Jacob deGrom

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Coleman: Mets Armed And Ready For The Stretch Run

Ed Coleman
September 13, 2019 - 12:53 pm

Ask yourself this question, because there are about 7 or 8 other National League teams asking themselves the same question — Do you really want to face the Mets and their starting rotation in a short playoff series?

The answer would likely be a resounding NO! The Mets are not just 3 deep in starters, they are 4 deep (deGrom, Syndergaard, Wheeler & Matz) with Marcus Stroman, off his best performance thus far as a Met on Thursday, bidding to make it 5. At the very least, the Mets will send a high-quality starting pitcher to the mound every night for their remaining 16 games.

Met starters are 25-10 since the All-Star break with a 3.06 ERA. That's tops in the National League and second-best overall in the majors. The 25 wins are second-most in the N.L. Met starters have struck out 337 batters, second in the league and fourth best in the majors.

Of the 16 remaining games on the schedule, 10 of those are at CitiField, always a good thing down the stretch, and particularly this year because the Mets have become a formidable home team, whereas in years past that hasn't been the case. They've won 42 games at Citi and have gone 19-10 in the second half.

Bullpens can be the downfall of any team, but because of the length the starters have been able to give on a mostly nightly basis, the crunch on the Mets pen has been somewhat lessened. During the 4 game sweep of the formerly red-hot Arizona Diamondbacks, the Met bullpen threw 9.2 innings and worked to a 0.93 ERA, allowing just 1 run and 6 hits while walking 3 and striking out 8.  Seth Lugo, whenever available, has been a stone-cold stopper. Over the last month, Lugo has hurled 13 scoreless innings while giving up just 4 hits and 2 walks, and striking out 16 over that period.  Since the break, Lugo has 5 saves and a 1.93 ERA with 3 walks and 35 strikeouts covering 21 appearances.

The Mets have an immense task this weekend with the L.A. Dodgers coming to town for a 3-game series, with dream matchups (maybe playoff matchups?) galore.  Veteran Dodger ace Clayton Kershaw vs Syndergaard, a possible Cy Young showdown between the Dodgers' Hyun-Jin Ryu and deGrom, and then Walker Buehler versus Wheeler. The Mets have their work cut out for them.

But the Dodgers have seen first-hand what the Met starters can do. They were younger then, but think 2015. Four years later, contending teams are in no hurry to welcome them back to the playoffs.