An unfortunate trend for the Mets of late has been close losses, and Tuesday’s 11-inning loss to the St. Louis Cardinals was no exception.
Despite Javier Baez tying things up with a solo home run in the ninth inning, the Mets bullpen surrendered three runs in the 11th in a 7-6 loss.
The Mets’ last nine losses, and 14 out of their last 19 defeats, have been by exactly one run.
Marcus Stroman gave the Mets six strong innings on Tuesday, allowing just two runs. He left the game with a 3-2 lead, but it was surrendered in the eighth by Jeurys Familia on a two-run homer from Tyler O’Neil.
Stroman threw 89 pitches on the night, and when asked after the game about potentially staying in for the seventh, he didn’t believe it was fair to second guess the decision.
“I’m just saying you never know how the game is going to play out at all,” Stroman said. “You can’t say ‘Oh if he would have stayed in they would have won the game.’ (Aaron Loup) came in and was dominant, (Familia’s) been dominant all year, it just didn’t play out in our favor. You can’t nitpick like that. I could have gone out in the seventh and given up three homers, you know what I mean? So, I truly don’t believe that you can nitpick in that scenario at all.
“And also, I’ve thrown a lot this year. I know nobody talks about it between you guys, but I didn’t throw at all last year. I had zero innings pitched and now I’ve made the most starts in the big leagues. So I don’t know, maybe that had something to do with it. Maybe it’s Luis (Rojas) and the coaches looking out for my best interests.”
Rojas, too, was asked about his decision to lift Stroman after six, and the manager’s answers cited a desire to not push his starters too much, while also believing the bullpen would get the job done.
“I can’t ask any more from the guys. Right now, it would be unfair,” Rojas said. “I can’t put them in a situation where it would compromise anything else, their stuff, their health. You might run a guy out there and he might not be the same pitcher you’re asking the guy to be, as well. There’s just a lot of things that go into it.
“Ideally, the manager wants to pitch everyone every day, but there’s some other things that come into play when you talk. It’s the player’s feel, the pitching coach’s feel, my feel.”
The Mets will look to salvage a game against the Cardinals on Wednesday in the series finale on SNY at 7:10 p.m.