Jacob Barnes Wrong Decision But –
Rojas proffered his explanation. The bullpen was stressed, and their best reliever, Seth Lugo, was unavailable. Miguel Castro and Aaron Loup were also unavailable. With Billy McKinney ailing and Jonathan Villar dealing with a family matter, the bench was short limiting the pinch hitting options.
Fact is, you’re not seeing a manager bring his closer into the game in the seventh, so that rules out Edwin Diaz. With David Peterson set to go tomorrow, Robert Gsellman needed to be held back just in case. This all left very few options remaining.
Rojas said he didn’t tab Trevor May because he didn’t want to use him for just one out. So, he ran the roulette wheel and landed on Barnes. The fact that option was on the table was the exact problem here.
Sure, you could argue to pitch May, but that might’ve been for one pitch of one out. Considering for situation, that’s probably the wrong move as that’s the game right there.
However, if you look past the moment, and you assume May escapes the jam, now what? Yes, Drew Smith did go two innings in this game. That took them to the ninth. If the game hit extras, well, that’s the run.
To make the long story short, Barnes was realistically going to have to pitch in this game. This is the same Barnes who entered the game with a 6.27 ERA. Since 2017, Barnes had a 6.62 ERA.
Rojas was obviously aware of this. That’s probably why Barnes only pitched once over that past nine days. That one appearance came in a blowout loss to the Baltimore Orioles.
Clearly, Rojas doesn’t really trust him and tries to limit his use of Barnes. That works for only so long. Eventually, you have to use everyone in your bullpen, and sooner or later, you get caught having to use them in a high leverage situation.
To a certain extent, that’s what happened Sunday. The Mets finally had to use Barnes (although not in that spot), and it completely burned them. It’ll burn them again the next time. Of course, that’s if there is a next time.
With pitchers in the minors like Sean Reid-Foley, it’s hard to imagine why the Mets are carrying Barnes in the bullpen. It helped cost the Mets this game. If this continues, it’s likely going to cost the Mets another game or two.