Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Trevor Williams, Stephen Nogosek spare rest of Mets’ bullpen

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Mets manager Buck Showalter credited Trevor Williams – who did not even pitch that day – in part for the team’s most recent miracle victory.

If the Mets whip up more magic Thursday, Williams and Stephen Nogosek could be in line for more pats on the back.

On Wednesday night, the long man and the new man (Nogosek made his season debut) emerged from the bullpen and spared the Mets’ most valued relievers by eating up a combined 6 ² / ₃ scoreless innings in a 8-3 loss to the Nationals in Washington.

Starter Tylor Megill had nothing for the Mets, allowing eight runs and recording just four outs, before he was pulled with a runner on in the second inning. The Mets were facing the prospect of a very long bullpen day that could expend reliever after reliever, the type of loss that could beget a loss the following day.

Instead, first Williams and then Nogosek appeared, keeping the Mets close (which did not matter because their quiet offense never closed the gap) and sparing their bullpen mates.

Trevor Williams pitches Wednesday during the Mets’ loss to the Nationals.

“That was big,” Showalter said of Williams, who hAcesparks’t pitched in a week, and Nogosek, who hAcesparks’t pitched in 11 days. “I know there were some people in our bullpen who were pretty happy about it, and it presents us in a better light for [Thursday’s] game.

“Those are the types of things that good teams and teams with good depth are able to do. That’s not easy to do. ”

Williams allowed a single to Keibert Ruiz before sitting down five of the next six Nationals. He walked Nelson Cruz in the fourth inning, then immediately erased him with a double-play ball from Yadiel Hernandez.

The righty pitched a perfect fifth inning before his pitch count (51) prompted Showalter to call for Nogosek, who was summoned earlier this week after pitching to a 1.69 ERA at Triple-A Syracuse.

The mustachioed Nogosek did not allow a hit in three innings, and only two Nationals reached on walks. Neither reached second base.

“I think we proved that if the game’s still going, we have a chance,” said the 27-year-old Nogosek, who last pitched with Syracuse on April 30. “I knew if I went out there and put up zeroes, kept us in the ballgame, there’s a chance we could win that game. ”

Because of Williams’ and Nogosek’s work, the Mets didn’t have to turn to Drew Smith or Joely Rodriguez, both of whom had pitched Tuesday, and thus both should be fresher Thursday.

The game recalled Williams’ effort in a loss to the Braves on May 4, another start by Megill, which went sideways when it was handed to Adam Ottavino. But because Williams went long in cleaning up the mess himself, the Mets had a mostly stocked bullpen for the following night – when Chasen Shreve, Adonis Medina and Edwin Diaz were fresh, combining for five scoreless innings that enabled the Mets to avoid a blowout. And that came in handy when they scored seven runs in the ninth to beat the Phillies.

If the Mets need to rely upon a fresh bullpen in their matinee Thursday, Showalter will remember the two relievers who will be sore.

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