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Buck Showalter, David Peterson discuss recent struggles for left-hander

New York Mets starting pitcher David Peterson (23) returns to the dugout after the first inning of the MLB National League game between the Cincinnati Reds and the New York Mets at Great American Ball Park in downtown Cincinnati on Tuesday, May 9, 2023.

David Peterson offered quality rotation depth for the Mets in 2022, pitching to a 7-5 record with a 3.83 ERA in a rotation that returned to the postseason for the first time in six seasons. To start 2023, Peterson has struggled, now winning just one of his first six decisions after Monday’s 10-3 loss to Washington.

In five innings of work, the Nationals tallied nine hits and six earned runs off of Peterson. It was the fourth time this season that Peterson allowed four or more runs in a start.

Buck Showalter addressed what can change for the left-hander after the game.

“He’s been inconsistent with command,” Showalter said. “It’s one thing to throw strikes. It’s another thing to throw quality strikes. A lot of pitches in the middle of the plate. You think he can find his step and go five or six innings. It hasn’t happened for him.”

Showalter added that Peterson’s improvement looks to match his mental confidence on the mound.

“He knows he’s capable of pitching up here,” Showalter said. “He feels good physically. That’s what has been frustrating for everybody. His breaking balls have been inconsistent. It wasn’t really an out pitch. He would have a few good sequences and then make a mistake.

Peterson discussed that not having his slider as a consistent pitch this season has led to hitters having more success.

“Not getting off to a great start with the slider has been frustrating,” Peterson said. “We made some changes mechanically that didn’t really work. I started to get on the side of it a little bit. It flattened out and didn’t have consistent movement.”

After a 3-4 road trip, the Mets look to turn the tides at home with a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays beginning on Tuesday.