Another Bullpen Implosion For .500 Mets

By Rich Mancuso/ Sports Editor 

 This was another implosion brought to you in part again by the bullpen of the New York Mets. At Citi Field Friday night, starter Zack Wheeler  with a 2-0 lead in the seventh inning gave the ball to a pen that is not getting the job done.

Back-to-back singles and manager Mickey Callaway went to a bullpen that is struggling with an ERA over 9.00. For the third straight game a Mets starter left with the lead and the bullpen that gave up four runs Thursday night to the Chicago Cubs gave up five in a 7-4 loss.

Starters no-runs and the the bullpen 12 runs in the last three games, and that will not get you in the win column.  As a result, the Mets after that 11-1 start are now a .500 team at 27-28 for the first time this season as the calendar turned to the month of June.

“We have to play the game the right way,” Callaway said when asked about his team that has seen his bullpen over the last nine games go 1-7 with a 8.42 ERA, 34 earned runs in 36.1 innings.

“We have to run the bases the right way, we are not snake bitten,” added Callaway. “We just didn’t do it tonight. We’re in it most of the night.” The manager alluded to his team not making the plays on the field and walking the leadoff man. Though, once again this loss was mostly attributed to a bullpen that has seen more than one responsible for not holding the lead.Sewald, (0-4) took the loss and is now 0-10 out of the bullpen in his career.  Kyle Schwarber the first batter Sewald faced got a sacrifice fly. That also led to Michael Conforto making a throw to second that was mishandled and led to a three-run seventh for the Cubs.

“We’re not playing the game the right way and consistent at it,” said Callaway/  The manager had a brief team meeting in the clubhouse after this loss and the quiet message was to play the game better.. The Mets also saw Jay Bruce their struggling outfielder leave the game with lower back spasms which added more frustration.

And for the most part the Mets were in the game, again because Wheeler, who has seemed to turn the corner had a good slider and the fastball was consistent.

“One inning killed me,” said Wheeler, referring to the seventh that got him out of the game after throwing 103 pitches.

Sewald said this is not a good feeling. Conforto said the loss and team meeting was “A wake up call to play better.”  But the answer has to come from the bullpen that has been finding ways to lose games in the late innings.

Said Bruce, who expects to start Saturday night in the third of four in this series, “Expect to win. We are not snake bitten. We still have a team that can win.”

However the Mets are finding ways to not win. It starts with the bullpen and every button the manager is pushing does not seem to work.  And perhaps that Ben Zobrist game-tying double in the seventh and ensuing Kris Bryant single will send that message about how to win again.

Time will tell what is next as Jacob deGrom,  their consistent starter gets the start Saturday Night at Citi Field with seven no decisions this season.

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