Mets' Bullpen Problems Will Derail Their Playoff Hopes

By Kevin Van Pelt

The New York Mets have started off this season great. David Wright has been having a career year and the starting pitching has been solid all year long. However, the bullpen is still too big of an issue for the Mets.

There is plenty of baseball left to be played this season and anything can happen. Looking at the Mets situation right now, they can’t afford to have costly pitching late in games. They are next to last in the Majors in home runs and 15th in runs scored. Their ERA is 4.33 which puts them 25th in the league.

However, the Mets are still second in the N.L. East and have kept their heads above water as we enter the month of June. As the summer months roll around, that is when contending teams separate themselves from non-contending teams. So far the Mets have been winning by having clutch two out hits and creating two out rallies. That has been the theme to this season so far.

Another theme has been the Mets bullpen blowing leads late in the game. Mets closer Frank Francisco has 13 saves this season and has only blown two saves. However, his ERA is 6.41 and he has struggled to get through many games cleanly. Most of his saves situations have come with two or three run leads and gave him some wiggle room to get out with a save. In one run games, he is not someone who is reliable to have as a team’s closer.

Perhaps the most hated man in New York now is reliever Manny Acosta, who has a whopping ERA of 11.86. For some reason, in a 5-4 game, Mets manager Terry Collins decided to put Acosta in the game in the ninth inning against the Phillies. It didn’t payoff as Acosta gave up three runs in one-third of an inning. He will likely be heading to the Minor Leagues soon which will make the team better but still not solve the problem.

As of now the only reliable bullpen pitchers are Tim Brydak and Bobby Parnell. With starting pitchers going shorter and shorter distances, bullpen pitchers are becoming more important with each passing year. With the Mets only have two guys they can rely on and an offense that struggles to produce runs, it will be hard for them to make the playoffs.

The Mets have had their fair share of injuries which is another reason why they need to improve on the bullpen. With bench players playing on a regular basis, there is a good chance that the Mets will struggle to score runs in the near future. Throw in the fact that the N.L. East is one of the toughest divisions in the league, it will be tough for the Mets to hang on. There will be plenty of close games in the division and the bullpen is going to have to step up. If they don’t, the postseason may have to wait until next year.

Hopefully new players can come up from the Minors and help the Mets out as they determine who is reliable for their bullpen. The battle for the playoffs can go down to the wire for the Mets, but they need some help from their bullpen.


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