The Big Three
The Mets have always been a franchise that has built itself up with strong pitching rotations. When they have successfully built up a strong deep rotation with multiple aces at the top good things have happened. That situation has come, and there are three true aces on the roster.
This year like the past two, the Mets rotation is star studded and poised for greatness. This year is a bit different, because these young studs finally will have an offense to work behind, and are all healthy.
For the most part when you hear the term ‘The Big Three’ it is being used to describe a basketball team, but right now it is about the New York Mets three best Starters. The leaders of this rotation are all legitimate Cy Young contenders as long as they stay healthy. The Mets Big Three is as follows: “Thor” Noah Syndergaard, Jacob Degrom, and “The Dark Knight” Matt Harvey.
These three pitchers are bona fide aces, and could all be the face of a pitching rotation; luckily for the Mets they all make their starts in Orange and Blue. As of now Matt Harvey has to work his way back to his once dominating, Cy Young caliber form which he had from 2012-13, and again in 2015.
The Dark Knight
As you may remember Harvey burst on to the baseball scene in the second half of 2012 with 10 electrifying starts with a 2.73 ERA and a K/9 of 10.6. The Dark Knight carried that dominance over to 2013 where he came in fourth place in the Cy Young voting with an astronomical performance finishing the year with a 2.27 ERA and 191 strikeouts. He probably would have won the Cy Young if he won more than games, but that was certainly not his fault.
Unfortunately at the end of the 2013 season Harvey suffered a torn right UCL, which led to Tommy John surgery and him missing the 2014 season. Harvey returned in 2015 with an outstanding season, winning 13 games with a 2.71 ERA and being a huge part of their season long success, which led them to the World Series.
The following season was not kind to Harvey, he looked miserable on the mound going 4-10 with a 4.86 ERA in only 92 innings pitched, but he required surgery to relieve thoracic outlet syndrome, and he missed the majority of the season.
This year it looks as if The Dark Knight will Rise. in Harvey’s first two starts he hasn’t looked like himself, but it hasn’t necessarily been a bad thing. He has slimmed down and looks like the Matt Harvey from 2013.
Harvey is pitching a lot different than years past, looking for contact, and quick innings. He has been very impressive in his first two outings, and he doesn’t even seem like he is 100%, so big things are yet to come from Harvey. In his first two starts he has earned two wins, pitching 6 innings and 5 innings and two thirds (only because he had a cramp in his hamstring and the Mets were dominating) allowing four runs and striking out 10.
Once Harvey gets into mid season form be ready to feel some deja vu because you may feel like you have seen what he will do in the past. Harvey is on his way to solidifying his spot in the Cy Young award race.
Now let’s talk about the guy who many feel is the number one guy for this franchise, and this years Opening Day Starter, Noah Syndergaard. This guy is electric, he lights up the radar gun consistently, and is one of the few starters that can touch 100 MPH.
Thor is what he is known as because of his blonde flow, and superhero stature. Noah has a larger than life personality and his pitching ability backs it up. Syndergaard was one of the most highly touted prospects in recent history, and he did not disappoint. In his rookie season he went 9-7 with a 3.24 ERA and finished top 5 in the Rookie of the Year voting.
This past season Thor solidified his spot at the top of the league with an unbelievable season, improving at an unbelievable rate from the year prior. He finished his sophomore season with a 14-9 record, 2.60 ERA, and a top 10 finish in the Cy Young voting at the young age of 23.
This kid gets better and better every time he steps on the mound and he has proved it in his first two starts this year. In his first start he definitely proved that he deserved to be the Opening Day starter with 6 shutout innings with 7 strikeouts, cut short by a blood blister that has since subsided.
In his second start he picked up where he left off with 7 innings of two run ball (one earned) and 9 strikeouts. The guy can pitch thats for sure, he has started of the season by solidifying that he will compete for the Cy Young award.
Finally the guy who I feel is the true ace of the Mets, and the most underrated pitcher in baseball today, Jacob Degrom. Degrom doesn’t have a flashy personality like Harvey and Syndergaard, or a 100 MPH fastball like Thor, but what he does have is pure ability.
Lacking those two traits is probably what holds him back from the stardom, but that is okay because he lets his performance talk for him. Jacob came up in 2014 simply because a spot in the rotation needed to be filled, there was no hype around him like there was for Harvey or Syndergaard, but he quietly dominated.
In Degrees rookie season he was able to accomplish a feat his counterparts could not, a Rookie of the Year trophy, the first for the Mets franchise since the great Dwight “Doc” Gooden. In his rookie season Degrom had a 2.69 ERA and 9 wins in just 22 starts.
In 2015, his second year in the league Degrom was unbelievable, and was without a doubt the best pitcher on the staff. He Finished the season with a 14-8 record, a 2.54 ERA, and finished seventh in the Cy Young award voting.
This past season Degrom just couldn’t get everything going at the same time, but that didn’t stop him from having an above average season. He only had a record of 7-8, but that was due to only 3.54 runs per game scored when he started according to www.oddshark.com and that does not include when he is out of the game.
Even though Degrom did not have a Cy Young like season he still had a great 3.03 ERA, which could lead most teams across the league. Also, Degrom’s struggles were in part due to his ulnar nerve, which required surgery, as it was preventing feeling in his fingertips.
Degrom could not even feel the ball, but still put up good numbers and looks great so far this season. In Degrom’s first start he was like usual Degrominant with 6 shutout innings and 6 strikeouts, but like usual no run support led to a no decision. Start two was similar, 6 more innings allowing two runs and a no decision.
Although Degrom is winless to start, similar to the other two in the big three he has shown he has Cy Young stuff again.
Big things are in store for the Mets this season as a team and these three will be very important throughout the year. The four and five guys in the rotation are very good as well, but there is no doubt these guys are Cy Young caliber and will compete that way.