A review of the latest turn through the Mets starting rotation:
Best Start: I think signing of Bartolo Colon in 2014 (2 years, $20 million) will quietly go down as one of the most influential and productive acquisitions of the Sandy Alderson era. He finished 202 innings in 2014, 194 last year, and he’s second on the team in innings pitched this season behind…
With one out in the ninth, Noah Syndergaard threw his longest outing of his career on Wednesday. Last year, he finished eight innings three times including a somewhat memorable performance on August 2 against the Nationals on Sunday Night Baseball to move into a first-place tie.
He struck out 11 and walked none, the fourth time this year Thor has completed a quality start without allowing a free pass. His WHIP of .96 ranks fifth in the league and the 18 earned run allowed all season is the best among ‘qualified’ starters. The numbers don’t lie – Syndergaard is having a great year.
And a small part of me has to believe he’s been influenced by Big Sexy since he got here. Seeing a guy who’s been in the league almost as long as Noah has been alive, one that used to throw just as hard but now throws with far less velocity but continues to just throw strikes. I have no proof, but I think Bartolo’s influence leads to things like all Mets starters not named Matt Harvey have allowed less than 18 walks this season.
By the way, Bartolo held the best hitting team in baseball to just two runs with his overpowering 91 MHP fastball to allow the Mets to take the series from the Pirates.
Worst Start: Should we expect more from rookie Steven Matz at all times, therefore be disappointed when he struggles against the Milwaukee Brewers on the road?
That the Atlanta Braves are the worst team in baseball mean regardless who is on the mound, a loss to them is disappointing, especially when it’s because our recovering ace Matt Harvey had previously allowed just two runs in his last three appearances totaling 20 innings?
Harvey didn’t pitch horribly, but he couldn’t get the big out when he needed it against Ender Inciarte (.233). Errors and the stolen base brought Matz down, moving people into scoring position and allowing for productive outs (safety squeeze by Zach Davies, sacrifice fly by Ryan Braun) to produce runs.
I don’t know which, but can only hope the offense can increase their productive out input. According to ESPN, the Mets productive out percentage is 24th in the league.
Best of the Bullpen: No one pitcher did well this week, but did you know as a whole the unit deemed a huge question mark going into the season is currently the second best pen in the league with a 3.07 ERA? Did you know their 66 earned runs allowed is tied for second, just one run behind Chicago?
How about they’ve only blown four saves all year, tied with the Yankees’ three-armed devil for best in the league, but the team’s save percentage of 85% is tops thanks largely to the fact that Jeurys Familia is 22-for-22? It’s June, so it’s getting harder to say that it’s still early but there is a lot of season left. Either way, this bullpen has been great and as summer approaches and we all expect longer starts from one of the best starting staffs in the game, that will provide more rest and better opportunities for this bullpen.
Next Big Thing: After concluding the current series with the Braves, there’s a random two-game reunion of the 2015 World Series with Thor and Big Sexy scheduled to face the Kansas City Royals. Behind that is a trip to Atlanta, the teaser to the toughest stretch of games this season.