Joey Lucchesi Begins Bullpen Game Implosion

With Joey Lucchesi proving he can’t be a Major League starter, the Mets have been forced to go with bullpen days when his turn comes up in the rotation. The problem is the Mets can only hide him for so long.

After Drew Smith allowed an unearned run in his first two innings as the opener, the ball would be given to Lucchesi. All the Mets would need from him is a solid outing because they had a lead.

In advance of Lucchesi entering the game, the Mets hit two homers against Shane McLanahan. The first was a three run shot by Jose Peraza in the second.

The second was Pete Alonso in the third. That one must’ve been really special as it came in his hometown.

Lucchesi pitched a clean third, but he’d get into trouble immediately in the fourth issuing a leadoff walk to Yandy Diaz. Joey Wendle doubled, Manuel Margot singled, and Willy Adames doubled. With that, the 4-1 lead was gone.

After two outs, Sean Reid-Foley “relieved” Lucchesi. Austin Meadows doubled, and Randy Arozarena singled. With that, the Rays put up a five run inning. The Mets would be chasing the rest of the game.

After having a three strikeout game, Francisco Lindor got the Mets closer with a solo homer in the top of the eighth. That’s as close as the Mets would get.

The problem with bullpen games like these is everything needs to work. If there’s one hiccup, the wheels come off. That’s what happened with Lucchesi, and it happened again when Jacob Barnes loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth.

Luis Rojas brought in Jeurys Familia to get the Mets out of the jam. Instead, Diaz and Wendle would slam the ball into the turf for doubles clearing the bases and putting the game out of reach.

When all was said and done, the Rays had a six run inning, and they cruised to a 12-5 win. After winning seven in a row, the Mets lost two straight, and their bullpen is showing some signs of weakness.

Game Notes: Jake Hager made his big league debut against the team who once drafted him in the first round. Khalil Lee was sent down. J.D. Davis will begin a rehab stint.