Gut Reaction: Phillies 6, Mets 2 (4/18/17)

The Mets are on a four-game streak and it’s not a good one. For the fourth straight game the Mets not only lost to a division rival, but they wasted a strong start, failed to hit much, and were undone by a shaky bullpen. For good measure, they threw in a few costly errors as well.

Zack Wheeler pitched quite well, striking out 7 and allowing just one run, but at 99 pitches, Terry Collins felt obliged to pull his starter after just five innings. At that point, the Mets led 2-1. The Mets scored their two runs in the opening inning and the bats went completely silent after that against Zach Eflin and five Phillies relievers. Hansel Robles, Josh Smoker, Fernando Salas, Jerry Blevins, and Addison Reed combined to allow just 1 unearned run over four innings to keep the Mets in it, but then Rafael Montero entered the game with the score tied 2-2 in the 10th and promptly began throwing batting practice. The Phillies crossed the plate four times in the 10th to take a 6-2 lead that would stick as the final score.

There are four key aspects to winning in baseball – starting pitching, offense, the bullpen, and defense. You can get away with one of those areas failing you, but not three. Thankfully, Jeurys Familia is due back on Thursday and that should help plug the leaky bullpen. But right now Jose Reyes, Juan Lagares, Wilmer Flores, and Curtis Granderson are all hitting below .200 and Neil Walker is at .220. We need to score some runs and we also need a starter to go more than 5 or 6 innings once in a while. The bullpen has failed us, but they are overworked and have too much pressure on them. Come on, Mets. Time to snap out of it.

14 comments for “Gut Reaction: Phillies 6, Mets 2 (4/18/17)

  1. April 18, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    They should have scored more than 2 runs. They got 3 BB in the first inning and only 2 BB in the next 9 innings.

    Reyes should have caught the ball

    I wish the idea of a long man wasn’t so distasteful to Alderson/Collins. Starter only goes 5 innings? Use your long man and stop chasing the platoon advantage in the sixth inning. Gilmartin should have been brought in at the start of the sixth inning, with the idea of getting 2-3 innings from him, if possible.

    • TexasGusCC
      April 19, 2017 at 1:04 am

      I was thinking this same exact thing along with ‘did they really use five relievers for four innings of a rested bullpen and not use Montero or Gilmartin in at least the sixth so there would be a safety net’?

      Glad you said it nicely Brian because my language would have been much stronger. While the pitchers need to pitch and the hitters need to hit, the manager needs to manage. Collins is as much a handicap as any they have and tonight was another example. Hitting isn’t easy; pitching is challenging; thinking should be the easiest of the three.

      And for those of you that want to tell me about his clubhouse, save it. Veterans always run the clubhouse and Collins himself said it last week. Collins is that sweet gentleman neighbor we all are polite to but are afraid to start a meaningful conversation with because we can tell he will get overwhelmed if he needs to explain.

  2. Jimmy P
    April 19, 2017 at 5:58 am

    I agree about the role of the long man. We used to write about that over at “2 Guys.”

    Unfortunately, Both Montero and Gilmartin suck. There is no long man.

    The pen is too thin, too many guys TC can’t use in a tight game.

    You are awfully desperate to complain about the manager when your cry is that TC didn’t bring in Gilmartin in a one-run game. It’s a black mark on the Mets farm system and management that he’s still around.
    He was terrible last season, sent down to AAA, ineffective this Spring, and he’s abysmal now. Yet it’s TC’s fault for not using him more?

    Ususally games are determined by the players, and that was the case again last night.

    • April 19, 2017 at 9:00 am

      It has nothing to do with being “desperate.” I’d love nothing more than not to have to point out non-sensical things.

      You’re the one trying to create the myth that Collins hasn’t made any bullpen mistakes. For the record – Hardy Har Har on that one. And when it’s pointed out that his usage is less than optimal, you play ostrich.

      Check Gilmartin’s record when used for longer outings versus shorter ones. He had five outings last year – when he was not as good as 2015 – when he pitched more than one inning and turned in scoreless performances in four of them.

      Collins made a big deal about how he was going to use Gilmartin to close out the game the other night – meaning he’s been prepared to use him as a long man. But when the situation presented itself with his starter only going five innings, he went to the old standby of playing matchups.

      The problem is that this management team thinks one day off for a reliever automatically means he’s good to go three of the next four games. The same one that wants to give the catcher two days off. The announcers last night were talking about how Salas didn’t seem to have his good stuff. I guess that’s what happens when you’re used nine times in 14 games.

      Collins burned through his five good relievers and then used his worst reliever when he still had two other options left. It just wasn’t a good night for him at all.

  3. April 19, 2017 at 6:33 am

    Hey, Reyes doesn’t do his Luis Castillo impression and it’s a moot point.

  4. Metsense
    April 19, 2017 at 7:25 am

    Abysmal. Reyes can’t be playing worse. Flores can’t hit RHP but maybe after his next hot game against LHP they should give him a chance for back to back starts.
    Meanwhile TC should shake up the order going with Conforto,Cabrera,Bruce,Cespedes,Duda,d’Arnaud, Walker and Reyes.
    Wheeler’s 97 pitches were a lot different than deGrom’s 97 pitches and Wheeler’s quote indicated he was fatigued so he was properly removed at that point. If TC chose Robles first then he he should have stuck with him in the sixth. Playing a platoon advantage that early in the game is a formula for bullpen burnout. In a game with a 2-1 lead, Montero or Gillmartin should also not be used in the 6th. One inning of Robles, Blevins, Salas and Reed should be used. If Reyes catches the ball then TC looks smart for his platoon advantage moves (and using Smoker there) but that still would not exonerate him from burning out the bullpen. Withe the error and tied score Smoker could have started the 10th. Personally , I would have had Smoker start the 6th instead of Robles and would have tried to get two innings out of him.
    7-7, back to square one with two weeks of opportunity wasted.

  5. TexasGusCC
    April 19, 2017 at 8:57 am

    On Gilmartin and Montero usage:

    Gilmartin last year was hurt, and only had one start this year. However, he deserves a chance. He was very good two years ago the whole year. He deserves more of a chance than Edgin does. His three batters struck out, hit such a weak grounder into the SS position that snuck through for a two run single that had even Darling scratching his head about Cabrera not getting to it (and I even wondered why he didn’t dive but man he looked bad moving there) and a flare right to Walker for the third out.

    In fact, Darling and Cohen were aghast that the Mets were giving up the go ahead run in extra innings! With first and third and no outs, they had the infield back? That’s how little faith they have in Montero, and Collins’ explanation of not using Gilmartin earlier in these last two games is “that he’s my long guy to go as many innings as it takes to finish” is just ________________.

    A. Amazing
    B. Scott Rice-ish
    C. Rediculous

  6. NormE
    April 19, 2017 at 9:50 am

    I have a problem with Zack Wheeler’s pitching, and it goes back to the time before his injury. He throws too many pitches, which makes him a 5 to 6 innings pitcher. I know that the Mets are trying to protect his arm, as they are doing with Harvey, deGrom and Thor, but Wheeler’s history is a recipe for bullpen burn out.
    As the season proceeds and the other starters are given a chance to go past the 7th inning, the Mets have to find a way to get Wheeler to gain better command of the strike zone so that he can give them at least 7 innings. Hopefully they can, because the talent is there.

  7. MattyMets
    April 19, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Ideally, with a healthier staff, we turn to Lugo in the 6th. He gives us 3 solid innings, saving the bullpen for the late/extra innings. Ideally, our starters begin lasting 7 innings. Ideally, Familia and Lugo rejoin the staff and replace Gilmartin and Montero. Ideally, Reyes isn’t distracted by his double life drama and Granderson doesn’t yet again get off to a terrible start to the season.

    The last few games remind me of the 2015 WS. It’s easy to blame the bullpen, but the lineup needs to score some runs, especially against the pitchers we’ve been facing. It’s one thing to get shut down by Kershaw or Bumgarner, and quite another to get shut down by the Phillies bullpen.

  8. Metsense
    April 19, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Matt, even if they had Lugo, why would he be brought it in the 6th inning when they have a lead? Smoker (or TC’s choice Robles) for two innings followed by Salas and Reed then when Reyes drops the ball he would have had Blevins in the 10th and Robles on the 11th and 12th leaving the 13th for Gillmartin. Smoker and Robles should be considered two inning pitchers.

    • April 19, 2017 at 12:32 pm

      All during the offseason, Matt Cerrone at MetsBlog talked about the Mets using Lugo like the Indians did Andrew Miller. Could a healthy Lugo handle that type of role? I don’t know but theoretically it doesn’t seem unreasonable to pitch him when the team has a lead and needed innings.

  9. Jimmy P
    April 19, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    With Gsellman on the hill, we may get our long reliever wish today. Perhaps TC was thinking that about Gilmartin, saving him in his back pocket for potential use in today’s game. And to be clear, that’s not something a good manager can ever say out loud.

    It’s very easy for armchair geniuses to bitch and moan about sub-optimal bullpen usage. In most cases, it’s just delusional fantasy. “I would of have done this, I would have done that,” and so on. Whatever. Guys have been talking like that forever.

    It comes down to players doing the job or not. For the Mets to win last night, they were going to have to hold the Phillies to one run. He managed as if that was the reality. And Jose dropped the ball.

    Bullpen is where managers are most easily criticized. If they fail, it is so easy for the armchair geniuses, full of unearned superiority, to point out this mistake or that one. Nothing makes a manager look worse than a relief pitcher having a bad game.

    I’m not saying that TC is perfect. He’s not. But a “mistake” is not doing something that some guy in Jersey maybe might have done differently. But the amount of criticism he receives on this front is over the top — and in my view, it says more about the complainers than it does about baseball.

    • April 19, 2017 at 12:27 pm

      Question for you – Is it possible, in your opinion, for it ever to be the manager’s fault? Since it always comes down to the players doing the job or not.

      In my original post in this thread, the first area I blamed was the offense. The second was the fielding. I’m not absolving the players from blame. But in my opinion, the manager gets a share last night, too.

  10. Eraff
    April 19, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    I’m not in love with Wheeler…willing to be patient.

    This is a lot about scoring 2 runs, and Rafael Montero

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