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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, July 18, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Last night the New York Mets blew a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the 9th inning in Washington, and then blew a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the 10th inning on a run scoring triple and a wild pitch. Yes, the winning run scored on a wild pitch!

It’s been known for weeks that New York had the worst bullpen in the majors. And, that bullpen will likely see action again tonight in a nationally televised game from Washington on ESPN. Chris Young is scheduled to get the start for the Mets…and he’s had trouble pitching six full innings on a consistent basis in his seven outings.

New York is 0-4 since the All-Star Break, getting swept in Atlanta before losing last night to Washington. New York is 3-8 its last 11 games, with two of the wins coming against a Philadelphia team that has also been suffering badly in the bullpen.

You may not be aware of the numbers. Let’s look at the full season Major League rankings heading into Wednesday action in a couple of very key areas.  



30…NY Mets 5.00

29…Philadelphia 4.78

28…Milwaukee 4.57

27…Houston 4.49

26…Miami 4.49

25…St. Louis 4.42

There are 30 teams in the Major Leagues. New York ranks dead last in bullpen ERA even though they play their home games in a pitcher’s park. Imagine what the numbers would be like if they played in a bandbox! New York is a quarter-run clear of 29th place, and a half-run clear of the teams at 27 or better even with friendly pitching conditions at home. HORRIBLE!



30…Colorado 17

29…New York 16

28…Milwaukee 16

27…St. Louis 14

26…Chicago White Sox 14

25…Miami 13

The Mets don’t rate last here. But, they don’t have to play their home games at altitude in a hitter’s paradise either. It’s harder to close out games in a park that sees 12-13 runs scored per game than one where only 8 runs or so are scored per game. When you adjust for context, New York is also worst in the league in this category too…or maybe tied for worst with Milwaukee.

It’s interesting how many of the “bad surprises” in the Majors this year show up in these bullpen rundowns. Philadelphia was supposed to be the best team in the National League. Instead, they’re on the verge of a fire sale with a horrible record. Poor bullpen performances have been the kerosene. St. Louis and Milwaukee were thought by some to be serious contenders in the NL Central. Miami was a popular choice before the season began to win a Wildcard.

And, let’s quickly run the ERA numbers at the top of the league so you can see where some of the good surprises have come from.



1…Cincinnati 2.60

2…Pittsburgh 2.72

3…Oakland 2.80

4…Boston 3.02

5…LA Dodgers 3.10

You can see how the Reds and Pirates flew past the Cards and Brewers. How about Boston showing up well without Papelbon, while Philadelphia is near the bottom?!

Back to the Mets. This is definitely a team you should be thinking about fading if the starting pitchers can’t keep going deep into games. It’s like they’re playing under a dark cloud since the second half began. Dickey’s mysterious flutterball has been less mysterious to batters too. Here are the IP/Start numbers for the Mets rotation.



Dickey 6.9 innings

Gee 6.5 innings

Niese 6.1 innings

Santana 6.0 innings

Young 5.7 innings

Young throws tonight in the TV game, which has to scare Mets fans. Dickey hopes to give the bullpen a rest in an afternoon game Thursday vs. the Nats. Santana and Niese are scheduled to face the Dodgers this weekend up in Gotham.

Stay on top of this story if you’re trying to pick winners on a daily basis. The markets will price the Mets like a .500 caliber team when, the fact is, they may be trying to swim with cement shoes given the struggles of their current bullpen.

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