From the greatest staff in all the land to absolute junk. This is what the New York Mets pitching has transformed into this season.
For the previous two years, the New York Mets pitching staff was predicted to be not only one of the most dominant in baseball, but one of the best ever. Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Steven Matz were projected to be the five electric starters for the future. However, the staff has taken a major turn for the worse.
However, the staff has taken a major turn for the worse.
Harvey, in his first three years in the league, posted a 25-18 record with an average ERA of about 2.50. He started the 2013 MLB All-Star Game at Citi Field and helped pitch the Mets into the 2015 World Series. He was known as the Dark Knight and took Queens by storm. But two major injuries have derailed his career, and this season he was 4-3 with a 5.25 ERA before he was put on the DL with arm fatigue.
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He just does not look the same, and his confidence is completely shattered. The Amazins would be lucky if they were able to get anything for him at this point in a trade.
Zack Wheeler was brought to Queens in a trade that sent Carlos Beltran to the Giants. He was the first step of the process to getting the Mets pitching staff back on track. Right before Wheeler, the Mets showcased starters like Mike Pelfrey, Johan Santana, Jonathon Niese and Dillon Gee.
They knew they needed an upgrade at the position. They were hoping that Wheeler was the first minor answer to their problem.
In his first two seasons, Wheeler was solid, maneuvering himself to an 18-16 record with a 3.48 ERA. However, Tommy John surgery crept in and he missed all of 2015 and 2016. This year, he does not look the same at all going 3-5 so far with a 5.29 ERA.
Steven Matz was one of the top Mets pitching prospects reminding fans and scouts of a young Tom Glavine, considering he is a lefty. His first start in 2015 was dominant, going 7.2, giving up two runs and driving in five. However, right after that, he was sidelined for awhile with a Lat muscle tear, the same injury that phenom Noah Syndergaard currently has. When he came back, he was great the rest of the season, going for a combined nine starts including the postseason. He went 4-1 total, averaging a 2.27 ERA in the regular season, and a 3.68 ERA in the postseason.
The following year, he was also gaining some experience and confidence going 9-8 with a 3.40 ERA. However, he was injured on and off during the year with back problems, blisters, etc. He just can’t stay on the field. This year he has only made two starts because of a flexor strain in his elbow. It’s time that Mets fans should wonder if Matz is going to be injury prone for the rest of his career.
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Jacob deGrom was not a top Mets pitching prospect, but he ended being a major pleasant surprise. He came onto the scene in 2014, posting a 9-6 record with a 2.69 ERA. Then the next season, he almost won the NL Cy Young, going 14-8 with a 2.54 ERA and striking out over 200 batters. That season also included an unforgettable MLB All-Star Game appearance where he struck out the side and a dominant postseason where he recorded 3 wins and posted a 2.68 ERA. He was also remembered that season for getting the Mets into the NLCS with a gutsy seven-inning performance giving up no runs and striking out 13. Mets fans were wondering if this guy could actually be the ace of the future.
In 2016, he was not as dominant but still very good, going 7-8 with a 3.04 ERA. However, he was also bitten by the injury bug, going down in August with elbow problems, that included him getting surgery to his ulnar nerve. He has come back this season not the same, going 6-3 with a 3.94 ERA thus far.
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Finally, dominant phenom Noah Syndergaard was officially tabbed going into the season as the Mets ace of the future. He was the top Mets pitching prospect going into the 2015 campaign and when he was brought up, he went 9-7, with a 3.24 ERA. He knew he could improve and he did. Last year he turned it into another gear, going 14-9 with a 2.60 ERA. Mets fans and the organization were salivating at the thought at what this guy could become in the years to come. He put on 16 pounds of muscle in the offseason and was ready to show what he can really do.
Well, that didn’t happen. As every Mets player does, he bit the injury bug, going down in April with a tear in his Lat muscle. Sandy Alderson has no idea when Syndergaard will be able to come back, if at all. That is the most disappointing part of this season.
A starting rotation absolutely in shambles right now after such high expectations. Due to injuries, lack of confidence, and decreased talent/ability, the fab five are dwindling every start. One of the biggest wonders will be if this rotation will ever be dominant, or can they even be average at best?