearned. That was Raley’s only outing this week.
Grant Hartwig replaced Raley on Tuesday and managed to strike out Freddy Fermin for the second out, but then Brett Baty’s throwing error allowed the game to continue. Hartwig walked the next batter to load the bases. Josh Walker then came in the game and well, we all know what happened. There was an issue with the pitch com that resulted in a balk, scoring the winning run. Hartwig redeemed himself somewhat with solid bulk relief work in Saturday’s game, but Walker’s troubles continued into his next outing. In Thursday’s loss, Walker allowed three runs in the eighth inning while retiring only one batter, resulting in Danny Mendick coming in to pitch and record the final two outs of the inning. But Walker did have one positive outing to look back on this week—a scoreless fifth inning on Friday.
Walker’s performance on Thursday was unfortunate, but the Mets were already behind in that game due to another poor start from Carlos Carrasco. Things were actually going okay for Carrasco and he had only given up three runs through six innings of work, but then he came back out for the seventh and everything fell apart in short order. Without recording an out, Carrasco allowed two straight singles and then a three-run homer that doubled the Royals’ lead from 3-0 to 6-0 and Carrasco’s final line was sullied in an instant.
John Curtiss—freshly recalled from Triple-A Syracuse—came in the game on Thursday to finish the seventh inning for Carrasco and he did so without further incident, striking out three batters in the process. Unfortunately his other outing this week did not go as smoothly. In Friday’s loss, Curtiss came in the game in the fourth inning and allowed two runs to snap a scoreless tie. Curtiss was then sent back to Triple-A.
The Orioles did not look back after that, piling on by dropping a four spot on the Mets in two consecutive frames in the sixth and seventh. Phil Bickford and Reed Garrett were each charged with four runs apiece. Bickford, who had an absolutely terrible first week as a Met, took the loss. Bickford appeared in three games in total this week and did not have a clean outing in any of them. In addition to Friday’s disaster, Bickford gave up an insurance run to the Royals in the eighth inning on Wednesday and did the same in the eighth inning against the Orioles on Saturday. Garrett’s other outing this week was more positive; he pitched 1 1⁄3 scoreless innings of relief in Wednesday’s loss. But Garrett was still optioned to Triple-A on Saturday while the trade acquisition Bickford remains.
Garrett’s scoreless outing came in relief of Kodai Senga, who held the Royals to three runs over 5 2⁄3 innings, which is a small miracle considering he allowed a staggering eleven hits. Senga walked two and struck out six in the outing. Senga took the loss, but even if he had given up only one run, he still would have been tagged with the loss since the Mets were shut out on Wednesday.
David Peterson had a solid return to the rotation, pitching three scoreless innings in Friday’s series opener against the Orioles. He did, however, walk three batters in the outing, which is indicative that the problems that plagued him earlier in the season as a starter still persist. He will continue to be stretched back out moving forward.
Tylor Megill’s first start back in the rotation did not go as well. Megill gave up five runs on nine hits in just 4 2⁄3 innings of work on Saturday. He struck out three and did not walk any batters, but the killer for him was the two home runs he gave up. Megill took the loss on Saturday, falling to 6-5 on the season. His season ERA with the Mets is now 5.45, but he will likely be given plenty of chances to figure things out as the Mets play out the rest of the season.