Note: The Mets bullpen has saved the Mets against the Nationals in this series
The Mets have extended their lead in the National League East back to six games thanks to two dramatic, come-from-behind victories over the Nationals in Washington this week, easing concerns over Washington creeping back into this race with 24 games remaining.
And who might have believed the Mets beleaguered bullpen, which got knocked around for two losses over the weekend in Miami, would be the unsung hero in these last two games?
With the Mets starting pitchers continuing to struggle – Jon Niese and Matt Harvey have combined to allow 12 runs in only 8 2/3 innings in these two games – the bullpen has been a steel wall for the Mets, notching 9 2/3 scoreless innings with only six hits, two walks and 15 strikeouts in the first two games of this pivotal three-game series.
Jeurys Familia has notched two more saves to bring his total to 38 for the season.
The Nationals bullpen, meanwhile, has been ineffective so far in this series, allowing eight hits and ten earned runs with eight walks and five strikeouts in only 6 1/3 innings.
When a bullpen falters, the spotlight tends to shine heavily on those failures, be it with performance, management, strategy, or a combination of the three. But during more successful times – such as in these two critical games for the Mets – they tend to go unnoticed and unrecognized.
Credit Yoenis Cespedes, David Wright and the rest of the Mets offense with a phenomenal job against Washington’s staff, but that effort might simply have been a valiant effort with two empty losses if not for the lights out performance of the Mets relief corps so far this week.