New York Mets 2020 Season in Review: Starting Pitching

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at New York Mets

Now that the New York Mets’ 2020 season is over, we are going to take a look at the year as a whole over the few weeks. We will break down the offense, starting pitching, relievers, coaching staff, declare a team MVP, and more. We continue today with a look at the Mets’ starting pitching.

The 2020 season saw the Mets’ starting pitching, which was a hallmark of the team since 2015, completely fall apart. The decision to let Zack Wheeler walk in free agency backfired while Noah Syndergaard’s Tommy John surgery and Marcus Stroman’s decision to opt-out left the rotation razor thin behind Jacob deGrom. Let’s take a look at what went right and what was wrong for the Mets’ rotation this season.

New York Mets 2020 Season in Review: Starting Pitching
Sep 21, 2020; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

What went right

He may not win a third straight Cy Young but Jacob deGrom was outstanding once again. deGrom struck out 104 batters in 68 innings and led the team with a 2.38 ERA. The Mets should expect another Cy Young caliber performance in 2021 . . . Rookie David Peterson showed that he deserves a spot in the rotation next season, leading the Mets with six wins and pitching to a 3.44 ERA . . . Seth Lugo showed flashes as a starter, including a great performance against the Tampa Bay Rays in the final week of the season.

What went wrong

Steven Matz regressed in a major way, getting demoted from the rotation twice and getting worse with every outing and allowing a whopping 14 home runs in 30.2 innings pitched. That kind of performance could make Matz a non-tender candidate this winter . . . Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha both disappointed, failing to live up to the potential their signings brought. The Mets essentially wasted $13 million on those moves . . . Robert Gsellman’s conversion back to the rotation was a flop before he suffered a season-ending injury . . . Ariel Jurado made one replacement start and got bombed by the Baltimore Orioles . . . The Mets lost Walker Lockett on waivers, further diminishing their upper level starting pitching depth.

The bottom line

The Mets do have the best pitcher in baseball, which is fantastic, and Peterson will fill a slot. The jury is out on whether Lugo is going to stick in the rotation but that will depend on how the bullpen is constructed over the winter. Matz’s performance means he’ll have to earn a job upon his return and the timetable for Syndergaard’s return is unknown. Stroman, Porcello and Wacha are also free agents so don’t be shocked if the Mets sign at least one starter this winter.

Check back tomorrow as our Season in Review series continues with a look at the Mets’ bullpen!

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