Mets Feel A Tremor But Not The Earthquake They Need – Rich Hill

Mets acquire Rich Hill as a stopgap

The Mets did something yesterday, but it’s only a band-aid to help stop the bleeding. Rich Hill may be a good first step, but the hunt goes on.

Acting Mets GM Zack Scott knew he had to do something to provide Luis Rojas with an option to make a start in Game 2 of Monday’s twin-bill against the Atlanta Braves.

Scott didn’t have to dig too deep to find a 41-year old pitcher the Tampa Bay Rays were willing to part with.

The Mets will be the eleventh team and the fourth in four years Rich Hill has been with, making the tag “journeyman” an understatement.

Nevertheless, the Mets have a reliable starting pitcher who has already made 19 starts (6-4, 3.87) for Tampa Bay without missing a beat.

With only 95.5 innings to show for those starts, Rich Hill is now a five-innings man who relies on finesse and craftiness to get major league hitters out.

Mets: The Hunt Must Go On…

To his credit, Zack Scott filled an immediate void in the Mets rotation, but the hunt goes on to find a difference-maker as the team looks to solidify their lead, now at four games, in the NL East standings.

Mets Tylor Megill Basks in the moonlight (NY Daily News)
Mets Tylor Megill Basks in the moonlight (NY Daily News)

 

Interestingly, while Hill is more like a tremor coming to the Mets, Tylor Megill continues to come up big whenever he gets the ball.

Megill’s performance last night in completely shutting down the middle of the Blue Jay’s lineup over six innings, allowing two hits and needing only 78 pitches, was a masterpiece of pitching comparable to what the Mets are used to seeing from Jacob deGrom.

Put Megill together with Marcus Stroman, who himself tossed a masterpiece in his last start, Taijuan Walker, and deGrom when he returns, and Pitcher X, whom Scott most assuredly will obtain in the next few days, and Rich Hill may find himself on the way to the 12th team in his long career.

But for now, the Mets are, at least, in a situation with Hill where they won’t need to call on the Robert Stock‘s of Metsland to make an emergency start.

Mets Offense Continues To Improve

Mets Pete Alonso on a tear (USA Today)
Mets Pete Alonso on a tear (USA Today)

Now at eight games over .500, the Mets +18 run differential is a significant improvement, from July 1, when they stood at -3.

Pete Alonso is on a tear and with two home runs last night that accounted for all of the Mets three runs.

Together with Dominic Smith, who has rediscovered the virtue of hitting the ball the other way (with power), the Mets offense has a different look than at the beginning of the month, when runs were more scarce than a game in which Jacob deGrom gave up more than one run.

Alonso Goes Deep Twice

A split over the next two games with Toronto gives the team another series win before the Braves arrive for an important, though not critical five-game set at Citi Field, taking the Mets to the July 30 trade deadline.

Reports from Chicago Cubs insiders suggest the Mets are trying to downplay their interest in Kris Bryant and Javier Baez, and that’s a good idea, especially in the case of Bryant who is this year’s golden boy at the deadline.

Mets: Still Working On Bigger Fish

While landing Bryant would be a coup for the Mets, there is only so much time in a day for Zack Scott and Sandy Alderson, leaving them a  bigger challenge also to find and land another starting pitcher.

Rich Hill is here in any event, and he’ll get a start for the Mets sooner rather than later. Luis Rojas and pitching coach Jeremy Heffner will need a plan that ensures their bullpen is ready to pick up at least four innings when Hill makes that start.

But hey, something is better than nothing…

Here’s What Readers Are Saying…

Vincent Sorrentino We got a solid, durable, 41yr old innings-eater! Good, good pickup…

Frank Mele An intense competitor a bulldog. Hates to lose, great teammate. Trevor May played with him and said he is THE MOST intense competitor he’s ever played with. We all love Pillar hope he’s that type player.

John Jet There is no hunt. Hill is just what we needed, an innings eater. Stop dreaming of some imaginary arm coming to the rescue, it ain’t happening.

Lew Morrison He’s a SOLID INNINGS EATER NICE START!!

Marc Wright Band-Aids are great for stopping small bleeds. This was a solid move.

Miguel Estrella I like this pickup

John F Reese Always good to have a lefty check out this guys numbers he is a good veteran presence also

Emory Davis I’m skeptical, the Rays never part with good talent. I hope he has something left. A minority voice but Emory certainly has a point.

Closing Published Comments And Final Thoughts

With this, published comments are closed, and I’m happy to readers disagree with me, even to the point of saying the Mets have no need to go any further than Rich Hill to shore up their rotation.

You convinced me with more than a wish and a hope, but with thoughts that make sense. Love it.

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Steve Contursi
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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.