So far this season The New York Mets pitching staff has been outstanding. All their main arms are healthy, especially Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey. Last season was a disappointment for the Mets and that had a lot to do with their pitching. The Mets had a team ERA of 5.14 last season, which ranked 27th in the entire big leagues.
New York Mets Pitching Key For This Season’s Success
A huge reason for their struggles on the mound was because they were without several arms that were extremely important. Noah Syndergaard missed the majority of 2017 with a lat injury. Matt Harvey looked like he may never take the mound again after ongoing shoulder problems. Lefty Steven Matz pitched a lot of last season through pain, leading to him getting surgery on an elbow nerve last August. 2017 was a disaster for the Mets all across the board, finishing fourth in the NL East. The only bright spot in their rotation was Jacob deGrom who honed a 15 and 10 record with a 3.53 ERA.
So far this season the Mets are off to an extremely hot start with one of the best records in the big leagues at 9-1. All their main guys on the mound are healthy and they all look outstanding. The Mets could definitely make a serious playoff run if their pitching stays consistent all season long.
Let’s start with Matt Harvey. He’s had quite the injury-plagued career to this point, but things do look positive now for the 29-year old. The abilities are there; it’s just a matter of staying healthy. For Harvey, his last full, injury-free season was 2015, where he boasted a 2.71 ERA while leading the Mets to the World Series, where they lost to The Royals.
The last two seasons have been a sheer disappointment for Harvey, especially after that great run in ’15. It’s looking like the injuries are behind him, and so far this year, Harvey has looked like his old self on the rubber. His velocity is down a bit, with an average of 92 mph.
But it’s still early, and there’s a good possibility Harvey can get back to the mid-90’s on a regular basis. He has all the stuff to be successful. A solid changeup, two off-speed offerings, and an electric two-seamer and four-seam fastball. No one is expecting him to emerge as the ace of the staff, but he could definitely be a key component in the rotation for the Mets this season if he can stay off the DL. It would be great if we could see that 98 mph fastball we saw from Harvey back in the 2013 All-Star game.
Thor, also known as Noah Syndergaard, has been the ace of this staff. Last year though he was sidelined with a serious lat injury. Syndergaard is back and looking like his usual self, carving up hitters every time he steps on the mound. He’s practically impossible to hit with a 97 mph sinking fastball and a ton of movement. Add in a hard slider, a quality changeup, and some great deception in his delivery and Thor is very hard to square up. Syndergaard looks extremely healthy and is certainly ready to emerge as one of the best arms in baseball once again. He will be a vital part of this rotation moving forward.
Steven Matz has dealt with a lot of injuries in his short big league career too, making just 43 starts in three years. Despite the extended time on the disabled list, Matz has compiled an ERA just under four throughout his major league career. He looks healthy and ready to go already this season, putting forward two quality starts already against the Cardinals and Nationals. He has quality stuff from the left side and although he doesn’t overpower hitters, he has great command and still has the ability to ramp the heater up to the mid 90’s when he wants to. Matz will look to pitch his first full major league season in 2018.
deGrom has been the lone starter in this rotation that has been injury free. Despite their struggles last season, deGrom was the only bright spot. He’s been consistent across the board throughout his career, boasting a 2.98 ERA across four seasons, 2018 being his fifth. He’s struck out an impressive 749 hitters in just 698 innings pitched in the big leagues. Consistency has been his middle name and the Mets will definitely be relying on him to put forward quality starts every five days. He has an electric fastball and like a lot of the arms on this staff has the ability to overpower hitters.
Vargas is down with a hand injury, so the Mets have just called up Zack Wheeler from Triple-A. Wheeler has refined his delivery, eliminating the wrap of his arm behind his back. The former first-round pick will look to stay up with the big league club. Wheeler, like a lot of the Mets other starters, has an electric fastball that can reach the high 90’s.
Vargas, on the other hand, is not the overpowering type. He’s a veteran that brings a lot of experience and can flat out pitch.
The Mets also have others in their bullpen who can make spot starts like Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo, who have been in the rotation at times in the past. Both are excelling very well in the bullpen right now in their respective roles though, but they’re available if needed to start. The Mets also have some quality arms that can get the job done late in games. Hansel Robles, AJ Ramos, Jerry Blevins, and closer Jeurys Familia have all looked great this year and have been very consistent.
The story of this pitching staff is power. They can all flat out throw hard on the mound and overpower opposing lineups. With all their main guys back in their rotation and a healthy bullpen, the Mets are destined for a playoff run in 2018.
Pitching has always been the staple of this team, and it looks like that will definitely be the case once again this year.
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