PHILADELPHIA -- In his former life as a starter, a pitch count well above 50 would have meant little to Sean Gilmartin. But since Spring Training, Gilmartin has served exclusively as a reliever, his ticket to a roster spot on the first-place Mets. So he couldn't help but take notice as his pitch total soared in the middle innings Monday, forcing him to rely on adrenaline in the Mets' 16-7 victory over the Phillies.
"I'll definitely feel it in the next couple days," Gilmartin said.
To call Gilmartin the unsung hero of the Mets' comeback victory would not be apt, considering how readily his manager and teammates did sing his praises following 3 1/3 shutout innings in relief of Jacob deGrom. It was a career-worst outing for deGrom, who served up a pair of three-run homers and watched his ERA balloon from 1.98 to 2.29.
"I don't think I located one pitch," deGrom said. "Everything was down the middle and they were hitting it hard."
That put the Mets in a bind; despite Logan Verrett's tremendous spot start on Sunday, the team leaned heavily on its bullpen throughout this past weekend's three-game series in Colorado. So the Mets could not have been happier when Gilmartin bridged them all the way to the seventh, striking out four and allowing three hits to earn the win. Had David Wright not committed two errors behind Gilmartin, his evening might have been even breezier.
"It speaks volumes of the quality of pitching that's here," manager Terry Collins said. "They pick each other up. I have yet to see Jake deGrom ever pitch like he did tonight, and yet the bullpen picked him up and the offense picked him up."
Quietly, Gilmartin has also entrenched himself in the club's future plans. Once a long shot even to break camp with the Mets as a Rule 5 pick, Gilmartin is now a week away from making it to September, guaranteeing he will remain under team control for years to come.
"Honestly, I didn't think about that all year," Gilmartin said. "I haven't had that thought process at all. For me, it's just always been going out and trying to get people out."