The Mets released Jose Valverde immediately following another disastrous outing this afternoon. With two out in the eighth inning, Valverde was brought in to preserve a one-run lead. Papa Grande wasted no time getting into trouble, giving up a double to Starling Marte. Pinch hitter Jose Tabata drove in Marte with a single, but Valverde managed to escape the inning with the score tied. In the ninth, Valverde recorded one out before throwing gasoline on the fire and giving up a single to Neil Walker and a walk to Andrew McCutchen. Gaby Sanchez put the final nail in Valverde's coffin, hitting a sharp single which allowed Neil and McCutchen to score and putting the Pirates up for good. Valverde was then pulled in favor of Carlos Torres, marking the inauspicious end of Papa Grande's time with the Mets.
During his brief time with the Mets, Papa Grande did what he has done frequently in his volatile career. He struck out an astonishing 10.02 batters per nine innings, but he doomed himself by giving up 1.75 home runs and walking 4.35 per nine, good for an unattractive 4.7 FIP. Given the plethora of young arms the Mets have at their disposal, the loss of Valverde will likely act as an addition by subtraction.
The Mets will give Vic Black, who had just arrived in El Paso, the first shot at replacing Valverde in the pen. Black, acquired in the Marlon Byrd trade with the Pirates last summer, has a fastball that can hit 99 miles per hour, but he suffers from extreme control issues. He's walked almost a batter per inning in Triple-A this year, though he has struck out roughly as many opposing hitters.