PHOENIX — Putrid. All around.
The mediocre Diamondbacks must be stealing signs too. They stole a game Saturday night when the Mets were overly cautious with their ace Jacob deGrom.
Once again the Mets cramped their own style. So Mets.
On yet another terrible night for the bullpen and the Mets, deGrom twice had to be visited by Mickey Callaway and trainer Brian Chicklo in the seventh inning because of a cramp in his right hip.
The decision was made to take out deGrom, who insisted he was fine and wanted to stay in the game, and once again the wheels came off the bullpen bus soon after deGrom left as the Mets suffered a 6-5, 11-inning loss to the Diamondbacks at Chase Field Saturday night.
Welcome to Mets baseball in 2019. Bad bullpen, overreaction to a cramp and relievers not doing their job.
At some point the bullpen, especially Jeurys Familia (6.56 ERA), has to do the job.
At some point the Mets have to trust deGrom to know his own body and make his own decision to stay in the game.
Callaway, concerned that something more serious could have happened to his ace if he left him in the game, erred on the side of caution, but it was an error.
Because the bullpen could not do its job it cost the Mets another soul-crushing loss. The Mets relievers imploded in Los Angeles and did the same in the desert against the mediocre Diamondbacks on this night as Familia and Robert Gsellman combined to let up four runs in the eighth with Adam Jones hitting a two-run home run off Gsellman into center field to tie the game at 5-5.
Gsellman, like all Mets relievers has been overused, but that is the game that is played now, use the bullpen way too much.
“I said I was fine and I wish I could have stayed out there,’’ deGrom said. “I was frustrated. It just cramped up for a second. I just wanted to throw a couple pitches to make sure it was fine and it was. It’s a tough loss for us tonight and I wish I could have stayed out there.’’
“I tried to tell [Callaway] I’m fine. I felt like I made good pitches to Nick [Ahmed],’’ deGrom said, referring to Ahmed’s double. “He happened to get on top of one and hit it. I felt I had all four pitches working. It stinks to come out of that one. It’s frustrating for all of us, we let one get away.’’
Kevin Cron led off the 11th with a double off Tyler Bashlor. Ahmed bunted Cron to third. After an intentional walk, Tim Locastro hit a long single to left to score Cron. Game over.
Callaway figured he had a big enough lead once he took deGrom out. But no lead is safe with the Mets bullpen.
The Mets led 5-1 entering the eighth. They Mets bullpen blew a five-run lead against the Dodgers on Wednesday with Edwin Diaz surrendering four runs and two home runs in the ninth.
Diaz came on for four outs Saturday night but it was after the game had been tied.
It is torturous to watch the Mets bullpen at work, a complete bust so far for Brodie Van Wagenen. DeGrom was breezing along. Then the cramp.
All teams depend on their bullpens too much these days and once deGrom left it all fell apart that’s why Callaway has been imploring the Mets to put up add-on runs but this night they did grow the lead to 5-1 on a Dom Smith solo home run in the eighth.
It wasn’t enough.
The cramp was gone, deGrom said but he couldn’t convince Callaway.
“It looked like it was still bothering him a little bit,’’ Callaway said, explaining his decision. “We can’t leave him out there with anything bothering him. He is just too important to this franchise. He’s here for a long time. We can’t get him hurt just trying to get another out or another inning.’’
Callaway could have went to Diaz instead of Gsellman but opted not to go for a five-out save with Diaz.
More caution. Another terrible loss.
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