Overreaction 2: “The Mets bullpen is bad and needs work”
This is a take I do not get, especially for the fans that watch the games carefully. The Mets’ biggest “yeah-but” on the roster entering the season was their bullpen, which was a fact, given the vacancies left behind by Jeurys Familia, Aaron Loup, and others. But this year, they have been terrific, especially in key spots.
The Mets rank third in the NL in bullpen ERA (3.46), batting average against (.222), and K/BB ratio (3.07). Obviously, Edwin Diaz being the game’s premiere reliever has a lot to do with that, but the rest of the bullpen has generally been close to the team par.
Consider this: The Mets were 49-3 when leading after seven innings in the first half, and at one point won 46 straight games when leading after seven. Also, the Mets were 50-0 when leading after eight, the only team in the majors without a loss in that situation in the first half. For a franchise that has been snake-bitten by blown leads by their bullpen throughout its history more often than others, that’s an impressive and amazing statistic.
The Mets’ bullpen success is what having a great in-game manager like Buck Showalter can happen. Showalter has effectively spread pitching assignments around his bullpen, and it’s been great.
Also, remember all the crazy comebacks the Mets pulled off, including that miracle in Philadelphia where the Mets scored seven runs in the ninth inning? The Mets bullpen didn’t allow a run in that game, nor in the comeback in Cincinnati two weeks ago, where it was 6.1 innings of one-hit ball. The bullpen gave the Mets an opportunity to establish an identity early on they’ve ran with it to build a championship caliber mettle and toughness.
Now, I expect the Mets to acquire a reliever or two at the deadline, Trevor May is returning soon, and David Peterson can pitch in long relief with Jacob deGrom back in the rotation soon, strengthening the bullpen even further. The Mets bullpen is about to get better.