Forgot to do this last week, but maybe this is more of a bi-weekly thing anyway. At the beginning of the season, I wrote that if Chris Young, Chris Capuano, and their second, Dillon Gee, could combine to make 30 quality starts (6 or more innings pitched, 3 or fewer earned runs), then the Mets would win more games than they did last season. Let’s see how those three are doing.
Chris Young — Things aren’t looking good for Young. Two starts, DL trip, two starts, DL trip — I think we’ve established a pattern. Bad shoulders are tricky, particularly for pitchers over age 30. Even on a basic level, think about how many directions you can bend your elbow . . . now think about how many directions you can bend your shoulder. It’s no mystery that shoulder injuries are tougher to pin down than their elbow counterparts. (Tries really hard not to think about Johan Santana.) He’s made four starts; two were quality. No idea when he’ll make another one.
Chris Capuano — He dropped a 7 run dud against Colorado last month (2 runs were allowed in by the bullpen); if you take that appearance out, Capuano has 3.96 ERA in his other four starts and averaged 6.1 innings per outing. So he’s pitched a bit better than his 5.40 ERA, though 42 hits allowed (and 4 home runs) in 31.2 innings is worrisome, as Capuano has always been someone who has given up hard contact. He is currently healthy, however, and that’s a plus. Five starts, two quality. Related: Does he shave his arms? Has anyone else noticed that?
Dillon Gee — He’ll be taking over Young’s spot in the rotation after getting a “SURPRISE!” start in Young’s place on Saturday and working his way in and out of trouble all game. Gee made an unfortunate pitch to Ryan Howard out of the bullpen last weekend, and is also prone to hard contact. That said, to channel my inner Terry Collins, “if he can make his pitches . . . if we can make pitches,” Gee should be a serviceable back-end starter. Or something like that. Three starts, one quality.
The totals: 12 starts, 5 quality. The good news: The Mets are 4-1 in those 5 quality starts. This offense can score runs, so if the pitching is even just okay, the Mets should win games. The bad news: This puts these three on pace for 24 quality starts, well below the 30 I’ve randomly claimed that they’ll need. Good efforts from Gee and Capuano this week would put them back on pace, but Colorado isn’t always the best environment for that. We’ll check on this group again sometime later.