New York Mets: Chris Mazza Year in Review

The minor league journeyman, Chris Mazza, waited seven and a half long seasons before the New York Mets gave him the first call-up of his career. At 29-years old, it was a very emotional moment for the minor league veteran.

The Mets drafted Mazza from the Boston Red Sox during the Rule 5 draft before the 2019 season. It took until June 26 for the Mets to finally bring him up after Walker Lockett went to Syracuse. His first major league outing came on June 29 when he pitched in relief for Steven Matz, who left after a rain delay.

Dynamite Debut

Mazza pitched four stellar innings and only allowed one run to the Atlanta Braves. It was his only outing before the Mets optioned him back to Syracuse on July 2 when the Mets activated a handful of pitchers off the Injured List. He came back ten days later after the Mets DFA’d Wilmer Font.

This second go-around came with very minimal success. He allowed runs in all three of his outings. The last one came in a painful 16 inning loss against the San Francisco Giants. Mazza threw 34 pitches the previous night, and the Mets were forced into using Mazza since he was the last reliever left. He got through the 15th with 1-2-3 but had nothing left in the tank to secure the win in the 16th.

Once again, he went back to Triple-A the following day. Mazza returned to allow five runs in his two August outings, which concluded with another option to Syracuse. When the rosters expanded in September, he made one final return. Mazza had three scoreless outings and picked up his first career win in the last game of the season.

Shipping Up to Boston

The Red Sox claimed Mazza off waivers from the Mets on December 20 to end his Mets career. He will have the chance to crack the Red Sox bullpen in Spring Training.

Grades:

Pitching Repertoire: D, His fastball had a solid sink but sat in the low 90s. His slider and change-up were more set up pitches than effective ones. His cutter helped hold lefties to a lower batting average than right-handers.

Control: B+, 2.4 BB/9, Mazza is known for his control

Composure: F, Tough guy to rely on in high leverage situations. Not enough swing and miss ability to get out of the key situations.

Intangibles: B

Overall: D, There were no high expectations with Mazza, but it was easy to see why he has been a fringe major league pitcher.

New York Mets: The Loss From Thursday Night

The 16-inning thriller between the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants ended up in bitter disappointment for the Mets. After Pete Alonso drilled a solo home run in the top of the 16th, the Giants responded with two runs in the bottom half to steal the victory.

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This certainly was the most heartbreaking loss of the season. The game did not finish until 2:32 in the morning on the East Coast. Much like their 18 inning loss in Milwaukee earlier this season, they had to trust an unproven pitcher to close the game out.

Last Man Standing

Chris Mazza was the last man left in the Mets bullpen and had the job of closing out the Giants. He threw two innings the previous day and already pitched a scoreless 15th inning. Mazza looked gassed in the 16th, in which he failed to record a single out. The Mets were also short a reliever because Jacob Rhame was serving his one game suspension for throwing at Rhys Hoskins earlier in the year.

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The Mets bullpen was great Thursday night, regardless of Mazza’s performance. They held the Giants scoreless for 8 straight innings before they broke through to win. The bullpen Mets rose the challenge ahead of them all night, but unfortunately Mazza did not have enough gas to finish it out.

There is Still Hope

A lot of the criticism says Jacob deGrom could have pitched out of the bullpen, but I do not think there was any reason for him to come in. Possibly for the 17th, if it went that far, but the right choice was to give Mazza the opportunity to finish the game out. The Mets are better off trying to rebound and win today with deGrom on the mound and fully rested.

The result yesterday sucks, but they have a great opportunity to rebound tonight. deGrom is facing a pitcher with an ERA over five and deGrom has pitched great over his last few starts. Tonight is a 100 percent a must win for the Mets. They will not be dead in the water if they lose, but the road back to get a split in the series will be a long windy road.