The New York Mets wasted another gem from a starting pitcher on Wednesday night at Citi Field when Zack Wheeler left after seven scoreless innings with a 3-0 lead.
Enter a familiar sight, a Mets bullpen implosion.
Closer Jeurys Familia came in to start the ninth with a 3-1 lead that didn’t last long. The right-hander gave up three straight singles and the Pirates pulled within one, 3-2. Familia then walked Jody Mercer to load the bases with nobody out.
Mets manager Mickey Callaway then turned to Anthony Swarzak to hopefully limit the damage. The Mets key offseason bullpen acquisition threw was greeted rudely with a two-run single by the first batter he faced, David Freese.
Swarzak would also give up a sac fly to Josh Bell to move the Pirates lead to 5-3 and allow all three of the inherited runners from Familia to score.
Familia allowed four runs without getting an out and blew his fourth save of the season, tied for second in the majors. He was frustrated after game, “Today I think my sinker was working the way I wanted it to work,” he said. “I’m not perfect, you know.”
The pending free agent and key trade asset, saw his ERA jump to 3.48 on the season in 33.2 innings. He has a 5.24 ERA in 22.1 innings after start this season with 11.1 scoreless innings.
Callaway went with Familia for the save despite Jeurys throwing 28 pitches in 1.2 innings on Tuesday.