Brian Bannister exhibited some more control issues in his start yesterday. His K/BB ratio is 1.00 with a 4.50 W/9 ratio. He had a career 2.59 W/9 throughout the minor leagues with a career 8.06 K/9. This year's K/9 is pretty off, but he had one game in which he had one strikeout in seven innings and he had eight in eleven innings in his other two starts. That is good for a 6.55 K/9 in those other two starts and I figure him to be in that area for the season and he really needs to keep it around there to be successful.
I'm cautiously optimistic about Bannister because though his stats look good, he has looked ok. Yesterday, he was behind in the count to 13 of the first 17 batters and went to three ball counts six times. Only 63 of his pitches were strikes of his 112 pitches.
"Everything is magnified here, in which so much is riding on every pitch," Bannister said. "I never had to deal with that in the minor leagues."
But according to pitching coach Rick Peterson, Bannister - who pitched out of bases-loaded jams (with none out and one out, respectively) in the second and third - merely needs to build confidence in his pitches.
"He still doesn't know how much of the plate he can get," Peterson said. "That will come and wait till he sees the results. He pitched a D-plus game and look at those results."
In his defense, he showed enough poise in his first few starts to give everyone hope and his propensity for working out of jams has been impressive. Yes, we can also chalk it up to jtters, but ventually, if he keeps living dangerously, he will be get jacked up at some point. You really cannot complain much about how he is pitching, but his BAA is going to move northward and he will get hit a bit harder when he faces a better lineup and needs to find the plate more often or a few early exists are on tap for him.
"He is part of the team and he's going to be a part of the team," Willie Randolph said. "We'll get him going. He's going to be fine. We feel real good about him, even though he's one of the guys on the team that's maybe struggling a little bit right now. We'll just continue to give him the ball when we can, and I think before too long he'll start to feel good about himself."
Struggling a little bit? That seems to be the understatement of the century. He has a .444 batting average against and has given up runs in four of his first five appearances with him finally throwing that elusive no run outing yesterday.
Jorge Sosa (0-2, 11.37) vs. Pedro Martinez (2-0, 3.46)
Kyle Davies (0-1, 8.38) vs. Victor Zambrano (1-0, 5.40)
Tim Hudson (0-1, 9.20) vs. Tom Glavine (2-0, 1.50)
"My grandmother could get me out right now," Floyd said after going 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and watching his average drop to .200 on the 10-game season.
Trading Kris Benson never made baseball sense, and if Julio was truly the best the Mets could get for Benson and his $8-million-a-year salary, as they claim, then they should have kept him and learned to shrug at his wife's desperate-to-be-a-celebrity antics.
As it is, the Mets are lucky that Brian Bannister muscled his way into the rotation with a strong spring, allowing them to keep Aaron Heilman in the bullpen, or Julio's problems would loom as more of a crisis than merely an opportunity for fans to vent.
It's just that he's not a No. 2 hitter. Randolph, for some reason, seems dead set against hitting Carlos Beltran in the two hole, even though it's easy to argue that it would give the Mets their best lineup, as it would move Carlos Delgado and David Wright up into the 3-4 slots.
As an experienced, contact hitter, LoDuca is a reasonable alternative. But when he's out of the lineup, it makes sense to move everybody up a spot. It's not as if Reyes, who stole second yesterday, needs to be bunted into scoring position.
Randolph doesn't see it that way, however, and after the game said he'd likely use Hernandez in the No. 2 spot again.
Of course he would.