kodai senga mets
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Just when the Mets want to make you throw your hands in the air and give up, they find a way to pull you back in.

After going just 7-19 in June, New York is set to take the field at Petco Park on Friday with a perfect 5-0 record so far in July. And sure, the offense has put up eight-plus runs three times during the Mets’ current five-game win streak. But do you know what’s been the key here? Dominant performances from the pitching staff. And more specifically, we’re talking about the starting rotation.

Here are the pitching lines for the hurlers who started each of New York’s last five games:

  • Justin Verlander (vs. SFG): 1 unearned run on 5 hits, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts in 7 innings
  • David Peterson (vs. SFG): 1 earned run on 3 hits, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts in 4 innings
  • Max Scherzer (vs. AZ): 4 earned runs on 5 hits, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts in 6 innings
  • Kodai Senga (vs. AZ): 1 earned run on 4 hits, 1 walk, 12 strikeouts in 8 innings
  • Carlos Carrasco (vs. AZ): 0 runs on 3 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts in 8 innings

Between that and the offense getting hot, the Mets have outscored their opponents 31-11 during this time. After losing to the Giants on June 30th, New York was 36-46 and 10 games back of the final National League Wild Card spot. But as of July 7th, they’re 41-46 and 6.5 games back.

There’s still a mountain to climb, but it doesn’t look so tall anymore. Instead of having to think about being trade deadline sellers, the front office is undoubtedly expecting to be a buyer prior to August 1st again. They have to keep winning over the next couple of weeks to keep that a possibility, though.

We can’t expect the Mets’ rotation to keep twirling these kinds of gems every night. But this is more along the lines of the production everyone was expecting from this area of the roster. General manager Billy Eppler had to completely rebuild the pitching staff over the winter, and preseason projections had them among the league leaders.

It wasn’t like that through the end of June, though. Here’s a look at where the Mets’ rotation ranked in various categories:

  • 4.76 ERA (23rd in MLB)
  • 1.45 WHIP (25th)
  • 417.2 innings (22nd)
  • 22.0% strikeout rate (15th)
  • 9.8% walk rate (30th)
  • 1.42 homers per nine innings (23rd)

Here’s how those numbers and rankings have changed so far in July:

  • 1.64 ERA (3rd in MLB)
  • 0.85 WHIP (3rd)
  • 33 innings (6th)
  • 27.9% strikeout rate (4th)
  • 6.6% walk rate (T-10th)
  • 1.09 homers per nine innings (16th)

Comparing these two periods is obviously apples and oranges. This was long overdue if you’re in the Mets’ front office and on the coaching staff, though.

The numbers they’ve put together to start July will even out because we’ve essentially seen both ends of the spectrum. However, since the Mets were in a “wait and see if things turn around” mode, they’re seeing the overcorrection happening right now.

So, maybe the season isn’t over after all. But as in past years, New York will ultimately go as far as its pitching staff (read: the starting rotation) will carry them. So, they need to keep up some semblance of this production.

You can reach Matt Musico at matt.musico@xlmedia.com. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.