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Pitching Is The Mets Need

George Napiltano/ Latino Sports

Flushing, NY – First place in their division for 77 days has been a good feeling for the New York Mets and consider the adversity of using 54 players through 95 games due to injuries. It has been an accomplishment.

Rich Hill, the newest addition to their pitching staff will debut at Citi Field Sunday afternoon. Hill, the 41-year old lefthander was acquired on Friday in a trade with the Minnesota Twins. Hill, 6-4, 3.87 ERA is a good addition to boost a starting rotation that is in need.

The Mets await the return of two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom. In a matter of days the long awaited debut of right-hander Carlos Carrasco is expected, though one more rehab start awaits. The obvious need as the July 30 non-waiver trade deadline approaches is that important commodity of pitching.

Taijuan Walker, the Mets dependable offseason free agent acquisition and NL All-Star, has struggled since the break. Last week the Right-hander had the shortest outing of his career, 0.1 inning against the Pirates.

The Mets need Walker to make adjustments and he needs to go back to the drawing board. There may be a fatigue factor, though that will never be a fact despite throwing his most innings pitched since 2017. More so, the Mets need a healthy deGrom, Walker, and Marcus Sroman to anchor their rotation if they are going to keep their hold on first place down the stretch.

Bur Saturday night at Citi Field, again it was Walker struggling with command of the fastball, slider, and sinker. It did not help his cause getting a start against the potent home run hitting Toronto Blue Jays. Toronto as a team increased their MLB leading HR total to 149 with five and three hit off Walker.

The Blue Jays 10-3 win, along with 17 hits won’t deter the Mets from attempting to take another series win Sunday afternoon. They are a resilient group, capable of bouncing back, and look for Hill, their newest pitching addition to give them that added boost.

But the Blue Jays, 8-½ games behind the Al East leading Red Sox. have the capability of scoring a lot of runs. They lead MLB teams in slugging (.453) and team OPS (.776). If their pitching was just as good they could be making a run at the Red Sox lead.

All-Star Teoscar Hernadez hit two home runs. George Springer, Marcus Semian, and Bo Bichette also hit home runs. Vladimir Guerrero Jr.was held to his 32 home runs which ties for second in baseball.

“They had the home run swing going today,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said. “They came out swinging. You’ve got to credit the really good lineup they have.”

Prior to the game, I asked Mets third baseman J.D. Davis about that resilience and ability to come back. The Mets have recorded 18 come from behind wins and last week at Pittsburgh overcame their largest deficit of six runs in a win over the Pirates.

Davis returned to the lineup last week after missing more than two months with a left hand sprain.

“We never think we are out of the fight,” Davis said. “Grind out the bats, play good defense. If we make four errors we have to make the adjustments. That’s the thing we have kind of learned as a group.”

So Sunday afternoon the grind will continue. Then the second place Braves, trailing the Mets by 4-0 games come to Citi Field for a five-game series with a straight seven-inning double header Monday that will continue to be a grind.

But the Mets need that consistency from their pitching if they want to continue to hold their first place lead.

Comment: Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

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