Jerry Blevins

Baumann Not Our Buddy In Mets 14 Inning Loss

Look, there’s just not much to say about a game the Mets lost 7-1 in 14 innings pushing them back to two games under .500.

Once again, Jacob deGrom was great. He twice got out of bases loaded jams unscathed. However, he didn’t get through the sixth unscathed as Anthony Rizzo hit an RBI single to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead.

With the Cubs starting LHP Mike Montgomery, it appeared that would be enough as the Mets are literally the worst offensive team against LHP.

That made Michael Conforto‘s sixth inning solo shot all the more miraculous. Really, more than anything, it took deGrom off the hook. With the Mets blowing games for him left and right, it was the least the team could do.

And the Mets offense would deliver the absolute least compiling seven hits and 15 strikeouts in 14 innings.

Speaking of strikeouts, the Mets set a new franchise record by striking out 24 Cubs in this game.

Of those 24, 13 came from deGrom in his seven innings of work.

After deGrom departed, Robert Gsellman, Jeurys Familia, Jerry Blevins, Hansel Robles, and Tim Peterson (2.0) combined to pitch six scoreless.

The problem is while that quintet put up zeroes, the Cubs bullpen was doing the same highlighted by Luke Farrell, who entered the game with a 6.75 ERA, pitched five scoreless.

After running through the available and more competent arms, Mickey Callaway finally had to turn to Buddy Baumann. He was predictably terrible.

The big hit off Baumann was a one out two RBI Albert Almora, Jr. double. At that point, Baumann was lifted for Gerson Bautista.

Bautista was equally as bad. First, it was a Ben Zobrist two RBI double. Then, it was a Javier Baez two run homer.

It was an ugly inning in a game full of ugly Mets offense. They’re now two games under .500, and you’re left wondering where rick bottom is going to be because the Mets apparently have not yet found it.

Game Notes: P.J. Conlon is now an ex-Met as the Dodgers claimed him off waivers.

Mets Bullpen Predictably Implodes In Bullpen Game

With the Mets not really stretching out Seth Lugo, he was limited to just four innings in today’s start.

Well, the four innings he was able to give the Mets were terrific. He allowed just three hits while striking out three. However, as he hasn’t truly been stretched out, he was done after 60 pitches.

Enter Hansel Robles.

Robles is as maddening a pitcher as they get. Like in his last appearance, you get three great innings. The next, well, he’s pointing to the sky.

That’s actually something he’s done more than any Mets reliever despite his DL stint and his shuttling between Queens and Las Vegas.

Well, he issued a leadoff walk to Kyle Schwarber. Schwarber should’ve popped out in the at-bat, but with the shirt, no one was near the ball at first. Mesoraco made his way over, but he couldn’t corral it.

even after retiring the next two, he allowed a two run homer to Ben Zobrist giving the Cubs a 2-0 lead.

Heading into tonight’s game Cubs starter Jose Quintana might’ve had a 4.78 ERA, but in half of his starts he allowed one run or fewer. Basically, he’s been either really good or really bad.

Considering how the Mets can’t score at home or hit left-handed pitching, you knew he’d have a really good night.

He did just that allowing no runs on three hits and two walks while striking out six in six innings.

With Jerry Blevins allowing the left-handed Schwarber plate Javier Baez, who hit a two out double, the Cubs extended their lead to 3-0.

That became a 4-0 lead in the seventh as once again Buddy Baumann has difficulty getting anyone out. With a run already home, he left the bases loaded with two outs for Scott Copeland, who struck out Baez to get out of the jam.

Despite Copeland getting out of the jam, and finally giving the Mets a chance to get back into the game.

Brandon Nimmo responded by hitting a solo homer in the eighth off Brian Duensing to close the gap to 4-1. Who else would deliver on National Smile Day?

That hit was the Mets first since the third inning.

The Mets bullpen would be at it again with Gerson Bautista giving that Nimmo run right back.

Of note with the Bautista appearance, Bautista there was a wild pitch and a “passed ball.” Both occurred with Devin Mesoraco behind the plate. It could’ve been due to Bautista having a wild and live arm Mesoraco being hit in the head with a long follow through earlier in the game, both, or neither. In any event, it’s something worth monitoring.

In the game, the Mets used five relievers and four of them allowed runs. That’s how you lose 5-1 and drop to .500 . . . again.

Game Notes: David Wright began baseball activities playing catch in the outfield before that game.

As Expected: Mets Split Doubleheader Losing deGrom’s Gem and Winning Conlon’s Mess

If we learned anything from the doubleheader yesterday, it was baseball makes no sense whatsoever.  How could it?  Somehow, someway, the New York Mets are 5-6 in Jacob deGrom starts and 2-0 in P.J. Conlon. starts.  Just to put how bizarre that is in perspective Conlon has pitched fewer innings in his brief MLB career than deGrom did yesterday.

And it was another virtuoso performance from deGrom yesterday.  The only mark against him was a Tyler Flowers seventh inning shot.  That had made the game 2-1 with the Mets scoring on a Devin Mesoraco bases loaded walk.  While Luis Guillorme would end that rally, he made up for it by hitting a double over the head over Preston Tucker, who had not played the field in about a month and looked like it.  On the double, Mesoraco would score from first.

After the Flowers homer, the Braves apparently smelled blood in the water because they went on the attack.  Tucker walked, and Johan Camargo singled on a ball any other second baseman not named Asdrubal Cabrera fields.  With runners at the corners, the Braves seemed poised to tie the game.  It never happened.

First, deGrom struck out Dansby Swanson.  He then got Kurt Suzuki to pop out to swallow left with Amed Rosario getting to it and running it back to the infield to prevent any shenanigans.  Finally, deGrom got Ender Inciarte to ground out to end the inning.

After that, deGrom gave the Mets the seven innings they needed on a day where they were going to have a bullpen game in the second half of the doubleheader.  It was a 115 pitch virtuoso performance.  In total, he allowed the one run on five hits and three walks while striking out eight.  He furthered this case to win the Cy Young.

It didn’t matter because instead of going to Jeurys Familia, Mickey Callaway went with Seth Lugo.

Admittedly, going to Familia for six outs may not have seemed like the obvious move, but when you’re looking to use your whole bullpen for the second game, why not use Lugo’s for 2-3 innings instead of either setting up or trying to get the six out save himself. For whatever reason, Callaway tabbed Lugo to go out there and get his first career save against the first place team in the division.

It didn’t happen. In the eighth, Ozzie Albies started the inning off with a bunt single, and he was on third after a Freddie Freeman single.  To his credit, Lugo did limit the Braves to just a Nick Markakis sacrifice fly to tie the game at 2-2.

The Mets would take the lead in the ninth when Mesoraco, who was 2-3 with two runs, a homer, and two RBI on the day the catching competition really started, hit a go-ahead homer.

Even with Familia warming, Callaway went to Lugo to pick up the win.  Seemingly just as Gary Cohen’s words left his mouth about the last time he homered, Charlie Culberson hit a walk-off two run homer to give the Braves a 4-3 win.

It was a brutal fourth loss in a row featuring a third bullpen meltdown and questionable Callaway decision making.  It was a bad omen for the night portion of the doubleheader.  Fortunately, it didn’t pan out that way.  Maybe, because in the five plus hour rain delay between games, the Mets finally figured something out.

Like most games recently, the game started off quite well with Adrian Gonzalez opening the scoring with an RBI single.  The rally would continue with Kevin Plawecki, fresh off the disabled list, reaching on an awful throw to second by Brandon McCarthy.  Instead, of an inning ending double play, it was 2-0 Mets.  That lead would grow to 3-1 Mets with a Brandon Nimmo homer to lead off the third.

That lead was not for long as the Braves went to work against Conlon in the third.  After a Freeman two RBI single, Markakis would double setting up runners at second and third with no outs and the game already tied 3-3.  Conlon was done for the day, and Callaway would tab Hansel Robles to come on to stifle the rally.

While it may not have been pretty, in an inning which included Camargo getting hit by a pitch, Robles got through the inning allowing just a Suzuki sacrifice fly to give the Braves a 4-3.  In total, Robles would actually give the Mets three scoreless innings, which not only kept them in the game, but it would allow the Mets to take the lead.

The big hit of the game would come from Rosario.  After Plawecki, Jose Reyes, and Guillorme hit consecutive one out singles to load the bases, Rosario hit a go-ahead two RBI single giving the Mets a 5-4 lead.

To the surprise of no one, the lead didn’t last.  Robert Gsellman came into the sixth, and he was greeted with a Ryan Flaherty single and an Inciarte double to set up runners at second and third with no outs.  Rather than tempt fate by bringing in Jerry Blevins again (who was not warming), after Albies struck out, the Mets intentionally walked Freeman to load the bases before Gsellman allowed an infield single to Markakis to tie the score.

Naturally, Reyes could not make the play.

After a mound visit, Gsellman got a groundball from Suzuki.  Gonzalez made the heads up play of getting the out a home to preserve the tie.  Culberson would not have a second act of heroics today as he flied out to center to end the inning.

In what should be a lot of credit to this Mets team, they responded in the seventh.  The rally started with a Michael Conforto leadoff single. He’d be erased on a Jay Bruce fielder’s choice, but the Mets would load the bases with ensuing singles from Gonzalez and Plawecki.  Reyes, once again, failed by striking out.

Guillorme would give the Mets the lead with a clutch two out two RBI single, and Rosario followed with an RBI single of his own giving the Mets a 3-0 lead.

There would be no bullpen meltdown as Jacob Rhame pitched a perfect seventh before Callaway finally allowed Familia go out there and get his six out save.  With that, in a very odd way, the Mets earned a split of the doubleheader, and they ended a frustrating losing streak.  It will be very interesting to see how this team responds later today if they actually play the game.

Game 1 Notes: In the fifth, Braves starter Max Fried picked-off both Conforto and Jose Bautista off first base.  Bruce played first base.  Technically, Bautsita’s goes down as a caught stealing as he broke for second.  There was a long rain delay when there was no rain on the field.

Game 2 Notes: During the broadcast, Keith Hernandez noted his belief Reyes is struggling at third because he is not comfortable there.  It should be noted Reyes has played more than 90 games at the position and was signed to be a utility player, a utility player who refuses to play the outfield.

Same Old Mets Loss

It was inexcusable for the Mets to lose this game, but what else is new.

Heading into the seventh, Zack Wheeler battled. He gave you the six innings needed, and he fought a tough Brewers offense.

Through it all, the Mets were up 6-4 heading into the bottom of the seventh. Sure, you wish they could have plated more runs in a four run second inning. But even with Wilmer Flores and Jay Bruce leaving the bases loaded, the Mets had a two run lead heading into the bottom of the seventh thanks in large part to an Asdrubal Cabrera solo shot in the top half of the inning.

That’s when Mickey Callaway repeated the same exact mistake he did from the previous loss.

Robert Gsellman had two on and two out with Travis Shaw coming to the plate.

Now, two days ago, Shaw double off Gsellman. However, Gsellman has limited left-handed batters to a .174/.291/.413 batting line. Jerry Blevins, on the other hand, is morphing into Scott Schoeneweis and Eric O’Flaherty.

This season, lefties are hitting .296/.367/.370 off Blevins. Predictably, Blevins allows the base hit to bring the Brewers within a run.

With AJ Ramos unavailable because he’s being evaluated for an injury, Callaway went to Paul Sewald, who had nothing.

Domingo Santana and Jonathan Villar hit back-to-back doubles to give the Brewers an 8-6 lead.

Devin Mesoraco hit a pinch hit homer to leadoff the ninth. Amed Rosario would not only get on with one out, but he would also steal second with two outs.

It didn’t matter as Michael Conforto struck out to end the game.

There were many reasons to be frustrated by this loss, including a suspect home plate umpire. However, it was the Mets and their manager repeating the same mistakes that did them in.

Game Notes: Flores left the game in the fourth with a back injury. He’s being evaluated in New York while the team travels to Atlanta.

Vargas Raises ERA, Not Game In Bad Loss To Brewers

After a heartbreaking loss, the Mets immediately responded in the first, and it all began with a Brandon Nimmo leadoff walk.

All nine Mets would bat in the top of the first against Brewers starter Brian Anderson, and things were going so well Jose Reyes would draw a bases loaded walk to expand the Mets lead to 3-0.

Of course, that was not nearly a big enough lead for Jason Vargas, who immediately surrendered the lead in the bottom of the first.

In subsequent innings, Nimmo and Michael Conforto would homer to recapture the lead at 5-3. Of course, in the bottom of the third, the Brewers tied the score again.

That would be it for Vargas. He lasted just three innings allowing five earned on six hits. With his performance, he managed to raise his 9.87 ERA to 10.62. So much for pitching well against a bad Marlins team.

After that, the Brewers beat up on Jacob Rhame (1.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, BB, 2 K) and AJ Ramos (0.2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, BB, K, HR).

Chris Flexen, who has been frozen out for over a week by Mickey Callaway, was finally allowed to pitch 2.1 mop up innings. He’d struggle too allowing seven runs (three earned) on eight hits.

After all was said and done, the Mets lost this game 17-6, and with Flexen, they lost a potential option to start in Monday’s doubleheader.

Remember, the Mets lead this one 3-0 before the Brewers even picked up a bat. This is as bad and inexcusable a loss as you get in a season full of those.

Game Notes: According to Callaway, with Amed Rosario getting the day off, Reyes started over Luis Guillorme because Reyes was the better shortstop. Jerry Blevins pitched well not allowing a hit over 1.1 scoreless innings.

Mets Live and Die (Lose) By The Walk

Walks kill.

There’s no better way to describe the game between the Mets and Brewers than saying walks kill.

After the Amed Rosario and Michael Conforto hit a pair of homers of Junior Guerra, the team was against the wall.

For two innings Josh Hader tore through the Mets like a buzzsaw, and Corey Knebel quickly recorded the first two outs to start the ninth.

Conforto then worked out a 3-2 walk, and Devin Mesoraco walked on five pitches. New Mets Jose Bautista came to the plate and delivered an RBI single to tie the score at 3-3.

With that Noah Syndergaard, who wasn’t at his best (again) was off the hook, and it was a brand new game.

Luis Guillorme really battled in his own pinch hitting attempt, and he drew a walk on a very borderline pitch. Unfortunately, Rosario didn’t have another big hit in him, and this game went to the bottom of the ninth and then extras.

With two outs in the tenth, Mickey Callaway made a fateful decision. Rather than letting Robert Gsellman, who has limited left-handed batters to a .178/.296/.422 batting line, he went to Jerry Blevins, who has struggled all season.

Much of what has ailed the Mets was then on display. Blevins allowed Christian Yelich to get around on a pitch and hit it to right. Most believed it was going to be the third out of the inning. Problem was Jay Bruce was nowhere near it.

Instead of being out of the inning, the Brewers had runners at first and second.

Then, instead of having Jeurys Familia at the ready, Callaway went to AJ Ramos. Ramos then proceeded to walk the next two batters giving the Brewers a walk-off wall-off win.

In the record books, Gsellman was tagged with the loss. Really, this was a combination of Callaway, Blevins, Bruce, and Ramos, who earned this one.

Game Notes: Brandon Nimmo‘s eight straight appearances reaching base ended with him going 0-5 with a strikeout. Leading off the ninth, Wilmer Flores was called out for running into his own batted ball, a ball that was clearly foul. That play is not reviewable.

Eleven Years Later, Vargas Wins

There are many different ways to gauge how bad the Marlins are after they traded Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, and Marcell Ozuna. Perhaps the best way to gauge it was how Jason Vargasshut them down tonight.

Entering tonight, Vargas was 0-3 with a 13.86 ERA, and he had yet to pitch long enough to qualify for a win, which based on his ERA, was the least of his problems.

Astonishingly, Vargas was perfect through three. He wouldn’t get into trouble until the fifth. He was able to get through the two on one out situation by striking out Lewis Brinson and Elieser Hernandezto get out of the jam.

At 86 pitches, Vargas was done putting the game into the Mets offense and bullpen’s hands.

The Mets did have a lead when Vargas departed thanks to the speed of Amed Rosario.

In the third, Rosario reached on a one out single, and he was standing there when Asdrubal Cabreracame to the plate. Like he’s done all year, he delivered with a double to right center. On the double, Rosario took off, and with his incredible speed, he scored from first.

This gave the Mets a lead, but with the offense struggling, the bullpen did not have any margin of error.

In the sixth, Paul Sewald got into some trouble. After a two out Starlin Castro single, Sewald walked Brian AndersonJerry Blevins didn’t help matters but walking Justin Bour to load the bases. AJ Ramos came on and fell behind 2-0 to Derek Dietrich. Ramos battled back in that at-bat, and he struck out Dietrich to end the inning.

As impressive as that was, Ramos helped negate a lead-off walk to Miguel Rojas by being aggressive with his defense. He quickly and adeptly fielded a comeback we from JB Shuck. He quickly whipped and threw to second for the 1-6-3 inning ending double play.

The Mets would plate another run lather that inning on a rally started with a one out Devin Mesoraco double. After Luis Guillorme reached on an error by Martin Prado, Wilmer Flores made sure to make the Marlins pay for the misplay by going with an 0-2 fastball on the outer half to drive the ball past Castro and expand the Mets lead to 2-0.

Those two runs were plenty as Seth Lugo and Jeurys Familia combined to shut down the Marlins in the 8th and 9th to give the Mets their fourth win in a row.  It was also the first time Vargas won a game in a Mets uniform breaking a streak stretching back 11 years (and three teams).

Game Notes: The Mets are purportedly showing interest in recently released Jose Bautista.  It will be interesting to see what the corresponding move will be because the team says Jose Reyes‘ spot on the roster is safe.

Rosario, Syndergaard, Mets Breaking Out

Before this series against the Diamondbacks, much of the discussion surrounding this Mets team was about what was wrong with this team.  There were many, many answers, but two of the more surprising ones were Amed Rosario and Noah Syndergaard.

With Rosario, he was struggling at the plate.  He was swinging at too much, and he was not hitting for any power whatsoever.  This also prevented him from using his game breaking speed, and when he tried, he was inevitably caught stealing.

With respect to Syndergaard, he hasn’t been bad, but he hasn’t been Thor.  Considering how this team and pitching staff has been assembled, for this team to have a shot at competing, they needed Thor to be Thor.  Yesterday, Syndergaard made a huge step getting back to that point.

At first, it didn’t seem that way.  Syndergaard got himself into a bit of trouble in the first, but he managed his way out of it.  He would not be as lucky in the second allowing back-to-back hits to Jarrod Dyson and Nick Ahmed, i.e. the soft spot of the Diamondbacks lineup, before yielding an RBI groundout to Jeff Mathis to give the Diamondbacks an early 1-0 lead.

Through those first two innings, he had thrown 44 pitches, and it looked like it was going to be another one of those short five inning starts Syndergaard has made this year.

Then, something clicked . . . finally, and it began with a 1-2-3 third, and it also helped that Syndergaard got some help in the fifth.

After Mathis led off the inning reaching on a Wilmer Flores error, Buchholz sacrificed him to second.  David Peralta hit what initially looked like an RBI single, but Jay Bruce made a perfect throw to nail Mathis at the plate.

This was really the last time all game the Diamondbacks threatened.  Part of the reason for that is in the sixth Syndergaard actually picked Paul Goldschmidt off of first:

Syndergaard’s final line was a very Thor like 7.0 innings, six hits, one run, one earned, on walk, and seven strikeouts.

The only problem is with the Mets offense being stymied by a Clay Buchholz, who had not pitched in over a year, and the strong Diamondbacks bullpen, Syndergaard was not in line for the win.

Fortunately, he was not in line for a loss because in the sixth inning, Rosario hit his first home run of the year off of Buchholz to tie the score at 1-1:

In the seventh inning, it was apparent Syndergaard was done for the day, and with two quick outs, it seemed as if he was destined for a no decision.  However, Tomas Nido, who took the place of the recently designated for assignment Jose Lobaton, singled to allow Mickey Callaway to use Asdrubal Cabrera to pinch hit.  Like he has done all season, he delivered hitting a go-ahead two run homer off Jorge De La Rosa.

Then, Rosario is what might have been his best game in a Mets uniform, followed with his second homer of the game to give the Mets a 4-1 lead:

For Rosario, this would be his first two run homer game of his career.  It was also a big step forward after his making incremental steps forward over the past few weeks.  If he really takes off now, the sky is the limit for this Mets team.

After Jerry Blevins started the eighth by striking out David Peralta, Robert Gsellman took it home by pitching the final 1.2 innings for his first career save.

With that, the Mets have their first three game home sweep of the season, and they have their first series win at home since the April 13-15 series against the Brewers.  They are now back on track and once again ahead of the Nationals.  Things are once again looking much better.

Game Notes: Luis Guillorme went 0-4 snapping a 13 game hitting streak he had combined between the majors and Triple-A.

 

Jake Great, Conforto Getting There In Win

There aren’t many things which are right with the Mets right now, but a big thing that’s right with this team right now is Jacob deGrom, and with him, we are seeing reports how the team may look to trade him.  Of course, the best way to do that is to win as many games as you can between now and the trading deadline.  Part of doing that is going out and not wasting deGrom starts.

Part of that is letting deGrom go out there and do his thing, and really he did his thing tonight.

In seven phenomenal innings of work, deGrom tied his career high with 13 strikeouts, and as noted by the great Michael Mayer, he became the 10th pitcher in Mets history to reach the 800 strikeout mark.  He also lowered his ERA this season to 1.75.

There are many ways to say how great deGrom was, but perhaps the best way to say it is his final line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, R, ER, 0 BB, 13 K.

He carried into the game and extended his scoreless inning streak to 24.1 innings.  It ended in the top of the sixth when Jake Lamb scored Steven Souza from first on a double.  On what was a truly bizarre play, Souza ran through the stop sign only to stutter step and then take off from home.  After Asdrubal Cabrera missed the relay, Adrian Gonzalez backed him up and nailed Lamb at third.

The Diamondbacks threatened in the seventh again with a Daniel Descalso leadoff double.  Being the great pitcher he is, deGrom settled down, and he got the next three out in order.

Fortunately for deGrom, this would be one of the few games where he got real run support, and it began with a first inning rally against Diamondbacks starter Zack Godley, and like with many Mets rallies this season, it all began with a Brandon Nimmo walk.

After Descalso botched what was at a minimum a force out, and quite likely with Cabrera’s speed a double play ball, runners were at the corners with no outs.

Wilmer Flores drove in the first run with a ground out, and then Michael Conforto came through with a big two out RBI single.

Conforto would repeat that feat in the fifth inning.  After a Flores two out walk and Jay Bruce walk, the inning was on Conforto, and he delivered with another RBI single.  It was part of Conforto’s first three hit night of the season and just the second four hit night of his career.  Overall, he was 4-4 with two RBI.

Really, the Mets need more of that from Conforto because he is not just the best hitter in the lineup, he’s the best hitter on the team.  When the team is without Yoenis Cespedes and Todd Frazier, Conforto has to carry even more of the load.  He did it tonight, and if he continues doing it, like he did last year, this Mets team will be in much better shape.

Things got interesting in the eighth.  After a Conforto one out single, Gonzalez dropped a perfect bunt against the shift.  After a Jose Reyes pinch hit walk, the bases were loaded with two outs.  This led to Amed Rosario popping one out to Descalso, but he then dropped it.  Initially, it was ruled a drop leading to two runs scoring.  Upon the umpires commiserating, it was ruled an out meaning it was a 3-1 and not a 5-1 lead.

After Robert Gsellman and Jeurys Familia shut the door, deGrom had his fourth win of the season, and the team beat a Diamondbacks team who is having a very similar season to the one the Mets are having.  Hopefully, this weekend the Mets will take advantage of a reeling team like other teams have done to them over the last few weeks.

Game Notes: Juan Lagares, who suffered a toe injury in the rain soaked game is likely done for the year leaving the Mets with three healthy outfielders on the 40 man roster.  Jerry Blevins was activated from the paternity list, and he took Lagares’ spot on the roster.  Paul Goldschmidt had the golden sombrero.

Callaway’s Sewald/Blevins Decision About His Odd Thought Process

In the sixth inning of yesterday’s game, Mickey Callaway was faced with a crucial decision.  Does he go to the well rested Jerry Blevinsto get out the left-handed pinch hitter Nick Williams?  Does he stick with Paul Sewald, who has good splits against left-handed batters?  It was also remotely possible he could have gone with AJ Ramos, who also has good splits against left-handed batters.

Starting backwards, Ramos would have been an intriguing and possibly inspired decision.  On the season, Ramos has limited left-handed batters to a .211/.348/.263 batting line.  Basically, if he isn’t walking the left-handed batter, they’re not getting on base.

If Callaway turns to Ramos, this could have prevented Gabe Kapler from switching to a right-handed batter to undo the decision to go to the LOOGY.

Now, you could understand Callaway’s reluctance to go to that LOOGY.  Blevins hasn’t been good this season allowing left-handed batters to hit .273/.333/.364 off of him.  It’s a big reason why Blevins has a 5.63 ERA and a 1.500 WHIP this year.

Still, he is your LOOGY in the bullpen, and Williams was 0-3 against Blevins.  More than that, Callaway got Blevins up for exactly this type of situation.  It was Blevins’ job to go out there and get the left-handed batter out in a key spot.

Instead, Callaway went with Sewald.  You can make differing opinions on Sewald.  On the one hand, he has been much better against left-handed batters than Blevins this year.  Sewald came into the game limiting left-handed batters to a .220/.238/.341 batting line, and if we’re looking a small sample size pitcher-batter matchups, Williams was 0-1 against Sewald.

However at 35 pitches, Sewald was nearing his pitch limit, which was part of the reason Ramos and Blevins were warming in the first place.  He had also been struggling in the Month of May.  Prior to this appearance, Sewald had a 5.63 ERA and batters were hitting .273/.273/.515 off of him, and that was with a low .269 BABIP.

Overall, the point is you had your reasons to both stick with Sewald and to pull Sewald from the game.  Really, you could go in either direction.  However, that’s not the point.  Far from it.

Sticking with Sewald goes to the thought process, and frankly, this was one that was lacking with Callaway.

As the manager, he is likely well aware Sewald hasn’t been the Sewald of April.  Aside from that, he is aware Sewald is nearing his pitch limit for the game.  This is the exact reason he had Ramos and Blevins warming in that spot.

At this point, the Mets margin of error is razor thin.  They need to find a way to get out of that inning with a 1-0 lead AND find a way to manage their bullpen for the final 3.1 innings because Jacob deGrom needed to be lifted after a 45 pitch first inning.

When analyzing whether or not Callaway made the correct decision, you need to put aside the Williams’ home run.  It’s easy to look at that home run and say Callaway made the wrong decision.  It’s possible Ramos or Blevins allows that same homer, and the Phillies continue the rally to making a 3-1 lead a 4 or 5-1 lead.  You don’t know.

Here’s what we know.  Callaway knew his reliever was tiring.  He had a right-handed reliever who pitches well against left-handed batters up and ready to go.  He had his LOOGY up whose sole role is to get a left-handed batter out in a key situation. We also know he thought this out:

Hearing him, it was almost paralysis by analysis. Reading more into it, his thought process was lacking.

Really, who was he saving Blevins to face? The switch hitting Cesar Hernandez? The right-handed hitting Aaron Altherr? Was it Odubel Herrera, who was three batters away?

That was is a little hard to believe.

No, this was a case where Callaway had Blevins warmed up to either face a left-handed batter or try to prevent Gabe Kapler from using Williams.

If it was a deke, Kepler not only called his bluff, but to that extent, he out-managed Callaway.

If it was Callaway using his gut over his head, well, his guy failed him.

Whatever that case, there was a scenario where Callaway set everything up to have Blevins face Williams, and he didn’t pull the trigger. Perhaps, this is an indictment on Blevins.

Quite possibly, this is part of the growing pains of a former pitching coach who has never managed professionally and is surrounded by a coaching staff with zero Major League managerial experience.

Whatever the case, when you set everything up for one key matchup, and you don’t immediately go to that pitcher, you not only set yourself up for second guessing, you also make everyone wonder what’s the thought process behind any of his decisions.