Lately We Get Nothing But Bull Out Of The Pen

An article by posted on September 25, 2007

I’m really trying my best to stay positive over the past month even though I have had plenty of good reasons to vent.

Every time I see Rick Peterson make a call to the bullpen I can’t help being overcome with fear and anxiety.

The bullpen has become so unreliable that even a 3 or 4 run lead has Mets fans wondering if the bullpen can close it out.

Everyday it seems like they all take turns playing the role of the goat. After having one of the top bullpens in the first half of the season, the Mets have sunk to the worst, due in great part to a bad August and a putrid September.

Who do you point the finger of blame at? Try all of them.

Joe Smith looked great in April when teams didn’t have a scouting report on him. He then went on to look average in May, and then found himself back in the minors where he should have been all along. Now, he can’t even be counted on to face one batter. His ERA since June continues to rise and now stands at 6.35

Scott Schoeneweis who seemed like a great signing going into the season, has been a sight for sore eyes for the competition, and an eye sore for Mets fans as he has pitched to an ERA that is over 5.00. You can blame some of that on injuries and overuse, but for the money he is getting paid, we expected a lot more from him than he has delivered. However, he has delivered exactly what we should have expected. His career ERA is 5.04 in 12 seasons, and that is exactly what he has delivered this season. What did Omar think he was going to get?

Guillermo Mota has been the poster boy for a bullpen that has been blowing leads for the better part of the second half. In fact, until Mota came back from the suspended list, the Mets bullpen had ranked third in the National League. It has now sunk to the bottom. He is not only the worst pitcher in the Mets bullpen, but among all relievers in the NL with over 40 innings pitched, has the second highest ERA. And yet, he’s Willie’s go-to-guy.

Four days ago during the Marlins loss, fans were screaming for Pedro Feliciano to pitch an entire inning. The very next night the fans got what they wished for, and saw Pedro Feliciano nearly blowing another big lead by the New York Mets. I’m sure there were no fans blaming Willie Randolph for pulling Feliciano in that game’s rain soaked affair.

Jorge Sosa who failed to land a permanent job in the rotation was suddenly seen as ray of hope in the bullpen. But when I look at his 5.60 ERA since joining the bullpen, and his 9.05 ERA in September, I have to ask you fans… what exactly is everyone so excited about? That ERA does not even take into consideration the inherited runners that scored and went onto another pitchers ERA.

The most aggravating part of all this is that since September call-ups, I’ve witnessed many bullpens get a huge shot in the arm from their minor league call-ups. However, the Mets got no such boost. We’ve seen Collazo, Urandeta, Vargas, Humber all come up at different points this season, however we had no reason to implement any "Joba rules" on these guys…

Omar, I love you, so I’m not gonna get in your face about this right now. But I hope you have a plan to fix this bullpen in the off-season.

These days, a bullpen is the most important component of a championship team. I don’t want to hear any excuses about how a good reliever costs too much. Players who hit 25 homers are a dime a dozen, every team has 5-6 of them, geez there’s a dozen teams that have leadoff men with almost as many homers as Beltran and Delgado. Proven relievers with live arms and control are worth far more. Fix the bullpen before we get on your case, like we did against Phillips and Duquette…

This is New York, and it’s not the owners who decide which GM stays or goes, it’s the fans.

About the Author ()

I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.

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