Flushing, NY – There is a need for a starting pitcher and perhaps another bullpen arm for the Mets before the month ending non-waiver trade deadline. The Mets are without their ace Jacob deGrom who threw a side session Monday at Citi Field.
This is also a team that could use another potent bat in the lineup and the name of the Cubs’ Chris Bryant is in the discussion. The rotation will get a boost with the long awaited debut of RHP Carlos Carrasco this weekend when the Reds come to town.
Monday evening at Citi Field the Mets split a straight seven-inning doubleheader over the Atlanta Braves. They managed a split scoring a run in 14 innings of baseball, which in itself showed again how inconsistent the Mets lineup is as they are tied for home runs since the all-star break and with a league best .280 team batting average.
The third place Braves first game 2-0 shutout had been symbolic of the Mets first half offense as they continued their hold on first place at the start of this five-game series. A crucial series also for the Braves who trail the Mets by five games in the division.
The lone run in the nightcap was attributed to Jeff McNeil and his long double to deep center that scored Brandon Nimmo in the bottom of the 5th inning. So the Mets barely got away with a split after Marcus Stroman allowed two runs on eight hits and one walk with four strikeouts over five innings in the opening game.
But the Mets pitching questions remain as the series progresses. Manager Luis Rojas said there will be another bullpen situation Tuesday and that all hands on deck mentality which can take a toll this time of year.
“They did an amazing job,” said Rojas about his bullpen.
Aaron Loup came out of the bullpen and for the second time this year got the start in game two. Had this not been pandemic seven-inning rules there would be a question as to how far a taxed Mets bullpen managed to come out of with a split. The rotation is thin and Rojas is anticipating that first start from Carrasco.
The manager is hoping deGrom and his right forearm are healthy so the leading ERA leader in baseball is ready soon, and then we can talk about not having this all hands on deck battle to survive.
And that bullpen game managed to get the Mets a second game win. They will do the same formula Tuesday night.
Loup threw a perfect opening inning. Jeurys Familia followed with three strikeouts in his inning of work. Anthony Banda, Trevor May and Seth Lugo followed. Ediwn Diaz had his slider working and three Braves’ went down on the slider in converting his 22nd save.
“He made the adjustments,: Rojas said of Diaz who was a recent victim of three blown saves.
As Rojas said, “This is what you need at this time of the season, right? Guys, they’re going to throw back-to-back days, three days in a row things like that.Sometimes that can expose you.”
Sometimes all hands on deck can also expose a team, and, yes, the Mets are in that position of throwing another bullpen game Tuesday evening as Rojas said multiple arms will be on the mound again. Perhaps Miguel Castro will play another role out of the pen after two scoreless innings that followed Stroman. Castro has not allowed a run in four straight outings.
And through all of this hands on deck type of approach the Mets are finding ways to win as their pinch hitters are fourth in baseball with a .258 average. Putting it all together can put the Braves more in their distance this week.
But to widen that gap their bullpen has to come through again. It may be asking too much to go all hands on deck but the formula got a split Monday evening.
Comment: Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso
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