Bobby Parnell had arguably the roughest weekend of anyone in baseball. The Mets' 30-year-old reliever appeared twice against the Pirates and took the loss in both games. He allowed six runs—four of which were earned—on five hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning. That's good for a 54.01 ERA and 10.50 WHIP.
This weekend's output is a continuation of what has been a poor month for Bobby Parnell. In his last ten outings dating back to July 22, he is 0-3—reliever win-loss records aren't especially meaningful, but this one is at least somewhat instructive—with a 14.14 ERA. Batters are hitting .429/.535/.514 against him, as he has given up 15 hits in his last seven innings.
Aside from the fact that opposing hitters are wreaking havoc on him, Parnell has also struggled to throw strikes, walking eight batters in his last seven innings while striking out just two. With 12 total walks in 19 innings this year, Parnell has matched his walk total from 2013—despite pitching 30.2 fewer innings.
Terry Collins has begun to take note of these alarming statistics. He did not use his former closer at all during the Mets' 14-inning loss to the Pirates on Saturday and admitted to being concerned about Parnell after Sunday's loss. With the Mets in a pennant race, Collins cannot afford many more blown opportunities from the bullpen. This could mean that Parnell will be on a short leash during the season's final 44 games.
Many will point to Parnell's reduced fastball velocity and cast it as the culprit behind his decline. Parnell was often dominant when he wielded a high-90s fastball, but he simply does not have the velocity post-Tommy John surgery. Depleted velocity coupled with reduced control have made his last ten appearances dreadful. Suddenly, the bullpen, which has been mostly quite good this season, has become an area of need for the Mets.
The Mets could sure use a guy like Jenrry Mejia right about now.