Archive for the 'Steven Matz' Category

The Climb Back To .500

The Mets have won their last four out of six games on this road trip with one game left tonight in Atlanta weather permitting.  In doing so, the Mets have moved back to three games under .500 at 12-15.  So the quickest route to the .500 mark is three more wins in a row.  But that is not often easy especially how inconsistent the Mets have been, especially their pitching.

The good news is that the Mets are finally scoring runs and last night they scored 16 of them while not hitting one home run.  They have scored a minimum of five runs in every game of the trip so far.  With their highly touted pitching, it would be easy for someone just returning from a European vacation to assume the Mets had won all six games played on the trip so far.  But two games have been lost. In one, Mets pitching gave up 23 runs and in the other they gave up 9.  That has to be concerning. What’s also alarming is the Mets have given up more runs than any other team in the National League.  Mets pitchers have yielded 147 runs compared to the Dodgers league leading mark of just 105 given up.  What is happening?

One simple answer for the starting staff is health.  Matt Harvey is still getting his act together after missing more than half a season when he had surgery to remove a rib. Steven Matz has still not thrown a pitch this year because of a balking elbow.  Zach Wheeler is pitching again for the first time in two years and it’s been a slog for him so far.  Noah Syndergaard left Sunday’s game with a lat tear that could have the ace out for as long as three months.  That leaves Jacob deGrom, the guttiest pitcher on the staff.  He didn’t pitch bad last night but only lasted three innings throwing close to 100 pitches and giving up five runs.  So if you don’t think things are out of wack with Mets pitching, consider this… The Mets big winner so far is Hansel Robles with a 4-0 record.  Granted he benefited from circumstances working in his favor but it’s just kind of weird that he has 4 wins and the most wins from Mets starters is 2 shared by deGrom and Harvey.

Of course no one really knew how the Mets pitchers would do in 2017 considering their medical history.  Harvey, Matz, and deGrom all had surgery last season (or the end of last season).  Wheeler had setbacks after Tommy John surgery and their was concern for Syndergaard although nothing was needed surgically speaking.  This whole thing is beginning to make me wonder.  Is it really prudent to stack your rotation with such hard throwers when hard throwers seem to be so susceptible to injury?  This is one reason why a pitcher like Bartolo Colon is so important (regardless of his not so great start this season). A guy that can change speeds, command the strike zone, and not reach 97 on the speed gun can be a good thing. Where are the Greg Madduxs in the major leagues these days?  If I were a GM, I would demand that my scouts find guys in the college ranks that can pitch, not necessarily impress by throwing the ball through a wall.  This is why I believe Steven Matz can be so important to this pitching staff if he can ever stay healthy.  He’s a lefty and he has some stuff in his arsenal that the others don’t, especially a great curve ball when it’s working.

So here’s the problem as I see it in regard to the Mets getting back to .500.  They are scoring a lot of runs right now but that will stop at some point. No offense in baseball can consistently put up 7 to 9 runs a night.  If the Mets only score two or three runs, the Mets pitchers will need to step up and hold the lead. So far they have not been able to do so.  When the Mets score three runs or less, their record is 0-10.  That’s not good.  The short answer is it will be up to the pitching staff for the Mets to get to .500 and then move up from there.  Until the pitching woes get straightened out, I don’t care how many runs the Mets score, they’re not going anywhere.