The 2018 season for Jason Vargas concluded with seven scoreless innings against the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night in the New York Mets 4-1 win at Citi Field.
That’s a much different outcome for Vargas than much of the first half for the veteran lefty that gave up 36 runs in his first 37 innings this season.
Vargas was dominant on Thursday needing only 77 pitches to get through his seven scoreless. He struck out six, walked no one and allowed only three hits against a strong Braves offense.
Though the overall numbers are still ugly (5.77 ERA, 1.41 WHIP), Vargas finished with a 2.62 ERA over his last eight starts of the season and a 3.81 ERA in the second half of 2018.
Mickey Callaway is pleased with how Vargas finished the season, “We signed him for a reason and those reasons have been showing up this second half. … I think the rough patch we saw this year was probably due to his routine and breaking his hand and things like that.”
It’s interesting to note that Vargas had a 8.22 K/9 rate, the second highest of his career. Also of note are his 4.31 SIERA, 4.42 xFIP and career-worst 1.76 HR/9.
The Mets are paying Vargas $8 million in 2019 and have an option for the 2020 season.