Even the mere HINT of a benching jump-started Wright yesterday
Yes, the Mets took two of three from the Padres in a crucial series and even crawled back to within two games of the Phillies.
But let's face it. The bullpen sucks and if the Mets struggled this mightily against the lowly Padres to hold a lead in both victories, gawd only knows what's going to happen against the likes of the Marlins, homefield advantage or not.
If you were Johan Santana, the same one who has watched the bullpen ruin a half dozen victories already this season, (in 24 starts which is more than the Twins' bullpen blew for him in 100 starts...) what in the hell are you doing handing over the ball with a slim lead, 104 pitches thrown and 6 outs still needed?
According to Manager Manuel this is all down to protecting an investment.
"He's been over 100 pitches more than he has been in his entire career at this stage with us. I understand the frustration with the fans. They want to win. But I also have to make sure this guy is our guy for a long, long time."
It's a story that's been nagged about all season and now of all times, with the bullpen threatening to bring down the season much like they helped bring down the last, you'd think he'd WANT to stay in there if for no other reason than to make sure the Mets won.
And in addition, Manuel is full of shite.
This has already been refuted by fact:
(games that Santana threw 100 pitches or more and his record in those games)
2000: 2 (0-1)
2002: 4 (3-1)
2003: 9 (7-1)
2004: 22 (15-5)
2005: 20 (10-2)
2006: 20 (12-4)
2007: 20 (6-10)
2008: 14 (6-4)
How close was Jerry to beaning Sanchez with that ball whilst they awaited the arrival of Feliciano?
Ok, the bullpen sucks. We've established that. Now what?
Sit around hoping too outscore every team by double digits going into the 9th and waiting for Hillbilly Wagner to get healthy? To be honest, his reputation in pressure-packed games with seasons riding on the line is not exactly sterling so praying for Wagner is not the final resolution of this problem.
Last night people like Duaner Sanchez choked down a heaping dose of humility, hitting the only fucking batter he came in to face on the first pitch.
And the book end to that was Schoeneweis giving up the homerun in the 9th that tied the game. But we knew that was coming. It was not a question of it, or when but who would be the culprit. Like drawing straws to see who gets executed.
I mean just look at these numbers over the last 30 games:
Schoeneweis, 1-0 4.82 ERA 2 blown save opportunities
Joe Smith 0-2 6.48 ERA
Pedro Feliciano 1-0 7.36 ERA
Aaron Heilman 2-3 7.80 ERA
Duaner Sanchez 2-0 3.86 (despite his ridiculous outing last night)
I mean reading this off is like reading off that scene where Dean Wormer is reading out the grades of the Animal House:
Dean Vernon Wormer: Mr. Kroger: two C's, two D's and an F. That's a 1.2 grade average. Congratulations, Kroger. You're at the top of the Delta pledge class. Mr. Dorfman?
Dean Vernon Wormer: Zero point two... Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son. Mr. Hoover, president of Delta house? One point six; four C's and an F. A fine example you set! Daniel Simpson Day... HAS no grade point average. All courses incomplete. Mr. Blu - MR. BLUTARSKY... ZERO POINT ZERO.
Now, I'm not covering any new territory here and the Mets did win anyway, dramatically so I'm going to drop this for now and keep my eyes shut against the Marlins.
On the positive side, rookies Reyes, Evans and Murph all played key roles in the victory and if this trio is any indication of the future, there is still something positive to squeeze out of last night.
Now if the Carloses start hitting the lineup might catch fire and the bullpen will have the space and time to try and right themselves. It wasn't that long ago they were doing brilliantly so who knows, anything is possible. After all, who'd have ever thought Carlos Deglado would be hitting over .250 again?