New York Mets bullpen continues to provide no relief in close games

Jeurys Familia, New York Mets (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Jeurys Familia, New York Mets (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

The New York Mets have continued to struggle late in games due to an ineffective bullpen. The poor play could cost the franchise a spot in the postseason.

The Major League Baseball postseason is less than a month away, and the New York Mets are still hoping for a miracle to qualify with a wild card spot. The bunched teams of hopefuls trying for one place have made it almost impossible, especially after recent losses to competing teams.

New York lost two critical games on the road against the wild card leading Washington Nationals and rival Philadelphia Phillies creating plenty of doubt withing the fanbase. The nature of the losses adds more concern since they all deal heavily with problems in the bullpen. The two most significant issues this season have been with former closer Jeurys Familia and current holder of that title, Edwin Diaz.

Diaz and Familia have had terrible seasons compared to past years in which they were almost unhittable compared to the vast majority of the league. Both pitchers are currently sporting ERA’s over 5.00 and have yet to show a form of real consistency throughout the season. The Mets have struggled to hold leads or keep a game close with either player in the game leading to significant meltdowns similar to the 11-10 loss to the Nationals last week. New York relief pitching gave up seven runs in the ninth inning to blow a critical matchup with playoff implications.

In an interview by Mike Puma of the New York Post, Mets pitching coach Phil Regan blames himself for the season-long struggles of Familia.

"“I’m feeling it’s my fault on Familia,” Regan said. “I think he needs to throw strikes, but I have to get him to throw strikes and I really have to take the blame for that, because his stuff is so good that we just need to get him in the right mode and he’s going to be good.”"

The struggles late in games have spoiled the offensive efforts of the team this season which has oddly enough been the catalyst for many games. The fantastic season from rookies Jeff McNeil and Pete Alonso are changing the outlook for the Mets offensively that if the bullpen remained strong like in past seasons the team would be possibly leading the division.

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It will be interesting to see if the Mets decide to keep manager Mickey Callaway following the season if they don’t qualify for a wild card spot. The status of Regan as pitching coach is pretty much expected as he is interim but it’s evident that a change is needed in Queens to correct the pitching problems.