Gut Reaction: Pirates 8, Mets 4 (8/2/19)

The Mets jumped out to a 3-0 lead but were unable to hold it, as they fell to the Pirates, 8-4, in the opener of their three-game series in Pittsburgh Friday night. The loss snapped a seven-game winning streak for the Mets, their longest of the season.

Steven Matz was sharp early but it all fell apart for him in the fourth inning. He did not make it out of the frame, which started with a leadoff walk and ended with five Pirates runs.

Robert Gsellman came on in relief and did a nice job, holding the Pirates scoreless over 2.1 IP. Thanks to a defensive mishap, the Mets scored a run in the top of the seventh to close within a run at 5-4. The Mets had Seth Lugo and Tyler Bashlor warming in the pen, presumably with the idea of bringing in Lugo if they tied the game or went ahead.

Currently, the Mets are carrying eight relievers. But Jeurys Familia is really struggling, they’re not going to use Edwin Diaz before the ninth inning, Gsellman already pitched and Luis Avilan pitched last night.

You want to get Bashlor work but you don’t want to bring him into a close game because, quite frankly, he’s not very good. He’s the type of guy you use when you’re up five runs or down five runs. Or if there’s no one else available.

But to the best of my knowledge, the Mets had Justin Wilson available. And the leadoff batter for the Pirates in the seventh inning was a lefty. It wasn’t a good use of resources, putting in a low-leverage reliever like Bashlor in a game where the Mets had a puncher’s chance of winning.

Bashlor retired the first batter he faced on a fly ball to dead center that landed in Michael Conforto’s glove, two steps shy of the wall. The next two batters singled and Starling Marte clinched the game with a three-run homer.

For the season, Bashlor now has a 7.16 ERA and a 1.65 WHIP.

7 comments for “Gut Reaction: Pirates 8, Mets 4 (8/2/19)

  1. Chris F
    August 2, 2019 at 11:04 pm

    From Tim Healey:

    Mickey Callaway said he wanted to use Tyler Bashlor and Jeurys Familia to get through the seventh/eighth because the Mets were trailing, thus saving Seth Lugo/Justin Wilson for if the Mets took a lead (or lead tomorrow)

    • August 2, 2019 at 11:12 pm

      Thanks Chris.

      I’m glad for the confirmation that Wilson was not nursing an injury and was available. Callaway’s got to learn that when half of your bullpen stinks, you can’t save every guy left for when you have a lead. And that a one-run deficit is a higher-leverage situation than a three-run lead.

  2. TexasGusCC
    August 3, 2019 at 12:46 am

    Brian, I’m glad you didn’t waste more of your time covering the rest of the game because bringing in Bashlor stuck to my craw, too. So much so, that I didn’t even know the outcome until a few minutes ago. I’m following the game while I’m working and saw the Ramos groundout with first and third. He reached for a pitch not too far from the middle of the plate and grounded a 3-0 pitch to SS. Huh? You stand so far away from the plate that you have to reach for a pitch just to the right of center, and then just ground out? Not drive it somewhere? He better be at the stadium early for BP. And if “he’s tired” because he hasn’t had his annual vacation yet, give him one.

    Then, Bashlor is brought in. I shut off the game. Didn’t want to see anymore. About two hours later, I look to see the final score. Looked to see when the Pirates scored three more. Yep, it was with Bashlor on the mound. No surprise. This guy doesn’t deserve to be in AAA, he deserves to be in AA. Those runs killed any momentum the Mets were trying to establish. Chris Flexen is twice as good as Bashlor. Where is he? What about Oswalt?

    Let’s see if Callaway keeps his word and fixes the lineup now that they have lost…

    • TJ
      August 3, 2019 at 6:48 am

      The Bashlor issue just seems to be representative of the Met bullpen woes for years. Not to pick on this kid, you can use a blank and fill in the name. The manager takes the hit, sometimes deserving and sometimes not, but the lack up depth of decent upper level arms is the real culprit. Now, Familia has killed the pen and pecking order, we know it. But many teams make multi year pen mistakes on guys with a track record. Just too many AAAA arms that can throw but not pitch, major unsolved problem.

      Matz should not get off the hook. He blew the game. Since the deadline all we heard is about this staff driving them on a run. 3+ and again done in by the big inning is a fail. No margin for error in these very meaningful games. A bad weekend in Pittsburgh can darn near sink the ship.

      • TexasGusCC
        August 3, 2019 at 7:52 am

        TJ, Matz did a poor job and he does deserve this loss. But even down 5-3, I just felt they could get those runs back in five turns at bat. But, as I write above, the Bashlor decision just ended it for me. In fact, it seemed to be the question everyone had for Callaway: “Why Bashlor?” The question should have been for BVW.

  3. August 3, 2019 at 9:06 am

    Mickey is not a bad guy, not overall bad manager really…but his # 1 weakness is how he manages this BP. Anytime you see a Bashlor, Negoshek, Rahme, Zamora, Sewald, etc, run for the hills because an implosion is coming . They all stink, period.
    Mets can rely on Lugo, Wilson and Gsellman to a degree, then hope and pray for good Diaz to come out of the laboratory vs bad Diaz, that’s all folks. The other guys are just awful, and of course, the leader of that stinkpot is Famila. BVG had to get some BP help and didn’t. This will be the story if Mets don’t make the WC. When a starter doesn’t go 7 (like Matz yesterday) then good luck because one of the aforementioned scrubinies will come in and blow it 4 sure.
    These BPB ‘BullPenBums”are not even AAA material ! Fat fastballs down the middle and walks. Heck, I can do that for half the price …lol…

    • TexasGusCC
      August 3, 2019 at 10:22 am

      Your last sentence just got Wilpon’s attention.

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