No matter how good your starting pitching is, you need more than one good reliever. The Mets have Seth Lugo and a whole bunch of question marks. Justin Wilson has a nice ERA but both his WHIP (1.456) and FIP (4.63) are less than good and he’s allowed 50% of inherited runners to score, which is poor. The less said about Edwin Diaz, the better. In his last 16 games, Robert Gsellman has a 4.87 ERA and opposing batters have a .760 OPS against him. Luis Avilan has done well since being activated from the IL but he’s a situational guy who’s pitched fewer than an inning in seven of his last 13 appearances.
Which leaves the Mets in the unenviable position of depending on Brad Brach and Jeurys Familia to get big outs. Brach has a track record of being good but he was released by the Cubs after posting a 6.13 ERA in 42 games. Familia has a track record of being good but has a 6.52 ERA in 44 games this season.
Brach was lousy in 42 games with the Orioles last year before he was dealt to the Braves, where in 27 games he posted a 1.52 ERA. May he pull a late-season turnaround again this year. And as hard as it is to believe, Familia has already cut more than a run from his ERA since early July. He was the beneficiary of early hooks and solid performances from the relievers that replaced him in mid-to-late July.
But in August, he’s been a different guy. In six appearances this month, he has a 1.59 ERA and a 1.059 WHIP while limiting opposing batters to a .524 OPS. Yes, absolutely, it’s a tiny sample size. But after four months of lousy pitching, it’s still a welcome sight.