I recently wrote where the Mets have played exceedingly well despite a myriad of issues and stand by those words.
Not much was expected from these Mets coming out of spring training, but for the most part have played inspired, scrappy, ball. But, just when you thought it was safe to root for the Mets, along comes something like last night.
There they were, on the cusp of their fourth straight victory, the bullpen collapsed again to give up four runs in the eighth inning and one more in the ninth to watch it all slip away.
So, instead of playing for .500 tonight, the Mets are again three games under.
Also slipping away was a strong performance from Mike Pelfrey, which we haven’t had an abundance of this spring. Another good game from Jose Reyes was also wasted.
The bullpen, after a brief strong stretch, has been awful over the last 16 games with a 12.36 ERA in the seventh inning or later, with the opposition outscoring the Mets, 56-23.
Amidst the rubble of the collapsed pen has been Pedro Beato’s slide. Hoping for Beato to recapture his early season form forced Terry Collins to, 1) stay with him too long and watch him give up three runs in a third of an inning, and 2) go to Jason Isringhausen when he wanted to rest him last night.
Collins relied on Isringhausen because he doesn’t have much faith in anybody else in the pen, especially with Francisco Rodriguez gassed lately.
There are no viable options on either the major league or minor league options, and until the bullpen rights itself the Mets improve much beyond where they are right now.
All this is a reminder what a disappointment Bobby Parnell has been. Even before his injury, he failed to perform as the set-up reliever and this has been one of the most important issues of the season.
Another key issue is Jason Bay, who is benched tonight amidst a 0-for-27 freefall. Bay, who hit 36 homers two years ago in Boston, is down to .207 with two homers and ten RBI.
I suppose it can get worse, but seeing if it does is like watching a car wreck on the highway. You watch out of morbid curiosity.
Jason Pridie replaces Bay in left tonight.
Here’s the lineup at Milwaukee:
Jose Reyes, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Carlos Beltran, RF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Angel Pagan, CF
Jason Pridie, LF
Josh Thole, C
Ruben Tejada, 2B
Jonathan Niese, LP