Tyler Clippard has been awful in the eighth inning this postseason, and Terry Collins needs to take him out of the set-up role.
Game 4’s meltdown was thanks in large part to Clippard allowing two straight walks to put the tying and go-ahead runs on base. Jeurys Familia, who’s been called on to work more than his fair share of innings lately thanks to Clippard, couldn’t bail him out, and Clippard took the loss in the Mets’ Game 4 defeat. This terrible outing came one day after what was only his second clean inning of the postseason (the other occurred in the NLDS).
In 6.2 innings of work Clippard has a 6.75 ERA. Not only has he been bad, he’s also forced Familia to do more work than he should (Familia has logged 12.2 innings) and is fatiguing the Mets’ closer.
Clippard had a 0.60 ERA in 15 innings in August, his first full month as a Met, and set up a very nice bridge to Familia in the bullpen. But in September Clippard struggled mightily, posting a 6.59 ERA in 13.2 innings. It led many to wonder whether his eighth inning role was safe heading into October. But Collins, who has a tendency to be stubbornly loyal, stuck with him and now he has egg on his face.
And it’s not as if the Mets have no other option for the eighth inning; Addison Reed has a 1.35 ERA in the playoffs and has been nearly flawless in the seventh inning. Reed hasn’t allowed a run since Game 2 of the NLDS, and has only allowed one hit since then.