The Mets rotation looks nothing like we hoped and thought it would be with 60 or so games left in the season. Alas, where there’s will…
While the Mets have undergone more than their share of injuries this season, for the most part, their pitching staff has been spared, and only recently does the team’s IL List show more pitchers on it than position players.
Back in April, it was known that Noah Syndergaard would be undergoing a lengthy rehab, and at best, the Mets hoped for his return in mid-August. We know now that will not happen, and if Syndergaard returns at all, it will not be until mid-September.
There were unwelcome surprises along the way; however, they included set-up reliever Dellin Betances (out for the season), starting pitcher Joey Lucchesi (out for the season), and starting pitcher David Peterson, who is penciled in for a return on September 15.
But as we know, the most crushing blow to the Mets is the forearm injury incurred by Jacob deGrom, who was on his way to shattering long-standing MLB records while on a march to a third Cy Young award.
deGrom’s status is tenuous at best, and there is no prescription or cure, except for the pain of waiting it out.
Mets: Looking At A Cupboard That Was Bare
To make matters worse, and unlike the treasures they found when replacements were needed to fill the void left by injured position players, the Mets uncovered a gaping hole in the depth of the farm system.
Having no other choice, the Mets and manager Luis Rojas reached deep but could only come up with Jerad Eickhoff (0-2, 8.69 ERA in four starts), Robert Stock (0-1, 5.40 in two starts before he too went to the 60-day IL).
Things began a turn for the better, though, when Mets starter Marcus Stroman stepped it up to reel off a string of eleven consecutive starts in which he surrendered three or fewer runs.
Still, with the ever-increasing decline of Taijuan Walker, who has failed to get into the sixth inning in his last six starts that have seen his ERA explode from 2.38 to 3.71, deGrom’s replacement in the All-Star Game sent a clear call for help to Mets brass.
Acting GM Zack Scott answered the call by trading for a 41-year pitcher who is rarely injured and has a knack for getting major league hitters out with guile, grit, and determination.
Since then, Rich Hill has made two starts for the Mets, giving his team exactly what was expected from him – five innings each while keeping the team in the game. Nothing more, but always nothing less.
Mets: Finding The Biggest Treasure Of All
But by far and away, the biggest and most welcome surprise has been Tylor Megill, who was drafted by the New York Mets in the 8th round of the 2018 amateur draft.
In seven starts (he’ll make his eighth tonight against the Marlins), the Mets are 6-1 in games Megill’s started.
Displaying remarkable command, Megiil is registering 3.5 strikeouts for every base on balls. Since making his first start for the Mets on June 23, Megill has pitched his ERA down from 4.15 to 2.04, where it stands today.
The Mets needed a Bench Mob from their pitching staff, and between Megill, Stroman, and Hill, they at least have the remakings of a rotation in dire need of a push, especially without their stopper deGrom sidelined.
The Mets bullpen is also holding their own with the 12th best ERA in the majors at 4.00, the ninth highest in strikeouts, and the fifth-highest number of saves, led by Edwin Diaz.
Mets: All The Cards Have Been Dealt
The month of August will tell us if it is enough for the Mets to withstand the Braves and Phillies, especially in mid-August when they meet the Dodgers and Giants in a flurry of home and away series.
With wavier deals outlined by MLB in 2019, the Mets are what they are, but so are all other teams, too. Taijuan Walker’s return to the first-half form is counted on, while Jacob deGrom needs nothing but TLC until he’s in a position to dominate in the playoffs for the Mets.
The emergence of Megill, Stroman, and Hill is a better result than the Mets might have hoped for from the days when tomorrow’s starter had to combed through before finding in the trash.
Now, if the bats can only wake up to give these guys some support…
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Deborah Crane Our pitching rotation is nothing like what we started out with at the beginning of the season. You can blame the lack of hitting(a very legitimate reason) or the grind of trying to keep this team afloat. Walker has been less than an All-Star and the bullpen is just tired. It is not a bench mob but a CLINCH your teeth mob. Megill has been the bright spot. I have no idea how we are going to keep the gas on in what will be a murderous August. The dog days are here.
Paul Cariola Tough break for the Mets Honestly will be interesting to watch We all are without a pitcher here or there but not this
Bob Snyder Nido has a Cephus pitch that he can both throw and catch, it’s so slow. Can give us 4 outfielders at a time. Makes sense. Thanks for the laugh – got a feeling I’m in for a beating on this one. Bob Snyder It’s an Eephus Pitch. “The pitch was invented by Rip Sewell of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1940s. The name Eephus pitch comes from the Hebrew word efes, which means “nothing.”
Michael Angeloni Too bad our regular starters suck lately. Walker and Stro need to pick it up and Jake needs a psychiatrist for his hypochondria That’s a bit severe…no?
Edward Trezza The arm is not made to pitch 95 to 100 mph. Sadly it was just a matter of time.
Michael Oneil By any means. You can judge talent, preach analytics, point to the character in anything. You can label players, find flaws, dismiss them as has-beens, even AAA replacements. You can’t judge heart though, and can’t measure a person by your narrative. Their story is theirs, and this story is #MetsStrong. The battle-tested #BenchMob, and #BulpinBergade aren’t blinking at the situation. These nobody’s are gonna get somebody, and every setback is a new opportunity… #NotDeadYet
Haydee Carrion I have a feeling His pitching days are over Assuming you mean Jake, oh no, please.
Frank Todaro There pitching staff can go only as far as their hitting takes us. That’s the real problem.
Thomas Stemmle This team is either cursed with an injury bug or needs some serious overhaul in the medical/strength and condition dept. Does anyone remember the Harvey, deGrom, Syndergaard, Wheeler, Matz rotation? I think there was 1 week they were all healthy
Closing Published Comments And Final Thoughts
As always, due to page length restrictions, published comments are now closed.
As predicted, I’m in the minority on this one. Mets fans remain leery of the team maintaining without Jake, and a few believe he’ll never come back.
This leaves us with the team’s offense…