Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Mets Score Three off Max Scherzer for Win

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Mets Score Three off Max Scherzer for Win

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON — You can never have enough pitching. That's a mantra Mickey Callaway and Dave Eiland both believe in, and the two pitching gurus believe the Mets need to fortify their pitching depth this offseason.

The Mets have a top four that rivals any quartet in baseball, but there is a lack of proven options beyond fifth starter Jason Vargas. The veteran southpaw allowed two runs in 52/3 innings in Thursday's 5-4 win over the Nationals in 12 innings at Nationals Park.

Michael Conforto and Jay Bruce homered consecutively off Max Scherzer, helping widen the ERA gap between him and Jacob deGrom.

Jose Lobaton's sacrifice fly plated the winning run.

The Mets are in a good spot with their rotation since they have potentially three aces and a fourth capable starter in Steven Matz, but teams have to protect against injuries and ineffectiveness. MLB teams averaged 11.6 starters last season.

Twelve pitchers have made starts for the Mets this year with one of those starts belonging to reliever Jerry Blevins.

The team's top four of deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler combined for 110 starts this season, an impressive total. Combining the 19 starts Vargas has made, each member of the Mets' rotation has averaged roughly 26 starts this year.

The concern for the Mets (71-82) moving forward is the drop off after those five since the team lacks a proven seventh starter. Rookie Corey Oswalt has handled himself fine, but he will have to prove that he can be effective as the league learns more about him.

Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo have both pitched well as starters, but Eiland likes them more as relievers considering the Mets' roster.

"On this pitching staff they are (better as relievers)," Eiland said. "It's been proven over and over for the last six months we're a better staff with them in the pen."

The Mets' other holes should prevent the team from chasing the top starting pitchers available like Arizona's Patrick Corbin and Houston's Dallas Keuchel, but this offseason showed there are veterans that can be had on cheap deals. …

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