Saturday, April 6, 2013
Postgame notes: Starters continue to thrive
By Kieran Darcy
The Mets knew their starting rotation would have to be the strength of their team this season. So far, the staff has delivered.
No starting pitcher has given up more than two runs in an outing. In 32 innings, the Mets' rotation has given up just five earned runs, for an ERA of 1.41.
Jonathon Niese, who got the win on Opening Day, got a no-decision Saturday in the Mets' 7-3 victory over the Marlins. But he still pitched well, allowing two runs (one earned) on eight hits over six innings.
"I just think he’s really growing into being a pitcher that everybody thought he was going to be," manager Terry Collins said. "He's not overthrowing -- we all know if he wants to, he can go 92, 93 (miles per hour). He’s pitching at 90, 91, 89, because he’s locating, he’s trying to get the ball to move, he’s trying to move the ball around the strike zone, and that’s pitching."
TAKING ADVANTAGE: Collins gave Mike Baxter his first start of the season, and he made the most of the opportunity. Batting leadoff and playing right field, Baxter had a single, two walks and two runs scored.
"He stays within himself," Collins said. "He keeps his game going. He has a very, very good knowledge of the strike zone, doesn’t go outside the strike zone, takes a base on balls. Gosh, if he was a genuine base-stealer, he’d be dangerous."
Baxter did have a stolen base on the day, too. And he said that he's not troubled by only getting six at-bats and one start so far this year. "No, it's not frustrating," Baxter said. "I'm very comfortable coming off the bench. I think we have a good group here. We have a lot of different guys who can play different roles. I thinK TC does a good job of kind of mixing and matching."
BREAKING OUT: David Wright and Ike Davis had both gotten off to slow starts -- through four games, Wright was 3-for-14, Davis 1-for-16.
But Wright was 3-for-4 on Saturday (three singles), and Davis was 2-for-3 (two singles) plus an intentional walk.
"To tell you the truth, the last three games I've felt decent," Davis said. "It's gonna come. I feel good."
E-6, AGAIN: Ruben Tejada made yet another error on Saturday, which allowed the Marlins' second run to score. It's his fourth error in five games, after making just 12 all of last season.
"It’s very, very uncharacteristic," Collins said. "So there is a little bit of a concern, of what the issues are. He doesn’t have a sore arm, I know that. I don’t know if it’s the cold weather -- it very well could be."
"Everybody goes through it," Wright said. "It's tough to go through it the first homestand. But I think and I still continue to think that he's a Gold Glove-caliber shortstop."