Either because of a lack of options or stubborn trust in him, the Mets stayed with David Peterson when he was at his lowest.
He has rewarded them for their faith.
Peterson continued his recent renaissance on Friday night, pitching six innings of one-run ball in a 2-1, eight-inning loss to the Phillies in the second game of a doubleheader at Citi Field. At a time when there is so much uncertainty in the rotation, from a season-ending injury to Joey Lucchesi to minor injuries to Jacob deGrom and Marcus Stroman, Peterson has provided some stability, shaking off his recent woes.
“It’s his secondary pitches for strikes that’s helping,” manager Luis Rojas said over Zoom. “He got rolling with his slider and his changeup, throwing it for strikes and getting swings [and misses].”
Peterson gave up just three hits and struck out five against the Phillies, allowing a Bryce Harper solo home run. It continued a recent trend. In his last three outings, Peterson has given up just two earned runs over 16 ²/₃ innings and allowed just six hits. He has lowered his ERA to 4.95 after it was once as high as 6.32, looking much more like the pitcher who opened eyes last summer as a rookie.
“He’s worked hard on those secondary [pitches] to throw them for a strike and he’s translated that into the games in his last three outings,” Rojas said. “I’m very proud of him. Just one pitch to Harper, that was the only mistake, that fastball up. And not to say it was a bad pitch, you got to give credit to Bryce.”
Peterson said the key has been him simplifying the game and not overly worrying about mistakes. Instead, he’s doing his best to focus on executing the next pitch no matter what happened with the previous one.
“It’s just all the work we’ve put in between starts is adding up,” he said.