Mets bullpen shows vulnerability amid costly ‘hiccups’

When everyone is healthy, the Mets may not have a problem in their bullpen. But in recent days at least, the relief has started to look like a problem for the team.

Adam Ottavino allowed the game-winning home run in a loss at Miami on Sunday. Chasen Shreve served a pair of two-run homers while recording just one on Tuesday. On Wednesday, the otherwise reliable Drew Smith gave Houston’s Jason Castro the nod.

The Mets finished three months of play with a 3.70 ERA, which ranked 13th after their streak ended against Houston on Wednesday night. After that match, manager Buck Showalter said he actually just looked at the leaderboard.

« Our bullpen is working pretty well, » he said after the Mets’ 2-0 loss. « We had a few misses here and there, but we’re not going to forget all the big outs they got for us. »

Chasen Shreve reacts after giving up a two-run homer in the Mets’ loss to the Astros on Tuesday.
Drew Smith reacts after giving up a two-run homer in the Mets' loss to the Astros on Wednesday.
Drew Smith reacts after giving up a two-run homer in the Mets’ loss to the Astros on Wednesday.
Robert Sabo for NY POST

The Mets relievers’ 4.13 ERA in June was the 19th coming into action in the league on Thursday, a day off for them. Edwin Diaz was stopped at close quarters, but trouble arose outside of him.

Before the trade deadline, general manager Billy Eppler will need to determine if the Mets have enough internally. Colin Holderman, who was so good in May and early June before being diagnosed with a right shoulder impingement, is at Triple-A Syracuse, and Trevor May hopes he’ll be back before the trade deadline.

When asked on Wednesday if he could be considered an addition to the Trade Deadline, May smiled and said, « Fans are going to hate this. »

May said he felt « good » and was throwing 105 feet as he rehabilitated from inflammation in his right triceps that hadn’t allowed him to throw since May 2.

The right-hander was due for a CT scan on Thursday, which he hoped would clear him of a mound soon.

After building his arm, kicking off enough bullpen sessions and completing a rehab mission, May said he was « shooting for the end of July » as a goal for his comeback.

The Mets could be looking for another left-handed reliever, with Shreve struggling and Joely Rodriguez pedestrian. They have Smith, Ottavino and Seth Lugo as generally reliable right-handers in front of Diaz, but they’ll likely have to decide if they need more right-hand assist before they see much of May.

Pete Alonso and Starling Marte have advanced to the second phase of All-Star voting.

Alonso received the second-most votes for first baseman in the National League, while Marte was the fourth-highest vote-getter in the NL outfield.

Vote totals will now reset for finalists to determine who will start at each position.

Alonso faces Paul Goldschmidt of the Cardinals, while Marte faces Mookie Betts of the Dodgers, Joc Pederson of the Giants and Adam Duvall of the Braves. Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr., as the overall NL vote leader, has already been voted in as a starter.

Jeff McNeil was third in voting at second base and Francisco Lindor was third at shortstop.


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