- Last Updated: 9:09 AM, May 5, 2012
- Posted: 12:46 AM, May 5, 2012
Despite general manager Sandy Alderson making it his offseason priority, there is no flaw on the Mets more glaring than their bullpen.
That Achilles' heel was exposed again in last night’s 5-4 loss to the Diamondbacks.
Jon Rauch came on in the eighth and helped squander a quality start from Dillon Gee, allowing a game-tying two-run double and a go-ahead single as the Mets dropped their fourth straight game in front of 26,995 fans at Citi Field.
“That’s on me. I’ve got to come in and execute pitches right of the bat, especially with guys on, and I haven’t done a good job of that lately,’’ said Rauch (3-1). “It’s tough, but it’s my job. There’s no excuse not to go out and execute pitches and make them hit it right at somebody or swing and miss, and I didn’t do that.
“[The bullpen’s had] a lack of execution. We’ve had a little more of a workload, but that’s no excuse. That’s our job. It stinks to have let those guys down. You can’t come in and throw balls and expect to get everybody out. We need to do a better job, and personally I need to do a better job.’’
The bullpen started the night with the fourth-worst ERA in baseball at 4.91, and that figure got worse after four relievers allowed three runs — two earned — in three innings. Mets relievers are 1-3 with a bloated 8.64 ERA over their past seven games, a big reason the team has lost five of those to fall to 13-13.
“The bases on balls came back to really bite us,’’ Mets manager Terry Collins said. “It comes back to bases on balls. That’s something we don’t do — the pen has no history of that. They’ve been going after hitters and pounding the strike zone and making guys swing the bat. That’s what made us so effective early, and right now you look at we’re deep in counts and falling behind and you can’t do that here.’’
Gee pitched well enough to win — surrendering a two-run home run to Cody Ransom in the second inning and nothing else in six strong frames. But a three-run eighth doomed him to a no-decision and the Mets to defeat.
First baseman Ike Davis opened the door with an error to let Justin Upton reach safely, which chased Bobby Parnell. Tim Byrdak came on, and after he walked outfielder Jason Kubel, he fanned catcher Miguel Montero and turned the ball over to Rauch.
The 6-foot-11 right-hander immediately served up Paul Goldschmidt’s long double to right-center to plate Upton and Kubel, tying the score. Then Ransom singled to center to plate Goldschmidt with the go-ahead run.
“I gave up the error, and like clockwork there came the three runs,’’ said Davis, who went 0-for-4 to drop his average to .172. “This one was on me.’’
The Mets got all of their offense in a four-run fourth inning off Wade Miley. Scott Hairston’s two-run double and Andres Torres’ RBI single were sandwiched around a run-scoring groundout by Davis. They took the 4-2 lead into the eighth, but that’s when Rauch coughed up the lead.
Brad Ziegler (1-0) earned the win for the Diamondback, and ex-Met J.J. Putz picked up the save after Gerardo Parra made a dazzling catch to rob Daniel Murphy for the final out.Follow @NYPostsports