Mets' bullpen showing vulnerability amid costly 'hiccups'
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When everyone is healthy, the Mets may not have a problem in their bullpen. But in recent days at least, relief has begun to look like a problem for the team. 

Adam Ottavino allowed the game-winning home run in a loss at Miami on Sunday. Chasen Shreve served up a pair of two-run homers while recording just one out Tuesday. The otherwise reliable Drew Smith surrendered the go-ahead dinger to Houston’s Jason Castro on Wednesday. 

The Mets finished three months of play with a 3.70 bullpen ERA, which ranked as the 13th-best after their series against Houston ended Wednesday night. Following that game, manager Buck Showalter said he had just looked up the rankings, in fact. 

“Our bullpen’s performing pretty well,” he said after the Mets’ 2-0 loss. “We’ve had some hiccups here and there, but we’re not going to forget all the big outs they’ve gotten for us.” 

Chasen Shreve reacts after giving up a two-run home run during the Mets' loss to the Astros on Tuesday.
Chasen Shreve reacts after giving up a two-run home run during the Mets’ loss to the Astros on Tuesday.
USA TODAY Sports
Drew Smith reacts after giving up a game-winning two-run home run in the Mets' loss to the Astros on Wednesday.
Drew Smith reacts after giving up a game-winning two-run home run in the Mets’ loss to the Astros on Wednesday.
Robert Sabo for the NY POST

The Mets relievers’ 4.13 ERA in June was 19th entering league action Thursday, a day off for them. Edwin Diaz has been shutdown as closer, but issues have cropped up aside from him. 

Ahead of the trade deadline, general manager Billy Eppler will have to determine whether the Mets have enough internally. Colin Holderman, who was so good in May and early June before being diagnosed with a right shoulder impingement, is at Triple-A Syracuse, and Trevor May is hopeful he will be back by the trade deadline. 

Asked Wednesday if he could be viewed as a trade-deadline addition, May smiled and said, “Fans will hate that.” 

May said he feels “great” and is throwing from 105 feet as he rehabs following right triceps inflammation that has not allowed him to pitch since May 2. 

The righty was set to get a scan Thursday, which he hoped would get him cleared to throw off a mound soon. 

After building up his arm, throwing enough bullpen sessions and going on a rehab assignment, May said he is “shooting for the end of July” as a target for his return. 

The Mets may look for another lefty reliever, with Shreve struggling and Joely Rodriguez pedestrian. They have Smith, Ottavino and Seth Lugo as typically reliable righties ahead of Diaz, but they probably will have to decide if they need more righty bullpen help before they get to see much of May. 


Pete Alonso and Starling Marte advanced to the second phase of All-Star voting. 

Alonso received the second-most votes for National League first basemen, while Marte was the fourth-leading vote-getter in the NL outfield. 

Vote totals now will reset for the finalists to determine who will start at each position. 

Alonso is facing off against the Cardinals’ Paul Goldschmidt, while Marte is competing against the Dodgers’ Mookie Betts, the Giants’ Joc Pederson and the Braves’ Adam Duvall. Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr., as the overall NL vote leader, already has been voted in as a starter. 

Jeff McNeil finished third in voting at second base, and Francisco Lindor was third at shortstop.

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