The nightly meltdowns from the bullpen are becoming far too predictable for the New York Mets and June has been particularly painful.
Let’s start off by saying something positive about the 2019 New York Mets. Jeff McNeil and Pete Alonso. That’s it. These two players have given long-suffering Mets fans something to be proud of in the first half of this season. Otherwise, it’s the same old story with New York’s National League franchise. A lot of promise, but unable to deliver.
The losses are piling up and the distance between the Mets and the rest of the NL East is growing. They are closer to the last place Marlins than they are the first place Braves.
It’s become a nightly ritual to wonder how the Mets will blow a lead and turn a victory into a loss. The most shocking thing about the team is how inept the pitching staff has been. Pitching was expected to be the Mets’ strong point this season. The rotation of Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, and Steven Matz would be backed by a bullpen fortified by the return of Jeurys Familia and new closer Edwin Diaz. To say things have not turned out as expected would be an understatement.
Of those four starters, only deGrom has an ERA under 4.00—Jason Vargas has posted a 3.75 ERA this year. Though he’s pitched well, deGrom has not been as dominant as he was last season. What has stayed the same is that he continues to get minimal run support on the days he pitches.
Overall, the Mets’ pitching staff has a collective ERA of 4.79. This ranks them 13th out of the 15 National League clubs.
Even worse is the fact that the Mets lead all of baseball with 18 blown saves and have the lowest save percentage of all thirty teams at just 50% (the league average is 66.04%).
The June Swoon
The month of June is almost over and the Mets’ record this month is currently 9-14. Of these 14 losses, the Mets have squandered leads many times. Here’s a sampling of this month’s blown games.
- June 1 at Arizona – The Mets led 5-1 after seven innings. They lost 6-5 in 11 innings.
- June 4 vs. San Francisco – The Mets led 3-2 after six innings. They lost 9-3 in 10 innings.
- June 13 vs. St Louis – The Mets led 4-2 when it started raining hard in the top of the ninth. The grounds crew came out but were waved away by the players. The Cardinals, of course, scored two runs to tie the game. What would have been a rain-shortened Mets victory was suspended and would be finished the next day. Predictably, the Mets completed the meltdown by losing the suspended game in the 10th inning.
- June 14 vs. St. Louis – Following the suspended game loss, the two teams took the field again. The Mets had a 5-4 lead through seven innings. They went on to lose 9-5.
- June 16 vs. St. Louis – The game was tied 3-3 after seven innings. The Mets lost 4-3.
- June 19 at Atlanta – A 2-2 tie after five innings ended in a 7-2 loss.
- June 23 at Chicago – The visitors held a 3-2 lead after seven innings. They lost 5-3.
- June 25 at Philadelphia – Walker Lockett arrived from Syracuse to make his Mets debut. He left the game with his side leading 5-2 in the bottom of the sixth. He was charged with two additional runs. However, reliever Wilmer Font blew the game by allowing three more runs in a 7-5 loss.
The fans are making their feelings known
Mets fans are expressing their frustration on Twitter. Here’s a sampling of what they are saying:
What’s higher: The Dow Jones Industrial Average or the ERA of the #Mets bullpen? Yet another bad performance.
— The Kay Hay (@KayHaywood2) June 26, 2019
Pretty sure at this point I can pitch a better game than @Mets bullpen. Pitiful.
— Jamie Gaudreau (@metsgal31) June 26, 2019
There’s still three months of baseball left, so maybe, just maybe the Mets’ bullpen will improve. It can’t get worse, can it?