Don’t be fooled by the Mets bullpen. Sure, it had a few good outings outside of the All-Star break but that didn’t mean it was fixed. When you have a player like, Pete Alonso, who could win an MVP award if he was on a winning team, his clutch home run in the top of the 16th, didn’t mean much when the bullpen reverted to normal in the bottom of the 16th giving up two runs and getting another gut-wrenching loss.
The reason we’re all still talking about the bullpen is Edwin Diaz has looked more like Armando Benitez this season rather than a solution. The fact that he has 21 saves shows how meaningless the statistic is. His WHIP is John Franco awful, the older Franco who always put runners on base. Diaz throws hard but he throws high in the zone. His home runs per nine innings are 1.7! Last season he was .06. His hits per nine innings are 10.4, last year it was 5.0, so what’s changed? As far back as April, and as recently as yesterday, the starters know that leads aren’t safe.
By the end of June, the bullpen ranked 28th in baseball. Of course, it’s more since then. The knee jerk reaction is, don’t blame ______ this guy after he comes in the 16th. And you can fill in this blank in another future game the same way. The Mets and their manager and pitching coaches have mismanaged the bullpen all year, desperately trying to find some balance that their new GM thought he left for them. Turns out he did a bad job. His Brodie’s first offseason has been a disaster and now that they mortgaged the future in those trades the bigger question for another day is, how far have those deals set the club back?
The Mets are still out of it. A few wins weren’t going to change that. So now the GM will be making important trades that will impact next season. Raise your hand if you believe they will get full value for the currently injured, Zack Wheeler? Or Todd Frazier, or almost anyone on the team not named Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil, Jacob deGrom, Pete Alonso and Noah Syndergaard (I don’t believe they should trade him)?
Mickey Callaway is the definition of a lame-duck manager. He’s in over his head. Who will they eventually replace him with? These are all important questions fans will ask as the ballpark gets sparse in the stands as this season slogs on.
With the few pluses, the Mets have going for them this season, the bullpen and Robinson Cano (not even ranked in the top 21 2nd basemen on MLB.com) playing like Roberto Alomar will be the long-lasting memory. To be fair to Alomar, he hit 11 home runs and drove in 53, Cano can’t reach those numbers. Cano is in Carlos Baerga territory, post-all-star break he’s ranked 27th at his position!
As a kid, I used to flinch when Ray Sadecki would come in relief. He did both for the Mets but my bad memories of him were in the bullpen. He would be the best pitcher in the current Mets bullpen.