The New York Mets will go as far as their starting pitching takes them. This team is built with the intention of having two of the best five pitchers in the game anchoring the rotation. The opposition beating the Mets in a seven game series where Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer pitch two times each seems hard to imagine.
With the way things have gone this season, who knows if they will be healthy. deGrom just got back in August after missing 13 months due to various injuries. Scherzer missed seven weeks earlier this season with an oblique injury and seems to have re-aggrivated that same side and found himself on the IL once again.
In a perfect world, Scherzer and deGrom would start the first two games. The third game would be started by Chris Bassitt. The last rotation spot is very up in the air. There are three strong candidates for one spot which is a great problem to have.
3) Ranking the options for the final spot in the postseason rotation: Taijuan Walker
For much of the first half, Taijuan Walker pitched like an all-star. I felt he was the biggest Met snub on a team that had a couple of guys who were very worthy of making an appearance.
Walker was an all-star last season as well before collapsing in the second half and being one of the worst pitchers in baseball. This season I thought would be different because he finally got through a full season in 2021, but so far I've been wrong.
In the second half of this season, Walker has posted a 6.25 ERA in eight starts. Much of that is from his outing against the Braves where he allowed eight runs in one inning of work but he hasn't been the same guy he was in the first half.
Something Walker excelled in during the first half of the season was keeping the ball in the ballpark. He allowed just four home runs in 91.2 innings pitched. In the second half, he's already allowed seven home runs in 36 innings pitched.
This is a similar pattern to last season's second half collapse as Walker allowed six home runs in 94.2 first half innings last season only to allow 20 longballs in 61.2 second half innings.
Walker's strikeouts are down from 7.2 K/9 to 5.8 K/9 and his WHIP has shot up from 1.091 to 1.583.
He simply has not pitched well down the stretch and after last season I am not willing to risk him starting a playoff game especially when the Mets have two other really solid options.