Mets plan on moving to six-man pitching rotation

Terry Collins expects the Mets' new six-man rotation to be in full effect as early as Dillon Gee's activation from the disabled list.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Mets manager Terry Collins announced Friday afternoon that the return of Dillon Gee from the disabled list would result in a six-man rotation for New York's starting pitchers as soon as Saturday when Gee returns to the clubhouse in Pittsburgh.

With Noah Syndergaard making his third start of the season Friday night, the Mets had no plans of demoting the rookie back to Triple A Las Vegas in replace for Dillon Gee. According to Collins, Syndergaard will continue to pitch in his respective slot along with Gee, who is coming off the DL from a right groin strain and is scheduled to start Tuesday against the Phillies. 

So what does the extended rotation mean for the other Mets starting pitchers?

Matt Harvey, who has earned a no-decision in his last two outings of eight scoreless innings each, looks to benefit the most from the six-man rotation after receiving Tommy John surgery during the offseason.
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For Matt Harvey, who is well on track to exceed 200 innings this season straight off of Tommy John surgery, it means receiving some much-needed rest without reaching the team's inning cap. 

Jacob deGrom could also use the slowed down pace with his recent hip and shoulder problems that were apparent to the Mets and Collins just last week. deGrom is coming off Thursday afternoon's eight scoreless innings against St. Louis. 

As for Bartolo Colon, he has already announced his preference to pitching every five games but has agreed the extra rest could be of some benefit for Harvey and deGrom. 

According to ESPN's Adam Rubin, Noah Syndergaard may not be allowed to go over 170 innings this season, which means the six-man rotation would benefit his work load as well. 

Terry Collins is expected to give more details to the newly assembled rotation Saturday in Pittsburgh. For now, he has no idea of how long the Mets will implement the additional slot. He did, however, make it clear that they are "trying to do the best we can to keep from having to shut guys down." 

deGrom delivers brilliant outing in win over Cards

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

deGrominance needs to be added to the dictionary after Thursday's performance by Jacob deGrom.

He was that kind of dominant for the Mets.

deGrom (5-4, 2.75 ERA) tossed his most impressive outing of the season in New York's 5-0 win over St. Louis at Citi Field Thursday afternoon. He held the N.L Central leading Cardinals (27-14) to no runs and one hit over eight innings pitched while striking out 11 and retiring 23 straight batters.

deGrom began the afternoon by striking out five of the first six batters he faced before continuing to bedazzle the entire St. Louis lineup over the next six frames. He has now thrown two straight quality starts after posting a 5.64 ERA from April 24th to May 11th. It appears deGrom is hitting a similar stride that he reached in last season's N.L Rookie of the Year campaign. 

With the possibility of a complete game shutout looming, Terry Collins decided to pull deGrom before the ninth inning because of the 104 pitches he threw to that point. Juerys Familia was called in for the ninth inning and closed the door on the Cards who ended the afternoon with just two hits to show for. 

St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia, who took the hill for the first time since last summer after undergoing thoracic outlet surgery, surrendered five walks, two runs and five hits over seven innings pitched. Garcia earned the loss for the Cardinals although pitching towards a quality start in his 2015 season debut.

Lucas Duda was the other Met who contributed the most in New York's 24th win of the season, driving in four of the five runs scored on just two swings; a solo home run in the sixth and a three-run homer in the eighth to put the game out of reach. 

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After hitting the pair of home runs against lefties, Duda raised his batting average against left-handed pitchers to an absurd .409 this season. He finished batting .180 against lefties just last season. 

The Mets split the four game series with St. Louis and now sit a half game behind Washington (24-17) for first place in the N.L East.

To kick off a three game weekend series in Pittsburgh, New York will send rookie Noah Syndergaard (1-1, 3.18 ERA) to the mound in his third career start Friday night. 

Syndergaard earned his first career win in Sunday's 5-1 victory over Milwaukee where he struck out five and allowed one run and three hits over six innings. 

Mets win with strong outing by Gee, late inning heroics from Murph

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets (15-5), who are off to their best start since the 1986 season, have been one of baseball's best and most surprising stories so far. 

Last night, that was once again the case for New York, who found yet another way into the win column after displaying the combination of quality starting pitching (Yes, you've heard that before) and late inning heroics from a go-ahead three run homer off the bat of Daniel Murphy in the ninth to give the Mets the 3-1 victory over Miami. 

Manager Terry Collins called it "Murf-a-licious" when speaking on the topic of Murphy, who has recorded nine of his 14 RBIs in his last five games. 

Dillon Gee (0-1, 4.26 ERA) was also terrific, tossing 7.2 innings and allowing just one earned run on six hits with three strikeouts and zero walks. Even more impressive, he needed only 59 pitches to complete seven frames against the Marlins (8-12). 

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The victory snapped Miami's five game winning streak and put New York seven games ahead of the Marlins' third place position in the N.L East.

The Mets now lead the league with 15 wins coming into Tuesday and are third in baseball with a team ERA of 2.93 and second with a total of 14 quality starts (1 behind San Diego's 15). 

The Amazins' will try to improve to 6-0 against the Marlins and 15-3 in N.L East competition Tuesday night as Rafael Montero (0-1, 4.15 ERA) gets the ball in his first start of the season. Montero is coming off two starts with Triple A Las Vegas and threw 74 pitches last Thursday with Las Vegas in a four run, six hit outing of five innings. 

Montero will oppose David Phelps (1-0, 3.55) who will pitch in his third outing of the season after tossing seven scoreless innings and allowed three hits in a 9-1 win over Philadelphia last Thursday. Phelps faced the Mets on April 17th and found some success after allowing just one run on one hit with three walks over 4 2/3 innings. The Mets still ended up winning that game 4-1 with a dominant performance from Bartolo Colon. 

Mets tie franchise record 11th straight win, look for team history in the Bronx

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I don't care what kind of optimism you carry as a Met fan, even you could not have predicted this kind of start to 2015.

After sweeping the second place Braves (8-7) and putting themselves up 4.5 games in the National League East, the New York Mets have won eleven straight ball games, ten straight at home, and own baseball's best record at 13-3. 

A Truly Amazin' Start

New York currently owns MLB's second best team ERA at 2.81. What's their secret? The Mets have allowed the second least amount of walks in baseball with 31 over 141.0 innings pitched. They are also tied with a league-leading 12 quality starts over 16 games played. 

Bartolo Colon, who tossed his fourth quality start and win in last night's 6-3 victory over the Braves, is now 4-0 with a 2.77 ERA and only one walk allowed over a team-leading 26 innings of work. Colon's dominance has been key to the Mets' success, but so have starters Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, and Jon Niese; all of whom are scheduled to start in the Bronx against the first place Yankees (9-7) this weekend. 

DeGrom, set to start in Game 1 of the Subway Series , has been flawless in his three outings this year. He's allowed two earned runs over 19.1 innings pitched, struck out 17 and walked just three. DeGrom threw seven scoreless frames against the Marlins in his last start, cutting his ERA to 0.93 (third lowest in MLB). He will oppose Michael Pineda (2-0, 5.00 ERA) Friday night. 

Matt Harvey has not been as effective, allowing seven earned runs over 18 innings, but has still showed signs of the dominant Harvey we saw two seasons ago. He has gone six innings in each of his three starts (3-0) with 24 strikeouts, one walk, and 1.00 WHIP. Harvey will oppose the struggling C.C Sabathia (0-3, 4.35 ERA) in Saturday's afternoon game. 

Jon Niese has been at the top of his game thus far, allowing three earned runs over 18 innings and pitching his way to a 2-0 record. Niese allowed one earned run in each of his last two starts, going 6.1 innings against Philadelphia and 6.2 innings against Atlanta while finding the W in both outings. Niese will oppose former Marlin Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 3.12 ERA) on Sunday evening. 

The Mets starting pitching has been their difference maker this early on the season. Despite losing Zack Wheeler, the assets of Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee, and a stable bullpen have kept New York in close games late. That being said, the offense has done their part in getting on base and scoring when needed most and that can attest to why New York has won eleven straight. 

New York's offense ranks second in National League runs scored with 73, second in on-base percentage at .331, and first with Los Angeles with 63 base on balls. Duda, d'Arnaud, Murphy, Cuddyer, Lagares and Flores all have at least seven runs batted in and account for 44 of 73 total runs scored. 

Regarding the pen, New York holds MLB's seventh best bullpen ERA at 2.79. Juerys Familia has been a staple at the closer position, going 8-for-8 in save opportunities and giving the Mets confidence that they can hold on to leads late, something they did not have last season. 

If the starting pitching can continue its exceptional success on the mound and keep the scoring close, the Mets can take real advantage of the first place position they currently hold and can give the Nats and Braves a run for their money. 

Hopefully, we see Mets history made tonight in front of the Bronx crowd. That would be Amazin'. 

Let's Go Mets!

Streaky Mets look to defend undefeated record at home against Braves

Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

The streaky New York Mets (10-3) will kickoff a three game series against the Atlanta Braves (8-4) at Citi Field Tuesday night as they look to improve on a current eight game winning streak and an undefeated record (7-0) at Citi Field, their best home start in franchise history.

New York is coming off a four game sweep of the Miami Marlins at home this past weekend and are currently tied for third in baseball with only 41 total runs allowed, a big reason as to why they have been so successful this early. Starting pitching and timely hitting have been the recipe thus far.

While the Mets are tenth in the N.L in home runs with nine, they are third with a .326 on base percentage and fourth with 55 runs batted in. New York is also fourth in the N.L with a team ERA of 3.00. 

Atlanta is responsible for two of the Mets' three losses so far this season, but the Mets will look to continue their winning ways with Jon Niese (1-0, 1.59) , Dillon Gee (0-1, 7.59) , and Bartolo Colon (3-0, 2.25) set to start the next three versus the Braves. Of New York's five starting pitchers, four have ERAs under 3.50 and Mets starting pitchers have already thrown nine quality starts in 13 games. 

As for the Braves, Shelby Miller (2-0, 1.69) has been the most impressive starter to hit the mound this far into the season. Luckily for the Mets, they will miss Miller in the upcoming series. New York will oppose Trevor Cahill (0-1, 15.43) Tuesday night, who is coming off an outing of 2 1/3 innings where he allowed four runs against Miami in his season debut last Tuesday. Eric Stults (0-1, 6.30) and Julio Teheran (2-0, 3.71)  are scheduled to follow Cahill in games two and three. 

The Mets will be without catcher Travis d'Arnaud for three weeks after he suffered a hand fracture in Sunday's win against the Marlins after being hit by a pitch. D'Arnaud will wear a splint for the next three weeks while catching prospect Kevin Plawecki fills in for his replacement. 

Lefty bullpen specialist Jeremy Blevins also suffered a fractured hand on Sunday after being struck by a line drive from Dee Gordon in the seventh inning. Blevins is expected to miss six weeks with a splint on his left forearm. Vic Black looks to finish his rehab assignment but his return was put on a minimal one week hold and he is expected to be re-evaluated after the wait. 

Atlanta comes into Queens off a 2-1 series win in Toronto. Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis went a combined 12-20 in the series against Toronto, scoring a total of nine runs. Freeman has hit four home runs in his last eight games while Markakis is hitting .375 in 11 games played thus far.