Hansel Robles, Erik Goeddel, Jerry Blevins, Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia combined to throw 8 2/3 innings of one-run ball after Bartolo Colon left the game after one batter with a bruised thumb in the New York Mets' 2-1 win over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday.
Once Colon left after a line drive struck his thumb, manager Terry Collins brought in Robles, who threw a career-high 65 pitches in 3 2/3 innings. Robles pitched into the fifth inning and struck out six batters.
"We were short tonight," manager Terry Collins said after the game. "So, I just said he's got to be the guy, let's see if he can get us to the fifth inning."
Robles allowed one run and earned the Mets' Player of the Game championship belt.
Goeddel, who was called up earlier this month, stranded two inherited runners en route to two scoreless innings.
"You can't really worry about going two when someone else has already set the bar with four," Goeddel said, referring to Robles.
Blevins extended his scoreless-innings streak to 12 innings with a 1-2-3 seventh inning, and Reed followed with a perfect eighth inning.
Familia recorded his 23rd save in as many opportunities, one shy of tying the franchise record for consecutive saves to start a season, by closing out the ninth.
"Those are the kinds of games that I really believe you should grow from," Collins said. "Our bullpen had a tough weekend, and it came back tonight, certainly, in an unexpected situation. ... Everybody that came in the game pitched great."
This was an incredible job by the bullpen, especially by Robles, who had been struggling of late. However, I think he benefitted by being able to go a little deeper in to an outing than usual. He looked rocky to start, but he got himself through by going to his secondary pitches that he doesn't usually get to throw, especially his slider. He was pitching up and down in the zone, getting a lot of movement, and swings and misses against a Kansas City team known for making contact.
Similarly, Reed has been terrific this season. I love the occasional slide-step in his delivery that he uses to keep opposing hitters off balance. He goes after hitters, works quick and, as a former closer, he's unfazed by big situations. He throws hard, offsets his fastball with a nice slider and moves the ball around. He's been a huge help since the Mets acquired him last August.
Blevins has been a bit of an unsung hero this season. He's mostly been situational reliever, but he's pitched well to right-handed hitters when the moment presents itself (like last night). He's creative with his curveball, so far durable and a perfect fit for this bullpen.
Lastly, hats off to Travis d'Arnaud, who played his first big-league game since going on the disabled list in April with a shoulder injury. He probably thought he'd begin with a catch-and-throw game with Colon, but instead, he had to adjust, think and hustle his way through a scrambled collection of relievers and he did it well.