While looking for something else, stumbled across an article from last year entitled, “A look at the Mets’ starting pitching at the one-third part of the season.” And while Footballhead might appreciate that the article quoted Talking Heads, what stood out to me the most was this:

Incredibly, a Mets starting pitcher has completed at least six innings only 13 times in the team’s first 54 games. MLB teams have had a pitcher go at least six innings 621 times this season, an average of nearly 21 times per team. And to make the deficit even worse, the Mets are 13-0 when their starter goes at least six innings this year. If they had an average number of six inning starts for a team, they’d have that 10-games-over .500 record everyone was expecting.

In their first 54 games a season ago, a SP completed six innings 24% of the time. So far here in 2024, the Mets’ SP has completed six innings four times in 18 games, which is 22%. Sean Manaea and Luis Severino each have one start of that length, while Jose Butto has two. The Mets are 3-1 in games where their starter has gone six innings, having lost the Manaea one, 5-0, after the relievers allowed five runs in the game.

It’s not a huge surprise that starters are not pitching deep into games here in April. The hope is that we’ll see more of these going forward as the weather gets warmer. Certainly, by the time the team plays 54 games, the hope is that they’ll have more than 13 starts with at least six innings. The Mets won’t have Kodai Senga back by that point, which will hurt, as Senga went at least six innings 17 times in 29 starts a year ago.

Still, four of the five pitchers in the rotation now should be a solid option to reach six innings a reasonable amount of time going forward, say in 40% of their starts. Adrian Houser reached six innings six times in 21 starts last year, or 29% of the time. It’s unlikely he’ll better that mark this year.

The much more interesting question in regards to Houser is if he’ll remain in the rotation once Senga returns from the IL.

11 comments on “Mets’ starting pitchers and completing six innings

  • Footballhead

    Thanks for thinking of me re: music connections….but no; Talking Heads is after my prime buying & listening to music stage of life.

    Regarding pitchers and going six innings…. one would think that a teams record would be better, having a SP competent enough to go (at least) 6 innings. Doesn’t surprise me that above fact of the Mets SP being below league average in this regard. Seems like that has been the norm for them for quite a while now. Am I wrong? If not, when did the trend for Mets SP get the quick hook: under Collins?

  • ChrisF

    Shocking that 6 IP is something special. This is one of the worst aspects of modern baseball. Meanwhile SP salaries are going stratospheric, making the ROI very small indeed. Shameful direction for the game.

    • Brian Joura


      And there’s a lot of blame to go around. Pitchers have to throw strikes and teams can’t continue to act like 98 pitches is safe and 107 is certain doom in all cases. It’s ludicrous.

  • T.J.

    Curious as to what the highest percentage of 6+ inning starts was last season. I’d like to think pushing 40% plus. It’s 18 outs, which means 3rd time through for the best part of the lineup. I’d be thrilled with that for the 2024 Mets. Dare I say there’d be a lot of shiny happy Mets fans if that occurred. Sorry. On a down note I see Calvin Ziegler unfortunately may need TJS. At 21 years old. How many 6 inning starts has he ever had in his professional life? Maybe zero.

  • NYM6986

    It’s a sad commentary that the benchmark of six innings as a quality start can’t be attained the vast majority of the time. I grew up with pitchers that generally seemed to pitch most of the game. it used to be that you may be need to cover the eighth and ninth innings, but starters went seven and no one thought anything of it. Then there were relievers like Goose Gossage who thought nothing of throwing back to back innings let alone 2-3 days in a row.
    Pitchers have become soft. And I’d love to know why. There was a stat at one point about Clayton Kershaw, having 25 career complete games and then compared with a stat that Bob Gibson had 25 complete games in one season. I hope that the Mets starters can round themselves into playing 6+ innings, which takes a lot of pressure off of the pen. I also hope the Mets can keep scoring runs, which takes pressure off their pitchers. It’s not like I’m asking for a lot 🙂

    • Brian Joura

      For the love of all things holy, pitchers have not become soft. They just don’t have the luxury of facing absolutely horrible lineups that pitchers did when they threw complete games.

      Here’s a lineup with the triple slash lines Gibson faced in 1968:


      This lineup had two spots you had to worry about. The rest sucked.

      Or how about this one:


      This lineup had one hitter to worry about

      Or how about this one:


      Maybe there were two hitters in this lineup to worry about.

      These were three different teams and all games came after the All-Star break. These were lineups comprised mostly of crappy hitters with almost no fear of hitting a home run. You just had to not walk them and pitch around a hitter or two. If the 2024 Mets pitchers got to face these lineups, they’d be throwing complete games, too.

  • Metsense

    I blame it on the 100 pitch Boogeyman. I don’t understand it. I don’t like it.
    I have not seen any correlation concerning pitch count and Tommy John surgery.
    I’ve seen articles about the correlation of pitch count and effectiveness. One size does not fit all. Some days a pitcher is better and some days a pitcher is worse. Managers, with the help of a pitching coach, and with the knowledge of analytics should manage the “live” game accordingly. If they would look under the bed and they would not see a 100 pitch Boogeyman. It was all in their imagination.

  • José Hunter

    Here’s a crazy thought:
    In 1974, Nolan Ryan had 332.2 IPs in 41 GS with 202 BB and 367 Ks
    He must been on a strict pitch limit
    I realize the ALDH had just been implemented, but daaaaaam

  • TexasGusCC

    We need to remember a few changes that have happened in MLB lately:

    1. Starting pitchers used to “pace themselves” to go deep into the game. Now they are asked to give maximum effort on every throw. These people aren’t robots.

    2. The season used to start the second week of April. That has been slowly pushed into the last week of March. That’s about three weeks of cold weather games. The reason for this is to have more playoffs games later ($$$$$) while still finishing in early November.

    3. There is so much video available for every hitter to watch before the game, a virtual reality screen of actually facing the pitcher and there is so much more scouting, that pitchers don’t have the advantage of being unique anymore and having a team need a few turns to figure them out. Now, by the third time through the order, pitchers are getting lit up. Hence, they come out after two turns through the order which is five innings.

  • ChrisF

    The other thing not yet mentioned is the desire for intentionally drawing out pitches per AB. The intentional foul ball to drive up pitch counts is now a coveted talent. Back when baseball was better hitters went after the ball, regardless if it meant not worrying about the stat line except HR and BA

    • Brian Joura

      I know you have raised this issue before. I have two thoughts:

      1. Looking to foul off pitches has been part of the game for a long time. I recall hearing about this in the 1970s and I’m sure it existed before then. Certainly, back then the idea was to get a better pitch to hit, rather than a conscientious attempt to drive pitch counts up, like you’ve proposed here recently. Is there any way to separate the two? Maybe there is but someone smarter than me will have to figure out how.

      2. How would you categorize success in this endeavor, assuming that’s what batters are trying to do?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 100 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop file here