Noah Syndergaard – New York Mets (Getty Images : Newsday)
For a team that’s staked it’s future on its pitchers, the New York Mets find themselves fumbling to field a professional rotation just two months into the season. What hurts even worse than Steven Matz and Seth Lugo not making an appearance yet is how atrocious the bullpen has been.
Amidst a five-game losing streak, the Mets find themselves in second place in a decrepit NL East. Too bad there’s one adequate team in the division, and even though it’s only May, those Nationals have cracked open an eight game lead. While things sound gloomy now, just a week ago the Mets had won four straight series and looked poised to get back above .500. Then came the Jeurys Famalia break down.
Up 3-2 against the San Francisco Giants, Familia – who led the league in saves last season- was on the mound to close out a series sweep and grab some momentum before a six-game road trip. However, things didn’t go according to plan. The Giants tacked on four runs in the top of the ninth behind a three-run double from Christian Arroyo to steal the win. Then, on the very next day, Familia was diagnosed with a blood clot in his shoulder and is projected to miss several months.
Story of the Mets’ season.
Now starts the road stand against the Milwaukee Brewers and Arizona Diamondbacks, two teams who playoff contenders consider winnable series. But the Mets may not be a playoff team if things continue like this. Matt Harvey gave up three home runs in a 7-4 loss in the first game against the Brewers which led the way to a Saturday shellacking that featured an eight run fifth inning. The pitcher right in the middle of the disaster, Hansel Robles. In his 20.2 innings, Robles is pitching to a 5.23 ERA with a dreadful 1.45 WHIP – so why does Terry Collins continue to call on the righty?
The blatant misuse of the bullpen all season has made many New Yorkers ask what other managers are out there. But it’s not Collin’s fault that his starters can not provide any length in their starts and force the bullpen to action around the end of the sixth inning. The mix of short starts and a dreadful bullpen has put a team coming off back-to-back playoff appearances and a World Series run in dead last in the MLB in terms of team ERA (who thought we’d say that?).
Two more collapses later, the Mets sit at 16-21 and are looking to get out of the hole a bunch of injuries have placed them in. Tonight the Amazins – who look more like the Atrocious’ – will face one of the best arms in baseball in Zack Greinke while countering with journeyman Tommy Milone. A mismatch that embodies the way the first two months of the season has gone. Just two more games stand between the Mets and winnable home-stand with the Angles and the Padres, however if things continue like they’ve gone on the road, The 7 Line Army will be watching their beloved team coming off back-to-back sweeps and seven straight loses.