The New York Mets have started out the 2019 season with some positive moments. However, struggles from the bullpen are cause for concern.
The New York Mets have started the year strong. Their offense came out hot and their starting pitching depth is the real deal. One problem so far that seems to keep reoccurring is the problems with their bullpen.
Closing games have been the Achilles heel so far in the season. Starting off in Opening Weekend, the bullpen gave up four runs in the bottom of the ninth from pitches by Seth Lugo. His struggles did not stop there as he gave up three runs against the Miami Marlins late in the game as the Mets almost blew a five-run lead. He gave up an additional two runs against the Nationals in the ninth inning in the Mets home opener.
Another pitcher struggling in the bullpen is Luis Avilan who could not close a 6-0 lead for the Mets in the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins. He gave up three runs on two walks and two hits. Robert Gsellman also gave up a run to have to bring in closer Edwin Diaz for the save.
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Jeurys Familia is the next relief pitcher to give up key runs for the Mets. Familia came into the game to pitch against the Nationals with a 3-1 lead. One wild pitch and two home runs later he put the Mets in the hole, now down 5-3. Diaz has had to come in to save these pitchers to come into games that most would think he would have the day off. If this continues to be a constant pattern he has the risk of being overworked and not being able to close these close games that the team has put him in.
The bullpen has been very fortunate to have the surge of offense lately. Otherwise, they would have been costing them very close games.
The problems arise if the starting pitching can’t go deep into games which will happen from time to time. Steven Matz has had issues keeping his pitch count down enough to stay in games late, so putting this bullpen in to pitch four or five innings can be a huge risk and can overwork them fast. Putting this bullpen out in close games is a real concern and it is a problem that needs to be fixed as of right now while we are still early in the season.
While it is still early, these are the games to feel out the bullpen but it is certainly something needs to happen. The team will most likely not add any more relief pitchers which means they need to be managed differently. Callaway putting out pitchers for more than one inning, or not knowing when to come out and replace someone is a big problem.
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We see these issues with Lugo and Familia. Something must happen quickly if the Mets want to contend throughout the 2019 season before more damage is dealt.