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Wheeler Dominant, Bullpen Not So Much

Through the mess that has been the Mets of late, the one thing that has been consistently going well has been the starting pitching. Ok, Brandon Nimmo too, but the starting pitching has been quite good.

That is what has made this run so frustrating. The starting pitching has kept them in games and games close only for the team to invent ways to lose games.

Tonight was another outstanding start from the Mets rotation. This time it came from Zack Wheeler, who has recently been good except for that one inning or batter.

Tonight, there was no except. Wheeler was just dominant.

Through seven scoreless innings, Wheeler allowed just five hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. It was about as good a performance as you have seen from him.

Better yet for him, he actually got some run support.

In the third, Amed Rosario, who was finally playing again after Jose Reyes got the playing time he demanded, started a rally by getting hit by an Ivan Nova pitch.

After being sacrificed to second by Wheeler, it seemed like he’d be stranded there. However, Jose Bautista would deliver a two out opposite field RBI double, and then he’d score on an Asdrubal Cabrera RBI single.

The Mets 2-0 lead would expand to 3-0 on a Wilmer Flores solo homer in the sixth.

The question with this bullpen was whether a 3-0 lead would be enough. Initially, the answer seemed to be no.

Robert Gsellman came in and he was hit hard with the only out he recorded was a sacrifice fly from Austin Meadows. When Josh Bell followed the sacrifice fly with a hard hit single, Mickey Callaway didn’t mess around.

Callaway pulled a struggling reliever for a hot one in Tim Peterson. Callaway’s faith in him was vindicated as Peterson got the next two outs to get the Mets out of the inning preserving the 3-1 lead.

Despite pitching 1.2 innings last night, Jeurys Familia came on in the ninth for the save.

Before he got an out, the Pirates had the bases loaded with no outs and a run scored.

For some reason, through most of this, the Mets had no one up in the bullpen after an inning where Gsellman got the quick hook.

After Familia gave up a four pitch walk, Callaway went well to Anthony Swarzak, who either doesn’t need much time to warm up or came in way too soon.

Well, it was the later as on Swarzak’s first pitch, David Freese hit a two RBI single to give the Pirates a 4-3 lead. Again, there were no outs in the inning.

All said and done, it was Pirates 5 – Mets 3. Another game and series lost by a Mets who is funding ways to lose games.

Game Notes: Cabrera is hitting again going 3-4 with a double, RBI, and a run. Corey Oswalt was held back from his Triple-A starts so he can make a start this weekend for the injured Jason Vargas. Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto swapped defensive positions with Nimmo manning center and Conforto on left.

6 thoughts on “Wheeler Dominant, Bullpen Not So Much”

  1. Gothamist says:

    Can you blame Harvey on Sandy. What if they started out st 10-25? Harvey would stay in rotation?

    Sandy?

    Ramos having a shot labrum in March?
    Familia losing confidence (Minaya’s signee)?
    Giving Blevins two years and expecting full innings for 2017/2018 did surprise me.
    There are two starters (Wheeler and Noah) via trade yet outside of Lugo Gsellman and Fulmer what did drafting all those pitchers since 2011 really accomplish?
    Swarzak did not cost a draft pick (as Vargas did not) but I was surprised that his track record seemed to be too short. Maybe Callaway wanted Swarzak?

    What if Sandy did a Theo? Draft position players yet Epstein paid plenty for all those FA contracts.

  2. metsdaddy says:

    1. Let’s see what Harvey is in Cincy before we look to blame him for anything

    2. Maybe the Mets ignored warning signs in Ramos’ medicals, although after Gomez, I’m not sure that was the case.

    3. Personally, with how he was used last year, I was surprised Blevins wasn’t traded.

    4. The Mets did go to back-to-back postseasons, and the Mets have some good pitchers in the farm system.

    5. Swarzak seemed to be a consolation prize as the better pitchers went elsewhere and the Mets didn’t have what was needed to bring back Reed.

    6. Sandy has drafted position players. Look at Nimmo and Conforto as well as Dom, Alonso, and Kelenic.

  3. OldBackstop says:

    Hey….let’s keep it in perspective. I’ll ask MD a question….had the Mets not lost all these guys….their best slugger in Cespedes…their number two ace in Syndergaard, their top bullpen off season addition in Swarzak, their top SP in Vargas, both their catchers, etc etc….

    …..had not had all that not happened, and they grabbed the wildcard this year….that would make 3 of the last 4 years in the playoffs.

    How many teams have done that it baseball the last three (four) years? And how many tens of millions more in payroll have they laid out?

    I don’t have a huge problem with the Mets management….if they had about six more wins and were in the running, they would be one of the most efficient ROI organizations, relative to league spending, in MLB history since 1970.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Here’s the problem – when you invest in older players, your team is more inclined to get injured.

      When you invest in injury prone players, you’re investing in players who get hurt.

      So yes, maybe if everyone stays healthy, this team captures a wild card. Personally, I believe if this team was healthy, they win the division.

      These are all ifs and known ifs at that heading into the season. They gambled and lost.

  4. OldBackstop says:

    And, just an add….I LOVE Mescoraro. He is the first guy we have had that looks like a catcher in decades. He is large and in charge. I hope we sign him, dump D’Arnaud, and keep Plawecki.
    Harvey was a dick, and since he left May 11, Lugo, Gsellman, Syndergaard, DeGrom, Wheeler, and Matz all have better ERAs, and Vargas did until he got blown up in Colorado 6/19.

    Good riddance. The problem with management is that that Callaway jumped in front of a deal over the winter to unload Harvey. Even if he had been solid, no way he is here next year.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Mesoraco hasn’t been great since a fast start with the Mets. Give me TdA over him every day of the week

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