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New York Mets’ Key Down the Stretch Will be the Bullpen

Tyler Clippard has been relied on by Terry Collins for late inning relief. from NYPOST

Tyler Clippard has been relied on by Terry Collins for late inning relief.

In modern baseball, pitchers don’t go 9 innings, and that is during the best of circumstances.

For the Mets, these are not the best of circumstances.

They are still a losing streak away from making this division race a close one as we enter the final month of the season.

To make matters worse, the term “innings limit” has been bandied about and we have started to see the visual proof of this concept in the last week.

First, last Sunday, Matt Harvey’s start was skipped and Logan Verrett made the spot start.  Fortunately for the Mets, Verrett pitched the best game of his career and the choice to skip Harvey to save innings didn’t hurt New York.

It did however hurt New York this past weekend against Boston.

Locked in a 2-0 game on Friday evening, Terry Collins lifted Matt Harvey after 6 innings of shutout baseball and 103 pitches.

Now I know the numbers say that Harvey becomes a different pitcher after 100 pitches, but Harvey was cruising.

The aforementioned Verrett came on in relief and promptly allowed 3 runs to the Red Sox and the Mets eventually lost in extra innings.

This was yet another extra inning game for New York and another game that featured Clippard, Familia, and eventually an exhausted Carlos Torres who allowed the winning runs to Boston in the 10th.

The innings limit for Harvey, and Syndergaard, will force Collins to continue to rely on these arms that he has taxed all season and for the last month in the case of Tyler Clippard.

The shortened outings will now put more pressure on a bullpen that has although has pitched better than it has been given credit, has been relied upon for a lot of innings.

September baseball is all about pressure packed high leverage late-inning situations.  This was always going to be tough anyway and now the Mets have made that even tougher.

Anyone who has followed the Mets for the past 10 years or so knows that the September collapses of 2007 and 2008 were due in large part to an inability to hold leads.  Hopefully, this bullpen will be up to the challenge in 2015.

It is getting some help with the addition of Addison Reed who had been a quality closer in 2013 for Chicago White Sox, but has disappointed in Arizona.

A change of scenery and a pitchers park however may help his form.

At the very least, he’s another warm body out there for Terry Collins to utilize to work the innings Syndergaard and Harvey could be leaving on the table.



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