Home News Mets’ beleaguered bullpen gets it done in win over Nationals

Mets’ beleaguered bullpen gets it done in win over Nationals

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Bullpen arms are going down with alarming frequency at Citi Field and it happened again Wednesday, as the Mets — on the same day Phil Maton arrived after being acquired from the Rays — lost Reed Garrett to an elbow injury.

With Garrett on the 15-day IL and waiting for an MRI exam result after experiencing forearm and elbow discomfort following his rough outing on Tuesday, the Mets somehow got a boost from the pen in Wednesday’s 6-2 win over Washington.

Three relievers combined to toss 2 ²/₃ scoreless innings, with two outs coming from the struggling Jake Diekman, two more from Danny Young — just recalled from Triple-A Syracuse — and the final four outs from Jose Butto, who earned his first save.

Jose Butto celebrates with Francisco Alvarez after picking up his first save of the season in the Mets’ 6-2 win over the Nationals. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

“I’ve been saying it, they’re gonna get it done,” Carlos Mendoza said of the beleaguered pen. “They’ve been going through a rough stretch here, but at some point, I’m pretty confident they’re gonna get the job done and tonight was a perfect example of it: We asked a few guys to come in in different situations, in spots they’re not used to, and they got the job done.”

Butto, who showed promise in the rotation earlier in the season, has pitched well in his three appearances out of the pen.

Including Wednesday’s save, he’s pitched five shutout innings and impressed Mendoza with his ability to pitch more than one inning and bounce back quickly, which is why the manager said the team will likely keep him there at least through the All-Star break.

Asked about his role, Butto said, “I just want to be here to help the team.”

The Mets will need to continue to be creative — and to add more help in the pen — if they expect to stay in the wild-card race.

Garrett joined Brooks Raley, Drew Smith (both out for the season) and Sean Reid-Foley on the IL.

Because of the number of close games the Mets have been in, with little margin for error — as well as the recently completed suspension of closer Edwin Diaz — the Mets have had to use a number of their relievers in high-leverage situations.

Jake Diekman was one of three Mets relievers who did not allow a run in their win over the Nationals. Charles Wenzelberg / New York Post

It’s something Mendoza acknowledged might have played a role in the number of injuries the pen has seen.

“You’re gonna ask guys to throw more stressful pitches and that might be the case with Reed Garrett,’’ Mendoza said. “Those are conversations we’re having. … It’s unfortunate we’re dealing with the [injury] situation. We’ll continue to review our process and make sure we’re not putting guys at risk.”

The addition of Maton should help a relief corps that entered Wednesday with an MLB-worst 10.13 ERA and allowed nine homers in 24 innings since July 1.

Danny Young delivers a pitch during the eighth inning of the Mets’ victory. Corey Sipkin for New York Post

The 31-year-old has excelled in the postseason, particularly in long playoff runs with the Astros in 2021 and ’23.

Maton’s mindset, he said, doesn’t change.

“To me, it’s all the same,” Maton said. “It’s baseball. Every inning is extremely important.”

He’s also pitching as well as he has all season.

After back-to-back poor performances in early June, Maton said the Rays’ coaching staff noticed some mechanical issues which have since been corrected.

Maton has allowed just seven base runners and one run in his previous 11 outings over 12 innings.

Given his history of pitching in high-leverage spots, Mendoza said he was prepared to use Maton in almost any scenario.

“He takes the ball,” Mendoza said. “He’ll be ready anywhere from the sixth to the ninth.”

Additionally, the team optioned right-hander Eric Orze to Triple-A to make room for the lefty Young.

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