Saturday, December 10, 2022

Three things we learned about the Mets after their series split against the Braves

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PHILADELPHIA — The Mets, in the middle of 14 games against divisional teams, recorded little else than a series win for the first time this season when they split a four-game set against the Braves at Citi Field this week. We looked at a little bit of everything from 18-9 Amazon. He was outscored 18-12 by Atlanta, but continued his strong play in doubleheaders dating back to the previous season, while a veteran starter showed more promise for the year to come.

Three things we learned about the Mets after the series split against the Braves.

the bullpen is getting thinner

With Trevor May around the All-Star break with a stress response, the Mets bullpen is thin even before the season begins and respirators will be asked to step in to weather the storm. Adam Ottavino became the first man to act with that responsibility in the club’s 9-2 loss to Atlanta on Wednesday, and it wasn’t pretty. Ottavino, also the first Mets reliever to pitch for three consecutive days this season, entered with loaded bases and allowed all of Tyler Magill’s runners to score in addition to three of his own earned runs.

Ottavino and Buck Showalter were at the center of the disappointment of Mets fans on Wednesday, as many questioned why the captain would use Ottavino for the third day in a row, anyway. What Ottavino told him earlier in the day, going to Showalter, was that he was good to pitch. But Ottavino’s once-deadly slider was sluggish on Wednesday, and the defending champions used it for batting practice as he scored seven runs and hit a crooked number in the sixth innings.

The Mets bullpen was the team’s weakest link going into the 2022 season, so in many ways it’s no surprise that a handful of poor relief performances are hurting a terrible outing from an otherwise strong starting staff. Less than 30 games into the season, the bullpen has already blown away half of his saving chances. But the strong Jacob deGrom-less rotation comes as a surprise, as Mets starters took a 2.77 ERA on Thursday, adding extra frustration when it’s afternoon like Wednesday and a thin relief core spoiling all the good work being posted. Is.

Without May, relievers Drew Smith, Seth Lugo, Jolie Rodriguez, Chesson Shreve and Ottavino would pitch in relief with the added pressure to zero the ball before passing it to Edwin Diaz. It’s hard to see the Mets making a legitimate bullpen acquisition before the trade deadline, which is set for Aug. So the Mets will expect their strong starting rotation to continue deep into the games and keep its reliever from taxing too much.

doubleheader strength

The Mets are showing off their onslaught of doubleheaders dating back to last season, when the club played a major league high 14 doubleheader in 2021. Last year, the Mets managed to avoid drifting in any of those 14 doubleheaders while sweeping their opponents four times.

Those twin Bills were limited to seven innings last season due to pandemic regulations, and they played their part in shaving 28 innings off Amazon’s season schedule. It became a contentious issue when the Mets missed the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season, but the team’s ability to work hard through those long days was encouraging.

This year, he has outlasted both of his doubleheaders, the first coming against the Giants in April and the second being his two wins in one day against the Braves earlier this week. Doubleheaders are back in nine innings this year, so there will be no shaving of innings, only players will be taxed after double the working day.

As of Thursday, the Mets have only one doubleheader left on their schedule, against the Braves at Citi Field on August 6. But with terrible rain this weekend in Philly, and Amazon’s propensity for running in inclement weather, it’s almost inevitable that there will be more than just one doubleheader in the team’s future. The Mets can point to their 22-10 doubleheader record last season for inspiration.

rotation surprise

Carlos Carrasco’s bounceback effort against a strong Braves lineup goes down as the most encouraging sign from the club’s series division. Carrasco had scored eight runs in 3.2 innings in his previous outing against the Cardinals in St. Louis, but he made the necessary adjustments in his five days between starts and emerged victorious on Tuesday in Game 2 of the team’s doubleheader.

Carrasco threw eight shutout innings and became the first starter in MLB this season to pitch multiple outings of more than seven innings. Calming down the Braves lineup was no small feat; Atlanta owns the fourth-best slugging percentage (.393) and the second-highest home runs (31) in the National League. Still, Carrasco made sure the Atlanta Hitters went 0-for-11 with the runners in scoring position against him in their fifth outing of the year. The right-handed batsman has 3.30 ERAs and 2.90 FIPs in 30 innings pitched this season.

The more Carrasco can make his disastrous outings — like the one in St. Louis — a distant memory, the more goodwill he will rack up with the Mets fan base after his injury-ridden first season in Queens last year. Following his off-season surgery to remove bone spurs in his elbow, Carrasco has pitched like an older version of himself that the Mets hope to get from his trade with Cleveland.


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