The New York Mets have been bad in a number of areas throughout the 2018 season. There’s one particular situation in which they’re on track to make some sad history, though.
In their series finale at Citi Field against the Chicago Cubs, New York Mets starter Steven Matz took the loss despite allowing just two runs on five hits, two walks, and seven strikeouts in seven innings.
Losing a game in which your hurler produced a quality start is frustrating. Doing it on a consistent basis takes things up a notch in the worst way possible. In their four-game sweep of New York, three of the Cubs’ wins came in this fashion — Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom, and Matz all left with quality starts before Chicago emerged victorious.
The Mets are 8-14 this year when their starter records a quality start (6+ IP & 3 or fewer ER), good for a .364 winning percentage.
Since ERA became an official stat in 1913, only the 1916 Phillies finished with a worse record in such games, going 30-56 (.349).
— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) June 3, 2018
New York’s latest loss in this situation brings that winning percentage down to .348. That would indeed be the worst since the ERA became an official stat if the regular season ended today.
There are a couple of factors contributing to this futility. The most obvious is the Mets’ general lack of offense. Days like Sunday and Saturday — where they could only muster one run through 14 innings — simply aren’t going to get the job done if they plan on being competitive on any level this year.
The other factor is a struggling bullpen. They’ve been consistently bad in recent weeks, and the Thursday and Friday games against Chicago are a microcosm of that.
Seth Lugo looked great in four shutout innings on Thursday, but the game was lost after four of the following five relievers each surrendered at least one run. Wheeler’s quality start on Friday was immediately wasted when Paul Sewald entered and promptly gave up four runs.
It’s only June. The Mets will get plenty more quality starts before the regular season ends. Logic says the offense and bullpen will step up in this situation more times than they already have moving forward. Now we just have to wait and see if that actually happens.