Yankees Rout Mets Meaning – MLB BaseballThursday, September 24, 2015 7:35
Danger looming for the Mets post-season.
Does the Yankees Rout of the Mets Provide the Blueprint to Beat Them in the Playoffs?
“Thanks, Matt,” the New York Post’s back headline read after the Mets fell to the cross-town rival Yankees, 11-2 following Sunday night’s final Subway Series game. That’s a pretty brutal headline: Harvey really must have been terrible. So how many runs did he give up? Eight? Ten?
Harvey only allowed one hit and one walk, and he struck out seven batters. But to some observers, only one part of his line mattered: 5.0 innings pitched. With Harvey out early in the game, the Yankees pummeled the Mets’ middle relievers, putting the game well out of reach early on. Have they figured out a formula to beat the Mets?
The Mets have an innings problem. Matt Harvey, their ace pitcher, is pitching in his first year back after Tommy John surgery. Harvey’s agent, Scott Boras, dropped a bomb on the Mets last month: he said that Harvey had a hard cap of 180 innings this year, essentially eliminating him for the postseason. The Mets, Harvey, and Boras seem to have come to an agreement on Harvey’s use, but they’re severely limiting his innings, forcing the team to use a lot of relievers in the middle innings after Harvey takes a seat.
Harvey is the most extreme example, but there are other pitchers that the Mets may need to keep an eye on. Noah Syndergaard has pitched a lot of innings, as has Jacob DeGrom.
Having to use a lot of bullpen arms isn’t something the Mets like to do. This isn’t a terrible bullpen, exactly, but it’s not a great one either. The Mets have been missing Jenrry Mejia, once the team’s closer, due to a PED suspension that’s lasted all year. Jeurys Familia has flourished in the closer role, however, and the acquisition of Tyler Clippard has solved the eighth inning. The seventh, sixth, and earlier innings, however, are much more of an issue for this Mets bullpen. A couple of key Mets relievers are out for the year. Of the remaining sixth- and seventh-inning guys, only Sean Gilmartin has an ERA of under three (his is 2.74).
Hope For the Postseason
Does the 11-2 rout at the hands of the Yankees show a clear Mets weakness during Harvey’s short starts? Absolutely, it does. But the good news for Mets fans is that it’s still not clear that Harvey’s starts will be short in the postseason. The Mets, Harvey, and Boras claim they’re now on the same page, but postseason pitch or innings counts haven’t been relayed to the press. Will Harvey be allowed to go longer? Can he go as long as the Mets need him to? If so, this will all soon be a non-issue – provided that the Mets finish of the Nationals and make it to the postseason, which seems prohibitively likely. Once they arrive in October, all eyes will be on Harvey. If Harvey can’t go far into games, the Mets will have an Achilles heel every time they start their ace.
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