Tonight, the Met offense provided the bullpen with two opportunities to close out the Nationals, and the bullpen could not do the job in either circumstance and fell to the Nationals 5-4.
After Jordany Valdespin hit yet another big homer for the team in the ninth inning to take the lead, Bobby Parnell couldn’t hold the lead. And then in the 10th after a big two-out hit off of the bat of Josh Thole, Tim Byrdak and Pedro Beato let the team down.
This story has become way too familiar for these Mets as they’ve dropped their fifth game in a row, for the first time all season, and are really stumbling out of the break. This needs to change. The offense, which is not build to carry this team, did an excellent job tonight of putting the team in a position to shut it down. The bullpen gave up way too many hits, and made far too many bad pitches to close out tonight’s game.
The most notable of the bad pitches was Beato’s wild pitch which gave the Nationals the win, when Beato had a 1-2 count on Tyler Moore. But that pitch was only the most notable because it ended the game. The biggest pitch of the game, in my estimation, was the fastball that Parnell through to Danny Espinosa in the ninth inning, which Espinosa immediately shot back up the middle to tie the game. The problem with that pitch? Location.
Parnell had just thrown Espinosa a few good breaking balls down in the zone, of which only the last one did Espinosa even touch. Now, the next pitch was a fastball down, and that was the pitch Espinosa hit because the location was off. That pitch needed to change the eye-level of the hitter, and didn’t. All that next pitch did was give Espinosa a more hittable pitch, because it was down, where he had just seen the last 3 pitches. If that last fastball was up in the zone, say accross the letters, we’d be talking about how big of a hero Valdespin is. Instead the bullpen is proving itself to be a real liability, and now the Mets need to address this issue before they find themselves out of the playoff chase, as they did last year.