Sean Gilmartin provided a silver lining to Thursday’s dreariness…
All certainly wasn’t lost for the Mets despite getting swept out of a soggy and cool Citizens Bank Park on Thursday afternoon.
And they can thank Sean Gilmartin for that, as he was one of the few pleasant surprises in what was a completely lost series to the Phillies this week.
The former Rule 5 pick by the Mets was awarded the emergency start thanks to Steven Matz’s balky back pushed Logan Verrett up to pitch on Wednesday, and Matz being unable to pitch on Thursday left the Mets with a void.
But Gilmartin did not disappoint.
Gilmartin pitched five full innings – a season-high – and allowed just a two-run home run to Darin Ruf and two other hits with one walk and three strikeouts. He got the ball to Tim Stauffer, who pitched two innings of one-hit ball.
“My focus was to go out there and just get quick innings,” Gilmartin said after the game. “I knew it was a situation where we were sort of shorthanded. The game [on Wednesday night] was kind of funky, so my goal was just to go out and give the team as many innings as I had in me.”
He did just that for five innings, working quickly, throwing strikes and pitching to his defense, inducing an even mix of ground balls and flyballs to get outs quickly. He mixed his stuff up perfectly, had a nice, even tempo and fulfilled his assignment better than expected.
The Mets had no choice either. Even if Gilmartin had been ineffective, Collins might have been forced to stick with him for as long as he did, as the Mets used nine pitchers the night prior.
“We asked two guys to step up and start games. We kind of threw it at them. It’s just the way the series went,” Terry Collins explained after Thursday’s loss.
Gilmartin has really been a rock in an otherwise unstable and fluctuating Mets bullpen all year long. He struggles against left-handed hitters, but Collins has learned that about Gilmartin and used him primarily in the middle of games for multiple innings, and he has been very effective in that role.
He has made 13 appearances this season throwing at least two innings, and has a 1.98 ERA in those outings.
Not bad at all for someone who might not have even thought about pitching in the big leagues a year ago.
If anything, the Mets have learned a lot about Gilmartin this summer. He’s shown to be a versatile cross-over left-handed reliever who can bridge the gap to the later innings, and also give the Mets an emergency start or pitch the back-end of a doubleheader if needed.
In a way, he’s been that Darren Oliver for the Mets.
When it comes time to consider his value compared to other relievers who they currently control through arbitration for next season, it’s fair to say Gilmartin has been one of the more consistent arms for the Mets all year long.
And when his salary is compared to his production, he could ultimately be one of their better values in the bullpen heading into next year as well.