Flushing, NY: Jason Vargas just gets better and the Mets hope it stays that way. The lefthander at 36 -years of age became the oldest Met to throw a shutout at Citi Field Wednesday night. It was the second Mets shutout of the year for a starter in a 7-0 win over the Giants.
The last oldest Met to throw a shutout was Bartolo Colon at Miami against the Marlins on September 5, of 2015. More important, the 13th career and complete game shutout for Vargas, one he threw 117 pitches, was a major boost for the Mets and their bullpen that has allowed 28 earned runs in 20.1 innings over the last eight games.
So the struggling Jason Vargas has become the most consistent starter in this Mets rotation. That means plenty after a stint on the injured list and an ERA at one time that was over 10.00. His ERA after this 5-hit shutout is at 3.57, better than Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom in the Mets rotation.
” Whenever people struggle for a certain amount of time, just speaking for myself everybody has questions,” Vargas said. “Just have to get through things no matter how tough they are.”
He struck out a season high eight. The fastball had average velocity, the changeup was effective. And the Vargas knuckle curve has become his most effective weapon. This has been a renaissance of sorts and manager Mickey Callaway needed this. The complete game, it was a matter of how much was left and Jason Vargas had it to the last pitch.
“He’s always pretty efficient even 5-innings or 70 pitches.” Callaway said. “He earned the right to go deeper and deeper in games because he’s pitched so well. As long as he continues to prove he can do that than we are going to let him do that.”
Perhaps, and take this into consideration, Mickey Callaway needed this win more than Jason Vargas. He has been under pressure and the night before lifted Noah Syndergaard with two outs. The Giants would tie and win 9-3, caused by the continued failures of the Mets’ bullpen.
The bullpen was not needed Wednesday night and that’s the good thing as the Mets look to take two of three from the Giants Thursday afternoon.
“He hadn’t given up a run yet,” Callaway said about allowing Vargas to go the route. That response drew a laugh from the manager and it was the relief he needed.
This was also the seventh quality start for Vargas and the Mets need more of that in the rotation. If they can get deGrom, Syndergaard, Steven Matz, and Thursday’s starter Zack Wheeler to go deep, then that bullpen could be more efficient.
” Any night we can get a starter to finish a game the team needs that,” Vargas said. “Everybody gets a morale and everybody gets a little extra they need.”
The Mets got that boost Wednesday night. Though they may be without Robinson Cano again for some time. He appeared to aggravate his quad running out of the box and hitting into a double play in the third inning.It was his first game back after spending time on the 10-day injured list with the same injury.
Cano said he would wait to Thursday morning and determine the extent of how he feels. ‘If it was the same feeling, would say it right away,” he said.
NOTES: Michael Conforto with a solo home run and Amed Rosario with a three-run shot set a Mets record of 12-straight home runs at home and longest in Citi Field history.
Rosario has been hitting to all fields and his seventh home run was to right-center.”That’s my approach,” Rosario said through an interpreter. “I’ve been doing that this year” Rosario did not hit his seventh home run until August 25 of last year…
Adeiny Hechavarria also hit his fourth home run. He has four homers, 13 RBI in his last 12 games dating back to May 24.
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