Mancuso: Mancuso: Storyline was Mets pen again In Loss to Bucs


Matt Harvey got the run support with a 7-3 lead going into the Pirates sixth inning. His location wasn’t great and then it was time for manager Terry Collins to go with his bullpen. And from there you know the storyline was coming because a four run lead is not enough for the Mets pen to hold.

Same old storyline for the Mets. And it wasn’t the backup catcher, Elias Diaz for Pittsburgh that was the storyline, who got the start and drove in six runs at City Field Friday evening including his career first home run off Paul Sewald.  

And then it was Neil Ramirez that continued a storyline of a Mets bullpen that continues to implode.

And there is no relief in sight, well not at this stage of the game. Seven runs for the Pirates in the sixth inning and that came after a five-run fifth for the Mets. Sewald faced seven Pirates and six reached base in the Pirates 12-7 win.  Diaz, with two on, hit the first pitch over the left center field wall.

Sewald, has been consistent and for the most part one of the effective arms coming out of the pen. But Jordy Mercer greeted him with a single to right-center on the first pitch. Then Diaz followed with the home run. Then a strikeout, a double, single, David Freese was hit by a pitch, a walk, and need we go on with some more in between?

And more to come in this Mets storyline of a bullpen that won’t get this team to the .500 mark and try to make this season something to talk about.

It won’t get better with this continued inconsistency of a bullpen that surrendered this time to the Pirates, a team with their struggles that made their comeback look easy. No need to give the line on Neil Ramirez because the results were not any better.  

All you need to know: Combined, Sewald and Ramirez worked 3-innings, six runs earned, one walk, three strikeouts and two home runs. The combined pitch count of 62-pitches is another storyline and there is no relief on the horizon.  

Simple, the Mets don’t get innings from the starters, and this pen is nothing to brag about with an ERA that is more suited for a storyline of can it get any worse?

Sewald gave his explanation about the Diaz home run. He said, “We have scouting reports on everybody whether it’s the last guy off the bench or their best hitter. I had the information . I just didn’t make a great pitch.”

And the wrong pitch to a 26-year old who has been hindered by injuries and had one RBI in a three-year career.

“Right now, it seems like we start a game and we’re not sure what we’re going to get,”said Collins. That’s not a real good feeling.”  The starting rotation can’t go deep and the bad feeling is obvious for the manager.

This is a bullpen that can’t  have any trust to to the job. If it were up to Collins, Harvey with no location may have been the option to go another inning. The take it from there, but not this time.

Trust with his bullpen is not a good storyline for this Mets team in the 53 games played that leaves them seven games under .500 and further away from the first place Nationals. And why talk wild card? One quick  look at those standings and at the beginning of June the Mets are far from the pack.

So the storyline was not about a backup catcher. Once again it was a repeat of the obvious, a bullpen needs to keep the game close, and enough to pick up the starter who did not have it. Matt Harvey could not go deep again and the bullpen could not keep it close.

A storyline that continues for the 2017 New York Mets, and the manager who always hopes it will be different. The question is, when and will this storyline become a good one?

Saturday night it’s back to the drawing board and as Collins said, “we’re not sure what we’re going to get.”

Comment Rich Mancuso: [email protected]  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso

About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

Get connected with us on Social Media