Jeff Brigham – 2023 Mets relief pitcher grade
1st Half Stats: 29.2 IP, 32 games, 0-2, 5.16 ERA, 33 K, 13 BB, 81 ERA+, .171 average against, 6 HR
This campaign has been a bit unfair to Jeff Brigham in a way, as his ERA north of five is a direct result of the Edwin Diaz injury and bad in-game management by Buck Showalter. The low and medium leverage situations were those he thrived in, but when it counted the most, he wasn’t any good.
Looking specifically at the game logs, three big examples stood out. On May 1, Brigham gave up a three-run homer to Sean Murphy of the Braves, in a game the Mets lost 9-8. On May 27, up a run against Colorado, he gave up a two-run tape measure shot to Ryan McMahon that proved to be the difference in a 10-7 loss. And he was the one that hit back-to-back hitters to force in runs in that horrific meltdown against the Phillies on June 25.
Drew Smith – 2023 Mets relief pitcher grade
1st Half Stats: 29.1 IP, 32 games, 4-3, 4.30 ERA, 34 K, 13 BB, 97 ERA+
Drew Smith is another example of a pitcher whose bad results were magnified by the lack of Edwin Diaz’s presence on the roster. Smith had a combined 2.89 ERA over the last two seasons before this season, where he’s allowed nearly as many runs and walks as he did over a full season last year. And most of the damage was done over the past six weeks, where his ERA over his last 16 appearances is 6.60, so you might wonder why this has been a less effective campaign for him.
Smith's two breaking pitches each lost at least 1.3 mph in velocity, allowing hitters to catch up to it and hit them hard. However, while his fastball has been effective this year, Smith’s lack of an effective second pitch is where his season went a bit south in May and June. Nonetheless, he is still the fourth best reliever on the staff.