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Mets relievers could begin pitching multiple innings

Addison Reed of the New York Mets in

Addison Reed of the New York Mets in the dugout against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on May 16, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona. Credit: Getty Images / Jennifer Stewart

Will the Mets resort to a throwback bullpen?

Until their starting pitchers can produce longer outings, the Mets might return to a bygone era by asking their relievers to throw multiple innings.

Closer Addison Reed had a six-out save against the Pirates on Saturday night, and the next day, general manager Sandy Alderson told an audience of season-ticket holders: “I don’t think that’s the last time you’re going to see that. Our starters don’t go long enough in games for us to use a guy for a third of an inning, two-thirds of an inning, even an inning in some cases.”

Citing injuries and underperformance, he said, “Our pitching has changed. We don’t have the dominant pitching we once had.’’

Told of those remarks, Reed responded, “Fine with me. I have no problem with it. It’s why you play the game. You want to be out there, you want to be pitching. I’m fine going two innings, I have nothing against it. I’ll throw in the fourth and fifth inning if I have to.’’

Yankees Hall of Fame reliever Rich Gossage averaged nearly 2 1⁄3 innings per outing in 63 games in 1978. Gossage had 310 career saves. According to the Society for American Baseball Research, he had four or five outs in 68 of those saves, six to eight outs in 101 and at least nine outs in 24 more.

“I don’t see an issue with any of our guys going multiple innings,’’ Reed said. “I’m all for it if it’s going to help us win games. If that’s what they have to do, I’m ready to go.’’

Jerry Blevins has functioned as the Mets’ lefty specialist but said he has no issue pitching to more than a couple of batters.

“I’ll do what they ask me to do to get people out,’’ he said. “No matter what the situation is, right or lefthanded, whatever they want me to do, I do it. Just give me a heads-up.”

Not leaving Las Vegas

Alderson was asked why the Mets have their Triple-A team in Las Vegas, which can make it difficult to quickly call up players. The affiliate was in Buffalo through the 2012 season. “It’s a very simple explanation. Buffalo didn’t want us,’’ Alderson said. “They decided they were better off with an affiliation with Toronto. Obviously, Toronto is close, sort of a joint fan base. Until we find something else, we’re there this year and next year.’’

Straight answer to shifty question

When a fan asked Alderson why the Mets don’t try to break defensive shifts by bunting to the opposite side of the field, he said, “We don’t have any guys that can bunt very well.”

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