Mets bullpen game proves to be winning effort in split doubleheader vs. Braves

·3 min read
Anthony Banda pitching home pinstripes
Anthony Banda pitching home pinstripes

The Mets put out Marcus Stroman for the start in game one of Monday's doubleheader with the Atlanta Braves, and while he put out a valiant effort over 5.0 innings, he ultimately picked up the loss in what was a 2-0 win for the visitors.

The game two strategy was to put on a bullpen game -- which ultimately was the winning decision, as the Mets bullpen had a stellar collective outing and returned the shutout favor right back to Atlanta, blanking them and helping the Mets grab a 1-0 win.

Aaron Loup (1.0 innings), who got the start, was followed by Jeurys Familia (1.0 innings), Anthony Banda (2.0 innings), Trevor May (1.0 innings and the win), Seth Lugo (1.0 innings) and Edwin Diaz (1.0 innings and the save) on Monday night.

"It's a big win, especially after losing the first one," Loup said after the game. "Knowing that we didn't have a starter, that it was gonna be a collective effort for everybody to get in there and shut down a good team on the other side over there. It was big from top to bottom.

"I got it started, then [Familia] and Banda come in, huge two innings there and then, of course, we've got the boys on the back end to close the door."

As a group, the pitchers allowed just four hits, walked one, and struck out 10 -- including Diaz's three straight strikeouts to close the game out.

"We had a plan as far as knowing that Loup was gonna start," Banda said. "After that, it was just all hands on deck. Everybody was ready to go when that phone rang and just whoever's name was called, that's who we're gonna go with and just hope that, at the end of the day, everybody gets the job done. And tonight that was the night against a very good team."

"They did an amazing job," Luis Rojas added. "This is what you need at this time of the season. ...Familia was amazing...Loup setting the tone, Banda, the way he pitched going the two innings, and then our three guys, May, Lugo and Diaz. ...They were outstanding."

With the trade deadline approaching this Friday and the Mets searching for more starting pitching depth, it was a huge effort by the bullpen, both for their sake and the front office -- who must've loved what they saw in the second game of the evening.

There could be a lot of movement coming to the rotation within the next week, between the trade deadline and some guys -- like Jacob deGrom and Carlos Carrasco -- coming back from injury, and that's something that Loup said the bullpen is certainly aware of.

"It's all hands on deck," Loup said. "Whenever the phone rings, you expect your name to be coming out of it. Whenever it's your time to go out there, you go out there and battle and get outs any way you can."

No starter has been named for Tuesday's game, and with some guys that were still available out of the pen, it's possible we see another bullpen game less than 24 hours after this one.

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