It has only been five games for the Mets, but the early returns on manager Mickey Callaway’s use of his bullpen, especially with Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman, have been good.
Tuesday night, Lugo relieved Matt Harvey – and two other relievers – after five innings and pitched two scoreless innings in a 2-0 victory, and today, Gsellman relieved Noah Syndergaard after four innings (92 pitches) in a 4-2 victory.
Gsellman pitched two scoreless innings in earning the victory, then was followed by single scoreless innings from Hansel Robles, AJ Ramos and Jeurys Familia.
After Harvey was pulled, Ramos entered and allowed two runners to reach and got two outs before he was replaced by Jerry Blevins, who closed out the sixth. Normally, Ramos and Blevins wouldn’t have been in the game that early.
However, Callaway’s theory is to not restrict his relievers by assigned innings, but go with the best match-ups.
And, Lugo and Gsellman pitching multiple innings is something Terry Collins normally wouldn’t have done.
“Our bullpen has done a fantastic job so far this season and we have faith in them,’’ said Callaway. “Everybody is doing the right thing. We are working on the small things, like Robles for example. He went down [to minor league camp], worked on the right things and comes out today and pitches a huge inning for us. I am really proud of those guys for that.”
Robles, who I’m not a fan of, has been terrific and today struck out the side in the seventh.
It has been a good start of the season for the Mets, who at 4-1, will be in Washington for the start of a three-game series. Oh, by the way, snow is forecast for Washington this weekend.
There are a lot of reasons why the Mets collapsed last season after consecutive playoff appearances and the bullpen was as big of an explanation as any. A lot of things have to happen if they are to recover enough to be competitive. And, the bullpen has to play a big part.
So far, so good.