Forget Cliff Lee, how about solidifying the bullpen so that the anxiety levels of Mets fans throughout the Tri-State can subside late in games?
Yesterday (7/3), Francisco Rodriguez blew his fourth save of the season as he failed to protect a 5-3 Met lead in the bottom of the ninth against the Nationals. Following Ivan Rodriguez’s walk-off single to right, there was no pounding of the chest, no blowing kisses and pointing to the sky for our closer. Instead, the loss dropped the Mets to a disappointing 2-4 on the current road trip against sub-.500 NL East foes.
At this point, I am reluctant to even keep my television tuned into games when K-Rod enters in a save situation. Simply put, K-Rod is lacking as a stopper. He lacks the intimidation factor he once possessed with the Angels. He lacks good movement and location of his pitches. And he no longer is able to blow hitters away with plus velocity. His fastball is as straight as an arrow, and he often hangs his curveball. K-Rod’s control is erratic, and he has made a habit of getting behind in counts and putting runners on base. Basically, Franky has not given Mets fans a reason to feel confident in the 9th inning with a 1-3 run lead this season. With all of this said however, the one ounce of acclaim I will give him is that when his change-up is working he can be effective. Continue reading
The Mets lost a see-saw battle in 10 innings on an RBI single by Derrek Lee and a two-run homer by Aramis Ramirez off Luis Ayala.
The Mets had great momentum with a grand slam by Carlos Delgado in the 3rd inning and coming back to tie the game in the eighth on a bases loaded walk by Ramon Martinez. Martinez had a really nice game in the field and at the plate.
The Mets end up tied for the Wild Card lead with the Brewers and only have four games left. That was a really tough loss.
Coming off two games against the Braves in which the bullpen blew a late lead, Mets fans are realizing just how fragile our post-season hopes are. If the Mets can’t find a solution for the problems at the back of the bullpen we very well may end up watching another September division lead disappear before our eyes.
Billy Wagner wasn’t perfect this season, having blown seven saves before his season ended on August 3rd, but he sure would be a sight for sore eyes now. The Luis Ayala/closer by committee situation that we’re suffering through now is about as disturbing to watch as Jose Lima or Brian Lawrence starting a game.
At this late stage of the season there aren’t many options. There isn’t a guy in the bullpen that I trust to get three outs consistently. And I do think the Mets gave up on Eddie Kunz this season a little too early. He may have been able to make a contribution in September.
So we’re stuck in a closer-less purgatory and left to cross our fingers and toes every time it’s a late and close situation. I can’t even call the Mets the cardiac kids because that would imply they’re coming back for some late wins. I would say buckle your seat belts because the last two weeks of the season are going to be a wild ride.
The culprit was Luis Ayala today and Pedro Feliciano threw some gas on the fire in the ninth inning blown save.
The shame of it is that a monster game by David Wright was wasted. Wright was 4 for 5 with 3 RBI’s and 2 home runs.
Oliver Perez wasn’t terribly sharp early on, but he battled through to end up with a pretty good line of 7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 8 K.
I know this sounds like a broken record but Carlos Delgado continued mashing again today going 3 for 5.
The story of this game may very well end up being the downfall of the 2008 version of the Mets. Not having a stopper at the back of the bullpen is an extremely difficult problem to overcome. As the last two weeks of the season draw to a close the Mets need someone from the bullpen to prove that they can consistently handle the pressure of the ninth inning.
Mets ace Johan Santana (12-7) threw seven shutout innings giving up eight hits and one walk with five strikeouts. He had a few innings where he had to work out of trouble and ended throwing a season high 121 pitches.
All of the offense came in the first two innings on a David Wright RBI single and a two run homer by Brian Schneider in the second. The Mets only managed four hits in the game but really made them count. Roy Oswalt was outstanding for the Astros tonight pitching eight innings.
Ryan Church made his long awaited return to the team tonight going 1 for 3 with a run scored and hit seventh in the lineup.
Luis Ayala got the call to close the game tonight with Aaron Heilman pitching the eighth. Ayala has quickly moved up the ladder in the bullpen with two good outings.
The Mets activated relief pitcher Luis Ayala acquired in a trade with the Washington Nationals. To make room on the 25 man roster the Mets optioned Eddie Kunz to Triple-A New Orleans.
Kunz was clearly overmatched in his short stint with the Mets. He pitched in four games to a 13.50 ERA. He looks like he has potential but he’s certainly not there yet.
The Mets picked up relief pitcher Luis Ayala from the Washington Nationals for a player to be named later. That player is expected to be second baseman Anderson Hernandez according to multiple media reports.
This season Ayala is 1-8 with a 5.77 ERA. Pretty ugly numbers but he’s had much better seasons prior to this year with Montreal/Washington.
Hernandez is playing at Triple-A New Orleans where he’s appeared in 125 games to the tune of .203/.262/.307. Not very impressive either.
Ayala should provide some help in the bullpen. To make room on the 40 man roster the Mets placed Moises Alou on the 60-day disabled list.
Jon Heyman reports at SI.com that the Mets are talking to the Washington Nationals about a deal for relief pitcher Luis Ayala.
He’s pitched in 54 games this season, a right-hander, has a 1-6 record and 5.54 ERA. He’s been with the organization since 2003 so Omar Minaya knows him well. The numbers for his prior seasons are pretty good. He’s never had an ERA higher than 3.19 before this year and he’s pitched in as many as 81 games/season.