Logan Verrett started Tuesday night for pitcher Jacob deGrom and through his first four innings it seemed like the right move to rest their young ace. However, after four scoreless innings, Verrett let up 4 earned runs in the fifth to blow their 1-0 lead over the Atlanta Braves. The Mets would never regain the lead from there and Verrett went on to pick up his second loss of the season.
Verrett surrendered a leadoff homer to Jace Peterson and a three run homer to Hector Olivera. The Braves won last night's game 6-2. The good news is the Washington Nationals lost to the Orioles last night as well so the magic number is down to 6 for the Mets, who have a 6.5 game lead in the National league east.
The Mets started Verrett in place of deGrom because he had been showing signs of fatigue in his last few starts. His numbers were slightly falling off after he had previously been in Cy Young conversations and the Mets needed to rest him for the probable playoffs ahead.
Matt Harvey has also been in the conversations of needing rest and skipping starts for the Mets, which makes Verrett an important component of the team in the last stretch of the season. In order to close out the division he will need to be able to win games.
Verrett has been a valuable commodity in the past. He has been there to give the Mets starting pitchers rest and in 13 innings this year he had given up just 2 earned runs
"He's a young guy who's getting the opportunity to pitch in the big leagues and so he's got himself mentally prepared to do that and to help out as best he can," Manager Terry Collins had said before the game. With the Mets current situation Verrett will be given the chance to prove he has what it takes to contribute to the likely playoff bound team. However this wasn’t his most productive outing last night.
“I thought it set us up well. I liked the matchup against Olivera,” Verrett said. “I just missed with the pitch. Unfortunately, with two guys on base, you can’t do that. It makes it hard to come back from that."
It is uncertain how many more start Verrett will have, if any, but he could be worth watching if Harvey and deGrom will need more rest.