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The Mets' generally effective bullpen has struggled of late

The bullpen has a 6.05 ERA over the last five games.

Carlos Torres
Carlos Torres
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Despite having the sixth-best bullpen ERA in all of baseball, the Mets' relief corps has looked especially faulty over the last week of play. The Mets have lost four out of their last five games, and in each of these losses a relief pitcher has taken the decision. In these five games, Mets relievers have a collective ERA of 6.05—nearly double the 3.14 mark they've put up all season.

The team has two excellent eighth and ninth inning options in Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia, but everything else is fluid after that. This lack of depth has been exposed over the last week as Sean Gilmartin, Carlos Torres, Hansel Robles, Eric O'Flaherty, and the departed Bobby Parnell have all experienced their share of struggles, which have cost the Mets several close games.

The Mets have also had their share of bad luck with bullpen pitchers this year. Jerry Blevins, who did not allow a run in seven games earlier this season, has been unable to pitch since April because of a broken forearm. Jenrry Mejia, who also did not allow a run in seven games earlier this season, is suspended. And Jack Leathersich, who had a 2.31 ERA in 17 appearances for the Mets, required Tommy John surgery following a 57-pitch relief outing in Triple-A. As has been the case in years past, a host of injuries have hampered the Mets and strongly affected their depth.

Thanks to a starting rotation that has been among the best in baseball, the Mets have not had to overuse their bullpen this year. In fact, their relief pitchers have thrown the fewest innings in the National League this season. But Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard are nearing their team-prescribed innings limits this season, so it's possible that Mets relievers could see more action down the stretch.

The odds of the Mets acquiring an elite reliever—or even a solid one for that matter—are remote now that we're in August and all players must pass through waivers before being dealt. The Mets will likely have to stick with what they have—or promote someone from the minors—and hope that this past week was simply a speed bump in what as otherwise been a strong year for the bullpen.