The New York Mets made a low-risk move by signing pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, and even after the worst of his three starts for the Mets on Monday against the Atlanta Braves, manager Terry Collins announced that he would get another start, which is the wrong move to make.
The Mets were forced to pick up Matsuzaka from the scrap heap after season-ending injuries to starters Jeremy Hefner, Jenrry Mejia, and Matt Harvey. But while they hoped he would be able to eat some innings for them, he has not, pitching only 12.1 innings in three starts and putting the Mets’ offense in a deep hole to crawl out of in each start.
The performance Monday against the Braves is especially troubling; the Mets were playing a day game after a night game after playing in a different city the night before and needed their starter to go deep into the game for them. The Mets also asked Matsuzaka to pitch quicker to help shorten the game, but he was able to do neither of those things.
The Mets need starters, and they’re desperate for pitchers that can eat up innings between now and the end of the season, as many of their top pitching prospects are approaching innings limits and their bullpen is quite worn down. However, Matsuzaka isn’t eating up innings; in fact, he’s just creating more problems for the Mets, and he’s done nothing to deserve another start.
Although the Mets have said that Matsuzaka will get another start, they have four days to change their minds and find someone else. And that’s exactly what they need to do. Yes, their 2013 season is all but over, but putting Matsuzaka back on the mound for another start would be like waiving a white flag and capitulating. The Mets haven’t given up all season, and there’s no reason why they should start now.