The 2018 New York Mets are built around their starting pitching, there is no denying that. Even in a lost season, the Mets starting pitching is still going out and doing their jobs consistently well of late.
Jacob deGrom has been one of the top pitchers in the game all year. August was no different, as he continued his Cy Young campaign by posting a 1.24 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP in 43.2 innings. Believe it or not, Zack Wheeler actually out pitched deGrom in August as he held opponents to a 1.13 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP in 40 innings.
Steven Matz is coming off his best start of the year, in which he punched out eleven batters over seven innings of one run ball on Saturday. Even Jason Vargas has looked much better of late, as over his past four starts he has allowed just five runs over 22.2 innings to lower his ERA to 6.56 for the season.
Noah Syndergaard has struggled of late, but he bounced back on Sunday afternoon. He was in complete control all day, tossing the first complete game of his career. Syndergaard absolutely dominated, allowing one run on two hits and striking out eleven.
Compared to the rest of the league since August 18, Mets starting pitching sits near or at the the top of the league in a handful of categories including:
- ERA: 1st (1.67)
- IP: 1st (91.2)
- K-BB%: 1st (24.0)
- FIP: 1st (1.96)
- GB%: 1st (52.2)
- WHIP: 3rd (0.97)
- Hard Hit %: 4th-lowest (28.6)
Mets starters have also combined for 11 quality starts, and have posted a combined 1.61 ERA in their past 16 games. Although much like the rest of the season it hasn’t corresponded to the teams success, as they have a 10-6 record in that span.
The numbers don’t lie, Mets starting pitching has stepped up big time over the past month. Although it is in a lost season, this is certainly something for the organization to build towards for next year.
deGrom is going to win the Cy Young and Wheeler has been able to keep up his ace-like production. Both Matz and Vargas have battled their share of rough starts but of late they have seemed to find their stride. And Syndergaard opened September with perhaps his best and strongest start of the season.
Looking ahead, if Syndergaard and Wheeler can carry over this success into next year, the Mets have the potential to be opening the 2019 season with an elite three headed monster in deGrom, Syndergaard, and Wheeler.
IF they all can stay healthy, which we have seen is a huge if with the Mets, that has the potential to be one of the best starting rotation trio’s in the league.
And sure Matz has his share of up’s and down’s, but after some work with Mickey Callaway and Dave Eiland, the young lefty still has all the potential in the world to be right up there with the aces in the rotation.
If the front office can go into this offseason without having to worry about upgrading multiple spots in the rotation, then they could shift their focus towards (hopefully) spending some money on bullpen pieces and offensive weapons.