Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |
The Mets were leading the Phillies, 1-0, with two outs and two on in the bottom of the sixth inning in Philadelphia -- 10 outs away from a rain-shortened two-game sweep.
Right-handed reliever Paul Sewald was on the mound, hoping to clean up the small mess he created. The Phillies announced left-handed hitting Nick Williams as the pinch-hitter, and Mets manager Mickey Callaway had lefty specialist Jerry Blevins ready in the bullpen for that exact scenario. But instead of going to Blevins, he stuck with Sewald.
After being passed over, Blevins shook his head and looked exasperated in the bullpen. And of course, Sewald allowed a game-changing three-run homer to Williams.
"If I am up and don't get in, I am always upset," Blevins said after the game. "I don't know what the broadcast caught, but it was just the competitor in me and I just want to be out there for the game."
Blevins has held lefties to a .213/.265/.305 line during his career, but they've hit .273/.333/.364 in 24 plate appearances against him this season. Meanwhile, Sewald has been better against lefties (.220/.238/.341) than righties (.231/.262/.385) this season.
Beyond the splits is the fact that Sewald wound up throwing 43 pitches in his 2.0 innings of work, but he's thrown 42 or more pitches in six of his 13 appearances this season. So it shouldn't be argued that his pitch count was an issue.
And Callaway defended the move after the game.
"Once we got to two outs, we needed Sewald to get through that inning -- just to make it through the rest of the game, really. Sometimes guys gotta get outs. When your starter gets knocked out in the first, guys have to go multiple innings, and we needed him to do that."
"If it looked like Sewald was really struggling to get through it," he would've replaced him, adding that he had Blevins up in case things started going "haywire."
Callaway went on to explain that if Blevins came in and didn't get the out, the Mets would have had to turn to AJ Ramos and double-switch.
The logic used by Callaway -- that he needed Sewald to finish the inning because of the turn of events that could've been set in motion had he not finished the inning -- was a bit strange. But going by the numbers, it's hard to poke a hole in Callaway's choice to stick with Sewald.