The New York Mets dropped the season finale against the San Diego Padres on Sunday when a familiar event took place: the bullpen blew it! Shorthanded for the game, Jeurys Familia was overworked which ultimately led to Jacob Barnes giving up a grand slam.
The story was a little better Monday. The Mets won the first game versus the Chicago Cubs, but pitcher Trevor May allowed a pair of home runs in the seventh inning. His ERA is now over 4.50 which could very well mean some poor overall numbers for the year unless he goes on some sort of remarkable scoreless streak.
Overall numbers don’t matter much in the grand scheme as long as the team wins. They’re doing a lot of it right now, but a little sharpening to the bullpen could do them wonders.
The Mets made their first attempt to sharpen the blade by recalling Sean Reid-Foley
Sean Reid-Foley has the unfortunate role as the designated shuttle rider from Syracuse to Flushing this year. His minor league options have made him an easier target than John Candy in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Rather than keep Barnes around for another 24 hours, the team designated him for assignment a day after he imploded on the mound and decided it was SRF time again.
Mets fans have fully embraced Reid-Foley this year. He has moxie on the mound. His overall numbers are impressive as well.
Heading into a stretch where the Mets are going to play three doubleheaders in a week with only one off-day during the time, it’s essential every reliever is as sharp as possible.
The Mets could use just a single extra inning from every starter right now
The Mets have been, at times, overly cautious with their starting pitchers. Asking for 100 pitches from any of them, even Jacob deGrom, has not been common.
New York is going to need a little more from each of their starters to help keep the bullpen as sharp as possible. Joey Lucchesi and David Peterson did their job well in their last two starts. Next up, it’s time for the big three to do the same.
More important than trying to squeeze out an extra 15-20 pitches from their starters, the manager needs to be a little more intentional with how he uses his bullpen. May had not pitched in over a week when he entered the game on Monday. In part because of two off-days last week and a pair of blowouts against the Baltimore Orioles, May was allowed to rust.
Anyone who has followed this team in recent seasons knows how terrifying the month of June can be. It’s a time when the Mets often collapse. Halfway through the month, this hasn’t been the case.
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However, the bullpen isn’t quite what it was only a few weeks ago. The expected results (no bullpen can sustain the success they were having) shouldn’t put us into panic mode. Instead, flick your switch to “caution” and hope the management is as aware of it as we are.