The Mets battled back to overcome a three-run deficit on Saturday, but the bullpen couldn't hold on in a 5-4 loss to the Braves.
Saturday's game was just the latest instance in which the Mets' scuffling pen let a win slip out of their grasps.
After pitching a scoreless seventh inning, Seth Lugo went back out to pitch the eighth. After falling behind Nick Markakis 3-0, Markakis deposited a ball over the wall in left-center. The very next batter, Austin Riley, slammed a solo home run to left, giving Atlanta the lead for good.
"Tonight, I thought he was obviously looking really good up until three pitches," Mickey Callaway said afterwards. "He's mowing them down, and then three pitches later we're down in the game and he's given up two homers. Tonight, it was just two pitches that did him in. He looked like his normal self tonight. The [velocity] was good, the breaking ball was good, the curveball was great. He mixed in some really good sliders. It's kind of unexplainable for tonight."
Lugo entered last Sunday's game against the Cubs with a 2.23 ERA. In his last three appearances, he's allowed seven earned runs and has seen his ERA jump to 3.60.
"I don't think there's anything in common with those three, said Lugo, who was tagged with his fourth blown save of the season. "I made my mistakes in different ways each outing, so I don't think there's anything in common, but definitely some stuff I need to work on."
Sunday's game against the Braves will be the Mets' final game of the month, and the bullpen likely can't wait for the calendar to flip to July. As a group, the Mets' bullpen posted a 7.98 ERA in June.
"It's part of our reality," said Callaway. "You have to deal with reality. You can't act like it didn't happen, obviously, so you have to try to do the best you can to fix it and you've got to do the best you can to come in every day and try to win the next game."
On an overall rough night for the bullpen, the Mets did manage to find a bright spot. Making his Major League debut, 29-year-old Chris Mazza gave the Mets four innings of relief, allowing just one run on five hits.
As the Mets continue to shuffle around the pieces in the pen, perhaps Mazza could make a name for himself at the big-league level.
"For it to finally get here was amazing," said Mazza. "It was a dream come true and I'm never going to forget it for the rest of my life."