The worst of the 2013 New York Mets seems to have come along for the ride in 2014 through the first series of the season. The Washington Nationals were able to take advantage of a poor Mets bullpen, sweeping the Mets at Citi Field, even though all three Mets starters registered quality starts. It was a three-game sweep, the first time in nine years the Mets have been swept in the opening series of the season.
Through the first two games, the Mets’ bullpen was atrocious, and this afternoon was no different. Today, Zack Wheeler put together a decent start, but the bullpen erased whatever good things he had done with another rough outing.
First out of the bullpen today was Scott Rice, who picked up right where he left off Opening Day by allowing men on base. Today he at least recorded an out, but gave up two hits and two earned runs in the process.
Next in line was Jeurys Familia, who finished the inning, but not without giving up some runs of his own. In 2/3 of an inning, Familia surrendered another two runs, one earned, giving up two hits and walk. Familia was not helped by his fielders, as Lucas Duda was unable to pick a ball out of the dirt from Daniel Murphy, resulting in the second run coming across the plate.
With the game no longer hanging in the balance, Carlos Torres was called upon for the eighth inning just to clean things up, but he followed suit, giving up a run of his own. Torres was lucky to only give up one run, as he gave up two hits and a walk in his inning of work.
Gonzalez Germen was the only reliever to do anything positive this afternoon, pitching a clean ninth inning, with one strikeout. Germen, along with new anointed closer Jose Valverde, are the only remaining relievers on the team who have not surrendered a run yet this season; three games into the season and your bullpen is already getting pounded — that’s the makings for a long season.
On the series, the Mets’ bullpen compiled some unsightly numbers, pitching 9.1 innings, surrendering 15 hits and seven walks, which resulted in 12 runs, 11 of which were earned. That equals an ERA of 10.61, which would result in demotion for anyone who put up stats like that for an extended period of time.
It is only the opening series of the season, but things have not started out well for the Mets’ bullpen. The loss of closer Bobby Parnell will not help any, but there is still plenty of time to turn it around. This is a team that cannot afford to fall into a deep hole early in the season, and changes will need to be made with a tough series against the Cincinnati Reds coming up next.