There is a phrase around baseball: Pitching wins championships. Sure, you can have the best offense in baseball and an A-quality manager, but if you don’t have talented young pitching, your team will go nowhere.
The New York Mets take that phrase to the max. Through shrewd trades, free agency, and smart drafting, the Mets have assembled the best rotation in all of Major League Baseball today. Consisting of Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler (when healthy), and Bartolo Colon, the Mets have the fireballers, the finesse, and the savvy required to win any ballgame. With this rotation intact for years to come, the Mets look unstoppable.
Harvey, deGrom, Syndergaard, and Matz are a modern day Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Jerry Koosman, and Gary Gentry for the Mets, an unbeatable group of pitchers that not even the best lineups can dent. Facing the Mets in a series is like a death sentence for a team’s offense.
Pick your poison. You can choose the heat, which is where Harvey, Syndergaard, and Wheeler excel. If you want deadly precision and accuracy, deGrom and Matz have you covered. And if you think you’ve got it easy against the 42-year-old Colon, think again. He has a 3-1 record with a 2.82 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. The fan favorite has even beaten teams with the bat, slugging his first career home run last week against the San Diego Padres.
One thing that the All-Star staff has that not all others do is camaraderie. The bunch is always seen together joking around. Their egos rarely show up, which is rare when all of them have a legitimate claim as to why they should be the ace. The Mets’ starters really do just want what’s best for the team, and ultimately a World Series Championship.
This trait will be crucial when Wheeler returns from Tommy John Surgery in early July, around the All-Star Break. There are usually only 5 spots in the rotation, and the Mets have 6 capable candidates.
It will most likely be the affable Colon that goes to the bullpen, a spot where he has pitched before, including this season. Having Colon as a bullpen weapon will be a gift for the Mets, who also have the privilege of using him as a spot starter when need be.
There is a chance that the Mets could go with the controversial 6-man rotation when Wheeler returns. This has some positives and negatives. The good side is that there will be more rest for each of the individual starters; they would make about 27 starts a year instead of 32. The bad side is that there is less “flow” in the pitchers’ routines and that they may fall out of sync, not generally something that you would want with such a young rotation.
Having this many quality starters also makes some fans anxious to trade one of them to help patch another position of need. While the Mets could do this and reap reasonable benefits, they might be smarter to hang onto their young guns for as long as possible so they don’t get burned in the future.
Having 6 qualified starters is the best problem in the Major Leagues to have, and it’s one that usually works itself out due to injuries or other circumstances. The Mets need not fret about having too much of a good thing, because what they’ve got is the best rotation in baseball.
After coming oh so close to a Championship last year, the Mets are hungrier than ever before to win the big one. They have a tough road ahead of them in the National League, but if the Mets’ starters keep on keeping on, it won’t be long before the Commissioner’s Trophy is back in New York, this time on the other side of town.