Familia and Mejia out of pen failed this time in Mets finale loss to Giants
They’re not perfect. That was the sentiment of New York Mets Manager Terry Collins regarding Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia. His two most reliable pitchers out of the bullpen proved to be the difference Monday afternoon at Citi Field that gave the San Francisco Giants a 4-3 win.
The Mets dropped a home series for the first time in seven games. And if they want any chance of playing in the post season, winning series has to be on their agenda. But Familia and Mejia, who have been unstoppable in late innings, allowed runs in the seventh and ninth that proved to be the difference.
Familia was not able to hold a 3-2 lead that ended a career best scoreless streak at 10.0 innings, and the Mejia run in the ninth that came with two outs came off a go-ahead double from Pablo Sandoval. Mejia got the first two outs with a 3-3 tie but gave up a single to Gregor Blanco who stole second. Then there was a walk and the double.
Not the type of inning that has been a part of their late game. More so since Familia and Mejia took over the role, because of the ineffectiveness from Kyle Farnsworth and Jose Valverde who were released, the Mets have won their share of one-run games.
“We have been spoiled,” Collins said about his two reliable arms out of the pen. “It’s all about learning. If you are going to give up some runs, today was the day.” Collins was referring to Sandoval, and was concerned about the walk. There is going to be a hiccup from time-to-time.”
“One thing that Jeurys has not done is walk people, he said. “I’m real surprised, Collins said. “But we said it, when you talk about how good they were pitching….They are not perfect.”
During the inning, Mejia appeared to be favoring the left side of his lower back. Later, when asked, Mejia said it was the same issue he had a month ago that caused him to miss a few games. Collins was concerned, and Mejia said he would be fine, and the issue with the back had nothing to do with his performance.
Yet, if Mejia is having an issue, which will be monitored on the seven- game road trip to Washington (Nationals) and Philadelphia, the Mets will be severely impacted. He has been that good and had entered the game allowing one earned run in his last 16.0 innings.
Familia has his take on the lead-off triple by Hunter Pence that led to his run that tied the score on a wild pitch: “Just try to do what I always do. Get a ground ball, strike out the guy, thought I had my stuff…bad day like anybody can have.”
He said the slider and fastball were in the zone. But, the Mets can’t afford to have many games like this. Realistically though, playoff hopes are far reached as much as it seems obtainable, 6/1-2 games off the pace for a second wildcard.
“We got a tough road trip ahead of us,” Collins said. “We have to come back against a real good Washington team. We gotta be like a team, like last year and start winning games on the road.”
And the bullpen which has been so efficient needs to assure that games don’t get away. If not, any possible playoff hopes will vanish before the Mets return to Citi Field next Tuesday evening against the first place Nationals.
METS RELEASE ABREU: He was brought in as a veteran, and for the most part Bobby Abreu did a good job. But his limited days in New York are over as he was designated for assignment after the game to make room for outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis who was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas.
Abreu, 40, in 67 games and a home run, drove in 14 and batted. 238. He was invited to spring training and brought up April 21 and except for a 4-for-4 games on June 13th against San Diego, there was a struggle to get a hit.
As a pinch hitter, Abreu was 2-for-31, hitless in his final 22 at bats. The veteran was thankful to the Mets for giving him an opportunity and expects to play winter ball in Venezuela that starts in October.
"I want to keep playing. I love this game," he said. "I have to just see if there's going to be any offers or something. It was a big step for me, to be out one year and make a comeback this year. To hear this news right now, it's not going to put me down. I'm just going to stay with my head up. I'm going to keep working hard and see if there's any news.
He added, “All I can say is when you want it, just go out there and work hard and stay positive and good things are going to come up."
Abreu worked diligently with the other Latin players on the roster, and was a major asset to Ruben Tejada, Juan Lagares and Wilmer Flores. As he left the clubhouse, relief pitcher Carlos Torres and Lagares were seen embracing Abreu and wished him well.
“He helped me to be a more patient hitter and what pitch to hit,” Tejada said. “I will always be grateful and wish him well.”
The Mets, according to a source have left their options open and would not hesitate to listen if Abreu decided to return as a coach in the organization when he finally decides to call it quits.
“It’s not easy coming off the bench especially when you’re used to playing every day,” said Abreu as he departed to the back of the clubhouse and said goodbye to the rest of his teammates that were ready to board a bus for Washington.
COMMENT RICH MANCUSO: Ring786@aol.com Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso