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.
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.
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 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.