1. Syndergaard Was Scintillating
In a pitcher’s duel that surely lived up to its expectations, Noah Syndergaard was able to out-duel Nationals ace Max Scherzer. Syndergaard’s slider was just about as good as it’s been all year, as he went on to strike out 10 Nationals en route to his fourth win of the season. Thor went seven strong innings while allowing no runs on just five hits. In the first game of an important series, it was especially important for the Mets to get out of the gates quickly, and Syndergaard was able to make sure that happened.
2. Bullpen Was Strong
Aside from the middle game of the series where Antonio Bastardo and Jim Henderson each gave up a pair of runs, the bullpen was pretty solid for the most part. After Syndergaard went seven strong on Tuesday night, both Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia pitched scoreless 8th and 9th innings. Last night, after Harvey imploded in the first two innings, a committee of Verrett, Bastardo, Blevins, and Reed allowed just three hits and no runs over 6 1/3 innings. In a series that didn’t have many positives, the bullpen was at least above average in this three game set with the Nationals.
3. Plawecki’s Defense
In the absence of Travis d’Arnaud, backup catcher Kevin Plawecki has done a very admirable job, especially defensively as of late. Plawecki was able to throw out two baserunners this series, once on Tuesday night when he threw out Ben Revere, and one more time the following night when he caught Anthony Rendon stealing. This is an area of upgrade for the Mets, since d’Arnaud was never the best at throwing baserunners out. Baserunning against the Mets has become quite an issue in the early part of the season, so seeing some runners get thrown out is always a positive.
1. Bart’s Control Issues
Amidst all of the news that came out in Wednesday’s papers pertaining to Bartolo and his “secret life,” Colon also had a big start to make against the Nationals. He clearly didn’t look himself. Colon walked five batters in 4 2/3 innings. It was the first time he’s done that in 10 years. Bart struggled with his command all night, allowing three runs on five hits, while striking out just four batters. This marks two bad starts in a row for Colon after having a solid start to the season. He has now eight runs in his last 9 2/3 innings.
2. Harvey is Lost
These used to be the games Matt Harvey would rise to the occasion for, instead, Harvey followed a bad outing in Colorado with another poor outing in a rubber game a division rival in the Washington Nationals. Ex-teammate Daniel Murphy greeted Harvey in the first inning with a two-run shot, and the rest was history. Harvey lasted just 2 2/3 innings, as he gave up nine runs (six earned) on eight hits while striking out just two batters. It’s the shortest Harvey has lasted in any outing he’s ever pitched. He is now 3-6 on the year with a 5.77 ERA. Yikes.
3. Four Runs in Three Games
The offense continues to struggle mightily. There is really no two ways about it. I really could have picked from a number of guys to put on this list, Granderson, Wright, Duda, take your pick. Really though, it’s been a collective effort when it comes to not hitting right now for the Mets. Four runs in a three game set at home against a team you are supposed to be competing against for a division title is just not acceptable. Three of those four runs were off of the long ball, two of them coming in the series opener off of Max Scherzer. The Mets are now currently 23rd in team batting average at .235, and are in the top 10 in total strikeouts. Eventually it’s time for these guys to start getting hot again, and hopefully that comes this weekend against the Brewers, who are the 27th in the league in team ERA.