Grades are in for the New York Mets starting pitching for the first half, and it's been not the season the Mets and their fans had hoped for from their starters, similar to their position players, which we documented on here yesterday. The starting pitching ranks in the bottom half in the majors in almost every major category, and with more than $100 million in collective salaries invested in the rotation, it's been inconceivable watching this unfold.
But, alas, we must grade them anyways, and for this article, we will grade the starters who have made five or more starts, and there are seven of them. As for our evaluations on position players from yesterday, we will sort based on a certain stat from highest to lowest, and it will be based on innings pitched.
Kodai Senga - 2023 Mets starting pitcher first half grade
1st Half Stats: 89.2 IP, 16 starts, 7-5, 3.31 ERA, 113 K, 47 BB, 125 ERA+ .204 AVG against
Lost in the shuffle of the Mets' porous first half was how awesome Kodai Senga was in his first half as an MLB pitcher. And the Mets needed this, given how battered and bruised the rotation has been. It took some adjusting of routine from Japan to the U.S., but Senga belonged on the All-Star team because he was one of the 10 best starting pitchers in the NL. His ghost forkball has been an enjoyable watch too, as it was in Japan for more than a decade.
Max Scherzer - 2023 Mets starting pitcher first half grade
1st Half Stats: 87.2 IP, 16 starts, 8-3, 4.31 ERA, 101 K, 23 BB, 96 ERA+, 18 HR allowed
Max Scherzer has already allowed more runs and home runs than he did all of last year, which is probably the most damning indictment of his season so far. In other news, batting average is up, walks are up, and strikeouts are down (slightly). But it was also other things that contributed to this mess of a first half for him, including a 10-game suspension for having a sticky substance on the mound. But nonetheless, in the big starts this year, he's come up small, and an ERA+ below league average won't cut it for someone making $43.3 million this year.