Aaron Loup was on the wrong end of a pitching change that backfired last week, but otherwise has taken on the role of the Mets’ escape artist.
The veteran lefty reliever worked the Mets out of another jam in the nightcap of Tuesday’s doubleheader, using his own nifty defense to get an inning-ending double play and preserve a 3-1 win over the Marlins.
Loup lowered his ERA to 1.20 in 53 appearances and has allowed just 12 of 40 inherited runners to score.
“He’s just been outstanding,” manager Luis Rojas said before Wednesday’s rainout. “Probably the most valuable reliever we’ve had, with respect to the others, how good they’ve been as well.”
Loup’s consistency — and the .174 average he has held lefties to this season — was the reason why Rojas pulled Taijuan Walker early last Wednesday in a controversial decision that came back to haunt the Mets. Loup gave up a two-run double (both runs charged to Walker) that cost them the game, but it was one of the rare times that he entered to clean up another pitcher’s mess and did not come through.
The 33-year-old Loup, who signed with the Mets on a one-year, $3 million deal last offseason, is in the midst of a career year.
“At times as baseball players, we kind of get caught up in our own head riding the ups and downs,” Loup said. “I try to stay as even keel as possible and just go out there and enjoy the game and have fun. I know that’s kind of cliche, but in the past I’ve gotten in my own head, where I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve almost hated coming to the ballpark. Being injured in 2019 has kind of reset my mind and refocused me.”
Noah Syndergaard’s rehab assignment is on hold after he tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend, but the right-hander is trying to keep his arm ready. On Wednesday, he posted to Instagram a video of himself throwing into a mattress in his apartment, a practice other quarantined players have used during the pandemic.
Carlos Carrasco, who was scheduled to start Wednesday’s game before it was postponed, will now take the mound Thursday against the Marlins coming off his best start as a Met.
With rosters expanding to 28 on Wednesday, the Mets called up outfielders Albert Almora Jr. and Khalil Lee from Triple-A Syracuse.
Originally published at https://nypost.com/2021/09/01/aaron-loup-continues-to-be-bullpen-ace-for-mets/ on .