Jenrry Mejia gave the team two thumbs-up on Friday, the day after after pitching in back-to-back games. Mejia felt no issue with his arm and told manager Terry Collins he is ready to pitch again.
After pitching a scoreless ninth in a non-save situation on Wednesday, Mejia came out to pitch the ninth again on Thursday to seal the Mets 6-3 victory over the Dodgers and earn his second major league save.
For Mejia, it was the first time in four years since he has pitched in back-to-back games, and it clears a big hurdle that has been keeping manager Terry Collins from officially naming the 24-year old righty his official closer.
The Mets manager hinted that he would use Mejia on Thursday night if the circumstances called for it, saying it was “a requirement if Mejia is going to assume the full-time closer’s role.”
Mejia has expressed hesitancy about working two straight days because he has become injured in the past as a reliever. But if relief is going to be his role, he will need to overcome that mental hurdle.
“I think he is relieved,” Collins said. “I think he’s happy he feels the way he does.”
Mejia pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out Scott Van Slyke to end the inning. He’s now pitched 5.1 scoreless innings as a reliever with six strikeouts and no walks.
Mejia has not allowed a run in five relief appearances this season, during which he is 2-for-2 in save opportunities.
“This is my new home,” he told reporters on Friday.
Most of you know how high I’ve been on converting Mejia to the bullpen this season. I continue to believe that he has the stuff and the makeup to become one of the best closers in the game. His flair is just an added bonus and makes him so much fun to watch.