The best way to avoid questions about going to the bullpen too soon is to not go to the bullpen at all.
One night after the Mets' bullpen collapsed late in the game, Jason Vargas gave the Mets his best outing since joining the team prior to last season, tossing a five-hit shutout in the Mets' 7-0 win over the Giants on Wednesday.
Vargas seemed to cruise throughout the entire game. Giants second baseman Joe Panik doubled to lead off the game, but after that, no Giant would reach second base the rest of the game. Vargas struck out eight hitters and coerced two double-play balls from the Giants.
"When he does what he does best, he's efficient, he keeps the ball down, he gets soft contact, and he's able to continue to go deep into games, and as long as he continues to prove that he can do that, we're going to let him do it," said Mickey Callaway after the game. "He's just really earned the right to continue to deeper and deeper into games because he's been pitching so well."
After the game, Vargas deflected away much of the personal attention from his performance. Instead, he told reporters that the best part of his game on Wednesday was the extra rest it provided for his teammates in the bullpen.
"I think any night that we can get a starter to finish a game, the team's going to need that," Vargas said. "I think that gives everybody a boost in morale and it gives everybody a little bit of extra rest that they might or might not need.
"I think when it all comes down to the end, everybody will be good with that extra little bit of rest they got so may they have that extra bit of gas in the tank when it really matters … Yeah, it's nice to be the guy walking off the field with a baseball, but I think it's more satisfying to know that the guys in the bullpen get to have a full day of recovery without having an off day."