McDonald: The ‘Pen Is The Mets Achilles Heel

(Neil Miller/Sportsday Wire)

Ok, you can’t win them all and after going 8-1 on the last road trip, no one should complain about the Mets dropping a 6-4 decision to the Bosox in 10 innings.

However, unlike the seven game winning-streak, where the offense covered up some of the pitching woes, tonight the bullpen problems were front and center with Logan Verrett and Carlos Torres both giving up three apiece.

“Our bullpen was spent,” manager Terry Collins said. “When we went to extra innings, it was only one inning guys.”

Sure they pitched well this week and the Nationals lost tonight, but any bullpen loss this late in the year just highlights the Mets Achilles’ Heel.

Now bullpen problems are nothing new for the Amazin’s. Historically they had leaky ‘pens.

The last time they made the playoffs in 2006, it was a waiver trade for Guillermo Mota that saved the Mets down the stretch. They were an arm short and Mota came in and filled a hole.

In the ensuing seasons, it was the bullpen that doomed the Mets down the stretch. The lack of late inning success helped cause the epic collapses that closed out Shea Stadium.

Now we come to this year, when the Mets are good again. They have a closer in Jeurys Familia and a setup man in Tyler Clippard, but then the rest of the ‘pen is potluck.

It also doesn’t help that Collins is babying his young arms. Tonight we saw Matt Harvey pitch six innings of 2-hit ball, but with 103 pitches on the night, he was taken out.

Frankly, Collins did the Sox a huge favor. Although the manager did say that Harvey will be stretched out in the Mets make it to October.

“When he got through six innings, he wanted to throw one more,” Collins said. “We told him we couldn’t do it. We are not here to tax you, but get into the post season.”

With the October roster deadline set for Tuesday, it’s time for the Mets to see about getting someone who can help. Trades for quality arms are difficult this time of year, but if they can do it, then they should.

Help is on the way, though. The rosters expand Tuesday, so look for the Mets to bring up a number of arms from the minors. Maybe, one or two will stand out and can help the team down the stretch.

Otherwise, you may see more nights like tonight.

They all can’t be as easy as the Rockies and the Phillies and even though the Sox are also in last it’s not time to take anything for granted.

About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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