|Max Scherzer pitching against the Yankees on July 27. Photo by Jason Schott.|
When Mets ace Max Scherzer returned to the rotation on July 5, it gave a huge lift to the pitching staff and the team as a whole, as they went 17-8 in July, to finish the month 64-37, with a three-game edge over the Atlanta Braves (62-41) in the National League East.
From that night on, Mets starters posted a 1.97 ERA (earned run average), as they allowed 28 earned runs in 127.2 innings, with 136 strikeouts and 35 walks, in the team's last 21 games of July. That ERA is a bit lower than the club with the next best ERA in July, the Dodgers, at 2.68. The Mets' starters' ERA for the season dropped from 4.09 to 3.54 in that span.
The Mets ranked fifth in Major League Baseball, and second in the National League, with a 3.54 ERA from their starting pitchers. The Mets' 960 strikeouts are third in the National League, and they struck out 259 in July, which was a franchise record for Ks in a month, and it was most in the NL and second in MLB for July.
Scherzer made five starts in July, and he went 1-1 with a 1.39 ERA, with the win in Atlanta on July 11 and the loss to San Diego on July 22, as he allowed just five earned runs in 32.1 innings pitched, and he struck out 45 and walked just four. His 1.39 ERA in July ranked seventh in the Major Leagues and fourth in the National League. He is one of just eight pitchers ever to post an ERA under 1.50 in a calendar month while striking out at least 45 and walking fewer than five batters. He also had the best strikeout-to-walk ratio in MLB, at 11.25, and his 45 strikeouts were tied for third in the Majors.
Scherzer took a no-decision in three starts, the first one being his initial start back, in Cincinnati on July 5, when he threw six shutout innings, and allowed just two hits and no walks, with 11 strikeouts in a game the Mets lost 1-0. The second one was at Wrigley Field on July 16, when he allowed two runs (both earned) on eight hits and a walk, with 11 strikeouts, which the Mets won, 4-3, late. The third one was one he really deserved the win, as he shut out the Yankees for seven innings,m as he scattered five hits and two walks, with six strikeouts, as the Mets won it, 3-2, on a Starling Marte walk-off hit in the bottom of the ninth.
Overall, in July, Mets starters went 10-5 with a 2.42 ERA (40 earned runs in 149.0 innings), with 38 walks and 166 strikeouts in 25 games in July. The 2.42 ERA was best in the Majors in July, while the 166 Ks was second.
The Mets' bullpen had a 2.61 ERA (23 earned runs in 79.1 innings) with 24 walks and 93 strikeouts in July. The ERA ranked fourth in the Majors and second in the National League. For the season, Mets relievers' ERA is 3.45, and they have 398 strikeouts, both of which rank third in the NL.