Five of the six games the Mets played in last week were decided by one run. This meant a lot of high leverage innings for the bullpen and sometimes they succeeded and other times they did not. As far as the starting rotation goes, Kodai Senga and José Quintana continue to be excellent week in and week out while the rest of the rotation is somewhat of a mixed bag. Tylor Megill had a strong week, but David Peterson took a step back from last week. Denyi Reyes had a solid spot start filling the rotation spot of the struggling Carlos Carrasco, who was placed on waivers and is now pitching out of the bullpen, though he did not appear in any games this week.
We’ll start with Kodai Senga, who put forth an utterly dominant performance on Friday night in which he struck out a dozen Mariners over seven one-run innings. He gave up five hits and walked just two batters. Sadly, the game was tied when he exited so he did not earn the win. But, he did earn a fireball for the week.
Phil Bickford earned the win on Friday for pitching a scoreless eighth inning in relief of Senga. As will be a theme for much of this meter, Bickford had one good outing this week and one bad one. He yielded a key insurance run to the Rangers in the ninth inning of Tuesday’s game in his second inning of work which turned out to be the difference in the game.
Drew Smith earned his third save of the season on Friday, working around a hit and a walk to protect the one-run lead in relief of Senga in the ninth. But much like Bickford, Smith failed to earn a positive grade for the week because his other outing this week was poor. Smith entered Tuesday’s game in a scoreless tie in the seventh inning and gave up a go-ahead solo homer to Mitch Garver. Smith ultimately took the loss for that effort.
Smith and Bickford let down José Quintana on Tuesday, who pitched six brilliant, scoreless innings. He walked three batters, but allowed only three hits and struck out five. Like Senga, he deserved better, but the Mets were shut down by Andrew Heaney and the Rangers’ bullpen held the fort when the Mets’ bullpen could not. At least Quintana was not tagged with another loss, I guess. But he does earn a fireball alongside Senga, bouncing back amazingly from his rough outing last week.
After Bickford coughed up the insurance run on Tuesday, Sam Coonrod came in the game and recorded the final two outs of the ninth inning without incident. Coonrod performed a similar function the day before, entering the game with traffic on the base paths with one out in the eighth inning. A run did score on an RBI groundout, but Coonrod protected the lead and logged a clean sheet for the week, keeping him in the green.
That run was charged to Brooks Raley, who had his first bad week in quite some time. Raley was tasked with protected a two-run lead in the eighth inning on Monday and was only able to record one out in the inning, giving up a double and a walk before yielding to Coonrod, who allowed the inherited runner to score to bring the Rangers within one. But that is not why he earns poor marks for this week. Raley’s truly awful outing came on Wednesday, in which he failed to record any outs in the eighth inning and was ultimately charged with three runs. Luckily for Raley, the Mets went on to win the game in extras. Raley did, however, end his week on a high note, pitching 1 2⁄3 scoreless innings in yesterday’s game complete with two strikeouts to earn his 23rd hold of the season.
It was Adam Ottavino who was asked to clean up Raley’s mess in the eighth inning on Wednesday and was unable to do so. He hit a batter with a pitch to force in the tying run. Then he was able to induce a huge double play, allowing for some hope that he would get out of the inning without things completely blowing up on him. But, then he allowed a go-ahead RBI single to Jonah Heim that plated two runs, tagging Ottavino with the blown save. Ottavino also took the loss in Saturday’s game, allowing the go-ahead solo homer to J.P. Crawford in the top the ninth. But much like Raley, Ottavino saved himself from the poop emoji in the eleventh hour with his performance in yesterday’s game, in which he pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn his eighth save of the season. But when your two best relievers have bad weeks, it is usually not a recipe for success.
Wednesday’s crazy extra-inning win had bullpen goats, but it also had bullpen heroes. Jeff Brigham—freshly called up from the minors—pitched two scoreless innings in the ninth and tenth, aided by fantastic work from his defense. In the ninth, DJ Stewart made a game-saving catch against the wall on a Marcus Semien ball that seemed destined for the gap. In the tenth, the Mets turned an absolutely brilliant double play to set things up for the walk-off. Brigham earned his first win of the season in his only outing for the week and joins Coonrod among only three relievers to post a clean sheet this week.
The third reliever with a clean sheet and the other bullpen hero of Wednesday’s game was Sean Reid-Foley. To be fair, Reid-Foley’s heroics comprised of him escaping a jam of his own making. But what a Houdini act it was. Reid-Foley came in the game with a runner on first and one out in the sixth inning and proceeded to walk the next three batters he faced to force in a run that brought the Rangers within one. The bases were still loaded with only one out and Reid-Foley bounced back to strike out the next two batters he faced to escape the inning with the lead still in tact. Reid-Foley’s other outings this week were thankfully less eventful. He worked around a hit to pitch a scoreless seventh inning in Monday’s game and struck out three batters in Saturday’s game.
Wednesday’s thrilling extra-inning win began with a solid spot start by Denyi Reyes, who gave up just two runs on three hits through 5 1⁄3 innings of work. He struck out three batters and walked none in the outing. At just 78 pitches, it seemed like Reyes had more in the tank, but Buck Showalter was quick with the hook and very nearly was punished severely for it.
After Reid-Foley’s narrow escape and before Raley’s meltdown, Trevor Gott pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning on Wednesday. Unfortunately that followed a horrible performance on Monday in which he was given the chance to protect a one-run lead in the ninth and blew the save and took the loss. Gott allowed two straight hits to lead off the inning to put the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position, but then bounced back to retire the next two hitters via the strikeout. The Mets intentionally walked Corey Seager in the dangerous spot to face Nathaniel Lowe instead, but Lowe singled and thus Gott was tagged with the loss in heartbreaking fashion. Gott did, however, earn his tenth hold of the season in yesterday’s game, pitching a scoreless eighth inning—part of a trio along with Raley and Ottavino all redeeming previous sins from earlier in the week.
Gott’s good outing yesterday and poor outing on Monday both came in relief of Tylor Megill, who had himself a very solid week. Megill’s start on Monday was excellent and it’s a shame the Mets let it go to waste by letting the lead get away late. Megill gave up just one run on five hits and struck out eight batters over six innings of work in what was arguably his best outing this season. Though he was not quite that dominant yesterday, the Mets had their hitting shoes on and he earned the win—his eighth of the season. He yielded three runs on five hits to the Mariners through 5 1⁄3 innings of work. He struck out six and walked two in the outing.
As Megill’s stock trended up this week, David Peterson’s trended down. Peterson lasted just four innings in his outing on Saturday, but this time it wasn’t the walks that did him in; he did not walk any batters in the four frames. He just got smacked around a little bit, giving up four runs on seven hits.
The Mets came from behind on two different occasions on Saturday, first erasing the deficit created by Peterson and then coming back from another created by Grant Hartwig, who came in the game in the fifth inning in relief of Peterson. It was Hartwig’s first appearance since being recalled from Triple-A and it was not a good one. After Peterson hit J.P. Crawford with a pitch to lead off the fifth inning, Hartwig was called upon to replace him. A groundout advanced Crawford to second and a single advanced him to third. Crawford then scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly, which was charged to Peterson. Hartwig managed to stop the bleeding there, but things got worse when he came back out for the sixth. Like Peterson the inning before, he hit a batter to lead off the inning and then gave up a two-run homer to Dominic Canzone that put the Mariners up by three runs. The Mets once again came from behind to avoid tagging Hartwig with the loss, but ultimately lost the game on the Crawford homer surrendered by Ottavino in the ninth.