Bullpen Does Starters Few Favors During Recent Slide As Deficit In NL East Continues To Widen

By John Schweibacher
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After showing signs of life by winning four out of five games, the New York Mets have dropped four of five to fall seven games below .500 for the second time this season.

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The Mets lost the rubber game of their series with the Pirates on Sunday afternoon, 11-1. Josh Edgin, Neil Ramirez and Josh Smoker combined to allow six runs over the final three innings.

Mets relievers have now allowed 116 runs, tied with Oakland for the most in the majors. Last season, the bullpen gave up 220 overall, the seventh fewest allowed in MLB. In 2015, the Mets’ ‘pen allowed 195 runs, the sixth-lowest total in baseball.

Josh Edgin

Mets reliever Josh Edgin (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

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The Mets beat the Pirates, 4-2, on Saturday. Addison Reed recorded the first six-out save of his major league career.

Reed, like any reliever today, has a long way to go to challenge the team record for most career regular season saves of at least two innings. The leaders are:

— Roger McDowell — 48
— Jesse Orosco — 47
— Tug McGraw — 36
— Skip Lockwood — 34
— Neil Allen — 30

The last Mets reliever to record more than one six-out save in a season was Jenrry Mejia, who had two in 2014.

The Mets led the Pirates by three runs after five innings on Friday night, but imploded in a 12-7 loss. Elias Diaz started behind the plate for Pittsburgh in place of Francisco Cervelli, who was scratched because of illness, and drove in six runs.

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Only two other catchers have had a six-RBI game against the Mets — J.P. Arencibia in a 14-5 Blue Jays win in Toronto on May 18, 2012, and Tom Pagnozzi in a 14-4 Cardinals victory at Shea Stadium on May 26, 1991.

Gerit Cole got the win for Pittsburgh on Friday, despite allowing seven runs in five innings. The last starting pitcher to get a victory over the Mets in a game in which he allowed at least seven runs was Greg Maddux, who gave up seven over six frames in an 8-7 Cubs win at Shea on July 24, 2006.

The Mets settled for a four-game series split with the Brewers after losing the finale, 2-1, on Thursday. Chase Anderson threw seven scoreless innings in the win, following up ex-Met farm hand Junior Guerra’s six shutout frames the previous night.

Prior to those two games, only three Brewers starters had ever pitched at least six shutout innings in a victory against the Mets on the road — Kyle Lohse (8 innings, May 15, 2015), Zack Greinke (7, May 15, 2012) and Dave Bush (6, Sept. 29, 2010).

Jacob deGrom gave up a two-run home run to Eric Thames in the top of the first and a solo homer to Keon Broxton in the second and the Brewers went on to a 7–1 win last Wednesday night at Citi Field.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other game in deGrom’s career in which he allowed a home run in both the first and second innings was back on Aug. 24, 2015 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. The right-hander allowed one in each of the first three innings, to Ryan Howard, Cameron Rupp and Domonic Brown, respectively, in a game that the Mets rallied from five runs down to win, 16–7.

Jay Bruce’s single in the 12th inning drove home the winning run as the Mets beat the Brewers, 5-4, last Tuesday night. It was the 10th walk-off RBI of Bruce’s career, with the first nine coming with the Cincinnati Reds. Only two National League players have more walk-off RBIs since 2008, Bruce’s first season in the majors: Andre Ethier (14) and Joey Votto (11).

Fernando Salas celebrated his 32nd birthday by getting his first major league hit, a sixth-inning single, in the win on Tuesday. According to the player game finder on baseball-refernce.com, the only other pitcher in Mets history to get a base hit on his birthday was Ron Darling, who went 2-for-3 with a double against the Dodgers’ Fernando Valenzuela in a 6-4 Mets win at Los Angeles on Aug. 19, 1986.

Happy Recap: Wilmer Flores. The infielder is hitting .388 (19 for 49) over his last 15 games.

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Nine Miles of Rough Road: Sunday silence. The Mets have lost their last three Sunday home games at Citi Field by a combined score of 30-6 (7-0 to Miami, 12-5 to the L.A. Angels and 11-1 against Pittsburgh).