New York Mets: good starting pitching continues to be key

Coming into the 2014 season, everybody knew that the New York Mets were going to rely heavily on their starting pitchers. This has been exactly the case in the early going of this season and even more in the last two weeks. Over those last 10 or 11 games Mets starting pitchers have an ERA 1.81. It has managed to keep the Mets in the game an allow the minimal offensive production they have received stand up and push the team to 13-10.

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Jenrry Mejia has been leading the charge of the Mets’ successful starting pitching

Leading the charge has been Jenrry Mejia who is 3-0 with an ERA of 1.99. Jon Niese has posted an impressive 2.45 ERA with Dillon Gee and Zack Wheeler both coming in with ERAs under 4. Bartolo Colon has the highest ERA among the starters at 4.50, but if not for one bad start against the Angels his would be much lower. The overall rotation ERA is a very solid 3.41.

And it’s likely only going to get better. Pitchers will settle into their rhythms. Bad outings will be diluted by more solid ones. And then the cavalry will arrive. Come this summer, the Mets will see the arrival of Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard. These two young guns are rated as the two best prospects in the system and should add even more firepower to an already impressive rotation.

However, great starting pitching alone is not going to carry this team to contention. The Mets need to find some offense and get the pitching some support. The pitching is hot now but when they cool off the offense will have to carry some of the weight, especially in the month of May while we wait for the long awaited arrivals of Montero and Syndergaard.

As of right now, there isn’t nearly enough offense. Yes, the Mets held the Cardinals to 6 runs in four games, but they only scored 9 in the four games including a 3-0 loss. They are going to have to start generating offense in order to continue to be competitive this season. Even during team hot streaks, they still have struggle to score runs.

Another factor will be whether the bullpen can hold leads going late into the game. Carlos Torres, Kyle Farnsworth and Dice-K Matsuzaka have been solid but there is nearly a 3.5 point difference between their ERAs and the next best reliever. We’ve seen a few leads given up costing the starting pitcher some wins, but that takes nothing away from the performances that the pitchers are putting in. Pitchers like Jeurys Familia or Jose Valverde have to start locking down their performances or losses will begin to pile up. If this team is going to depend on its pitching, and it seems like it’s going to have to, there must be solid performances from everyone at all spots at every inning.

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But for now the Mets will continue to rely on impressive starting pitching to win games. With the talent in the rotation currently as well as the inevitable arrivals of the two best prospects in the system the pitching should continue to be, and will need to be, the key to the Mets’ success.

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  • Eric Kench

    The problem with the bullpen has been Collins inability to manage it. The offense will come around when the weather gets warmer. Already D’Arnaud has gotten his batting average over .200. Granderson needs a couple of multi-hit games to do the same.