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New York Mets: Unpredictable rotation leaves uncertainty

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PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 15: Starting pitcher Zack Wheeler #45 of the New York Mets throws a warm up pitch during the first inning of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on May 15, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - MAY 15: Starting pitcher Zack Wheeler #45 of the New York Mets throws a warm up pitch during the first inning of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on May 15, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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The New York Mets face huge obstacles with their starting rotation one month into the season.

Through one month of the 2018 season, the New York Mets stand 17-10 and on top of the National League. This may come as a surprise after all the drama the Mets have been dealing with regarding their starting pitching rotation situation.

The top two performers so far in the rotation have been Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom. After cutting off his flowing locks of hair, deGrom has been the best pitcher for this team so far in the season, posting three wins and zero losses and having a 2.06 ERA. He is also in the top ten in the league with strikeouts, being 5th with 48 strikeouts so far.  

When these two dominant guys are on the mound, Met fans can usually relax and see them get the job done.

Outside of those two, is where the uncertainty of this starting rotation begins. Zack Wheeler is posting two wins and one loss with a rather high 4.09 ERA. His first start of the year he made quick work of the Marlins, letting up two hits and only one run in seven innings pitched. He has not been the quite the same after that, but he has still been effective.

The last game pitched against the San Diego Padres, he pitched five innings, giving up two runs with nine strikeouts. Wheeler has been fighting for his spot in the starting rotation and will continue to fight for his spot. Wheeler has been doing good since his return from multiple injuries, but he needs to show his worth very soon to this rotation. In order to do this, he must have an effective start against a contending team.

Another person who fought his way to the starting rotation was Steven Matz. After a shaky Spring Training, he has made his way to the starting five, but he has not been what the Mets have been looking for.

After five starts, Matz is posting one win and two losses with an ERA close to five. He has not been able to pitch past five innings, only having one effective game against the Washington Nationals, where he pitched five innings on three hits and one run given up.

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Matz needs to find consistency and try to last longer in games because the Mets cannot rely on the bullpen to pitch 5 or six innings to pick up where Matz left off.

Fresh off a couple of bullpen reliefs, Matt Harvey is still trying to fit in with his new bullpen role. In his last three bullpen reliefs, he has given up two runs in four innings pitched. He has some shaky starts and he has not been up to what the Mets were expecting. If he cannot get things going he will certainly not be in a Mets uniform next season.

One pitcher to still keep an eye on is Jason Vargas. Vargas made his season debut on April 28th, went 3.2 innings before getting rocked for 9 runs.

Obviously, you cannot base one start on how he will do for the rest of the season, but it can be very alarming. The Mets will need to keep a close eye on him because if he can get it together fast, he can be a huge part of this rotation that the Mets desperately need as of right now.

With the inconsistencies of the pitching rotation with just two pitchers who you can really have full faith in, how far can the Mets get? The answer is not so far.

deGrom has been staying clear of injuries, but if Syndergaard goes down again there is some huge trouble. Overworking these guys will exhaust them before the summer ends and the Mets will be left with no one.

The offense has picked up if the pitching is not stellar, which is a huge plus. The Mets have come from behind to pick up a few wins which can save some of their pitchers from time to time.

One thing the Mets can do is pull guys from the bullpen into the starting rotation who have been successful like Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman. They all have extensive experience in the starting pitching role and it won’t cost the Mets any players or prospects to get any of these guys in.

Next: Mets Morning Bite: Thoughts on Matt Harvey, Mets predictions

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A month in, and the Mets still face many questions regarding the starting rotation. Mickey Callaway can’t rely on these players to deliver in the big games just yet, and if they continue to be unpredictable, the Mets will not be able to punch their ticket to the postseason.

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