After another abysmal start by knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, his ERA now stands at 5.08 and he hasn’t picked up a win in over a month His record now stands at 1-5. Worse yet, batters are hitting .305 against him and his WHIP is 1.60 – both marks are in Oliver Perez territory. Now you say this is a prolonged pitching slump, or the alternative is that maybe last year was a fluke? His current ERA and WHIP are remarkably close to his career marks before last season happened at age 35. That two year $7.5 million dollar deal may soon start looking like a very bad idea unless Dickey starts turning things around quickly.
The Mets were relying heavily on R.A. Dickey and Mike Pelfrey this season – so much so that in their minds they felt it was the bottom of the rotation that needed to be filled, not the top. They were wrong.
- Mike Pelfrey – 5.74 ERA
- R.A. Dickey – 5.08 ERA
- Jon Niese – 5.03 ERA
- Chris Capuano – 4.93 ERA
- Dillon Gee - 4.44 ERA
Mets starters are among the worst in the league, ranking 12th with a 4.61 ERA, 15th with a 1.47 WHIP, and 14th with a .274 BAA. Their .348 opposing OBP is holding up the rear and they have allowed the third most home runs in the league. Sadly, they performed these atrocities while pitching half their games in the vastness of Citi Field.
The pitching has been so awful that even some of the smaller stats you hardly ever look at jump out at you because they are so bad. Like for example the Mets 14 hit-by-pitches from their starters are six more than the next worst team.
The Mets starting rotation is being outperformed by all of their NL East rivals:
1. Atalanta Braves: 3.12 ERA 1.12 WHIP .627 OPS
2. Philadelphia Phillies: 3.18 ERA 1.10 WHIP .627 OPS
3. Florida Marlins: 3.84 ERA 1.29 WHIP .713 OPS
4. Washington Nationals: 4.05 ERA 1.32 WHIP .728 OPS
5. New York Mets: 4.61 ERA 1.47 WHIP .784 OPS
I hate to tell you this, but not even a healthy July return of Johan Santana in vintage form, would do much to impact these numbers. And to expect Santana to return in prime form this season, well… that would be a big stretch.
No matter how you slice it, the Mets need a top of the rotation starter and fast. Actually, they needed one the moment that Johan Santana opted for shoulder surgery last season, and they still do.
Maybe another thing to ponder is what pitching coach Dan Warthen has done or “not” done to impact these numbers.