Cookies

This Website use Cookies OK

Read more Mets News

Seth Lugo turning in four-plus out saves is huge asset to Mets

2019-09-10

When Brodie Van Wagenen made the splashiest trade of the offseason and set his eyes on Edwin Diaz, the Mets general manager forgot to take inventory of an already dominant right-handed relief pitcher sitting quietly in the bullpen.

Seth Lugo has developed into the team’s primary closer as the Amazin’s make a last-ditch effort to sneak into the postseason.

He has hurled 13 scoreless innings dating to Aug. 17 and has allowed only four hits, walked two and struck out 16 in that span. Lugo is 1-1 with five saves and a 1.93 ERA (six earned runs/28 innings) with three walks and 35 strikeouts in 21 games since the All-Star break.

The 29-year-old is turning heads around the league. Lugo is tied for third among National League relievers with 91 strikeouts and is ninth with 20 holds. He’s also tied with Josh Hader for the MLB lead with 30 relief outings of two or more scoreless innings over the last two seasons.

He has four saves of at least two innings since the start of last year. Only Hader (16) and Taylor Rogers (seven) have more.

Lugo has a longer leash than Diaz ever did — yes, even when the offseason acquisition was still hurling steady, filthy sliders. In the beginning of the season, Mets manager Mickey Callaway was completely opposed to using Diaz for more than three outs. The skipper’s mindset eventually evolved — but Diaz has been able to secure four-plus outs just twice this season.

On Monday, Lugo shut down the Diamondbacks when he recorded the final six outs, including four strikeouts, of the Mets’ 3-1 win. Following his fifth save of the season, Lugo lowered his ERA at Citi Field to 1.54 and has held opponents to a .142 batting average with six walks and 48 strikeouts.

Thanks to Lugo’s proven ability in long relief, he easily slid into the role of securing the final six outs of the game. The Mets needed an option like Lugo far earlier in the year, but Diaz was given as many chances as he needed to turn his season around. Now that Lugo solidified his role with the team, the final two-plus weeks of the season can help the Mets figure out a bullpen vision for 2020.