For the second straight start David Peterson was given a first inning lead by his Met teammates as Pete Alonso crushed a 2 run homer but a 3 run second inning got the Oriole offense rolling and they cruised to a 10-3 win over the Mets.
It is hard to discern with the eyes what is wrong with Peterson but it seems to me that his secondary pitches are not hitting the spot making his fastball much more hittable which we saw tonight as the hitters 5 through 8 in the Oriole lineup went a combined 9 for 13 at the plate driving in 6 runs while scoring 6 times. Maikel Franco, who always seems to kill the Mets hit an upper deck bomb where very homers go in Camden Yards.
And all of this makes you stop and wonder if David Peterson’s spot in the rotation is secure. Certainly with the Mets having tons of doubleheaders in the future they will need as many starters as possible especially with the return of Carlos Carrasco and Noah Syndergaard being pushed back. And in his post game Luis Rojas told us that Peterson will ABSOLUTELY make his next start which could be Sunday at CitiField versus the high octane San Diego Padres.
As a consequence of all that transpired tonight, it makes the game the Mets play here on Wednesday night versus Matt Harvey and the Orioles a key encounter if for no other reason than it will decide if this nine game road trip is a winning trip or a losing trip as the Mets have split the first 8 games of the trip.
This team worked entirely too hard last week winning a series in Arizona and then splitting 4 tough games in San Diego to just lay down and lose 2 to an Oriole team whose pitching staff is for the most part, an awful group of hurlers. And tonight in Camden Yards you could see the looks on the Met faces after a 2 run Pete Alonso homer was wiped out in 2 short innings. And the thing that confounds everyone covering this team is that Peterson showed so much poise last year that in these types of games he found a way to give the Mets enough good innings to secure a win. But the 2021 version of Peterson is now 1 and 5 not illustrating any of the resolve he showed every fifth day a season ago.
I honestly feel if Luis Rojas had a better option in the rotation we would be seeing it but the backend of this 5 man group-David Peterson and Joey Lucchesi have been hot and cold all year with Lucchesi actually showing more than Peterson in the past few starts. The top 3 in this rotation-Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman and Taijuan Walker-have been lights out all year but that means 40% of the time Luis Rojas has huge question marks in his rotation until Carlos Carrasco returns.
And the biggest question mark is David Peterson who is experiencing a sophomore year that is far different from his initial season. The biggest thing is he must execute better command with his slider & change up because those 2 pitches are key and that will help his fastball command as hitters simply will not just sit on the fastball as they have in his past few starts.
Right now the Mets sit in the top spot in the NL East but makeup games will be in full force between now and the All Star Break and depth is needed in this rotation so the bullpen is not overworked on most nights. Three out of every five games that is not an issue but the other 2 games it is clearly an issue. In fairness to Lucchesi he looks so much better in his past few starts but Peterson needs to work hard on his secondary pitches between starts and show the Mets the southpaw pitcher we saw all year in 2020.