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#pounditThursday, June 20, 2024

Buck Showalter gets crushed for bullpen management in brutal Mets loss

Buck Showalter in the dugout

Apr 8, 2022; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Mets manager Buck Showalter (11) walks the dugout during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

New York Mets manager Buck Showalter is facing heat over his bullpen management in Sunday’s disastrous loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Mets bullpen collapsed in the eighth inning, giving up four runs to turn a 6-3 lead into a 7-6 loss. Showalter notably stayed away from David Robertson, Adam Ottavino, and Brooks Raley, regarded as his three most reliable relievers. Josh Walker loaded the bases with two walks and a single and was replaced by Jeff Brigham. Brigham got a much-needed ground ball, but third baseman Brett Baty made a throwing error to ensure that everyone was safe. Brigham then issued a bases-loaded walk to make the score 6-5, and then, after a strikeout, hit consecutive batters to give the Phillies a 7-6 lead.

After the game, Showalter said that Raley and Ottavino were both unavailable, while Robertson was being saved for the 9th inning.

Raley would have been pitching for a third consecutive day, so the reluctance to go to him is understandable. Ottavino also pitched yesterday, but before that, he had not been in a game since last Wednesday. Showalter’s reluctance to go to him is odd to say the least, unless there is some sort of injury issue we do not know about.

Sunday’s loss dropped the Mets to 35-42, a massive disappointment for a team that entered the season with the highest payroll in the league. Owner Steve Cohen has been adamant that he will not fire people for the sake of making changes, but Sunday’s loss will be pretty tough for him to look past.

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