New York Mets: The sad decline of fan favorite Jerry Blevins

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 08: Jerry Blevins (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 08: Jerry Blevins (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

As the New York Mets continue to flounder toward mediocrity it is worth investigating one of their most surprising disappointments of 2018.

The New York Mets are filled with disappointments this season thus far. But, one in particular, is rather appalling. That would be the pitching (or lack of) of lefty specialist Jerry Blevins.

Blevins, who is 34 years old, has been a Met since 2015. Blevins was arguably their most consistent reliever in both the 2016 and 2017 seasons. In both those seasons, he had a sub-3.00 ERA.

Blevins has also been a fan favorite for Mets fans. His social media interactions gained traction online, and the Mets even had a giveaway based on Blevins earlier this season.

What Met fan will ever forget Jerry Blevins Sock Day!?

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Yet in 2018, the tables have turned for Jerry. His ERA has skyrocketed to 5.02, and his strikeout and walk numbers are major areas for concern.

According to Baseball Reference, Blevins averaged 12.7 strikeouts per 9 innings and 4.4 walks per 9 innings in 2017. This year, his strikeouts are down to 6.3 per 9 innings and his walks are up to 6.9 per 9 innings.

That means Blevins is striking out less than half the batters he did last year while walking more than two more batters per 9 innings.

That is clearly not a formula for success. Not just for Blevins, but for any pitcher in baseball.

The most troubling stat for Blevins this season is his utter lack of success when facing batters from the left side, which is his main responsibility.

According to FanGraphs, left-handed hitters are batting .324 against Blevins, with a .412 slugging percentage.

In simpler terms, Blevins has been downright awful.

As the Mets have moved past the 1/3 mark in their season, it is officially time to worry about Blevins.

The Mets front office bears some of the blame for this situation as well.

They knew that they had relied heavily on Blevins the last few years, yet they made no move to get a second lefty for the bullpen this offseason.

Instead, it has been Blevins as the sole lefty in the bullpen for a majority of the 2018 campaign.

As the Mets bullpen continues to be an area of concern for the Mets, an improvement from Blevins could be one key to stabilizing the unit as a whole.

There is a legitimate chance, with his age, Blevins does not have much left in the tank.

Next: Smith Must Prove Himself

The Mets need him to improve and do so quickly if they want to remain on the edge of contention.