The preseason hype in Queens has thus far lived up to expectations, as Mets pitchers are on track to record the franchise’s lowest ERA in over 2 decades.
The Amazins’ boast a 3.24 ERA through 30 games this season, which would mark the lowest statistical number since the 1988 Mets — a ball club that posted a 2.91 ERA led by Dwight Gooden and Ron Darling. (That squad gave up 1,253 hits on the season, while this year’s Mets are on track to surrender just 1,102 hits).
That historically-good performance has come despite the Mets losing their best pitcher in Jacob deGrom with a preseason shoulder injury. The team hopes to get deGrom back on the mound within the next couple weeks.
But even despite their ace’s absence, the team’s 3.24 combined season ERA falls 5th in the MLB, behind the Dodgers, Yankees, Astros and Twins.
The Mets bullpen has been buoyed in deGrom’s rehab period by the offseason acquisitions of Max Scherzer (2.92 ERA) and Chris Bassitt (2.45 ERA), along with Tylor Megill (2.43 ERA) and Carlos Carrasco (3.30 ERA). Together, they have made Queens into one of the most vaunted starting pitching staffs for opposing batters to face off against.
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The chink in the armor of the Amazins have been their relievers, who have consistently failed to live match the starters’ performance. Still, the team’s combined pitching staff can compete head-to-head with any club in the MLB, and the Mets 20 wins, which ties for first in the league, proves it.
Other historically big-spending franchises may be used to boasting a terrific pitching staff, but Mets fans are just getting acclimated to having owners willing to shell out big checks to field a winning squad.
Hedge fund magnate Steve Cohen officially bought the team last year for $2.4 billion, and has quickly used his multi-billion dollar fortune to assist in the talent-acquisition department.
With signings like Scherzer for three-year, $130 million (the highest average annual value in MLB history), Cohen has brought the team’s total payroll to $258 million, which is second only to the Los Angeles Dodgers, and beats out the Yankees by just over $12 million.
The Mets will next face off against the Nationals in a series beginning on Tuesday night in Washington.