Step Right Up and Greet the Bench?

An article by posted on March 6, 2008

Okay, so it was bound to happen….Moises Alou got hurt. We all knew it was gonna happen. Okay, so maybe Omar didn’t know when he picked up Alou’s option, but that’s beside the point. Brian Schneider has a tight hammie. Ryan Church and Marlon Anderson collided, with Church still experiencing symtoms of his Grade 2 concussion. Luis Castillo is recovering from double knee surgery. Allegedly, so is Carlos Beltran, but I think it’s because Johan Santana hit him with a pitch so hard, one could see the inseam of the ball on Beltran’s leg. Carlos Delgado has a right hip impingement and El Duque is old; even if he’s not hurt now, he probably will get hurt when he is most needed (i.e. in September). Endy Chavez, Damion Easley, and Ruben Gotay are also unavailable.

For those of you keeping score at home, here’s what the Mets are playing with: David Wright, Jose Reyes, Ramon Castro, and any pitcher not named Duaner Sanchez or Orlando Hernandez. Oh yeah, and those guys on the bench. Angel Pagan. Anderson Hernandez. F-Mart. Brady Clark. Michael Abreu.

By any standard, half a team being injured is uncommon. The fact that the Mets are winning with only two regulars who are normally taken out in the fifth or sixth inning is phenomial. If this were the regular season, I would be worried. However, the bench has come through beautifully for us, just like a good bench should.

Okay, so pitching is the key to victory. And Omar did a magnificent job in acquiring Johan Santana without giving up Fernando Martinez, who will be in a Mets uniform this season, in my opinion. But the offense breaks down, and the defense makes errors. The Mets bench is arguably one of the best in the majors. Guys like Angel Pagan and Brady Clark will now get a second look from Willie Randolph because they have come through for him. Even if it’s just getting hit by a pitch at the right time, I haven’t seen the bench do Willie wrong this spring.

The Mets always find a way to amaze me. That’s what they’re supposed to do; they’re the Amazins’. Whether they amaze me by being injured all at once or by winning five straight games in their last at-bat, they always amaze me. I’m glad these guys on the bench are getting good playing time; it gives them the oppurtunity to amaze us.

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