Why your set-up man, who happens to have a 6-plus ERA, is still being used in tight situations is beyond me.
In the span of 24 hours, they went from feeling good, headed to what looked like their sixth victory in eight games, to getting swept in a makeshift doubleheader and once again fading away from .500 and falling a season-high 7¹/₂ games behind the red-hot Braves in the NL East.
“In the moment, obviously, it brings you down,” manager Mickey Callaway said. “I’m sure everybody’s feeling pretty crappy right now, but they’ll come in tomorrow like they always do and battle and grind.”
In both instances, the bullpen delivered the dagger, ruining potential victories. First it was closer Edwin Diaz, who coughed up the lead Thursday night before the game was suspended due to heavy rain, and then, after the game was resumed Friday, allowed a run-scoring single to Paul DeJong in the 10th inning of a 5-4 gut-punch defeat.
DeJong got to another of the Mets’ arsonists in the nightcap, homering off Jeurys Familia to pull the Cardinals even in the eighth, and Dexter Fowler followed soon after with a three-run shot off the former closer to cap the ugly inning and send St. Louis to a 9-5 win.
Familia’s a head case right now and his inability to pitch 1-2-3 innings and constantly get himself in and out of trouble has grown tiresome and is costing the team. Plus, the set-up role is too important to take for granted, esp. while the team struggles. I say put Robert Gsellman there. Gsellman doesn’t care how he’s used and he’s better than Familia at getting strikeouts.
It’s funny how this little controversy surrounding Edwin Diaz possibly having some sort of ‘mandate’ that says that Mickey Callaway can’t use him for more than an inning, wouldn’t have even mattered other night if Jeurys Familiar had just done his job as a set-up man and yunno, gotten some outs instead of getting in trouble and again putting runners on base, thus forcing the manager to take him out of the game. But then too, regardless of it being a division rival, do we really want our closer coming in for 4 outs during a game that takes place in April? Or should Callaway and the GM think about the wear and tear of the long season still ahead and use Diaz diligently? I for one, prefer the latter.
The bullpen, I think, is where the Mets will need the most help this off-season. And they definitely need a closer. So why not reunite with an old, reliable face? There will only be so many top-notch closers that will be available on the open market and I doubt that the new GM will want to kick in what Britton or Kimbrel might cost. Of course, there’s always the possibility that Familia could demand a price that’s too high. But he’s still young, did well with the A’s and has a proven track record with us.
Yeah, a bunch of injuries have contributed greatly to the Mets miseries this year, but how much of it is the rookie manager’s fault? From the early season lineup card fiasco to his inability to run with a consistent lineup (not to mention that I always hated the decision the bat the pitcher in the 8th spot) to the constant mismanagement of the bullpen (should Jeurys Familia have even been brought last night, having thrown 28 pitches the previous night?), the Mets are a game above the woeful Florida Marlins and maybe it’s time to put some heat on the manager.