Week Three Mets Pitching Review: Matz and Bastardo Shined Bright

steven matz day

A review of the latest turn through the Mets’ starting rotation:

Name Innings Hits Runs (Earned Runs) Strikeouts Walks ERA (Season) WHIP (Season)
Matt Harvey (0-3) 5.2 6 5(5) 4 3 5.71 1.56
Steven Matz (1-1) 7.0 3 0(0) 9 2 7.27 1.50
Noah Syndergaard (2-0) 7.0 5 1(1) 8 2 0.90 0.95
Logan Verrett (0-0) 6.0 6 0(0) 4 1 0.69 1.08
Bartolo Colon (1-1) 6.0 4 3(3) 4 1 2.89 1.07

Best Start: I seemingly could write about Thor here every week, especially after another outstanding performance. But this week, we should salute Steven Matz and a reminder why everyone was in on this local kid.

From ESPN/Associated Press – “He showed what he can do when he commands his pitches,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “He was outstanding.”

When the Stony Brook, NY native can control his 95-MPH fastball, mix in offspeed stuff and the occasional curve, he can put up similar numbers against any team in the league. In the recent past, he’s had trouble pitching out of the stretch. It was something noted by the Daily News’ Kristie Ackert in spring training, but against the Indians in the second inning, he pitched out of a two-on, two-out jam by getting former Met Juan Uribe to ground into a fielder’s choice.

He didn’t have much more trouble after that and I’m curious to see the next time he’s actually in a pressure situation. But if we can get anything resembling this going into the summer, we’ll be in great shape when Zack Wheeler returns.

Worst Start: What is wrong with the Dark Knight? I’ve listened to Howie Rose and Josh Lewin describe his last two starts, so Friday will be the first time I’ll actually get to see him pitch. But the numbers don’t lie – right now, he’s just not very good.

New York Post’s Mike Vaccaro writes about the four batters than ruined his latest start, one that started with him retiring the first 13 batters he faced. Then a walk to Carlos Santana and two batters later, Alejandro De Aza is watching a fly ball from Jose Ramirez go over his head.

“Just have to start over,” Harvey said after the Mets’ 7-5 loss. “Flush this and the last couple of games and keep my head down and keep going.”

But going where? There are no reports of injury issues, but the most glaring stat is his increased WHIP. In his first three professional seasons, Harvey amassed a career WHIP of 1.00 (333 hits +94 walks / 427 innings pitched). This year, he’s walked seven in just 17.1 innings, something he’s never been prone to do and his 1.56 WHIP is abnormally high.

“It’s early,” is a saying that can only be said for so long. At some point, the real Matt Harvey will need to stand up. Here’s hoping it’s this Friday against the Braves.

Best of the Bullpen: The nine men that have relieved for the Mets thus far have compiled a respectable 3.18 ERA with just 14 walks in 39.2 innings. Hansel Robles has a 1.35 ERA with a staff-high 11 strikeouts, but the best this week is Antonio Bastardo, who’s rebounded back from a shaky spring to retire 13 of the last 15 men he’s faced, including two shut down innings in last night’s extra-inning loss to the Phillies.

Next Big Thing: In three starts, Harvey has a career 2.75 ERA against the Braves with 21 strikeouts in 19.2 innings. Let’s hope he can set the table on Friday for the return of Jacob ‘New Daddy’ deGrom on Sunday.

Who do you think will have the better start – Harvey or deGrom?


About Martin Kester 37 Articles
Since hanging from a street sign to watch the 1986 ticker tape parade, I've enjoyed the Mets from a distance. Growing up, they were across the GW with Bob Murphy's voice bringing them close. I'm in enemy territory in Atlanta, but now I'm protected by Norman Seebrook and Howie Rose.