METS' PITCHING POTPOURRI by Tom Brennan
I was chuckling, man, just thinking about this crazily amazing Mets' stretch run, with just 7 regular season games left.
Through Saturday, September 24, they've played 22 games in do-or-die September. Four each started by normal rotation guys Colon and Thor, and one by an injured jake deGrom on September 1. They figured on a healthy Jake and Matz, but got a total of 1 September appearance out of both (although there are hints that Matz still might be able to do brief relief stints).
In a season where some thought those 2 and Harvey might give them 3 twenty game winners, the 3 combined for just 20 wins and 26 losses. No one would have predicted playoffs given that and the failure of Wheeler to return.
After those 9 starts by rotation guys, thirteen September starts have been made by other guys who, with the possible exception of Rafael Montero, one would not have pictured starting any games in 2016, given the supposedly elite Mets rotation outlook and plans in spring 2016.
Let's recap the 13:
Four by Seth Lugo
Four by Rob Gsellman
Two by Rafael Montero
Two by Gabe Ynoa
One by Sean Gilmartin
When one remembers the useless acquisition of Jon Niese, and Logan Verrett (who surrendered another bomb of a homer on another meatball Friday night), the above 5 September starters would have been the organization's 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th choices (you pick the order) to start a game for the Mets this year, by my estimation.
Yet the Mets have managed to go 13-9 so far this month in those 22 games, despite 13 of those being started by their 9th thru 13th ranked starters.
One chuckles even more when one considers that the team those 5 pitched for during much of 2016 (Las Vegas) allowed more runs than any minor league team!
Lugo and Gsellman have been simply outstanding, and their efforts are truly appreciated. They've stepped up in a season where, if you asked me, neither would have started a game for the Mets and made the absolute most out of their opportunities. Thank you both so much, Seth and Rob, the dynamic duo.
Ok, reality set in tonight with Gilmartin and Montero surrendering an insurmountable 10 runs in the first four innings of a 10-8 loss, but overall, the 2nd stringers have really impressed.
All one can do is chuckle, enjoy, and hope this collection of surprises keeps surprising us. Right down to a ride down the Canyon of Heroes? That would really leave us all chuckling.