We all know New York Mets reliever Seth Lugo is fanastic. However, over the last two months, he has been on a different level.
On April 19, 2019, New York Mets relief pitcher Seth Lugo earned a victory against the St. Louis Cardinals despite allowing a pair of earned runs. It was his first victory of the season at a point in the year where the Mets looked like they meant business.
Following the two runs, Lugo owned a 5.68 ERA on the year. More than two months later, with 36.1 innings pitched, he’s now at 2.23. How has he done it? Two fantastic months of allowing only a single earned run.
Since his win versus St. Louis, Lugo has allowed only a single run—earned or unearned. This was in their 3-0 loss against the Miami Marlins on May 19th. Ever since, he has been a reliable arm Mickey Callaway could trust.
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The lone hiccup in all of his appearances other than the game against the Marlins occurred on June 4th when he was issued a blown save against the San Francisco Giants. This, in the extra inning disaster at Citi Field, featured a less impressive Lugo on the mound in relief of Noah Syndergaard. Lugo allowed three hits including a game-tying double to Brandon Belt. Because the runner who scored reached base when Syndergaard was pitching, Lugo’s ERA was not affected.
The Mets bullpen has supplied us with plenty of horrors this year. Lugo, who at one point this year didn’t look quite himself early on, has rediscovered the magic from 2018 and more. He is striking out 11.6 batters per nine innings, adding another weapon to his already deadly repertoire.
Many of us were hopeful Lugo had a future with the Mets as a multi-inning option. While he has regularly performed in two frames or more several times this year, Lugo is far more valuable to the Mets than just this. He’s a legitimate setup man. In a season where Jeurys Familia has been atrocious and Robert Gsellman has failed to repeat the good times from last year, it has been especially important for Lugo to put together a streak like this.
Lugo’s rise to prominence with the Mets seemed to come out of nowhere. Not highly-touted, he debuted in 2016 shortly before the All-Star Break. The 6.50 ERA as a starter and reliever in Triple-A the same year didn’t show much promise.
Fortunately, Lugo was much better in the big leagues. His first 64 innings with the Mets resulted in a 2.67 ERA. A down year almost exclusively as a starter in 2017 could have made them wary of his future. Thankfully, they made room for him in the bullpen. And for two straight seasons, Lugo has been uniquely talented reliever the rest of the league would surely love to have.
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The 2019 Mets haven’t given much hope to their fans. Lugo is the exceptional exception. Ready to go often and for as long as needed, he’s currently performed at an unstoppable pace of run prevention. If only there were more than one of him in this world.