I’ve always been a very measured person throughout my life. It even carries over to what I write about the Mets.
So after lambasting them yesterday for being too soft, I have this sudden irresistible urge to write something positive about the Mets to even things out — so to speak.
What a conundrum indeed… trying to find something positive about a bunch of soft, overpaid, under-achievers… thus far.
Still, I managed to find some comfort with our pitching — specifically the relief pitching.
“The pen is mightier than the sword.”
Despite an underwhelming 10-11 record to show for the season thus far, the Mets still boast a team ERA of 2.96, which ranks second in Major League Baseball behind the San Diego Padres (2.80 ERA).
There’s little doubt that the pitching staff’s impressive metrics — which also includes an MLB-leading 1.061 WHIP — are aided on by the incomparable Jacob deGrom (0.51 ERA / 0.571 WHIP) and a solid start to the season by right-hander Marcus Stroman (1.86 ERA / 0.931 WHIP).
But even when you single out the performance of the Mets bullpen, the team still boast some nice marks including ranking second in the league with a 3.43 ERA, behind only the Padres (2.98 ERA).
The Mets bullpen has really stepped it up recently, pitching to a 0.81 ERA (two earned runs/22.1 innings) with seven walks and 32 strikeouts over their last six games. That’s tops in the league during that span.
Leading the charge are some surprising names beginning with veteran reliever Jeurys Familia.
Familia, 31, is looking like his old self again, having posted a 1.35 ERA, 2.78 FIP and a 9.5 K/9 over eight appearances. He has tossed 6.2 scoreless innings dating to April 10, his longest scoreless streak since 2018.
Edwin Diaz is also excelling and is now pitching like the closer the Mets were hoping for after acquiring him just before the 2019 season.
Diaz, still only 27, is off to an impressive start with a 1.96 FIP, 1.001 WHIP and a 11.1 K/9 in nine appearances to begin the season. He hasn’t alllowed an earned run in his last 7.1 innings, dating back to April 11.
The two relievers that have impressed the most are right-hander Miguel Castro (2.00 ERA, 1.222 WHIP, 15.0 K/9) and newcomer Trevor May (2.40 ERA, 1.227 WHIP, 16.1 K/9 ).
Castro, 26, is tied for the team lead with nine appearances, and his 53 strikeouts since 2020 is the 10th most in MLB by a reliever.
May, 31, has not allowed an earned run since April 5, his first appearance this season (7.0 innings). His 14.66 K/9 ratio since 2020 is the the 5th best in the majors among relievers (Min. 20
There’s no telling if this Mets bullpen will continue to outperform expectations in 2021. But you have to appreciate that a bullpen that entered this season with so many questions, is a big reason for what little success they’ve managed to obtain so far this season.
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