This Mets pitcher has earned more high-leverage innings starting right now

Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets
Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets / Dustin Satloff/GettyImages

The New York Mets will be without Trevor May for 8-12 weeks which opens up some late innings. Luckily, they have the perfect answer to fill them.

Drew Smith is on a 10-game winning streak for the Mets. In each of his 10 appearances this season, the Mets have won. Smith has also not given up a single run in any of his appearances. In five of those games, no Mets pitcher has.

It’s not exactly a notable streak or one that necessarily matters. It does demonstrate how Buck Showalter has already had a lot of trust in one of the club’s small number of relievers under contract for next season. Huge innings for Smith have already taken place. Going forward, we should see even more.

The Mets have given Drew Smith big innings, expect them to get bigger

Smith has pitched in the eighth inning a couple of times already this year with his most recent appearance taking place in Tuesday’s doubleheader win against the Atlanta Braves—the first time they beat them on that day. He had been pitching in the sixth or seventh in his prior three appearances after several shutout frames in the eighth inning. Although he has been given the chance to take the mound late, he hasn’t been Showalter’s first choice.

This could all change with May out for two or three months. May, despite his struggles, was still getting those chances. Now, with Seth Lugo turning things around, we should expect Smith to join him to help set up saves for Edwin Diaz.

Bullpens are like the stock market over the last two years. One day you’re feeling good. You think maybe you can relax and take it easy. The very next day, you’re wondering what the point of any of this is. That’s a major league bullpen.

One constant for the Mets has been Smith. Between him, Diaz, and Chasen Shreve, there hasn’t been much reliever chaos in 2022. Things have gone completely according to plan. The loss of May, even with how poorly he was pitching, is big. It shortens the number of options for the club. And if Adam Ottavino continues to throw out his occasional clunkers, a few games may be spoiled late.

Smith has worked his way into a prime bullpen spot for the Mets this year. He seemed poised to inevitably get a more permanent spot pitching in the eighth inning. This latest injury to May secures it. Godspeed!

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