In an article from Kristie Ackert of The New York Daily News earlier this week, New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway gave some reasons as to why none of his starting pitchers had made it past the sixth inning in any of their starts this year.
Of course, that streak ended when Zack Wheeler pitched seven very strong innings in Wednesday night’s win in Miami.
Callaway had this to say to Ackert about some of the variables that have factored into his decisions so far, “The beginning of the season is tough. The conditions we played in were tough. Tonight (Monday) was tough coming into the humidity for the first time. It will normalize and guys will start to get stretched out to 100-110 pitches.”
As for any outside concerns that the starters haven’t gone deep enough into games, Callaway said, “I think it’s been adequate.”
It’s not like the Mets have been pulling their starters for any of the wrong reasons after the team’s first eleven games. The starting five have a combined earned-run average of 3.17, seventh-best in MLB and second in the National League.
Oh, and lest we forget, the New York Mets currently have the best earned-run average as a pitching staff in all of baseball, at 2.47.
Jacob deGrom has been outstanding and, quite frankly, and this goes for all five of the Mets’ starting pitchers, the team’s relievers have given manager Mickey Callaway all the confidence he’s needed to take his starters out based on matchups, and not necessarily because of fatigue or pitch-counts.
After the game Monday, Noah Syndergaard, spoke about how nice it is to have a solid bullpen to take over games, “It’s awesome to get out there and have them shut the door. I think it’s crucial for us moving forward.”
The Mets’ bullpen has most certainly done that so far this season, with Jerry Blevins, Jeurys Familia, Seth Lugo, and AJ Ramos all yet to allow an earned-run this year, and Robert Gsellman, Hansel Robles, and Jacob Rhame all performing extremely well in the absence of projected stalwart, Anthony Swarzak.
As a group, they’ve only allowed seven earned runs in 50.2 innings pitched, and have the second-lowest earned-run average of any bullpen in MLB (Atlanta Braves, 1.42 ERA).
If the Mets’ relief corps can continue this type of dominance, this team might not need their starters to throw more than six or seven innings a night.