With few reliable options available in the New York Mets bullpen, manager Mickey Callaway decided to use Justin Wilson for a four-out save.
There’s no hiding the fact that the New York Mets‘ bullpen has been their biggest downfall this season. Their bullpen currently owns the second-highest ERA (5.15) and is tied for the second-most blown saves committed (26) in the National League.
The Mets so-called closer Edwin Diaz, who was acquired in a blockbuster trade this past offseason, has largely struggled this season. So, it shouldn’t be shocking to hear that Mickey Callaway felt more comfortable using Justin Wilson to close out the Mets 3-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday.
Mickey Callaway on sticking with Justin Wilson over Edwin Diaz versus lefty masher Wilmer Flores:
“I just had to. We all know the struggles Diaz has had, and Wilson has been really good. … I’m not saying we’re going to run from Diaz. He’s going to get his chances, too."
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) September 11, 2019
With Seth Lugo unavailable, Callaway and the Mets were forced to choose between Diaz and Wilson. Even without his best stuff, Wilson was still able to find a way to earn his second save of 2019.
Callaway spoke to the media following Tuesday night’s game. He stated that he made sure Wilson would be able to record four outs before bringing him into the game. Diaz was ready and waiting in the bullpen during the ninth inning. However, Callaway elected to stick with Wilson to finish off the Diamondbacks.
Callaway also spoke about how he still plans to give Diaz opportunities in high-leverage situations. Although, Diaz nearly lost both of his two previous save situations. If not for a walk-off walk from rookie sensation Pete Alonso, Diaz would’ve been the losing pitcher in each of those appearances.
The Mets sit just three games back of the Chicago Cubs for the second NL Wild Card spot. With just three weeks remaining, these types of games are only going to get more difficult for them.
Before the conclusion of the regular season, New York will play the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves. Therefore, it’ll be key for Callaway and the Mets to be able to rely on the back-end of their bullpen.
The Mets will likely call upon Lugo or Wilson during most save situations the rest of the year. These remaining games are just too important for the Mets to be risking with Diaz on the mound.