Seth Lugo is a starting pitcher now. What’s more, he may be the second-best one the Mets have.
Lugo fired five effective innings Saturday in a 5-1 win over the Phillies at Citi Field, stretching out to 81 pitches in a process that should be complete within a week. In three starts since transitioning from the bullpen to the rotation, Lugo owns a 1.54 ERA with 20 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings.
In any context, those are impressive numbers. Within the context of the Mets’ rotation, they are a godsend. Take Jacob deGrom and Lugo out of the mix, and the Mets’ other starters are a combined 5-11 with a 6.44 ERA.
Unlike in his last outing, Lugo did not appear to tire into the middle innings of this one. Instead, he struck out five in a row at one point and retired the final five Phillies he faced.