The New York Mets have undoubtedly been one of the most disappointing teams in baseball this season.
After a huge offseason of spending, the Mets are six games under .500 (42-48) at the All-Star break. That puts them fourth in the NL East, 18.5 games back of the Braves and seven games back of a playoff spot.
There is plenty of blame to go around in New York, but who deserves the most?
WFAN’s Evan Roberts of the Audacy Original Podcast “Rico Brogna” outlined why he thinks the starting pitching as a whole has been the Mets’ biggest issue so far this season.
“I don’t want to just make it a group because I know it’s the starting pitching. To me, it’s the starting pitching,” Roberts said (3:35 in player above). “So I can say that and just call it a day, but I wanted to go deeper than that and not just say it as a whole.”
The Mets’ two aces, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, have not performed up to their potential so far this season.
While Scherzer has an impressive record at 8-3, he has a 4.31 ERA and the Mets are 10-6 in his 16 starts. Verlander has been better after a bumpy beginning to the season, going 3-4 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 starts.
That may be good, but it’s not good enough. And it’s only the beginning of the Mets’ pitching problems.
“I think if I combine the two of those guys, I could certainly say that’s their biggest issue,” Roberts continued. “You’re going to think I’m crazy for saying this, but if you look back at last year and you try to figure out ‘How the hell did they win 101 games?’ What if I told you that last year when the ‘depth’ guys made a start… When David Peterson, Trevor Williams, Tylor Megill, Jose Butto, and Thomas Szapucki started games – there were 39 games that those guys started combined – the New York Mets last year were 25-14.”
Kodai Senga has been a nice addition, but Carlos Carrasco has dealt with injuries and the rest of the starting options haven’t been up to snuff.
Roberts noted that the Mets were 12-7 in Peterson’s 19 starts last season and they’re just 3-8 in his 11 starts this year thanks to his 6.46 ERA.
It’s also a product of overuse. The Mets’ “depth” starters made just 39 starts last year thanks to the departed Jacob deGrom, Chris Bassitt, and Taijuan Walker providing solid arms in the rotation. However, they’ve already made 33 starts in 90 games this season.
“If I group Verlander and Scherzer together, then yeah, they would be the number one culprit,” he continued. “But I think their starting pitching as a whole has been such a problem that I’m going to look at the depth guys and how badly they’ve been this year compared to last year as the number one culprit for why this team is six games under .500.”
It hasn’t helped that the Mets lost their bullpen anchor Edwin Diaz to a season-ending knee injury back in March. It’s led to more and more problems for the pitching staff as a whole and has had a trickle-down effect.
“I think that most of these issues – this is my main point to my fellow Mets fans,” Roberts said. “I’m diagnosing why things have been bad: pitching, pitching, pitching, pitching, and pitching before I get to every other issue.”