David Peterson has been faced with one of the toughest assignments of any Mets pitcher this season.
Throughout the early portion of the 2022 campaign, the 26-year-old left-hander has been in limbo. He has pinballed from coast to coast and north and south while jumping between the Mets' and Class-AAA Syracuse clubhouses.
But each time the Mets have called his number, Peterson has honed in and delivered.
That continued on Monday night as Peterson worked around a two-run home run by Brandon Crawford and gave up just two other hits while striking out six across six innings in the Mets' 13-3 victory over the Giants at Oracle Park.
Peterson's position on the Mets could be more defined over the next few weeks with Max Scherzer sidelined for six to eight weeks with a strained oblique and Tylor Megill working back from right biceps tendinitis.
"I'm just here to help the team win any way I can, do my job every fifth day and focus on that," Peterson told reporters. "One pitch at a time and help this team win and help us get to our goal."
Peterson helped his own cause on Monday night, posting his first quality start of the season against the Giants. He has now only allowed six earned runs across 25 innings for a 2.16 ERA.
He received major run support with Francisco Lindor collecting the 500th RBI of his career on a two-run double and Pete Alonso ripping a three-run home run to give him 40 RBI on the season as part of a five-run third inning.
The Mets knocked a season-high 18 hits in the series-opening win, including home runs from Jeff McNeil and Mark Canha.
As Peterson improved to 2-0 on the season, the Mets moved to 29-15; the 14 games over .500 is the team's best mark since 2015.
Peterson was facing a hungry Giants team that was coming off a four-game sweep at the hands of the Padres.
That showed in the second inning as Evan Longoria shot a leadoff double to left field and Brandon Crawford powered a 418-foot two-run home run on a 2-0 fastball to straightaway center field.
But Peterson was unbothered. All three of the Giants' hits off Peterson came in the second inning. Then, he settled in.
"He started getting in a really good rhythm," Buck Showalter told reporters. "You could tell he was kind of jumping out there a little bit and he's not usually up like that. It was actually too strong. I love the way he responded after the home run. It was a good shot in the arm for him to go through six innings."
After walking Darin Ruf and WIlmer Flores to start the third, he was able to jumpstart a double play on a groundball to the mound and struck out Longoria on a high fastball to end the inning.
That strikeout was the first of 11 straight outs for Peterson, who threw a season-high 99 pitches in the win. His previous high was 90 pitches in his last start in the major leagues against the Braves on May 3.
"When you're in a rhythm like that, it's pretty easy to build off good pitches," Peterson told reporters. "I definitely got behind in some counts that made it a little tougher in those first couple innings, the second inning especially, but once I attacked the zone and got ahead, (Patrick) Mazeika and I were on the same page the whole night."
Most of Peterson's damage came on his back-foot slider, which he threw 26 percent of the time, inducing eight swings and misses, and five of his six strikeoust. Despite only throwing nine first-pitch strikes to 22 batters, Peterson was able to keep the Giants hitters off-balance.
The Mets' big offensive inning in the third inning almost didn't happen.
But after a single from J.D. Davis, who finished 4-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI, Brandon Nimmo and Starling Marte each beat out two-out infield singles to the left side of the diamond.
The two hits from the top of the lineup allowed Lindor to bloop a two-run double inside the left-field line that sent Ruf sprawling into the netting. One pitch later, Alonso blasted his 11th home run of the season to left field.
The Mets frustrated Giants starter Alex Cobb, who gave up five infield hits and was dealt the loss. McNeil came across to score the sixth run off Cobb after stealing third in the sixth inning.
"I thought Alex was good, he just ran into some tough luck against us," Showalter told reporters. "The guys continue grinding at-bats and good things happen when you keep the 'want-to' going like these guys have. We got into a real pass-the-baton thing and it worked out."
The Mets tacked on four runs off Mauricio Llovera in the eighth inning, with back-to-back home runs from McNeil and Canha, and three more in the ninth inning as outfielder Luis Gonzalez took the mound.
Andrew Tredinnick is the Mets beat writer for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to all Mets analysis, news, trades and more, please subscribe today and download our app.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @andrew_tred
This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: NY Mets' David Peterson continues to show promise in win over Giants