The starting rotation touted to be the best on paper has disintegrated into the laughing stock of the National League, as Sunday proved no lead is safe when Mets pitchers take the mound.
Mother’s Day was no walk in Miller Park for Terry Collins’ battered boys of baseball, as the bullpen surrendered seven runs in a demoralizing 11-9 loss to the Brewers. The Mets have now lost four straight, placing them four games under .500.
Stricken with a pitching virus in which there seems to be no antidote, Mets GM Sandy Alderson is going to have to seek some relief outside of the organization until Steven Matz and Seth Lugo return from the DL.
Sunday, Jacob deGrom became the latest in a long line of Mets starters unable to complete a seven-inning outing.
Staked to a six-run lead going into the sixth, deGrom yielded a double to Manny Pina then gave the Brewers a couple of runs back off the bat of Keon Broxton, the same player he doubled to in the top of the inning.
The offensive dynamic duo of Michael Conforto (a single shy of hitting for the cycle) and Neil Walker (3-5) redeemed a run with a triple and single to pad the Mets lead 8-3.
In the bottom of the seventh, with a pitch count reaching 102, deGrom lost Domingo Santana on 3-2 single and was done for the night. His replacement, Jerry Blevins, didn’t fair much better, the victim of a two-run blast by Jonathan Villar.
The Mets leaky bullpen boat continued to take on more water when Blevins walked the next batter, Eric Thames, and after a couple of defensive moves that didn’t matter, Collins booted Blevins for Fernando Salas. The 6.11 ERA riddled righty gave Hernan Perez a free pass in which Jesus Aguilar made him pay for with an RBI double to close the gap 8-6.
But NY answered back in the top of the eighth when the Bronx born T.J. Rivera tripled in the speedy Juan Lagares who reached base on an infield single.
And with a three-run lead heading into the bottom frame, the shaky relief law firm of Salas, Josh Edgin and Addison Reed surrendered a combined five runs, swept away in Milwaukee on a day that looked like they were destined to win the final game of the series.
Monday RHP Zack Wheeler (2-2) will take his tattered team to the desert to face the resurgent Arizona Diamondbacks, who bring their RHP Zack, Godley, to the mound, making his third big league start, his second straight in place of the injured Shelby Miller.