A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Things Are Getting Kind of 'Ticklish'

So the Mets have 29 blown saves this season. That is a very troubling number as they move towards a potential playoff birth, but I need to take a step back for a moment and think a bit more positively about this situation. For one, Jerry Manuel is not Willie Randolph. He believes in the dynamic nature of human beings and that sometimes you have to stray from some notion that you may have had at a previous point in time. Amazing.

While it was clear some of the guys that were supposed to be depended on in 2007 out the bullpen were not getting it done, Willie thought nothing of it. According to him, the sky was not falling. In September of this season, the top four relievers in innings pitched are Brian Stokes, Joe Smith, Luis Ayala, and Nelson Figueroa. Shit, Manuel is not a afraid to get Bobby Parnell into the mix late in the game if it means Ws in his pocket.

The Mets will have to take eight relievers into the playoffs if they squeak in to compliment their four starting pitchers and there really is no choice. Stokes has been striking a lot of people out while not walking many, Schoeneweis has been death on lefties, Figueroa has been surprisingly effective out of the bullpen and has been looking great doing it, Bobby Parnell throws gas, Smitty has humiliated righties, Feliciano has made lefties look like Andruw Jones, Heilman has been rather effective against righties, and Ayala has been effective in a Joe Borowski circa 2007 kind of way. John Maine might even make it back in time to be thrown into the bullpen, which I am not counting on.

Too many guys who are effective against only one side of the plate? Yes. But figure on Jerry managing his games in the playoffs like this one. If it takes the entire bullpen throwing five pitches each to make it through the game, who cares? It may not be pretty, but they are competant enough.

* * *

  • Yes....Duaner Sanchez was left off of the above list and I know he will probably make the playoff roster, but it should not be a foregone conclusion and I would love to see Parnell get a legit look. At least he is different...

    The other day when Manuel had Bobby in for two innings, he said that he needed to get a good look at him on the mound at Shea. I take that to mean he is pretty open minded and with the Mets having enough injured players, they can get whoever they want on the playoff roster.

  • Four years to fix the bullpen? Am I the only one who looks around and thinks things are not as bad as they seem in the bullpen...at least beyond 2008? Stokes and Parnell look like good bets, Heilman is better than he has shown, Kunz (his GB% is tasty!) and Smith will be useful even if they won't be stellar against lefties, Nelly Figs might have found a home out there, and the Mets have cash.

    I remain optimistic long term as additions get made and some guys come into their own, but I just hope they can sort things out sooner.

  • Reyes is good. He is having his best year yet and anyone that has ever had bad thoughts about Reyes (trade him for Johan!) should be ashamed.

  • Minaya gets four more years and that is a good thing. If you take a look at his worst three moves, are they really that terrible? Also, take note on how Brian Bannister and his 76 ERA+ are now off the list as one of his worst moves. I was never a believer in Bannister and things finally caught up to him.

  • I like Daniel Murphy, but Keith LOVES Daniel Murphy. Going so far as to call him the future #3 hitter with David Wright on the team seems a bit ambitious for me, but I'll take Keith's word for it since I believe whatever the man says.

  • Today's action...

    -> Reyes vs Myers (Biiiig edge Phillies. Hitters are batting .353 against Reyes in the 2nd half)
    -> Maholm vs Sabathia (Ummm...biiiiig edge Brewers.)
    -> Zambrano vs Perez (5.51 post-all star ERA....slight edge Mets.)

    It is go time. The Mets need to man-up.
  • Labels: , , ,

    51 Comments:

    Anonymous tc said...

    I wish the whole world believed what Keith Hernandez believed in. We'd all be coke-blowing lunatics that said whatever came to our minds, and it would be glorious.

    I know the Phils have dominated the Braves, and on paper Myers is a million times better than Reyes ... but he was awful in his last start, and I have faith the game will be closer than expected.

    Prince Fielder's walk-off last night was huge.

    Big game situation for Ollie tonight at Shea. Just the type of shit he likes. Bring it.

    11:02 AM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    We'd all be coke-blowing lunatics that said whatever came to our minds, and it would be glorious.

    Glorious would be an understatement!

    Dominating the Braves in the past smells like someone is due to me! One back in the loss column means the Mets could be tied for first Friday morning...I remain optimistic...how could this happen again...right?....right?

    I believe in Ollie more than Big Z. right now (no-no aside).

    11:07 AM

     
    Blogger oSSyCoCoTaSo said...

    boooya! and he's back!

    daniel murphy has a sweet stroke. you see his swing and dont think that he's a flash in the pan because he has a solid approach at the plate. last time i felt like this was with david wright.

    i like argenis reyes. he has a good glove and just has to hit.

    12:09 PM

     
    Anonymous tc said...

    Ossy, agreed. I love Murphy.

    Maine activated today. Every little bit helps.

    In what is either a sick twist of fate, or a horrendous jinx, a DHL package arrived at my door today ... with playoff tickets inside.

    12:16 PM

     
    Anonymous chris said...

    Glorious indeed.

    I've got good, tingly feelings about Ollie tonight. Even if Zambrano brings it, he's going to be on a pretty tight pitch count, no? This is primed to be a contract-making start for Ollie, and I like the fire that showed up in the bats last night.

    Of course, that probably means Ollie won't be able to find the plate and Z will go in for a CG 2-hitter. Sigh.

    CC vs. Maholm may not be quite the mismatch it looks like. Not that CC's been anything less then unbelievably phenomenal, but Maholm's come up roses down the stretch. He's only gone less than 6 IP in a start once since the end of July, and that same game (against MIL, of course, on August 30) is one of only two in which he's given up better than 3 ER.

    Anyway ... just got interruped in my office and lost my train of thought. Fucksticks.

    12:39 PM

     
    Anonymous kranepool society said...

    If Keith Hernandez told me to swallow gasoline and then eat a match I'd do it because, shit he's Keith Hernandez

    Right on about the pen who gives a flying fuck if the games will go 4 hours a win is a win is a win

    Same with Omar if you're against this move you should be sent to a deserted island with Joe McIllvanie and be forced to watch him sun bathe nude.

    12:52 PM

     
    Blogger metsfanincincy said...

    Mike's back! Yeah!

    Four years to fix a bullpen. Hmmm, the Reds bullpen was horrific in 2007. HORRIFIC! This year? A strength. We all know relievers are inconsistent from year to year, probably due to overuse. The Mets bullpen problems should have been anticipated in 2008 and that is on Omar's head. But I believe a bullpen can be fixed in one off season and by guys getting healthy.

    Murphy looks like the real thing. he would've been drafted higher if he had been healthy.

    Here's hoping Big Z will mail it in since the Cubbies have sewn everything up already. We won't see him for more than 5 innings, anyway.

    12:55 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    I love Murphy's K to BB ratio for sure...I think he is legit, but does Keith think he is too legit?

    Tc,

    Let us temper our expectaions on Maine. We'll just get our hearts broken.

    You got your playoff tix? Shit man...I should be getting mine soon as well. Hopefully I don't get stuck in the middle of a 24 seat row again. Bastards.

    Chris,

    I like the optimisim. The good thing is if the Brewers lost with CC on the mound it could be the final nail in the coffin. That would be a real downer for them.

    If Keith Hernandez told me to swallow gasoline and then eat a match I'd do it because, shit he's Keith Hernandez

    Me too. Me too.

    MFIC,

    For the playoffs I have returned! I needed a big reprieve from all of this and I was just too damn busy.

    The bullpen was also very good in 2007 and GREAT in 2006. A lot of the same components, no?

    1:37 PM

     
    Anonymous tc said...

    The only good thing about my seats is I keep my regular seats because of my full season plan.

    World Series seats in Loge are $175 a pop. Not to shabby for Mr. Wilpon if they ever make the playoffs and astoundingly got that far.

    A hurt Maine is more trustworthy than a healthy but sucking Schoeneweis. But alas, I too am not expecting much.

    1:52 PM

     
    Blogger mr. met said...

    Hot damn TC...I get the Sunday package so I get screwed. Screwed badly. Peeing and getting beers turns into a Gilligan-esque type endeavor.

    1:56 PM

     
    Anonymous tc said...

    DANIEL FUCKING MURPHY!

    10:40 PM

     
    Anonymous Will said...

    You beat me to it. I love Daniel Murphy.

    10:41 PM

     
    Anonymous Will said...

    RAMON MARTINEZ kicks Castillo's ass.

    10:42 PM

     
    Anonymous tc said...

    You know what. The inability for this team to put this game away in the 9th is like a fucking synopsis of the last two seasons.

    Just plain awful. 1st and 3rd, two innings in a row with no outs ... bases loaded one out, and the only run you get in is on a walk?

    I am disgusted.

    10:51 PM

     
    Blogger almar said...

    David Wright. Choke Artist.

    This team has mastered the art of the choke like no other team in baseball the past two years.

    Man on 3rd no outs in the bottom of the 9th and they proceed to piss it away.

    They don't deserve the playoffs.

    10:52 PM

     
    Blogger almar said...

    "You know what. The inability for this team to put this game away in the 9th is like a fucking synopsis of the last two seasons. "

    Actually it is a symbol of this team's lack of cohones. When the shit gets too tight, they crap their pants and pee themselves.

    Ladies and gentlemen, these are your 2007-2008 NY Mets.

    They had better break this team up big time in the off-season.

    10:55 PM

     
    Anonymous Will said...

    I still love Ramon Martinez.

    10:55 PM

     
    Blogger almar said...

    People talk about the bullpen being the real issue this season. No argument there.

    But the offense's transformation into blind t-ballers late in the game sticks out huge the last week of this season.

    10:57 PM

     
    Blogger almar said...

    Must have been a helluva lot of chapstick in use before the Wilpons agreed to the 4-year deal with Omar.

    Here's a tip Freddy: Wait until AFTER the season, make an assessment, then be stupid enough to sign him to a long term deal.

    11:00 PM

     
    Anonymous tc said...

    If they don't make the playoffs this season -- think back to this very game and you will know why.

    Fucking abysmal effort.

    Tomorrow's another day, but it's tough to put this past me as a fan. I can only wonder what it's like to face something like this as a player.

    11:05 PM

     
    Blogger almar said...

    WTF?!!! If Manuel was not going to use Maine, then why have him warming up???

    Ayala for a 2nd inning was asking for a Cubs win.

    Fuck you Jerry.

    Fuck you Wright.

    Every single member of this team, should be sodomized sans lube right now.

    11:05 PM

     
    Anonymous Will said...

    Oh, I was thinking of that last loss. Too many to choose from...shit.

    11:06 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    They should all be sodomized by Jimmy Rollins.

    11:07 PM

     
    Anonymous Will said...

    Let's see...hmm..maybe we can get TWO runs and lose by one.

    11:09 PM

     
    Blogger almar said...

    "If they don't make the playoffs this season -- think back to this very game and you will know why.

    Fucking abysmal effort.

    Tomorrow's another day, but it's tough to put this past me as a fan. I can only wonder what it's like to face something like this as a player."

    Art of the Choke.

    They have mastered it with grace and finesse. Like a Micheal Jordan jumper with :05 left on the clock, like Tiger Woods on the 18th hole, like Jeter in a game 7, the Mets are the poster boys for anti-clutch, Depends® wearing, craptastic choke-artists.

    This team doesn't deserve to stain the post-season.

    11:09 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Wow, who would've thought Castillo would make an out there. Damn this game amazes me.

    11:13 PM

     
    Blogger almar said...

    The Mets blow this season, and they may end up pulling off the unthinkable. A last-game at Shea ceremony where they get ceremoniously booed.

    Anyone who thinks otherwise, believe me when I say that if they blow this, they need to seriously think about breaking this team up. You cannot keep that core intact after two straight choking seasons.

    11:13 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Keep Reyes and Wright and go from there.

    11:16 PM

     
    Blogger almar said...

    Laughing.

    Stock.

    Of.

    Baseball.

    11:16 PM

     
    Blogger almar said...

    "Keep Reyes and Wright and go from there."

    Perhaps, but can we all stop with the coronation of Wright as some kind of leader of this team. This guy has squeezed this bat in clutch situations more times than a sailor alone on a Saturday night.

    11:18 PM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Who said he was the leader? Consider how many losses we would have if he didn't produce what he has this season. How many runs has he driven in?

    Early runs count in games too...

    11:35 PM

     
    Anonymous Will said...

    If this team had a functioning bullpen, we wouldn't need to talk like this. Let's see if the Mets can fix that glaring problem before we sell off everything.

    11:37 PM

     
    Anonymous benny blanco from da bronx said...

    Does anything even need to be said?
    My Goodness...

    11:54 PM

     
    Anonymous Man on Third. said...

    No, seriously guys, it's cool. Don't worry about me.

    I like the view from out here. There's some hot chicks in the stands.

    The last thing I want is to cross home and be in the dugout with you fools.

    1:36 AM

     
    Blogger almar said...

    Last night was one of the biggest indictments of Wright's failings in the clutch this year.

    Winning run on third with no outs, Pinella decides to pitch to him.

    Ouch.

    8:21 AM

     
    Anonymous chris said...

    Fucking chainsaw brutal.

    8:50 AM

     
    Blogger almar said...

    Did I read this correctly this morning? Wright said that the 3-2 pitch he flailed at was a "good pitch?"

    Is he serious? High and outside is a good pitch?

    This kid is either delusional or in major denial.

    9:11 AM

     
    Blogger Sidd Finch said...

    Fastballs up and away, and sliders in the dirt. Just like Nomar Garciaparra. Shit, they even wear the same number.

    Opposing pitchers have figured it out. Don't throw strikes to David Wright in the late innings. He will not force you to do so.

    9:17 AM

     
    Blogger almar said...

    "Opposing pitchers have figured it out. Don't throw strikes to David Wright in the late innings. He will not force you to do so. "

    Actually opposing pitchers have also figured out that in order to beat the Mets, they need to walk the bases loaded with no outs late in the game.

    They do that and it's a money in the bank win.

    9:26 AM

     
    Blogger metsfanincincy said...

    Almar - you are doom and gloom, man. I don't blame you, but I do want to point out that you come up with some funny fucking lines.

    The order of events following Murphy's soulful clutch leadoff triple were physically painful to me. WTF.

    "The bullpen was also very good in 2007 and GREAT in 2006. A lot of the same components, no?"

    True. But they were a wreck by the end of 2007 and, if a bunch of armchair GMs like us can see that Willie wore that BP out, shouldn't Omar have seen that? A few fresh arms in the off season might have gone a long way over the course of the season.

    Blow up the Mets? This team looks good for 2009 (position player-wise). The emergence of Murphy fills LF. 2B is a question mark, but this offense can withstand a warm body. They need two starting pitchers (a 4 and a 5), some bullpen arms, and a closer (bring on K-rod). And, yes, I may be deluding myself to escape my present pain. I'm also telling myself that not making the playoffs won't be that big of a deal since that bullpen won't carry them through the first round, anyway. These therapeutic activities have thus far kept me from throwing shit through my TV and abusing myself for being a Mets fan (as if being a Mets fan isn't self abusive enough). At least no one's killed their mother, yet. Yet.

    9:57 AM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Fuck...

    10:01 AM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    This...

    10:01 AM

     
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Team.

    10:02 AM

     
    Blogger almar said...

    "Almar - you are doom and gloom, man. I don't blame you, but I do want to point out that you come up with some funny fucking lines. "

    heheh, thanks...I think.

    It's not so much that I am doom and gloom. On the contrary I am a diehard (fan for almost 40 years) that lived through the dark days of the late 70s. I am just cynical about this team and organization right now and I call it as I see it. Not time for rose-colored crap. Remember that this fuckin' team has lost a lot of street cred with the fans after 2007. So basically they are working with negative capital right now. Sunday is going to be an interesting mix of emotions if they cough it up by Saturday.

    "The order of events following Murphy's soulful clutch leadoff triple were physically painful to me. WTF."

    I actually let a thought creep into my mind at that point. "What if the Mets blow this easy (way too easy) of a chance?" And lo and behold they fulfilled that fuckin' prophecy. I trust this team like I trust the Archdiocese to run a day camp for boys.

    "True. But they were a wreck by the end of 2007 and, if a bunch of armchair GMs like us can see that Willie wore that BP out, shouldn't Omar have seen that? A few fresh arms in the off season might have gone a long way over the course of the season."

    YuP! The clear sign that this year's bullpen was ready to rot, was pinning all hopes on Sanchez being healthy and back to 2006 form. Baaaaaad planning!

    "Blow up the Mets? This team looks good for 2009 (position player-wise). The emergence of Murphy fills LF. 2B is a question mark, but this offense can withstand a warm body. They need two starting pitchers (a 4 and a 5), some bullpen arms, and a closer (bring on K-rod). "

    The team has good components to build upon, but blowing up the Mets essentially means getting rid of the rot on the team and rebuilding the culture and mentality of this piss clam of a team. And if that also means at least looking at 1 or 2 people who are "Core" or central figures, then perhaps that may have to be on the table. Pissing the pennant away two straight years down the stretch is a bad way to open ShitiField (no thats not a typo) and a mark of a team with no stones.

    10:31 AM

     
    Blogger Sidd Finch said...

    YuP! The clear sign that this year's bullpen was ready to rot, was pinning all hopes on Sanchez being healthy and back to 2006 form. Baaaaaad planning!

    It may be that we have seen the best of Duaner Sanchez, and that's a shame.

    The Mets have supplanted the Red Sox as team choke. With the Sox, it was '25 players, 25 cabs'. I'm not sure what the problem is with the Mets, but one problem is that the media keeps fanning the flames, just like they do in Boston.

    11:52 AM

     
    Blogger Sidd Finch said...

    Mike: Did you hear the Mets were relocating to the Phillipines?

    Ike: Nope.

    Mike: Yeh, they are renaming themselves the 'Manila Folders'.

    11:53 AM

     
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