The Mets Second Half Success: Pitching

Jacob deGrom
Julia Nikhinson – AP Photo

The New York Mets (73-39) are putting on a show game after game. After starting the second half with back-to-back losses they have been nearly unbeatable. Following those two losses, they are 15-2 behind nothing but purely dominant victories. Here is how their pitching has made them so successful.

Important Stretches

The Mets started the season as the best pitching team in all of baseball. After running into a bit of a rough patch in June and July they seem to have it turned around.

They truly started to impress in the second half when they took on the New York Yankees at home. The first two games of the Subway Series were won by the Mets. This was only possible behind pitching that only gave up five total runs to the Yankees.

Beyond that, it has been wildly impressive despite some ups and downs over the last couple of weeks.

The Rough Patch

In their eight games post the All-Star break to finish July, they only allowed opposing teams to score five or more only one time. That did not hold true for the start of August.

In their first six August games against the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves, they allowed five or more runs four times. Despite not pitching as well as they may have hoped they still went 4-2 in those six.

Over those five games, they allowed 28 runs. The last time they gave up that much in a five-game stretch was June 6-11 against the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Angels when they gave up 39.

The Perfect Stretch

After those eight games, they completely stifled opposing hitters. In their last five games against the Braves and Cincinnati Reds, they held them to two or fewer runs in each game.

They allowed a total of nine runs in those five games. Surprisingly it has not been that long since the last time they allowed nine or fewer runs in five games. They last did it against the Texas Rangers, Reds and Miami Marlins from July 3-7.

However, it has been a while since they last allowed two or fewer in five straight games. It has been since May 25-31, 2021 against the Colorado Rockies, Braves and Arizona Diamondbacks. They only gave up seven in that stretch.

Impact Players

It is important to look at who have been the most pivotal performers during these past few weeks.

Jacob deGrom

The most important name to point out is Mets ace Jacob deGrom. After injuries ended his spectacular season on July 7, 2021, he worked tirelessly to get back to a big league mound.

He finally made his long-awaited return to the mound on August 2nd against the Washington Nationals. Over five innings he only allowed three hits and one run while striking out six.

He followed up that excellent performance with one even more jaw-dropping. On August 7th he faced the Braves and showed why he is still the best pitcher in baseball. Through 5.2 innings he was pitching a perfect game with 12 strikeouts. Unfortunately, he was removed after allowing a walk and two-run home run, but he put on quite the pitching masterclass.

Adding deGrom to this already amazing rotation has pushed them to an even more elite level.

Max Scherzer

It has been a Cy Young-type season for starter Max Scherzer who continues to tear apart opposing hitters. In his four second-half starts, he has gone six or more each time. The two appearances that need to be highlighted are his games on July 27th against the Yankees and August 6th against the Braves.

In one of the most hyped-up games of the season, Scherzer showed up big time. Dominating the Yankees is no easy task this season, but Scherzer did just that. Over seven innings he shut out the Yankees where he only allowed five hits and two walks while striking out six.

Two starts later he impressed even more. In a massive NL East battle, Scherzer locked down the Braves with seven shutout innings where he allowed only four hits and racked up 11 strikeouts.

Edwin Diaz

Mets closer Edwin Diaz is having a Reliever of the Year caliber season. He has been about as perfect as any pitcher could be. When the Mets are in a close game they know exactly who will shut the door.

He has made seven appearances in the second half and has been the X-factor. Over eight innings he only allowed two hits while racking up 16 strikeouts, including three appearances where he struck out each batter he faced.

After nearly falling out of first place in the National League East, the New York Mets have jumped back out to a massive lead. They currently hold a seven-game lead over the Atlanta Braves. This massive lead can be attributed to impeccable pitching. They aim to continue this great stretch, but they will be tested. Ahead of them is 13 games in 12 days including two against the New York Yankees, four against the Atlanta Braves and seven against the Philadelphia Phillies.

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