Two losses and one victory later, they still maintain their narrow wildcard lead but have fallen a further full game behind the Phillies. It ent lookin rosy.
On Saturday night the pen was flawless but Pedro couldn't knock in more runs than he allowed which was a pity considering the rest of the Mets order was stifled by a combination of mediocre Brave hurlers. 6 meagre hits by the vaunted Mets batting order and only Pedro's 2-run double amounted to anything.
And then yesterday, having relinquished their tender, day-old half game lead over the Phillies, the Mets revisited a predictable nemesis; the predictably disappointing bullpen. Schoeneweis, Smith, Feliciano and Heilman combined in one sad and pathetic inning to give up 4 runs, 4 hits and 2 walks as a rubbish Braves linep transformed a 4-3 lead, like a magical incompetence, into a 7-4 deficit. The bullpen must be like investment bankers gambling away leads like investments with dangerous, risky incompetence.
Heilman in typically galling fashion served up the coup de grace, a two-run double to Martin Prado. Remind us all how and why he came to enter this game in the first place...August ERA 7.90 and a nice, fat 9.00 for September. Why is he not on irrevocable waivers just to keep Jerry from foolishly tempting fate??
That Delgado concluded a big night with a monster homerun in the 9th to cut the lead to one only served to underscore what often seems the futility of trying to overcome themselves and their usually miserable bullpen.
Schoeneweis noted with a flair of understated genius:
I just don't know what to say. We're not consistently making big pitches at big times. We do it one night; we don't do it the next night. There's really nothing more to say or explain or philosophize about.
True enough. But not a mystery. It's called the bullpen sucks.
A familiar refrain around these parts.
No photo could do it justice.