By Joseph Staszewski
It is about pitching, pitching and more pitching for the Mets.
There are few teams in baseball that could shake off losing its closer and No. 3 starter as quickly as the Mets have in the young season. We have learned quickly they still have the arms, and plenty of them to carry them this season.
It’s why the Mets haven’t blinked since starter Zach Wheeler was lost for the season with an elbow injury and closer Jenry Mejia was hit with an 80-game suspension for PED use after the season opener in Washington. Batters have kept getting up and Mets pitching keeps setting them down.
“Our pitching is pretty good,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “That’s where it starts. As long as we continue to pitch well we will be in games.”
The Mets still have one of the best 1-2 combos in baseball with Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom. The pair has allowed just five runs in 24.1 innings pitched, including 6.1 by deGrom in a 2-0 home opening win against the Phillies Monday at Citi Field. He admitted to not even being at his best.
“When you realize you don’t have that, you really have to concentrate and try to make good pitches,” deGrom said.
Flame thrower Jeurys Famillia, who took over for Mejia, picked up his second save of the season as part of a bullpen that tossed 2.3 innings of scoreless relief. More bullpen help is on the way with Vic Black and Bobby Parnell working back from injuries and stud starters Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz are still waiting in the wings in the minors.
The pitching is more than good enough to keep the Mets in games until the bats come alive. Philadelphia out hit the Mets, who were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, but the Mets still won.
There is potential in the lineup with David Wright, Lucus Duda, Michael Cuddyer and Curtis Granderson. The hope is that Juan Lagares and Travis d’Arnaud are coming into their own. The Mets won’t need a ton of offense to win games, just maybe to keep their fans from too many heart attacks in what seems like endless tight contests already.
“I think there are going to be a lot of close games,” Collins said.
All that means is the Mets will have plenty of chances to win games and a lot of them they hope. Collins has been most impressed that his team is finding a way to come out on top, especially in front of an energetic sellout crowd.
“This is a different stage,” Collins said. “There are 45,000 people screaming. If we are going to continue to play like we are talking, you better get use to it.”
Fans have already gotten used to seeing Collins’ pitching staff dominate games. There is no reason to think it won’t continue this season and in the years to come.