Winning five consecutive games at a time uses a lot of high leverage painkillers.
Adam Ottavino and David Robertson started to show signs of faltering under their workload Sunday, but the relative recovery of Brooks Raleigh helped save the Mets.
Thanks to heavy taxes, Raleigh became MLB’s second reliever this season to hit both ends of a doubleheader, making a save in the Mets’ 2-1 win over the Guardians at Citi Field on the nightcap.
Raleigh threw nine pitches Sunday afternoon in a scoreless seventh inning before pitching coach Jeremy Hefner admonished that he could rebound to the ninth inning of the World Cup. Lefty hasn’t stayed since Thursday and felt good.
He only needed five pitches — and one stellar fielding game — to salvage a game in which Justin Verlander shut out Cleveland in the first eight innings.
Raleigh’s first pitch resulted in a nice hit by Stephen Cowan between the mound and first base. Raleigh lunged, put on a glove and flipped a glove to Alonso’s home just in time.
“I can thank Buck [Showalter] said Raleigh, who joins Jordan Weems from Washington as the only player to play at both ends of the doubleheader this season. “We went through that about 1,000 times in the spring.”
The rest of Raleigh’s night was devoid of drama, but the Mets’ era was filled with angst.
Ottavino – who succeeded for the fourth time in six days – and Robertson – for the fourth time in five days – struggled to finish with a 5-4 victory over the Guardians in the final.
The Mets’ two best relievers were given a 3-0 lead in the top of the eighth inning and proceeded to allow four runs on four hits.
Ottavino was called first and promptly handed a brace to Tyler Freeman before Bo Naylor and Miles Straw scored for Freeman. Cowan doubled before Amed Rosario’s single scored the second run of the inning.
“Things don’t add up with this guy,” Showalter said of Ottavino, who allowed five runs in his first 16 innings but gave up five in the previous two. “He’s competing, trying to find a way.”
Robertson came on and got the go-ahead for Jose Ramirez. But the Mets got close to the inning, and after Starling Marte’s go-ahead hit, he had a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth, and had his last three runs in the ninth.
“Men love [Ottavino] And Showalter said, “And Robbie and those old men, they must have a short memory and a thick skin.”