Working Hard For Their Money
We are fifty games into the season and the Mets are in front of the surging Braves by 4.5 games. The Mets have the second best home record behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the entire Major Leagues and only the Detroit Tigers and the Texas Rangers have a better road record in the Majors while the Mets are tied with the Cardinals for the best road record in the National League.
Their bullpen has played a large part in their early success and have been worked hard though they have been a bit more mortal these days. They have been worked hard mostly because of the back end of the rotation and the lack of production being received from the last three starters. There has been only one time this season in which two starters not named Martinez or Tom Glavine were involved in a win streak and managed to notch a victory. The only time this season that scenario happened is when the Mets won seven in a row early in the season and Trachsel, Bannister, and Zambrano each picked up a victory during that streak. Since then, any consecutive victories involved one starter from the back end, Glavine and/or Martinez, and/or the bullpen. They have been the rally killers. They have been the anti-Pedro.
Now it seems like the Mets are sufficiently deep in terms of the rotation and should be getting starters going deep more consistently in games taking some pressure and innings off of the bullpen. If there is no relief for the bullpen in the second half, there might be some big problems down the stretch and come playoff time.
Name G IP BB H SO ERA P/IPThe Mets basically have two guys in Aaron Heilman in Duaner Sanchez who are on track to be over worked and they are the two biggest pieces to this bullpen. Salomon Torres, who threw 94.2 innings, and Scott Shields, who threw 91.2 innings, were the only players who totaled 90+ innings out of the bullpen in 2005 and neither Torres nor Schields topped 80 games. No one in the Mets bullpen is on target to top 80 games, but they are throwing a lot of pitches.
Duaner Sanchez 79 98 38 73 70 2.30 15.4
Aaron Heilman 73 92 38 76 86 3.03 16.2
Billy Wagner 73 76 35 57 105 3.00 18.2
Darren Oliver 44 73 16 60 70 3.04 14.6
Pedro Feliciano 57 48 13 35 48 2.35 16.3
Chad Bradford 70 54 13 57 51 4.15 14.7
There are legitimate concerns about the bullpen getting over worked and even though Duaner likes to get his work in just about daily, something has to give. A reliever throwing a 100 innings it probably just too much when you consider they will be needed for more innings in the playoffs and got some work in during the World Baseball Classic as well. Willie routinely goes with those two for two innings at a time and one has to wonder what type of toll this will take on them towards the end of the year.
The Mets are going to win a lot of games this year and that means a lot of work for their big three relievers and it is tough situation for Willie. You do not want to get too caught up looking ahead at risk of losing games early in the regular season by not using your best relievers, but to ignore possible consequences as a result of today's actions is not the best way to go either. Juggling a bullpen and proper use of it could be the hardest thing for a manager to do and probably the most important thing for this Met team and their present and future successes.
"I'm the type of manager that I don't like to know a lot of information about teams," Randolph said. "I don't believe in all that. You go with your strengths and deal with other teams when they come in. It's a quick series, in and out. We know their players; we study their players, we have scouting reports and we deal with that."
Yeah. Who needs information? While I get what he is really trying to say here, it could have been worded a bit better. As for his decision to hit a run last night, it ended up being a moot point since the Mets won with an amazing ninth inning capped by a Sugar Pants' game winning RBI, but it was still a curious move to say the least.
"I keep reiterating it over and over ... but this team always comes back with an answer," Wright said after his bat provided a walk-off RBI for the fourth time this season. "One thing I've learned is that you have to want to be up in those situations ... and I think I've become pretty relaxed when I'm up there with the game on the line."
When the Mets were down be run after the three run homer by Chad Tracy, I thought to myself that the Mets only needed one run. One run is not a big deal for this team no matter what inning. Sure enough, it was not a big deal.
"I'm 36 but I think I can still play every day," Valentin said. "Sometimes you just have to be patient and wait for your moment."
"'Bout time. It's (almost) June 1," Floyd said last night after going 2-for-3 with a mammoth home run to lead off the bottom of the sixth in the Mets' 8-7 win. "Hopefully I'll continue to swing the bat well and we win and everybody can be happy."
Since May 12th, Cliff is batting .310/.420/.595 with four doubles, a triple, a homer, and three RBIs. I think it is safe to say Cliffy is back.
he Mets were unable to come to terms with 19-year-old Pedro Beato, their 17th-round pick in last year's draft out of Xaverian who reportedly was seeking a seven-figure signing bonus after a strong season pitching for St. Petersburg J.C. The Mets had a deadline of 11:59 p.m. last night before he'd be eligible to re-enter this year's draft.
Back to the drawing board.