The New York Mets get set to kick off their 2022 postseason run, and now more than ever will their pitching have to be lights out.
The Mets are scheduled to face-off against the San Diego Padres this Friday in a best of 3 wild card series. Yes…You read that correctly. The long-time 2022 National League East leading Mets (who spent 175 days in 1st place) are now in a wild card scenario, while the Atlanta Braves win the division.
As I fathomed weeks ago, the Mets series against the Atlanta Braves was going to be extremely crucial, as Atlanta was inching back into the divisional race. The Mets fell flat on their faces this series, taking a 3-game sweep. What’s crazy about this, is that the Mets have won 100 games! What’s even crazier, is that the Braves beat the best 1-2 punch of starting pitchers in the league, in Jacob deGrom and Matt Scherzer. In fact, this isn’t even crazy, it’s scary.
The Mets pitching must be zoned in to survive the wild card series
The Mets were once favorites to win the 2022 World Series; this was quickly questioned as deGrom and Scherzer were both defeated, back-to-back nights. Although deGrom was lights out 11 strikeouts over 6 innings, Atlanta put up 3 runs against him, followed by another 2 off of Tylor Megill. Max Scherzer on the other hand had a bit of a rough outing, only going 5.2 innings, giving up 4 runs on 9 hits, 2 homeruns, only striking out 4. This is not the usual Max we’re used to seeing.
On paper, the New York Mets rank 7th overall in the Major Leagues regarding pitching staff, with an overall 3.58 ERA total, and a 100-61 in record. Off paper, the Mets have one of the strongest pitching staff’s in the league, with 4 pitchers over 10 wins, and below 10 loses. Their top 7 pitches have over 100 strikeouts on the year, all with ERA’s below 4.00.
The arms will have to come through in their upcoming wild card series in Queens. Who can we expect on the bump? The arms that kept the Mets in the top of the league all year. Game 1 we should expect to see the Mets ace, RHP Jacob deGrom. Game 2 should line up with RHP Max Scherzer.
Saving 32 of his 35 opportunities, Edwin Diaz will be highly relied on, with the possibility of consecutive back to back opportunities and possibly multiple inning save scenarios. The Mets bullpen will need to string together innings, as they have. Max Scherzer may be on monitored outing or short leash, coming off of injury.
The San Diego Padres are going to match this with RHP Yu Darvish in game 1, possibly followed by Joe Musgrove, and or Blake Snell. Pitching will be a huge part of the outcome of this series on both ends.