Managers have tried for over a century, but there is no prescription drug capable of curing sick pitching. And, it’s not as if sick pitching is like the flu where it will go away in a couple of weeks.
Sick pitching doesn’t go away easily, so it wasn’t as simple as dispatching Josh Edgin to the minor leagues. Robert Carson was disappointed in being sent down to the minor leagues to start the season, but not nearly as disappointed as the Mets were in seeing him come back again.
Yesterday was the Mets’ latest pitching calamity – both the miserable start from Shaun Marcum and Carson’s five-run relief bombing – as they lost for the eighth time in 11 games.
With the exception of days Matt Harvey pitches, the Mets are rarely getting length from their starters, and on the occasions they do, they get nothing from their offense. It’s a nice symmetry for losing teams, of which the Mets are again proving to be.
That’s why today is as must-win-a-game as a team can have for April. With the major league worst 5.28 bullpen ERA, the Mets desperately need innings from Jon Niese, who is pitching with a bruised right ankle sustained last Tuesday.
That he is even pitching in indicative of the Mets’ desperation. Niese only had a light throw day since taking a hard comebacker off his ankle. Many teams would have him skip a turn to make sure he is all right, but not the Mets.
The Mets have few options other than to let Niese go back out there. Desperation is their route, and it is imperative Niese gets them through the sixth inning.
“Our starters have to get us deeper in the game,” manager Terry Collins said. “We’re using guys in the fifth and sixth innings that should be pitching the seventh and eighth.’’
Or at worst, in the minor leagues.