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Mets need to stumble into finding another good relief pitcher

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 01: Seth Lugo #67 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch against the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field on May 01, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.The Cincinnati Reds defeated the New York Mets 1-0. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 01: Seth Lugo #67 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch against the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field on May 01, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.The Cincinnati Reds defeated the New York Mets 1-0. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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Relief help hasn’t been there for the New York Mets in 2019. With demand outweighing the supply of good relievers, the Mets will need to stumble into finding their next productive arm out of the bullpen.

One of the most depressing New York Mets stories of 2019 involves the poor performance from the bullpen. In the offseason, they brought in Justin Wilson and brought back Jeurys Familia. In their blockbuster deal of the winter, they also acquired top closer Edwin Diaz.

You would think these three together with Seth Lugo would make for a pretty good bullpen. If Robert Gsellman could also grow a little from 2018, these five could hold down plenty of leads.

Unfortunately, the Mets bullpen has been anything but reliable. It’s not at fault of injuries either. When most of these men have taken the field, they’ve been quite bad.

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This doesn’t even account for the army of relievers the Mets shuttle back and forth between Flushing and Syracuse. None of them inspire much confidence in protecting a lead or even getting through an inning cleanly.

Looking back at recent successful Mets teams, I do see some names that helped out big. The 2016 squad received a terrific year from Addison Reed and Jerry Blevins. Even Hansel Robles pitched pretty well with a 3.48 ERA. Overall, it was a bullpen with many productive and quality arms.

One year earlier, the story was the same. Including those names already mentioned who were also with the Mets in 2015, we saw performances from Sean Gilmartin, Alex Torres, and Erik Goeddel out of the bullpen plenty of times to wish they were here now.

Of course, we also saw the best of Familia in both of these seasons. Though the Mets have a perceived lockdown closer on the 2019 roster, they don’t have much beyond him and the two innings they seem to require from Lugo to earn a victory.

The trouble facing the 2019 Mets is how there doesn’t seem to be an answer on the way. They’ve tried just about everyone over the past two or three seasons. Nobody other than Lugo and Gsellman has stuck around. And right now, Gsellman is not a trustworthy reliever anyone really wants to see step on a mound.

Finding a relief pitcher you can count on is never an easy task nor is there an exact science. Lugo is a “failed starter” although plenty would still argue it’s a spot he could excel in. Whether it’s an older guy like Drew Gagnon or a younger one like Corey Oswalt, this team hasn’t been able to stumble onto a good relief arm in far too long.

Relief pitchers across baseball are having a rough 2019 campaign. As unbelievable as it may seem, the Mets’ relievers don’t have nearly the worst ERA in Major League Baseball. Because of this, acquiring relief pitchers via trade or free agency will remain incredibly difficult. There’s a larger demand than supply.

Next. What's missing from the 2019 Mets?

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This doesn’t excuse the lack of talent coming in to aid the starters. The bullpen is poor and unless they run into some luck with homegrown talent, I’m not sure the pain subsides.

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