Robert Gsellman. Clutch Reliever. Rally Starter. Fastest Pitcher?
Friday night’s extra-inning win over the Atlanta Braves hinged on the unlikely late game heroics of the Mets’ 24-year-old pitcher. Gsellman entered the tied game in the 10th inning tasked with shutting down one of the league’s top offenses, and he was more than up to the challenge. He worked a one-two-three inning in the 10th, and battled back with the winning run on second in the 11th to strike out a red-hot Preston Tucker.
But Gsellman wasn’t done yet. With plenty of gas left in the tank and no save situation yet for Jeurys Familia, Gsellman batted for himself in the top of the 12th. He managed to draw a HBP on a Josh Ravin fastball that barely grazed his jersey, and the Mets’ rally was officially started.
Amed Rosario laid down a beautiful sacrifice bunt to move Gsellman over to second, and after a Michael Conforto pop-out, the table was set for not only another Yoenis Cespedes game-winning RBI, but also for Gsellman to show off his world-class wheels. Yo placed a weak line drive between second and first, and Gazelleman was off to the races. Even with the outfield playing relatively shallow to prevent that run from scoring, Gsellman slid into home well ahead of the throw. Familia shut the door in the bottom of the inning, and Gsellman and the Mets got the W.
I checked the advanced stats to see where Gsellman ranks among the speediest pitchers in baseball, but tragically Baseball Savant does not appear to track pitcher’s sprint speed. This is an absolute travesty. Now the only way for us to unequivocally know who the fastest pitcher on the Mets is by setting up foot races between innings at home games. The Freeze has been wildly popular in Atlanta, so why not throw some bodysuits on Gsellman and Jerry Blevins and have them battle it out between innings? What could possibly go wrong?
Photo Credits: John Bazemore - AP Photo