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Edwin Diaz Caps Off Epic Mets Bullpen Meltdown

This was a show down not just of the past two Cy Young winners in the National League. In many ways, it was a showdown between the two pitchers who could finish 1-2 in this year’s Cy Young voting.

Advantage Jacob deGrom . . . at least in the Cy Young race.

In the first, the Nationals had deGrom on the ropes scoring a run on a pair of doubles from Asdrubal Cabrera and Juan Soto. Matt Adams would strike out getting deGrom off the hook. It wouldn’t be the first time he and the Nationals would do that.

This wasn’t classic deGrom. Instead, this was the version of deGrom who uses his guile and intellect to navigate his way out of jams. Overall, deGrom would have just 1-2-3 inning all night. In a way, deGrom not having his best stuff and getting his way out of trouble minimizing damage proves his greatness every bit as much as his 10+ strikeout performances.

The key moment for him did feature some luck. In the sixth, after Juan Soto was hit by a pitch, Adams singled. After that single, Kurt Suzuki hit about the longest single you’ve ever seen. He hit it to the center field wall, and Brandon Nimmo couldn’t make the catch on the leaping attempt. For some reason, Adams stopped at second keeping the double play in order.

Three pitches later, deGrom got the ground ball he needed with Gerardo Parra hitting into the inning ending 4-6-3 double play. That was a huge chance for the Nationals, and it was a key moment in the game.

At that point, the Mets led 4-2. Part of the reason was Mickey Callaway seemed to guess right stacking his left-handed batters against Scherzer. To the consternation of some Joe Panik and Luis Guillorme would play over J.D. Davis and Amed Rosario, but Callaway would be vindicated partially because the Mets opted to attack Scherzer. The strategy worked in the fourth.

On three straight pitches, Scherzer allowed singles to Pete Alonso and Michael Conforto before allowing an RBI double to Wilson Ramos. Of course, Nimmo would be the first batter in the inning to take a pitch, and in that at-bat, he’d hit the go-ahead sacrifice fly. Then, well, the impossible happened:

That was Panik’s first homer as a Met, and it was his first since May 28th. It gave the Mets a 4-2 lead which the Mets would not relinquish partially because the Nationals bullpen is terrible.

One of the key plays in this game would prove to be Jeff McNeil homering off Roenis Elias in the top of the eighth. It proved so important because Callaway would make a very questionable move sending deGrom out for the eighth.

Anthony Rendon hit an infield single neither deGrom nor Todd Frazier could field. Then, instead of having Luis Avilan up or going to a warmed up Seth Lugo, Callaway allowed deGrom to face Soto a fourth time, and Soto made deGrom and the Mets pay by hitting a two run homer.

The homer pulled the Nationals to within 5-4, and it would sour what was an impressive deGrom performance. With Lugo shutting down the Nationals, it wouldn’t cost deGrom the win.

The Nationals would stick with the left-handed Elias in the ninth, and Nimmo would homer to leadoff the inning expanding the Mets lead to 6-4. Things would devolve from there for the reverse splits Elias who allow a hit to Panik.

Daniel Hudson “relieved” Elias, and he’d immediately walk Frazier. After Guillorme lines out, Tomas Nido hit what should’ve been the inning ending double play. It wasn’t as Trea Turner forgot how many outs there were, and he’d only get Nido at first.

McNeil made the Nationals pay with an RBI single, and Alonso would put this game supposedly out of reach with his 44th homer of the year putting the Mets up 10-4.

This allowed Callaway to pull Lugo and go to Paul Sewald to wrap it up. While Sewald typically thrives in these situations, he was bad tonight recording just one out while Turner and Rendon would drive runs home.

With runners at first and second with one out and Soto due up, Callaway was forced to go to Avilan. He didn’t get the job done allowing a single to Soto to load the bases.

Ryan Zimmerman was announced as the pinch hitter for Adams. With him representing the tying run, Callaway went to Edwin Diaz for the save.

Zimmerman would hit a two run double just past the diving Conforto, and suddenly the laugher was 10-8 with the tying runs in scoring position. Then, Suzuki hit a Gabe winning three run homer to cap off a seven run ninth.

There are no words for how bad a loss this is.

Game Notes: Robinson Cano was activated off the IL, but he did not play.

7 thoughts on “Edwin Diaz Caps Off Epic Mets Bullpen Meltdown”

  1. David Klein says:

    Great game for the Mickster! That was one of the worst loses that I can ever remember with Mickey playing a gigantic part in the game from sending a shaky deGrom out for the eight instead of going to Lugo to leaving Sewald in there way too fucking long. I dunno what Mickey was thinking letting Sewald face Rendon and bringing Avilan in a save situation, which set up Diaz, who has control problems coming in with the bases loaded and he got clobbered. The crazy thing is if the Mets only add an insurance run or two then Lugo comes out for the ninth and the Mets likely hold on to win. What a clusterfuck. Damn that Trea Turner for not turning a double play.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I have no idea how you even think to put this on Callaway.

  2. Patrick OHara says:

    This isn’t just a bullpen blowup. Callaway screwed the pooch.
    In a must win game, he lifted lugo after throwing 10 pitches. Slam the door. Secure the series win, have rest of pen ready to go and take your chances for the sweep tomorrow.
    The nats have the best record in baseball since the mets swept them months ago… they are an extremely dangerous team. Theyve won 20 of 26 now…
    You dont give ANY amount of life to a team like this. Especially when every game you’re playing for your season.
    And, you especially dont give extra rope to an on the roster/off the roster/on the roster pen piece like sewald.
    Additionally, during the meltdown when diaz let up the double to zimmerman – how is there no mound visit to diaz by the coaching staff or at least the catcher to strategize vs suzuki??? Its just left in the hands of a shaky season long disaster “closer” (who lost his job). How is that in any way acceptable?
    Callaway got cute playing for tomorrow instead of winning today. And, it might have cost them more than just this one game.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      If you can’t trust the bullpen to win games when there’s a six run lead in the ninth, the issue isn’t with the manager.

      1. Patrick OHara says:

        Option 1. The best guy in your pen who’s already in the game
        Option 2. The hot pile of BVW created pen.
        There were choices made by Callaway. Just because the bullpen sucks enough to let up the runs doesnt mean Callaway had no part in it!

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Yes, Lugo is your best and ONLY reliable guy. As such, don’t waste his bullets on six run leads.

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