PHILADELPHIA — Mickey Callaway needed nearly a complete game from his bullpen Sunday, and he got it. It just wasn’t a very good game.
In the Mets’ 4-2 loss to the Phillies, four relievers combined to allow four runs, four walks and eight hits in seven innings after Jacob deGrom lasted only one.
Paul Sewald (0-3) coughed up the lead in the sixth on a three-run homer by Nick Williams. Jeurys Familia allowed Carlos Santana’s solo shot to center in the eighth.
“It was the wrong pitch in the wrong location,” Sewald said. “Down and in to a lefty is not where it’s supposed to be. I wasn’t tired or anything like that.”
The Mets, who have gone 2-9 in May and are 8-17 since their 11-1 start, have not won consecutive games since they took their ninth in a row on April 13.
The Mets went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left nine runners on base, including two in the first against Aaron Nola (six innings, one run). The Phillies went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left nine on base.
The exception for Philadelphia was pinch hitter Williams’ three-run homer against Sewald, whom Mickey Callaway stuck with although lefty Jerry Blevins was warmed up in the bullpen. Sewald has been more effective against lefties than Blevins this year, a reverse of their career norms.
Callaway said the Mets needed Sewald to finish the sixth, which he eventually did. Blevins was warming up “in case things started going real haywire.”
“If [Blevins] doesn’t get the out, then we have to bring [AJ] Ramos in [and] we have to double-switch, so we’re taking out one of our better hitters,” Callaway said. “In the sixth, there’s a lot of moving parts. You can’t guarantee anybody is going to get the out. If Sewald got the out, we’d be sitting pretty.”
Said Blevins: “If I’m [warmed] up and I don’t get in, I’m always upset. It’s the competitor in me. I want to be out there for the game.”
It wasn’t all bad for the Mets’ bullpen. Robert Gsellman scattered five baserunners in three innings, his longest outing of the year by innings and pitches (42). Ramos had a scoreless frame.
DeGrom hadn’t faced batters in a week and a half as a result of a minor injury, and he pitched like it. The Mets lifted him after one inning, a 45-pitch, 20-foul, 26- minute marathon in which he walked the bases loaded with nobody out before escaping.
The team announced that he was lifted for precautionary reasons, not an injury, citing the pitch count and 59-minute rain delay to begin the game as factors. DeGrom missed his previous turn through the rotation with a hyperextended right elbow. “Just a little rusty,” Callaway said.
DeGrom, who was surprised at being removed from the game but understood the reasoning, said: “I felt fine. That’s what was frustrating. Warming up felt great. And then I went out there and the first pitch of the game, I missed by four feet.”
DeGrom’s 45 pitches were the most in a scoreless and hitless inning since June 13, 2001, when Arizona’s Nick Bierbrodt threw 48 pitches against the Cubs.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, since the earned run became an official statistic in 1913, deGrom is the first pitcher to start a game, pitch an inning or less, throw at least 45 pitches and not allow an earned run.
The Mets scored on Yoenis Cespedes’ sixth-inning homer and Asdrubal Cabrera’s seventh-inning double.
“We had the baserunners. We just didn’t get them in,” Callaway said. “I don’t think our team is built for putting together hit after hit after hit and going first to third, things like that. When the home runs start to come, that’s when you’re going to see the team we are.”