Mets Bullpen Shines in Long Philly Series

jenry mejia

The Mets shuffled through 12 different relievers in the first two months of the season. Then they added two new relievers to the bunch during their recent five-game series in Philly. Without established roles, or even an established roster in the bullpen, it is hard to predict on a day-to-day basis which pitcher will be called on, and how productive their outings will be.

The Mets played 57 innings of baseball in that series against the Phillies, and it took 20 hours and 36 minutes to do so. They got out of Citizens Bank Park with a 4-1 record in the series and they also saw the effectiveness of their bullpen.

Every game of the series featured at least one different reliever throwing a gem.

In the first game of the series, part-time closer Jenrry Mejia struck-out the side in the ninth to secure the win for the Mets. It was his fifth save in as many opportunities. Mejia’s perfect inning followed Vic Black’s four-up-four-down performance in just his second big league appearance of the season.

The second game of the series, the lone Mets loss, featured a collective bullpen effort, despite the offense not producing. The Mets didn’t score for the last nine innings of the game

However, in that game, the Mets bullpen pitched 9.1 innings, allowing two runs (only one earned), just seven hits, and striking out nine. Josh Edgin and Jeurys Familia threw 1.1, and 1.2 scoreless innings, respectfully, as Carlos Torres and Vic Black threw 2.2, and 2.0 scoreless innings, respectfully. Despite the unearned run allowed in the fourteenth by Mejia, it is pretty clear that without valiant efforts from the other Mets relievers, the game would not have gone to fourteen innings.

In the second consecutive 14-inning game between the two clubs, Buddy Carlyle was the hero in his first outing of the season. In a 4-4 tie, Carlyle came in and pitched three innings without allowing a run. He received the win after David Wright put the Mets ahead with an RBI single in the 14th inning.

After joining the club before the game from the minors, the Mets needed Carlyle more than ever with a fatigued bullpen. After the game, he said, “It’s been a long road, a lot of contemplating maybe retiring, stuff life that. It’s very gratifying just to be here. The win’s kind of special too, but just to be able to contribute, you feel like you can compete at this level again and give your team a chance to win.”

Carlyle’s act was as tough to follow as any, but Carlos Torres followed it well by sealing the deal on the Phillies picking up his second save.

In Sunday’s matchup, the Mets and Phillies (wait for it…) went into extra innings again! This time, Jon Niese pitched eight outstanding innings for the Amazin’s, so only three innings were required out of the rest-deprived relief core. In three innings of work, the ‘pen allowed just one run, on one hit, and Mejia picked up his second save of the series.

New York continued their dominance at Citizens Bank Park in the final game of the series, by blowing out the Phillies, 11-2. Following another strong start from Bartolo Colon, who is 3-0 with a 1.63 ERA in his last three outings, the bullpen finished the game strong with two scoreless innings. Dana Eveland (who made his season debut), Familia, and Torres closed out the game and the series, a successful one for the Mets.

There were three Mets relievers who gave up an earned run this series. Mejia, Familia, and Matsuzaka each gave up just one. Overall, the bullpen finished with a 1.12 ERA in 24.2 innings.

Next up for the Mets is a three-game series with the 20-34 Cubs. Let’s see if the Mets (28-29) can get to .500, and if the bullpen can keep up their recent success. Let’s go Mets!