Seth Lugo had his first poor start of the season, but the rest of the starting rotation pitched well enough to keep the Mets in the game. However, outside of Robert Gsellman, the bullpen had uneven performances across the board.
During Jeurys Familia’s time on the disabled list, Robert Gsellman has become the most relied upon member of the Mets bullpen. And one could argue that he already was prior to Familia’s injury and should remain so. Gsellman tossed 2 1⁄3 scoreless innings this week, protecting the Mets’ leads in both games this weekend. He earned the hold in Saturday’s game and the save in yesterday’s game.
Familia was activated from the disabled list ahead of yesterday’s game and had a rocky first inning back. But he was able to limit the damage to just one run and the Mets would come back to win the game, earning Familia a somewhat spurious win.
Somewhat lost in all of the jubilation of the comeback victory was the performance of Hansel Robles, who pitched a scoreless seventh, working around a hit and a walk to keep the Mets in the game. Robles did, however, surrender a run in Thursday’s game in relief of Jason Vargas.
Vargas pitched well enough to keep the Mets within striking distance on Thursday, giving up just three runs. But he continues to be a five inning pitcher at this point, which is not exactly what the Mets were looking for when they signed him to be an “innings eater.” Baby steps, I suppose.
Jerry Blevins replaced Robles on Thursday in order to face the lefty pinch hitter Daniel Descalso out and was unable to do so, giving up a single to Descalso. He then hit a batter with a pitch and Mickey Callaway was forced to go to the bullpen again with Blevins not having recorded an out. Blevins also was victimized by Freddie Freeman yet again on Wednesday when Freeman hit a solo home run off of him in the eighth inning to give the Braves an insurance run. The only successful outing of Blevins’ week came in Friday night’s game, when he was able to clean up Chris Beck’s mess, striking out Alex Avila with the bases loaded to end the inning.
Beck did not distinguish himself in his first week as a Met. He pitched 1 1⁄3 innings in relief of Seth Lugo on Friday night, giving up a run on two hits and walking three batters.
Jacob Rhame joined the parade of bad relief pitching on Thursday. He had another bad outing, giving up home runs to both David Peralta and Jake Lamb in the eighth inning. Rhame was sent down to Triple-A Las Vegas when Familia was activated from the disabled list.
Paul Sewald came in the game on Thursday after Blevins failed to do his job and walked in a run before finishing the inning. That was just the capper on Sewald’s bad week, though. He was brought in with the bases loaded in the sixth inning on Tuesday to replace Zack Wheeler and gave up a grand slam to Ozzie Albies to put the game out of reach for the Mets. He also gave up an additional run in the seventh inning, walking Freddie Freeman and allowing a double to Nick Markakis.
Of course, of the four runs that scored from the grand slam, only one of them was charged to Sewald. The rest were charged to Wheeler, who had been having a good night on the mound before things went south for him in the sixth. As a result, his numbers are gaudy this week, but he pitched better than the numbers indicate. Wheeler bounced back in yesterday’s start, giving up just two runs on three hits and striking out eight over six innings of work.
Like Wheeler, Steven Matz continues to look better and better. Matz was the beneficiary of the Mets’ breakout offensive performance on Saturday, earning the win for his very good performance in which he scattered six hits and only walked one over 6 2⁄3 innings. Matz continues to run a somewhat high xFIP, given he is not striking guys out at the rate of Jacob deGrom and the other members of the Mets rotation. However, it’s high time he earned the fireball for his recent performance.
Meanwhile, Jacob deGrom was probably looking on this weekend thinking, “Save some of those runs for me, why don’t you?” deGrom was great again on Wednesday, giving up just one run in seven innings and striking out seven Braves hitters. But of course, as has been the theme all season, that one run was enough to earn him the loss, as the Mets were no-hit by Mike Soroka through six innings and managed just two hits in total.
Seth Lugo had his first bad performance as a starting pitcher on Friday night, surrendering five runs and eight hits over five innings of work. He was solid early in the game, despite not having his best stuff, but was twice victimized by the long ball.
Anthony Swarzak continues his pattern of alternating bad outings and good outings since his return from the disabled list. After Chris Beck essentially put the game out of reach on Friday, Swarzak allowed an additional run in the eighth inning. But Swarzak bounced back in relief of Steven Matz on Saturday, striking out the side in the ninth inning to secure the victory for the Mets.