Mets: What Were They Thinking Using Joey Lucchesi In Relief Today?

Mets manager Luis Rojas

Sometimes, the Mets leave you scratching your head, and today was one of those days. Joey Lucchesi in relief? – Please, gimme a break.

Okay, so at some point in the Mets schedule, and with Jacob deGrom missing a turn while on the IL, someone like Drew Smith would need to be called up to make a start to fill a temporary gap.

Mets Joey Lucchesi looking for consistency (nypost.com)
Mets Joey Lucchesi looking for consistency (nypost.com)

What followed, though, after two innings with the Mets holding a 3-1 lead today over the Tampa Bay Rays is one for Mets’ annals in the “to be explained” department.

After 24 pitches, two hits, no runs, and three strikeouts, Smith was inexplicably removed from the game in favor of Mets’ starting pitcher Joey Lucchesi, who entered the game with only three of 65 game appearances as a reliever.

The line on Lucchesi tells the story, with three hits and four runs, surrendering a lead the Mets would never regain, but the real story lies within the Mets’ thinking or lack thereof in deciding to use Lucchesi in this manner today.

I support the idea of using an opener when the ranks are thin, but the idea is to give your starters a break, and to use your bullpen to fill the gap.

Mets manager Luis Rojas: Take A Bow

Moreover, if the singular lone task of a major league manager is to put his players in a position where they can best succeed, then Met’s manager Luis Rojas did not answer the call today.

Mets Luis Rojas: This ain't so easy, is it?
Mets Luis Rojas: This ain’t so easy.

It would be great to hear, for instance, that Lucchesi received a late-night text from Rojas, telling him to stand by and be ready because we might need you tomorrow, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Instead, a better picture of Lucchesi is for him to be thinking about his next start following a May 8 appearance when he contributed to a 4-2 win over the Diamondbacks.

All bullpens in the major leagues are overworked these days, but who can Mets manager Luis Rojas identify as one of his relievers who desperately needed a day off today?

And if there was no one on his current staff to assume the burden, then surely there had to be a fresh arm at Triple-A Syracuse who could make the flight to Tampa, assuming the Mets were thinking ahead.

Look, anytime a manager hands the ball to one of his pitchers, it’s expected, he’ll do the job he’s paid to do, regardless of the situation, and it’s a given that Lucchesi didn’t do the job today, and once again the Mets’ offense didn’t pick up the slack.

But until Luis Rojas reveals his strategy towards today’s game with some level of logic and preciseness, I find him guilty as charged and awaiting sentencing.

Postscript:

The Mets went on to lose the game today by a humiliating score of 12-5 to the Tampa Bay Rays, with Sunday’s game on tap to avoid a sweep by the Rays.

It’s not the end of the world for the Mets, but it does add to their 7-10 record away from Citi Field, as well a pedestrian 8-8 record against teams with a +.500 record, and before they travel to Atlanta to meet the slumbering but still daring to awake Braves on Monday.

However, on a high note, Jose Peraza, who has come from nowhere, had three hits for the Mets today, highlighted by a three-run home run off Ray’s starter Shane McClanahan.

A spark to replace the IL’d Brandon Nimmo – maybe – but in the meantime, I’m still scratching my head about the goings-on today…

James Azzaro  I honestly don’t remember what was the last time Gsselman pitched. Why couldn’t he start?

Here’s What Readers Are Saying…

Anthony Silecchio  Not the Mets….The horrible manager

Metsie Dylan Christopher  Rojas=Callaway 2.0

Charles Wurtz  Joey Lucchesi should be making pizza not playing baseball

Joe Noa  He was in relief suffering the 7 game winning streak and did well.

Boris Medich  He’s on the team and they’re paying him. Rojas is trying to make a situation where he can be successful. It’s Lucchesi that is failing us.

Michael Durham  Cuz he’s no manager. He’s a joke!!

Steven Fumosa  Yesterday was the game the Mets had to win. They left Peterson in too long trying to save the Bullpen for today. Bad move Louie!

Allan Mitchell  What were the Mets smoking when they made Rojas Manager is what really should be the question…….

Allan Mitchell  to Steve Contursi If I could configure a staff for the Mets (& if they would do it of course) I would make either Piazza or Keith Hernandez my skipper, David Wright my Hitting coach, John Franco my Pitching Coach, Frank Viola my Bullpen coach, and my Bench Coach would either be Ichiro or Edgardo Alfonzo. I can’t remember his name but he played RF for I think the PHILLIES and I think took Marshal arts and i know he has been retired a few years now, I’d make him my strength & conditioning coach.

Michael Terry  You guys apparently don’t understand the concept of an opener. With deGrom out, Carrasco on the IL, Syndegaarde on the IL, we had no starter for today (or tomorrow’s game). So the plan was to start Drew Smith, who isn’t stretched out, for 2 innings, and then bring in a lefty for 3 inning or more. Unfortunately Luchessi just socks. Smith did his job but Luchessi is just horrible. This will continue to plague us if deGrom cannot pitch and Carrasco stays hurt.

Author’s Reply To Michael Terry et. al.

The use of an opener implies that it’ll be a bullpen game with four or five relievers pitching in a couple of innings. As was mentioned by Michael, the Mets starting staff has dwindled and will remain so until deGrom comes back. As a starter, Lucchesi should have been held back in the event another goes down. If he was to be used at all, it should have been to start the game in his usual pattern, not as a reliever who has all of three appearances other than as a starter.

Victor Soler  Smith was pitching good, should of let him in Longer. It was an experiment that usually doesn’t work. Why did (n’t) Rojas stick to the plan when Smith was doing very well…

Theresa Curro Ptasnick Victor Soler Because Rojas needs to exit!!! They need a more mature and experienced manager!! One that will work on the strategy of the game and make sense!!!! He needs to play to WIN!!! Not doing that!!! They also have to be consistent in hitting and pitching. We need a whole new crew of managers and coaches that mean something to the Mets! Like maybe some really great former players that have made the Team exciting and successful!!! That would really be great for the players and mean a lot to all Mets fans!! Gotta SHAKE IT UP!!!LGM❗

 

 

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Author: stevecontursi

I am an amateur writer with a passion for baseball and all things Yankees and Mets.