The Mets’ bullpen has been heavily utilized during the first four games of the Mickey Callaway regime, and it has been equally effective.
The Mets relievers have thrown 15 1⁄3 innings over the first four games, allowing three runs and 10 hits, including four scoreless innings while surrendering only two hits in a 2-0 victory over the Phillies on Tuesday night at Citi Field.
“As a whole, we understand we’ve got depth, we’ve got good stuff, good arms,” said Jerry Blevins, who recorded the win Tuesday after getting Odubel Herrera to pop out to third base with runners on first and second as the only batter he faced in the sixth inning. “Everybody kind of embraces the fact that we can pitch at any time, whatever is best for the team, and you saw it on display the first few games and everyone’s just eager to do their part.”
After Callaway pulled Matt Harvey for a pinch hitter to lead off the bottom of the fifth inning after throwing five scoreless frames, the Mets turned to A.J. Ramos, an experienced pitcher, despite it being earlier in the contest than when Ramos usually appears. With the top of the Phillies’ order due up, Callaway felt it was the best situation for Ramos.
“It makes it a lot easier,” Callaway said. “I wouldn’t have been quite sure who to put in next with the top of the order coming up in a 0-0 game had Ramos not been available.”
After Monday’s snowed-out game, Callaway also had another pitcher he could utilize in the bullpen after moving back Seth Lugo’s start. On Tuesday, Lugo threw 19 of 22 pitches for strikes in two scoreless innings, striking out four hitters.
Although admitting to feeling some initial disappointment after hearing his start would be pushed back, Lugo has embraced his role in the bullpen until he’s scheduled to start.
“I know next thing is I’m going to be in the [bullpen] for now, so I’m just going to gear up toward that like I was a couple weeks ago,” Lugo said.
The Mets have used at least three relievers in all four games to start the season, with nearly every pitcher changing roles daily besides Jeurys Familia, who got his second save of the season Tuesday.
“Really helps for those guys to be flexible,” Callaway said. “Which they are.”
“Everybody’s ready to go,” Blevins said. “Every time that phone rings, you’ve got all the guys ready to get their number called.”
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