Chris Flexen was left battered and searching for answers Sunday.
The Mets right-hander was summoned from Triple-A Las Vegas to make his first start of the season for the team — he had appeared three times in relief. Flexen proceeded to be knocked out after only three innings in which he allowed five runs in a 9-0 loss to the Rays at Citi Field.
“I just think it’s lack of command,” said Flexen, whose ERA surged to 12.79. “I am not throwing enough strikes, not throwing enough quality strikes when I need them and falling behind guys and nothing to do but come back over the plate and that is where I have been getting burned a lot.”
Manager Mickey Callaway was asked if the organization’s lack of starting pitching depth in the minor leagues was exasperating.
“It’s not as much about who is up here, but when you are up here you have to do the right things and you have to throw the ball over the plate and we just didn’t do that tonight,” Callaway said. “You are not going to win like that, no matter who is pitching.”
Jason Vargas is scheduled to pitch Monday for Single-A Brooklyn at Staten Island in the first minor league rehab start of his latest DL stint.
The left-hander, who pitched a simulated game last week, has been sidelined by a strained calf.
Callaway has not named a starter for Tuesday’s game at Citi Field against the Phillies. Left-hander P.J. Conlon is the leading candidate, but Callaway could also potentially dip into the bullpen for a starter.
Of the eight times the Mets have been shut out this season, seven have occurred at home.
The Mets announced they will pick up ticket fees for all remaining home games beginning Monday and running through Thursday at 11:59 p.m. as part of the popular “No Fees” promotion. The offer applies to all 38 remaining home games.
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