Mets RHP Robert Gsellman threw seven innings Wednesday against the Phillies, during which he allowed three runs and seven hits while striking out seven batters.
Gsellman, who still qualifies as a rookie, later told reporters that he spent time this past week working with pitching coach Dan Warthen to gain better command of his slider.
"I've been working on it consistently and today was the best it has been," he added.
Gsellman allowed a run in both the fourth and fifth innings, but controlled the damage in the latter frame. With the bases loaded and two outs, he got Maikel Franco to ground out to end the inning and keep the deficit at two.
Apr 19, 2017; Robert Gsellman (65) throws to first base during the fifth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
In three starts this season, Gsellman is 0-1 with a 5.09 ERA and 1.36 WHIP, while striking out 20 batters and giving up 18 hits in 17 2/3 innings.
The Mets are 8-4 in the 12 games he has started during the last two seasons.
I'm more impressed with Gsellman with every start I watch him throw and then hearing him talk about his work after the game. He's clearly talented, but I get the feeling he's helped out a lot by watching Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, and Bartolo Colon last year, while being able to get instruction on his slider from Dan Warthen, who has become Yoda when it comes to that pitch. I'm not saying Gsellman is lucky, I just wonder if he'd be this good this soon in his career if he were with a different team pitching alongside different players...
For instance, it looked like he was doing an impersonation of Colon last night. He was masterful in how he repeatedly ran his two-seamer up and down and across the outside part of the plate. In Gsellman's previous start, when he was rocked by the Marlins, he had zero command of his slider, which instead was breaking too far over the plate. And he paid for it, giving up hard hit after hard hit. But last night it was spot on, breaking across the left-handed hitters and rolling down on righties.
As a result, the Phillies were motionless, dropping elbows and taking the pitch for a strike on the outside corner. And he did it again and again, each time landing further and further away from the batter. It was a thing of beauty, and Bart would be proud.