Mainely Worried About Another Rotation Loss

Letting the Florida Marlins abuse the Mets bullpen is bad enough but not in and of itself a tragedy - the bullpen has performed admirably over the last month and there will always be the occasional hiccup.

In this case it was primarily down to Joe Smith and Scott Schoeneweis, who combined to allow the Marlins to score 5 runs in the bottom of the 8th to take what turned out to be an insurmountable 7-3 lead, driving half of the stadium's occupants, estimated to be Mets fans, from the stadium early.

No pitching with pain

More troubling than the bullpen's inauspicious outing, perhaps as they were still feeling overworked from their long stints on Saturday night (Smith having pitched 1 1/3 innings and Schoeneweis having pitched a mere inning and perhaps having no excuse after all for giving up 4 hits and 3 earned runs in a lone inning), was the fact that the bullpen was required as early as the 5th inning when starter John Maine was removed against his will with shoulder pain after only 75 pitches and a 2-0 lead.

"You get soreness," Maine said ominously, "but it's never felt like this before."

Maine didn't appear quite as diplomatic when Jerry Manuel came out to remove him in the 5th, petitioning long and loud to remain in the game against everyone's better judgement.

The victory moved the Marlins to within a game of the Mets and helped push the idle Phillies to within a half game and arguably, the removal of Maine was the turning point.

Joining Smith and Schoeneweiss as bullpen disappointments was Carlos Muniz, who has yet to prove he belongs in the majors. Without much ado Muniz surrendered the run that tied the game in the 6th despite David Wright's fantastic 3 row dive into the seats to pluck a fly ball out of nowhere. Actually, come to think of it, with a 13.50 ERA in his last five outings, one might wonder if Smith still deserves a spot in the pen any more euther.

But with no help forthcoming from deadline trades it appears, the Mets will simply have to make do with the mugs they've got in their at the moment.

More worrisome at the moment of course, is Maine's condition. Yes, Pedro is officially rejoining the rotation on Friday but frankly, relying on the rapidly ageing, oft-injured and struggling Pedro during the final season push might be asking too much.


sanchez said...

why not call up Salvador Aguilar from Binghamton? He's 6-2 with 2.93 ERA over his last 10 starts? Nah, we'll probably end up trading him for some second-rate Mariners outfielder instead.

jdon said...

I would like to see some new blood in this bullpen. All BPs have their ups and downs, and they have been okay for a month (we won't talk about that Phillies choke) but I do not TRUST this group. Same bunch as last year. and that group let us down individually and collectively. Only new face is Muniz and he is AAA all the way. Not a single pitcher here that I am not convinced will cough it up when things get really tight. The lineup is still suspect (their RISP average is just not what it should be) but these gasoline cans we have down in te pen will make September fireworks a certainty._Get a strong arm in here, even if it is from down below.

jdon said...

The Yankees brought up a hard throwing starter and put im in the pen last year. Is that sucj a bad idea for us?

Jaap said...

thanks, sanchez - sounds good but let's not forget it's Double AA. Then again, I seem to remember a certain D-Train coming up from Double AA a few years back and helping the Marlins make it to the post season.

Jaap said...

jdon - agreed - our bullpen is simply an accident (or failure) waiting to happen.
Not sure even the minor league system has such a guy as the one you describe. Maybe a 6'8 sidearmer Casey Hoorelbeke, fast-tracked up to AAA New Orleans would be interesting....

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