From the desk of: HEAD BUTTING MR. MET
NEW YORK METS: Two Opportunities Lost.
Opportunities lost indeed. With no Roy Halladay to face, the Mets had Cole Hamels right where they wanted him Monday. Wednesday night, the Mets similarly had Cliff Lee right where they wanted him as well. In both cases, the bottom of the bullpen fell out.
Monday's meltdown centered around Manny Acosta. And it cost him his job. After seeing what happened to D.J. Carrasco prior to that, the word is out - Sandy will cut you; no other descriptive needed.
Wednesday night, everyone who stepped out of the bullpen got roughed up. Bobby Parnell took a second tumble this series. Along with Parnell, Tim Byrdak and Jon Rouch, I believe are just matters of usage. So I won't harp on a loss with regards to them. And for the moment, it's not fair to pick on Chris Schwinden either.
So that leaves us with Ramon Ramirez, who took his turn at folly Thursday evening. He surrendered only his second home run this season, to Jimmy Rollins. Thing with Ramon Ramirez is, when he's on, he's good. When he's off, he's really off. And he's terribly streaky. So I hope this isn't about to begin a new string of troubles for him, and us. This would be the absolute wrong time for that.
Guys like Ramirez and Miguel Batista just became more important to the Mets. After all, there are only so many appendages Sandy Alderson can amputate from the bullpen, before Buffalo, and Binghampton run out; if they haven't already. And quite obviously, what we can reasonably expect from Chris Schwinden, is negligible. Which is to say, we have a real precarious situation on our hands, as this schedule begins to test the Mets.
For a night, or a series, Bobby Parnell, Tim Byrdak, and Jon Rauch, at least I feel, we all victims of over-use heading into Wednesday night. And not just lately, but over all this season. Sometimes over-use manifests itself at different times, even on the heels of recent, long and strong performances by Johan Santana and Dickey.
Losing two out of three games to the Phillies was an opportunity lost on the Mets. In the face of mystifying offensive accomplishments, the Mets still betrayed their own timely hitting and decently strong pitching with an array of confounding bullpen performances. These two losses to the Phillies are the kinds that haunt. These are the ones you rue not winning. This was a series designed to seize the moment.
What is still undeniable about these Mets however, is their ability to, if not staying in against strong opposing starting pitchers, but they also have shown they can indeed out-last them. This was the second time against Cliff Lee this season, and they had him where they wanted him too.