ATLANTA — Robert Gsellman was on the verge of disaster in the seventh inning Thursday, but somehow stayed in the game long enough to sanitize his own mess.
The Mets’ beleaguered right-hander entered to protect a four-run lead over the Braves, but loaded the bases on two singles and a walk. Then, however, Gsellman struck out Ozzie Albies and retired Josh Donaldson to end the threat.
“Hopefully it will give us some momentum in the bullpen and we all get on the same page and start getting quicker outs instead of making stressful innings,” Gsellman said after the Mets’ 6-3 victory.
Gsellman had been scored upon in three of his previous four appearances. That included the Twins scoring three unearned runs against him on Tuesday.
“[Gsellman] felt great all night,” manager Mickey Callaway said. “[The Braves] snuck a couple of balls through the holes, but he felt great and to get that was big for him. He needed something positive to happen, especially in a big situation.”
Pete Alonso’s meteoric rise has left another first baseman in whom the Mets have growing faith as a distant afterthought. The idea Dominic Smith would share time with Alonso has been dismissed by Callaway, for now at least.
“Dom has performed well, as we have seen,” Callaway said after Alonso hit his sixth homer of the season. “Alonso has been amazing, so it’s tough.”
Alonso has a franchise record 17 RBIs in his first 12 games. His 1.313 OPS was fourth in the major leagues entering play.
Smith has started once at first base, receiving the majority of his at-bats (5-for-12, .417) off the bench.
Callaway said he likely will find a start for Smith during this stretch of nine straight days with a game.
“I think he can be an everyday first baseman,” Callaway said. “He’s a great defensive first baseman and he’s a solid hitter. When you are a player you have to deal with your situation and I think he is dealing with it the best he can. He is doing a great job in his role at this point. There is no doubt that someday he will be an everyday first baseman.”
Todd Frazier (oblique strain), after his latest nine-inning rehab appearance for Single-A St. Lucie, is “very close” to rejoining the Mets, according to Callaway. Frazier played five innings at third base and four at first base. He has also played shortstop during his rehab assignment.
“The evaluators are saying that he is real close,” Callaway said. “You have a goal of how many at-bats and he’s pretty much at that threshold and I would hope it’s going to be soon.”
Frazier opened the season on the injured list after straining his left oblique early in spring training.
Published at Fri, 12 Apr 2019 07:48:55 +0000