Mets pitcher Edwin Diaz comes in to pitch the top...

Mets pitcher Edwin Diaz comes in to pitch the top of the ninth inning against Atlanta at Citi Field on Sunday. Credit: Errol Anderson

The Mets hit the 40-game mark Monday night against Philadelphia at Citi Field and the bullpen had mostly been a big relief for them through the first 39.

Check this out:

Most strikeouts in the majors for a bullpen — Mets, 187.

Best strikeouts-per-nine-innings ratio in the majors for a bullpen — Mets, 11.35.

Lowest opposing batting average in the majors for a bullpen — Mets, .193.

No. 1 ERA in the National League and No. 3 in the majors for a bullpen — Mets, 2.79.

There’s more, but you get the drift.


“Overall, I think everybody is going out there and challenging hitters as a group,” said Reed Garrett, a surprise star so far. “I think everybody’s pitching really well. … I think everybody is capable of doing everything. We’re all versatile. Everybody’s been able to show they can go multiple innings.”

Manager Carlos Mendoza said he likes the relievers’ “aggressiveness in the strike zone” and that they have just been “fearless.”

Adam Ottavino said before the game that it was only May 13 and talked about having to “stay the course.” But the setup man threw out some praise, too.

“Reed Garrett has been incredible,” Ottavino said. “Really, everybody has done a pretty solid job so far of controlling the counts and finishing off at-bats when opportunities arise. It’s just a little more depth-y than it was last year. Sean Reid-Foley has been incredible so far.

“… So it just shows you how contributions have come from all over.”

After being claimed off waivers from Baltimore in late June of last year, Garrett pitched to a 5.82 ERA over his nine outings. But he allowed just one run over the final five.

The 31-year-old righthander was recalled from Syracuse on April 1 and had a 5-0 record and a 0.43 ERA to show for his 14 outings and 21 innings through Sunday night. His win total was tied for the major-league lead among relievers and his 35 Ks led all relievers. Righties were hitting .132 against him.

“I think it started last season,” Garrett said. “And I think kind of the confidence in myself at the end of the season last year and the confidence that the staff here has kind of shown me and instilled in me has really given me the opportunity to go out there and play free.”

Reid-Foley began the season on the injured list, but he returned April 22 and was 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA through his first nine appearances.

At the back end, Edwin Diaz had only pitched four times in May, but the closer stood at 1-1 with a 2.30 ERA and five saves in six chances. He was missed last season along with the trumpet soundtrack for his Citi Field entrances after he tore a patellar tendon in his right knee.

“Having the best closer in baseball on our team is awesome, especially at home when they do the whole entrance thing,” Garrett said. “That’s one of the coolest things to see.”

The Mets, who were 19-20, hope to get back Drew Smith from the injured list Tuesday. Smith, the owner of a 2.70 ERA over 10 outings — had experienced right shoulder soreness.

But the team is down to one lefty (newcomer Jake Diekman) because setup man Brooks Raley, with eight scoreless appearances behind him, is having elbow trouble that has the rest of his season in question.

“He’s a great pitcher,” Ottavino said. “We would love to have him back. Obviously, [we’re] not expecting it at this point, more hopeful than expectation. Two lefties is dynamic in any bullpen. We’ll do our best without him, but we’ll see.”


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