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Mets Player Performance Meter: Pitchers, September 4-10

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

New York Mets v Washington Nationals Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

This week for the Mets’ pitching staff can be summed up very simply: The rotation had a good week—one could even say a great week—and the bullpen did...not.

Let’s start with how the week started: another fantastic outing by José Quintana. Quintana held the Nationals to just one run on four hits through seven strong innings of work, striking out four batters and walking one. Luckily, the Mets gave Quintana a boatload of run support and he cruised his way to his second win of the season. Quintana has been a breath of fresh air since returning from the injured list and now has an even 3.00 ERA on the season.

Quintana’s wonderful work was very nearly ruined by a disastrous outing by Sam Coonrod, who allowed four runs to lead off the eighth inning without recording an out. Luckily, the Mets were up big so it didn’t matter in the end, but it was still a significant failure on the part of Coonrod to get the job done in about as low a leverage situation as you can get. Coonrod is only spared a poop emoji because he pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning in Friday night’s game. But he still earns poor marks for the week.

Like Quintana, Kodai Senga’s ERA continues to inch its way down toward that 3.00 mark. Senga looked shaky early on Friday, allowing a run in the first inning. And his walk issues reared their ugly head; he walked four batters in his six innings of work. Usually that is a sign of a bad outing for Senga, but this time he was able to limit the damage to just two runs in total over six innings of work. He struck out five batters in the outing. Unfortunately, unlike for Quintana, the Mets did not have their hitting shoes on and Senga did not fact into the decision.

Sean Reid-Foley did factor into the decision, however. He came in the game on Friday with the game tied in the seventh inning and allowed his first two batters to reach base. The go-ahead run scored via a throwing error by Francisco Alvarez on a caught stealing attempt, but after striking out the next two batters he faced, Reid-Foley just couldn’t close the door on the inning, allowing a two-out RBI double to Royce Lewis. That runner would eventually come around to score as well and Reid-Foley was tagged with the loss. Reid-Foley also came in the game on Tuesday in an attempt to clean up Coonrod’s mess and he did eventually get out of the inning, but not before two more runs scored—both charged to Coonrod. Luckily this outing was not as impactful as Friday’s, but it was a bad week overall for Reid-Foley.

Grant Hartwig followed Reid-Foley on Friday and allowed an RBI single (that run was charged to Reid-Foley) and a double before finally getting the final out of the inning. That was Hartwig’s only outing this week.

Drew Smith was the only reliever to pitch well in Tuesday’s victory, pitching a scoreless ninth inning to cap off the lopsided win. However, Smith’s other outing this week went extremely poorly. Smith entered the game on Saturday tasked with keeping a one-run game close and was unable to do so, despite being aided by a caught stealing that erased one of his baserunners. Smith loaded the bases on a hit and two walks and then Max Kepler dealt the decisive blow: a bases-clearing triple that put the Twins ahead by four.

Smith was then removed from the game in favor of Jeff Brigham, who allowed another hit to score his inherited runner before the Twins’ four-run seventh inning finally ended. Brigham came back out for the eighth inning after the Mets had clawed two runs back via a pair of solo homers and allowed a solo homer that put the Twins up by four runs once more. That was Brigham’s only outing for the week.

That poor relief pitching by Smith and Brigham came after a solid start from David Peterson, who gave the Mets a quality start on Saturday, limiting a powerful Twins lineup to three runs on eight hits through six innings of work. Perhaps more importantly, he walked only one batter while striking out eight. Unfortunately, he took the loss for this effort—his eighth loss of the season.

This is actually the first week I can remember in quite some time when Peterson and Tylor Megill both had a good week in the same week. Megill pitched five scoreless innings yesterday, holding the Twins to just two hits. He did walk four batters, but that did not come back to bite him. He struck out two in the outing. Unfortunately for Megill, Pablo López was even better, pitching eight utterly dominant innings with fourteen strikeouts. But, Megill’s performance was key, as the Mets were able to finally snap a scoreless tie in the ninth off the Twins’ bullpen and escape Target Field with one victory in the series.

Yesterday’s game was the only one this week in which the bullpen managed a strong collective performance. Adam Ottavino bent, but did not break in the ninth, working around a hit and a walk to earn his ninth save of the season in his only outing of the week.

Brooks Raley earned the win with a 1-2-3 eighth complete with two strikeouts. He is the only reliever besides Ottavino with no blemishes on his ledger this week. Sandwiched between two poor reliever performances in Wednesday’s walk-off loss, Raley pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning with two strikeouts.

Phil Bickford and Trevor Gott were both good in yesterday’s game and not good in Wednesday’s game. Bickford pitched a scoreless sixth inning with one strikeout and Gott followed with a scoreless seventh with two strikeouts yesterday. But, Gott was tagged with the blown save on Wednesday and Bickford took the loss in walk-off fashion. Gott came in the game in the seventh inning with one out and two runners on and allowed both runs to score to tie the game before finishing the inning. The game remained tied until the ninth, at which point Bickford walked the first batter he faced and hit the second batter he faced with a pitch. Ildemaro Vargas then executed a sacrifice bunt to move the winning run 90 feet away and then Bickford allowed a walk-off RBI single to rookie Jacob Young to end the game.

The two inherited runners Gott allowed to score in the seventh inning were both charged to José Butto, who held the Nationals scoreless over six innings of work before he allowed two baserunners in the seventh. It was Butto’s best start in a Mets uniform this year. His control problems that had plagued him in previous outings were absent; he walked only one batter and struck out six. It’s a shame it ended the way it did.