by Paul West
Amid the flurry of discussion about which moves the Mets should make before the trade deadline, GM Sandy Alderson made one thing clear: he did not intend to break up the Mets’ fearsome foursome of young arms. Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and lefty Steven Matz, it appears, will remain in the same rotation until further notice. This is good news.
There’s an old saying in baseball: “momentum is only as good as your next day’s starting pitcher. ” It’s widely credited to Earl Weaver, but that’s not the point. The point is that if you can send out a starter with a good chance of shutting the opposition down, you always stand a chance of winning. In the aforementioned staff, the Mets have a rotation that many think cxan be historically good; John Smoltz, of the historically good Braves rotation of the 90’s, recently said the Amazins’ staff could be ‘way better’ than his was. Those are strong words, but they might have merit: deGrom and Harvey have put up record-breaking stretches early in their careers, Syndergaard has looked like an ace at times in his own right, Matz’s debut was truly stunning. This season, the Mets are a whopping 35-5 when they score four runs, largely by virtue of their outstanding pitching. Of course, this does support the widespread demand that they acquire a bat–but it shouldn’t be at the expense of their core component. It’s also why they shouldn’t break the bank and overpay for one of the bigger names on the market, but instead go the route of a Josh Reddick type.
The Mets, even if they get hitting, are still a pitching-oriented team. They ought to keep their primary strength intact.