Mets Merized Online » Frankie Rodriguez Thu, 23 Feb 2017 21:23:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 K-Rod Closing In On A Plea Deal Wed, 10 Nov 2010 17:40:04 +0000 Latest Update form ESPN:

Attorneys and prosecutors continue to work on a plea bargain in the case of New York Mets reliever Francisco Rodriguez, who is charged with third-degree assault, second-degree harassment and criminal contempt.

Rodriguez would not comment Wednesday morning after appearing briefly in Queens Criminal Court. After the hearing, Judge Elisa Koenderman adjourned the case until Dec. 3, mentioning Rodriguez’s next court appearance as “a possible disposition or trial date.”

But Christopher Booth, Rodriguez’s attorney, is confident the case will be disposed of. “This is not going to go to trial,” he said Wednesday.

Original Post

Adam Rubin of ESPN  tells us that Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez has a court date scheduled for today at 9:30 AM at Queens Criminal Court.

Rodriguez’s defense attorney, Christopher Booth, had indicated at last month’s hearing that a plea bargain likely could be in place by this scheduled courthouse visit.

Rodriguez already has settled his grievance with the Mets. He forgoed the $3.1 million the Mets’ withheld in 2010 pay and was reinstated from the disqualified list.

Rubin also reminds us that Rodriguez is set to earn $11.5 million next season, in the final guaranteed year of his contract. The contract will vest for 2012 if he finishes 55 games. Otherwise, he is entitled to a $3.5 million buyout — essentially making his 2011 salary $15 million.

There has been some speculation the Mets could try and move Rodriguez, and one Angels beat reporter suggested a possible return to Anaheim, but the odds are K-Rod will still be on the team come opening day.

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Will Angels Be Interested In Re-Acquiring K-Rod? Mon, 08 Nov 2010 16:29:29 +0000 It’s an interesting question and one posed by Randy Youngman, a columnist for the Ocean County Register.

The New York Mets are open to trading closer Francisco Rodriguez, who is entering the final year of a three-year, $37 million contract that will pay him $11.5 million in 2011.

Would the Angels be interested in re-acquiring K-Rod? Possibly, if his legal problems related to an altercation with his father-in-law are resolved this winter.

The Angels don’t have a proven closer after trading Brian Fuentes and watching Fernando Rodney struggle with his command in his late-season trial as bullpen stopper. So if the team doesn’t believe power arms Kevin Jepsen and Jordan Walden are ready for the role, why not make a play for K-Rod?

I would have to believe that if this opportunity presented itself to Sandy Alderson, he would surely pave the way  for Francisco Rodriguez to return to Anaheim.

There are certainly many obstacles of course. In addition to his legal problems, there is the matter of his $13 million dollar salary this season, and more importantly his 2012 option for $18 million dollars that vests after 55 appearances, an easily obtainable figure if he remains healthy for an entire season.

Still, anything can happen once the two sides can begin talking. There is no doubt that if the Angels can get K-Rod for about $9 million this season, it would represent a great value for them based on what top closers get in today’s market place. That would mean the Mets paying about $4 million of his salary, and it may not be a bad idea.

Moving K-Rod would cetainly clear up some payroll and give Alderson some much needed flexibility, even if he were to assume a large chunk of his salary. Fingers crossed.

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Lawyers To Meet Ahead Of K-Rod Grievance Hearing Thu, 30 Sep 2010 11:15:22 +0000 Lawyers from Major League Baseball and the players’ association will meet today to discuss the grievance filed after the New York Mets withheld the remainder of this season’s salary from Francisco Rodriguez.

Under baseball’s collective bargaining agreement, the meeting is required before the grievance can be scheduled for argument in front of arbitrator Shyam Das.

New York’s decision, and an earlier move to put him on the restricted list for two days, cost Rodriguez $3,142,076 of his $11.5 million salary this year.

In addition, the team said it was exercising a contractual right to convert the rest of his $37 million, three-year deal to non-guaranteed, meaning the Mets could try to avoid paying most of what’s left on it. That move also is subject to the grievance.

If the conversion is upheld, the Mets could release Rodriguez in the early part of spring training next year for 30 days’ termination pay. That would mean paying $1,885,246 rather than his $11.5 million salary next year. They still likely would owe the $3.5 million buyout attached to the $17.5 million club option for 2012.

If the Mets do get to exercise their contractual right, and let Rodriguez go, I wonder if they will trade for or sign another closer to replave him, or simply keep the cash and go with what they have?

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Mets Errors Prove Costly, Lose 4-0 To Phils Sun, 15 Aug 2010 02:07:51 +0000

Victorino & Werth score on Wright's fielding error in sixth inning

Mets couldn’t keep the win streak going as they lose game two against the Phillies, 4-0. The Mets held the Phillies to 38 scoreless innings in Citi Field but that was snapped in the third inning. Pat Misch pitched well in his first start with the Mets on the season. The bullpen was great. The offense was not there. And neither was the defense as three errors on the night cost the Mets three runs. Mets fall back to .500 on the season.

Game Summary

Pat Misch made his first start for the Mets tonight against the Phillies. Had had a great start to the game, getting the first eight guys out. He later gave up a hit to the pitcher Halladay. He would also score later in the third to end the Phillies 38 inning scoreless drought when playing in Citi Field. Misch, who doesn’t blow away hitters and isn’t a superb pitcher still did his job and did his job well. He went 6 innings, giving up 8 hits, four runs – one earned – walked two batters and struck out two batters on 106 pitches. Expect to see him on Tuesday in Houston. However, because of the three errors on the night and no offense to back him up, his debut this season ends in a loss.

Bobby Parnell came into the seventh and pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Elmer Dessens pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning with a strikeout. Dessens hasn’t been used since August first. Frankie Rodriguez, who was released from his suspension today, pitched the ninth inning only giving up one hit.

The Mets tallied only six hits while being shutout by the Phillies. Halladay aced the Mets tonight. Eight innings, four hits, seven strikeouts. There was no Mets offense. You know the story by now.

Mets six hits belong to their 1-4 hiters plus Thole and Carter who each had one hit. Tejada was the only starting hitter not to strikeout in the game.

Ike Davis went 0-4 with a hat trick of strikeouts.

David Wright went 1-4 with a K. Wright who had four at-bats saw 11 pitches on the night. Ruben Tejada who had two at-bats saw 12 pitches on the night. Take that as you will.

The biggest blunder for the Mets on the night were the three errors. The first one was by Misch throwing, second was by Tejada throwing that cost a run, and the biggest error was by Wright’s fielding error that cost the Mets two runs. “Gets by Buckner Wright!” He was assuming the ball would take another hop into his glove. He needs to go back and learn the fundamentals. Starting by not assuming anything in this game.

Turning Point

The error by Wright really sealed the deal for the Phillies win tonight.

Game Ball

The bullpen, after getting 18 innings of rest, didn’t allow any runs in the game.

Up Next

Mets will have Mike Pelfrey on the mound for them as he starts the rubber game against the Phillies. Philadelphia will have Kyle Kendrick (7-4) on the mound for him. Kendrick has gotten to the seventh inning or beyond in only two of his last ten starts. Game time is 8:05 PM and will be broadcasted on ESPN.

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Pat Misch Starting Saturday Fri, 13 Aug 2010 21:34:40 +0000 Updated 9:42 PM

The Mets have sent down Ryota Igarashi and Raul Valdes to AAA-Buffalo to make room for Pat Misch and Frankie Rodriguez returning.

Original Post 5:34 PM

Jerry Manuel has confirmed that left-hander Pat Misch will start for the Mets on Saturday against the Phillies. The choice was between Misch and Oliver Perez. They made the wise decision.

Pat Misch will go up against the Phillies ace, Roy Halladay.

Pat Misch has spent this season with AAA-Buffalo and has composed an 11-4 record in 23 games pitched. He has a 3.23 ERA in 150.2 innings pitched. He has 99 strikeouts, 34 walks and has giving up eleven homeruns on the season. He has pitched two complete games and one shutout.

Misch has gone at least five innings in each of his last 10 starts, including a game where he went eight innings and only gave up three hits and struck out seven. Misch was pulled early in his last start only going five innings but still getting the win.

Frankie Rodriguez will also be back in uniform on Saturday as his two game suspension will have ended.

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Frankie Rodriguez Arrested For Assault, Father In Law Hospitalized Thu, 12 Aug 2010 04:15:31 +0000 As reported by the Associated Press, New York Mets reliever Francisco Rodriguez is in custody after what police called a “physical assault” on a family member at Citi Field. 

Police say Rodriguez will be charged with third-degree assault.

Police say the incident occurred after the Mets’ 6-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night.

Police did not say which family member Rodriguez scuffled with, but said the unidentified man had minor injuries.

The Mets confirmed there was an incident between Rodriguez and his family, and referred all questions to the police.

Daily News updates the situation.

Rodriguez and his wife’s father brawled in a tunnel just outside the Mets clubhouse in the moments following the team’s 6-2 loss to the Colorado Rockies.

The father-in-law suffered facial abrasions and was taken by ambulance to Flushing Hospital shortly after the 10:15 p.m. incident, police said.

Rodriguez, 28, was charged with third-degree assault, police said.

Moments before the explosion with his family, Rodriguez snapped at reporters who asked why he was not summoned to pitch in a bases loaded situation in the 8th inning.

Investigators believe the emotional closer threw at least one punch during the altercation, which spilled into the hallway outside the team’s Family Lounge.

The Mets issued the following statement:

“There was an incident between Francisco Rodriguez and his family tonight at the ballpark. He was questioned by police and all other questions pertaining to this incident will be referred to the police department.”

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Don’t Mess With The Johan! Mets Shutout Phils In 1-0 Win! Sun, 08 Aug 2010 02:13:39 +0000

The Mets take game two against the Phillies in a tight 1-0 win. Johan Santana had a great start not giving up any runs, and not allowing a hit for the first five and two-third innings. Frankie Rodriguez pitched five outs to get his twenty fourth save and win it for the Mets. Jeff Francoeur supplied the only Mets run in the seventh with a solo homerun. This the Mets first nine innings 1-0 win this season. Also, it was the Mets major league-leading 15th shutout of the season. Mets get back to .500 on the season.

Game Summary

Johan Santana had another great start of the season. After the big debacle of Manuel pulling Niese out after seven innings, Manuel let Santana go out for an out in the eighth inning before having to take him out of the game. Santana was great early not allowing a hit for the first 5.2 innings of the game. He also had three innings where he got hitters out 1-2-3. However, Santana had to get pulled as the last two innings he pitched, you can see his fastball rise about 3 or 4 inches and hitters were able to get hits off of it. In the end, Santana pitched 7.1 shutout innings, gave up five hits and walked three but also struck out six batters. Not only was his pitching on point, but so was his defense as Santana shows off that gold glove of his making a nice out at third on a bunt play. Santana walks away with his first win since July 23rd.

Frankie Rodriguez pitched five amazing outs to get his 24th save of the season. He didn’t allow a single hit, walking one batter but struck out two. Nice to see Frankie doing his job as a closer without all of his antics.

The story of the Mets offense not supporting Santana much continues once more. Only one run scored for the Mets on seven hits. Mets offense were struck out thirteen times in the game, eleven coming from the starter Hamels.

Jeff Francoeur had one hit in the game, but the one hit was the difference maker with a solo homerun in the seventh inning.

Ruben Tejada was brought up to bring in youthfulness and for his defense and he sure didn’t disappoint. His defense was on point all night long with making three great plays in the game. Ike Davis also had a hand in helping out Tejada with one of those great plays. His offense is still a concern though, as he went 0-4 with two strikeouts.

Why is Angel Pagan bunting? Really Manuel?

Fernando Martinez was also called up recently, he went 0-1 in a pinch hit role.

Turning Point

Jeff Francoeur’s solo homerun in the seventh inning gave the Mets enough runs to win.

Game Ball

Johan Santana is still not getting much run support, but he has another great start and deserves the game ball.

Up Next

Mets will have R.A. Dickey on the mound for the Mets as he finishes the series in a rubber game against the Phillies. The Phillies will have their ace, Roy Halliday, will look for his fourteenth win of the season. Game time is 1:35 PM.

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Should Jenrry Mejia Be The Future Closer For The Mets? Tue, 20 Jul 2010 13:10:01 +0000 I really try to avoid the pitfalls of letting a game or two get to me. However in lieu of Sunday’s implosion of Frankie Rodriguez, his latest in a line of many, my jerking knee isn’t bothering my conscience quite as much as I thought it would.

Earlier this year Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel fawned over minor league phenom pitcher, Jenrry Mejia. Somehow through that love affair the kid surprisingly made the major league team right out of Spring. It was a desperate move then and looking back, it remains the same.

Especially considering one, the kid had barely over 200 innings of work in the minors and two, unbeknownst to him, he was anointed by Jerry Manuel and few other prominent figures around the team, a future Mariano Rivera armed with a Godly cutter and all.

No pressure there Jenrry. Here’s the ball, have fun. Nobody ever accused the Mets of being masters of public relations but this situation took the cake for me. Instead of dealing with the reality of not having a bona-fide set-up man, Minaya and Manuel decided to thrust Jenrry Mejia into the spotlight.

Why? Do I really have to ask? Remember, during Spring, both Minaya and Manuel were a Metro Card away from taking the 7 train out of Citifield. Anyway, what was done was done and yes Mejia did gain major league knowledge, but at what cost?

As of now he’s still out of commission with an injury. The plan before the injury, stretch him out to become a starter. I love that phrase, stretch him out, as if he’s a human Stretch Armstrong. That’s an old toy back in the day for you digital kids here.

It is very tempting to get an arm like his in the rotation. Just as tempting as it was for the Yankees to have Mariano Rivera go nine. If some of you remember Rivera wasn’t always thought of as a closer. He went from prospective starter to set-up man to the Mariano Rivera we know today.

He’s pretty much the antithesis of Frankie Rodriquez. He’s quiet, controlled, completely unflashy yet devastatingly effective, and oh yes, a future Hall of Famer.

Frankie Rodriguez would have fit in perfectly with the early 90′s Mets. He’s style over substance. Don’t get me wrong he was a pretty fantastic closer and at the time the Mets signed him, he was the best closer available on the market. That was then and this is now.

Then, while he was in Anaheim, Frankie was bringing the heat, regularly hitting 98 on the radar gun. Today he’s topping out at 92, but mostly around 90-91. Couple that with his erratic delivery, his arm slot is never the same game to game. It prompts one to wonder why Anaheim didn’t try to bring the single season saves record holder back?  What can the Mets do at this point? He’s signed through next year. However there are a few options, unfortunately if the team hits the skids, that could pan out.

Between now and the trade deadline the Mets would have to completely fall apart, to even entertain trading Rodriguez. None of us or the Mets are hoping for that obviously.

So let’s focus on next year, and what Jenrry Mejia could provide the Mets if they’re willing to go down that road with him. Instead of focusing on Mejia becoming a starter I’d have him when he’s healthy, working on his fastball and cutter and his command.

Mariano Rivera made his debut in 1995, appearing in 19 games for the Yankees that year, starting 10 of them. Starting simply wasn’t his forte and in 1996 Mariano Rivera became John Wetteland’s set-up man and did he ever blossom.

Pitching over 100 innings that year Rivera had an ERA slightly over 2 and racked 130 K’s. The second year stud was 12th in MVP voting that year, and earned his first of 5 World Series rings.

Jenrry Mejia next year, at some point, should join the team and truly set-up for Frankie Rodriguez. He should not be handed the empty innings that Manuel gave him earlier this season, which by the way, was a clear sign to me that he and Minaya were hoping to catch lightning in a bottle, while giving themselves enough wiggle room in case things went sour for the kid.

It was a terrible way to initiate your franchise’s supposed diamond in the rough. It was unfair to the fans but most especially unfair to Mejia. With hard work and a CLEAR game-plan, with proper expectations, Mejia could make his way back to Flushing and who knows, perhaps one day, make good on those Mariano Rivera comparisons. Only time will tell.

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Mets Win 4-3 After K-Rod Blows Another Johan Lead Mon, 19 Jul 2010 14:42:21 +0000

The Mets were able to walk away with the 4-3 victory over the Giants in the tenth inning to avoid the sweep. Santana pitched great but Frankie blew the save and Johan’s chance for his eighth win. Ike Davis shows that he is a clutch hitter with a big RBI double in the tenth inning to give the Mets their first win in the second half. Bittersweet victory, but a victory none the less.

Game Summary

Johan Santana couldn’t have given the Mets a better opportunity to win. He delivered another amazing start, but ends up with the no-decision because of the same two usual reasons: not enough offense and Frankie Rodriguez. This story is getting old and Santana deserves better. He pitched eight strong innings, only giving up one run on eight hits. He walked one and struck out five. He had 115 pitches after the eighth inning and I highly doubt he could have gone out there for the ninth, but the Mets still should have gave him the opportunity to win the game himself. I mean, come on Jerry, how many times have you seen the bullpen cost Santana a win? Seriously! Nice job Santana, sorry the Mets couldn’t give you your well deserved win.

Where to begin with Francisco Rodriguez? He gave up two base hits before getting the first out in the ninth inning. Followed by a two-run single to Ishikawa to tie the game and saddle him with his sixth blown save of the season. If it wasn’t for Francoeur, it would have been the end of the game. K-Rod would later come back to pitch the tenth inning. He was able to get the first two batters out, but followed up by allowing a two out double. Manuel signaled for Frankie to intentionally walk the next batter, who would have been the winning run. (Uh, what was that all about?) However, Frankie was able to strike out the last batter, and after all the dust settled, the Mets walked away with a bittersweet victory in the tenth inning.

Terrible job by the home plate umpire whose many bad calls screwed both teams. He had a bad call on a Frankie pitch that was a strike, but called it a ball and got plenty of heat about it. He followed that up  by calling the Giants runner out at home plate, when he was safe by a mile. This did save the Mets the losing run, however. Of course, those two poor calls were not to be overshadowed by a ball that Huff hit in front of home plate and everyone was confused on whether the ball was fair or foul. Blanco threw it to first anyway and got the runner out to send the game into extra innings. However, the home plate umpire (who called the ball fair) let the third base umpire call the ball foul and sent everybody into a tizzy about the call that shouldn’t have been the third base umpire’s call to begin with. Damn this is confusing. The umps made such a mess of this game and were soundly booed after the game.

Back to the Mets… The offense did not score runs in bunches for Santana as usual, however, they did give him enough run support that could have given him the win if K-Rod’s ninth inning disaster didn’t happen.

Francoeur, Tejada, and Blanco all had 0-fer’s with Francoeur striking out three times. Thole needs to be starting everyday now and Tejada is not likely to be sticking around in the majors when Castillo returns on Monday.

David Wright had one hit, a solo homerun to left center, his 15th of the season. Justin Turner had one hit, the first double of his career, also his first hit of the season. Jason Bay had a three hit night, however, all of them were singles.

Ike Davis had the biggest offensive output once again. He had three hits and two RBIs, including a clutch double in the tenth inning to score Bay and give the Mets the lead and the win. Ike has shown that he is legit, and not just with his power, but the way he hits the ball into gaps and off of the walls. He would have had a homerun if the wall in right field was three feet shorter. We Like Ike!

Turning Point

The Ike Davis RBI double in the tenth inning gave the Mets their winning run.

Game Ball

Ike Davis deserves high praise, however, I’m giving the game ball to Johan Santana. Seeing as it’s the only thing Santana is able to walk away with.

Up Next

Mets head to the desert as they begin a three game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Mike Pelfrey (10-4) will start the first game going up against Ian Kennedy (4-7). Kennedy was very impressive in his last start going eight innings, only giving up one run, three hits and striking out nine against the Giants. Game time is 9:40 PM.

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Despite Ike’s Two Homers Mets Fall To Giants 8-4 Sun, 18 Jul 2010 07:44:01 +0000 Mets fall short of a comeback as they lose their third straight game to the Giants, 8-4. Hisanori Takahashi had a poor start for the Mets, while Ike Davis hit two long home runs, however, the Mets came up short in a ninth inning rally. With the loss, the Mets fall behind the Phillies in the NL East race to third place.

Game Summary

Hisanori Takahashi probably needs to be back in the bullpen where he has shown that he is a reliable seventh and even eighth inning man. Since his start against the Yankees, he hasn’t shown that he can keep the Mets in the game. He gave up six runs on seven hits including two home runs in just 2.2 innings pitched. He walked one and struck out two batters. Takahashi is a bullpen guy and the Mets need a replacement starting pitcher. Possibly a trade, possibly bringing up Pat Misch, maybe bringing up Oliver Perez?! It’s a possibility.

Fernando Nieve came in to aid the ailing Takahashi and pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, and stuck out two. Haven’t seen Nieve pitch much lately, maybe Manuel is giving him all of the rest he didn’t get in April.

Raul Valdes pitched 2.1 innings in relief. Less emphasis on the relief, however. He gave up two runs on three hits, walked one and struck out three. Francisco Rodriguez pitched his first game in three days. “He needs the work.” He pitched a 1-2-3 eighth inning, striking out two batters.

Carlos Beltran and Ike Davis provided most of the offense in the game. Beltran went 2-4 with his first triple and a run scored. Ike Davis also had a two hit night, belting a pair of long homeruns. He picked up three RBIs and scored two runs. When he hits homeruns, he really hits ‘em. The first one went into McCovey Cove, while the second one went to straight center. This is Ike’s second two homer game of the season. His first time was also against the Giants.

David Wright, Josh Thole, and Chris Carter each had a hit. Wright went 1-3 with an RBI, while Thole and Carter both had pinch hit singles.

Ruben Tejada continues to be a target for pitchers as he got plunked in the shoulders during the ninth inning. That is his sixth hit-by-pitch this season.

Interesting note: At one point Matt Cain was standing on third. I wonder if Wright and Cain had a conversation about Cain plunking him in the head last year that sent him to the hospital.

Turning Point

The Buster Posey solo home run in the third inning was the big blow that pushed the Giants too far for the Mets to comeback.

Game Ball

Ike Davis hit two huge homeruns and knocked in three of the Mets runs tonight.

Up Next

Johan Santana looks to avoid the sweep as he will be going up against Jonathon Sanchez. Both pitchers are looking for their eighth win of the season. Should be a good lefty vs. lefty match up. Game time is 4:05 PM.

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Don’t Mess With The Johan, Mets Beat Braves 3-0 Sun, 11 Jul 2010 21:31:22 +0000

Johan Santana pitched seven shutout innings, and despite only scant run support, the Mets were able to tally 13 hits in a 3-0 win over the Braves. The first half ends in on a winning note for the Mets.

Game Notes

Johan Santana pitched like the ace that we traded for. Last outing he went nine complete shutout innings and got the win and today he followed that up with seven more shutout innings. Now making it sixteen consecutive shutout innings for Johan. He was able to keep hitters off the bases, and was even able to receive some, but not a lot, of offense. Santana, only gave up five hits, walked three, and struck out five to pick up his second straight win. He threw 107 pitches, but I would have liked to see Santana go further in the game as he doesn’t pitch for another seven days. If there was any time to push your starter it would have been here. Either way, nice to see the Santana of old, and a shutout of the NL East leading Braves.

Bobby Parnell continues to be impressive in relief with a perfect eighth inning pitched. He gave up no hits and even struck out Chipper Jones. Frankie Rodriguez pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning to receive his 21st save of the season. KRod trying to silence his skeptics.

The offense is still cold and they were only able to score three runs, however, they were enough to beat the Braves. The offense was once again led by Angel Pagan, with help from Ike Davis and Josh Thole.

Pagan went 3-5 with a run scored, hit his sixth triple of the season, and had some impressive run downs in center field.

Ike Davis hit his eleventh career home run, a mammoth shot into deep center field that the center fielder didn’t even bother chasing. That’s power!

Mets rookies Thole and Tejada each had one hit in the game. Thole had a pinch hit RBI single with two outs in the eighth. Ruben Tejada is now 2 for his last 24 at-bats, but the way he has been playing on defense, has some wanting Castillo to sit on the bench when he returns.

Barajas was the only starting hitter not to get a hit for the Mets, as they tallied 13 hits in total.

Turning Point

Ike Davis’ homer iced the game for the Mets and all Santana would need thus afternoon.

Game Ball

Johan Santana pitched seven shutout innings, 16 in a row, and helped the Mets win the last game of the first half. Nicely done Santana.

Up Next

The Mets have three days off for the All Star break, where we will be seeing David Wright starting at third base for the NL. The Mets next regular season game will be Thursday in San Francisco against the Giants as they begin an eleven game series on the road.

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Jerry Manuel – The Destroyer of Arms Sun, 04 Jul 2010 23:34:00 +0000

Brian Stokes. Fernando Nieve. Raul Valdes. Sean Green.

No, I am not listing the all “keep those guys off my team” list – this is a listing of the guys Jerry Manuel has ridden like a 1981 Chevy Astrovan across the border. Jerry Manuel is to the concept of MLB bullpens and how to keep them productive for long periods of time as Dusty Baker is to the concept of pitch counts and not annihilating starting pitchers under the age of 26.

Disregarding the 2009 anomaly of an injury season, misused relievers as starters and letting guys pitch for the Mets who should have been at Triple A, we will view the usage of the bullpen in the 2010 season and what it may mean for the bullpen at the end of the season.

Just for arguments sake, omit the 70 innings that Hisanori Takahashi has pitched. I will also discount any of the innings and appearances accrued today, Sunday, July 4th 2010 in which Bobby Parnell, Elmer Dessens, Ryota Igarashi, Pedro Feliciano and K-Rod all decided to contribute to Jerry’s weekly bullpen exploitation.

Fernando Nieve, or as he was known in April and May as Jerry’s everyday guy, has already pitched 33 and two third innings, only eight and two thirds which have come in the entire month of June. He has looked horrible since about the middle of May and its pretty evident what the overuse has done to him and his value. If it weren’t for the fact the Mets fear losing Nieve if they demote him to Triple A, he would probably be in Triple A anchoring the bullpen with Manny Acosta. But of course, that is not and will not be the case anytime soon.

Raul Valdes racked up thirty innings, and hasn’t pitched since June 18th. He was demoted for ineffectiveness, but was used for more then two innings eight times over his twenty games.

Pedro Feliciano, now moonlighting as an eighth inning reliever, has accounted for 33 innings of work, and went through a period in early June where he was ineffective.

Jenrry Mejia, starter of the future for the Mets, pitching in no-leverage to low-leverage situations, racked up 27 uneventful innings, possibly stunting his growth.

……Not to digress, but just between these four relievers, two of which who aren’t with the Mets anymore, have racked up 103 innings of work. The season, as of today just reached its halfway point and Nieve is already floundering, and Feliciano, the best lefty in the bullpen is already halfway to his workload last season, and on pace for 92 appearances.

Frankie Rodriguez has already amassed 41 innings, and thats only with 19 saves to show for it. K-Rod’s always on the verge of a blown save, and really letting him get up into the 70-80 inning range is a scary thought

Which brings me to the next contestant on the Tommy John gameshow…Bobby Parnell. Since June 22nd, Parnell has made 8 appearances, spanning 8.2 innings, but showing good control.

Overall, I feel Jerry Manuel has been mismanaging his bullpen the entirety of this season, and not letting his starters run out there and give him some quality innings. In the end, when the Mets are in contention, either for an NL East banner or a Wild Card birth, the bullpen that is the freshest and can shut the games down will almost always win the game. By September, this bullpen is gonna look and smell like 2008..and Mets fans know, that 2008 stunk.

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K-Rod Fail: Nats Walkoff All Over Mets Again Sun, 04 Jul 2010 00:14:15 +0000

The Mets end up losing 6-5 to the Nationals on a walk-off hit for Pudge Rodriguez off of closer Frankie Rodriguez in the bottom of the ninth. It’s the 10th time the Mets gave up the lead in the opposing team’s final at bats.

Game Summary

R.A. Dickey gets back to his impressive pitching streak after receiving his first loss of the season his last time out. Dickey easily out pitched his rubber mate Stephen Strasburg. Dickey went impressively for seven strong innings, only giving up two runs (none earned) on six hits. He got wild a few times causing two walks but also struck out four batters. Everybody came into the game drooling over Strasburg, obvious with his stuff, but don’t ever count out “The Bearded One” as he proved to be better than everyone’s favorite rookie pitcher. Dickey would be an interesting watch during the playoffs if the opportunity rises. The knuckle ball (which Thole handled well behind the plate) confusing hitters while the fastball surprising batters and keeping them on their toes.

Bobby Parnell pitched the eighth inning giving up one run on two hits and one walk, but left the two runners on after getting the strikeout to end the inning.

Francisco Rodriguez came in to get the save of the ninth but started off by walking the first batter to face him on four pitches. KRod would also later walk Ryan Zimmerman to load the bases for Adam Dunn with only one out. Dunn would crush the ball to deep center with Pagan leaping at the wall but the ball bounces off of the top of the wall and it ends as a two run double for Dunn (despite the review), and KRod’s fourth blown save of the season. Not only does he get the blown save, but the loss as well as the future HOF Pudge Rodriguez hit a walk-off hit for the Nationals.

It was the tenth walkoff loss of the season for the Mets.

Mets offense showed up in spurts in the game with two runs in the first inning and another three runs in the eighth inning. Of course the offense was once again led by National League RBI leader, David Wright. Last night he went 3-3, and today going 2-5 with a pair of runs scored and an RBI and only one strikeout.

Ike Davis and Josh Thole both also had two hits on the night. Davis going 2-5 with a run scored, a walk, and struck out once. Thole had a very impressive game going 2-3 with two RBIs and one walk.

Alex Cora now has back-to-back games where he hit a triple, as he hit his third of the season in the eighth inning.

Tejada, Francoeur and Pagan all had 0-fers on the game and Pagan fell below .300 on the season after going 0-4 with two strikeouts. Tejada didn’t show the defensive impressiveness he had last game as he gave up an error on a ground ball.

Turning Point

Frankie Rodriguez coming into the game and absolutely blowing the game for the Mets and just handing the win over to the Nationals.

Game Ball

RA Dickey bounced back from his loss in his last outing to throw seven great innings.

Up Next

Hisanori Takahashi will pitch for the Mets as they round out the four game series against the Nats who send out Craig Stammen tomorrow. Game time is 1:35 PM.

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Manuel On The Nine Walkoff Losses Fri, 02 Jul 2010 14:05:48 +0000 Last night, the Mets lost 2-1 after a ninth inning sacrifice fly by Ryan Zimmerman. It was the ninth time this season that the Mets have suffered a walkoff loss on the road. A hefty number considering they have just 23 losses on the road overall.

On Tuesday, Jerry Manuel had no problem bringing Frankie Rodriguez, his best option, in the eighth inning of the game. However, he opted against bringing in Rodriguez in the ninth inning of a tie game. Both times he gambled and lost.

Adam Rubin of ESPN NY, reported on the situation, Manuel’s explanation and justification, and a few quotes.

Manuel insisted closer Francisco Rodriguez was not the right person to summon with the score tied in the bottom of the ninth, one out and the bases loaded. Instead, Ryota Igarashi entered to face Ryan Zimmerman and surrendered a game-ending sacrifice fly.

“That’s not what a closer does. That’s not his role,” Manuel said, a belief reiterated by pitching coach Dan Warthen.

Manuel then appeared to make the case that the Mets need a bona fide back-end-of-the-bullpen-type reliever more so than a starting pitcher. He suggested the Mets’ inordinately high number of walk-off losses — nine — is tied to the lack of a legitimate eighth-inning pitcher.

The Mets had hoped in spring training Kelvim Escobar and Igarashi would team for that role, but Escobar will never throw a pitch for the organization because of a shoulder injury and Igarashi has underwhelmed. The most trusted eighth-inning pitchers at this point are Pedro Feliciano and Elmer Dessens.

“All the walk-off losses on the road is indicative of an eighth-inning guy. That’s where an eighth-inning guy pitches. It’s basically that simple,” Manuel said. “If that eighth-inning guy is the guy, he pitches the tie game on the road. At home, the closer pitches the tie game because you get a chance to bat. That’s just the way that works. I mean, that’s baseball.”

I believe the Mets need a bona fide setup man as much as they do a frontline starter. The nine walkoff losses could have meant 4-5 more wins for the Mets if Manuel had any sort of effective bridge to his closer.

We knock Manuel a lot for his end-game bullpen management, but truth be told, he hasn’t been playing with a full deck all season.

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Pitching K-Rod In The Eighth Was Fine With Me Wed, 30 Jun 2010 15:23:45 +0000 You win some and you lose some, and then there’s games like last night.

When Hanley Ramirez launched that grand slam to put the Marlins ahead 4-3, I swear I had a vision of it seconds before it played out on my TV screen. It just seems that whenever the opposition loads the bases against us, all too frequently the worst happens. And so it did. Obviously the Dan Uggla two-run shot that followed two batters later, seemed like the back-breaker and put the Fish up 6-3.

But the Mets battled…. It’s one of the things I love most about the team this season…

Let me sink my teeth into the crux of this post…

I thought Manuel’s decision to bring in closer Frankie Rodriguez to pitch the eighth inning was the right call and I don’t understand why some are calling him out for it?

It’s not like the Mets had a setup man they could have called in anyway… It’s freaking July and we still don’t even know who our setup man even is…

Roles, schmoles, K-Rod is our stopper in the bullpen and we absolutely needed him… We had to make sure that the Fish were held at bay…

PLUS… With the Marlins up by two runs already… There was no guarantee that there would even be a bottom of the ninth… 

So why not go with your best bullpen option and hope you could somehow tie the game or take the lead in your final turn at-bat?

Guess what? It worked…

Rodriguez retired the side in order, and in the top of the ninth Chris Carter pinch hit for K-Rod, belted a double, and the Mets went on to tie the game, sending it into the bottom of the ninth.


What would happen after that however, was anything but perfect…

Pedro Feliciano blew the game after coming in to face a tough contingent of right-handed bats, game over.

Should Manuel, have walked Dan Uggla? Yeah probably… But whatever…  that’s a discussion for another post.

The bottom line is that pitching K-Rod in the eighth inning was the right call.

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Big Problem: The Mets Bullpen Still Stinks! Thu, 17 Jun 2010 12:35:06 +0000 The only good thing about the Mets bullpen is that it has not been needed over the last two weeks.  The starting pitching and the offense have been strong enough to carry the team.  But here’s my advice to Omar Minaya:  Do something quickly about the Mets pathetic bullpen.  Otherwise it could very well turn out to be the downfall as the pennant races heat up this summer.

Elmer Dessens of all people has inherited, by default, the 7th/8th inning setup role.  Pedro Feliciano is still not trusted to get righties out consistently.  K-Rod has been very good, but certainly is not the lights out closer that he was expected to be.  If this back end of the bullpen is mediocre, what can you say about the rest of it comprised of Jenrry Mejia, Ryota Igarashi, Raul Valdez, and Fernando Nieve.  All four should currently be pitching for AAA Buffalo at best.

Jenrry Mejia’s development is being totally mismanaged.  He should be in AA Binghamton.  I don’t care if it is as a starter or reliever but he needs more than mop up work.  In Wednesday night’s game, he walked the first two batters in the 8th inning.  Manuel, correctly pulled him.  But if in the minors he would have had the opportunity to work his way out of the self inflicted jam.  Ryota Igarashi needs work and he is not getting it sitting on a chair far out in the bullpen.  With nightly minor league work, he could regain his form and possibly help the Mets during the summer months.  The same could be said of Fernando Nieve.  Raul Valdez?  I think it’s time to send him packing  back to his team in Mexico.

The biggest problem facing Omar Minaya is that there is no one in the minors that could be called up with confidence.  The leading candidates are Bobby Parnell and Manny Acosta.  Both have pitched inconsistently and I would not trust either in a crucial 6th or 7th inning situation.  John Maine’s return to the rotation could allow Hisanori Takahashi to pitch in relief.  That would be great, but the caveat is whether Maine can pitch effectively.

I don’t know who’s out there on the trade market, but Omar needs to do something right away. The starters can not be expected to pitch seven plus innings on a consistent basis.  Omar needs to take action now, before focusing on a trade for a starting pitcher.

The Mets are sizzling hot right now.  But we all know and have seen how momentum shifts suddenly and without warning.  Our good fortunes will change; it’s just a matter of when and for how long.

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Dickey Solid, Carter Homers, Mets Top O’s 5-1 Sat, 12 Jun 2010 02:32:19 +0000

R.A. Dickey and his knuckleball were highly effective today, and Chris Carter hit his first home run in the MLB as the Mets beat the Orioles 5-1.

Game Notes

R.A. Dickey was as effective today as he was wild and that was what made his knuckle ball as good as it has been since his call-up. Dickey went 7 innings giving up 1 run on 7 hits with 1 walk. Dickey had the Orioles off balance the whole night, getting weak contact, swing and misses and also confusing even Rod Barajas, leading to 2 passed balls and a wild pitch. This was the 5th straight useful outing that R.A. has provided, and has not pitched less then 6 innings in any of those 5 starts.

The bullpen tandem of Feliciano-Rodriguez came out to shut the gates on the game, and almost blew it open. Pedro Feliciano went 1 inning giving up 3 hits but striking out the one batter he needed to, the last one. Pedro was hittable, and Matt Wieters of the Orioles almost took him yard but missed hitting a home run by INCHES! He proceeded to strike Wieters out on the next pitch, a changeup to a right-hander. K-Rod looked about as good as he has in this season, falling behind none of the hitters and his lone blemish in his 1 inning of work was a long double to Corey Patterson. K-Rod struck out all 3 batters in a non-save situation. The only awkward sight was watching K-Rod attempt to break 90 MPH – since none of his fastballs were faster then that.

Offensively, the Mets set out to get on Baltimore Orioles (and possible future Met?) starter Jeremy Guthrie early, and it worked. David Wright knocked in Jose Reyes in the 1st inning on a first-pitch single. The Mets would’ve opened the wound more in the 1st inning if it weren’t for an Adam Jones catch that robbed Jason Bay of a sure-fire double. Chris “The Animal” Carter got the start at DH today, and proved Jerry Manuel a smart man, as he launched his first ML home run, a three-run shot, deep into the right field bleachers to put the Mets ahead 4-0. David Wright would tack on an RBI double that would score Angel Pagan and that proved to be the final run.

Ruben Tejada, believing he was going to walk in the 7th, proceed down to first base only to be called back by HP umpire Ed Rapuano. Rapuano got his revenge on the rookie, by calling him out on the 3rd strike. Welcome to the Majors, Ruben. Respect the ump. He also went 0-4 dropping his average to .167.

Jason Bay is still slumping, going 0-3 with a BB and a R. The move to the 5 hole hasn’t seemed to really provide him with any more insurance.

Turning Point

R.A. Dickey getting out of a no-outs, bases-loaded jam in the 4th inning with 7 pitches (2 k’s and a pop-out).

Game Ball

R.A. Dickey and Chris Carter will split this ball. Dickey for another phenomenal outing, matching his career-high in strikeouts in a game, and Chris Carter for his first ML home run. Who would’ve figured 2 guys who weren’t on the opening day roster would help the Mets win a game?

Up Next

Hisanori Takahashi hopes to rebound after his last 2 bad starts against the Orioles and prospect Brian Matsuz. Game time is 7:10

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Another Crushing Defeat, Another Epic Fail, Another Stunning Loss Thu, 03 Jun 2010 03:18:00 +0000

How much more of this can we take?

Once again, Mets fans had to endure another agonizing, gut wrenching, heartbreaking loss. How can these types of losses continue to plague this team time and time again?

The Mets have made losing in stunning fashion an art form…

This one hurts so much on so many levels. Only five games ago, we watched in shock as the Mets wasted an absolute gem by Johan Santana, losing 2-0 to the Milwaukee Brewers. But the warrior that Santana is, went out there tonight and despite not having his best stuff, he pitches another seven scoreless innings, and hands a slim 1-0 lead to the bullpen who go on to blow the lead, the game, the series, the whole damned thing. Unbelievable!

Frankie Rodriguez blows the save in the ninth, Raul Valdes blows the game in the tenth by loading the bases and serving up a meatball to the dangerous Adrian Gonzalez who blasted it for a grand slam.

That’s the sixth grand slam allowed by Mets pitchers this season…

That’s the sixth walk-off loss for the Mets this season too…

It’s humiliating to lose like this…

Our offense goes limp whenever our ace takes the mound. They are absolutely impotent and rendered useless no matter who the opposing pitcher is, they just suck.

Frankie Rodriguez is no sure thing, and has now shown himself to be as wildly inconsistent and unreliable as Armando Benitez once was.

The bullpen is in shambles… It is burned out, useless, and everybody is sucking wind… all of them.

Of course we have to shake it off and move on, but it’s becoming such a familiar sight… It’s becoming too painful…

Does anybody have any confidence when the starting pitcher is pulled and the bullpen takes over?

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Pelfrey Shuts Down Pads, Mets Win 4-2 Wed, 02 Jun 2010 10:47:58 +0000

After the horrible 18-6 bashing at the hands of the Padres yesterday, Mike Pelfrey went 8 innings to help guide the Mets to victory, 4-2

Game Notes

Mike Pelfrey went to the mound today and had a plan from the beginning of the game, going 8 innings striking out 8 and walking 2, and giving up a run on 4 hits. All of Pelfrey’s pitches were working tonight as he was striking out lefties with his split-finger change, dropping the curveball over for strikes and then blowing hitters away with 95 MPH heat up in the zone. The Padres didn’t muster any offense against Pelfrey until the 6th inning, and that would be the only time against Pelfrey they’d score. More and more with every start, you see the confidence and trust that Big Pelf seems to have in his arsenal now, and its a great thing to watch.

Frankie Rodriguez came out and it seemed like he wanted to make a more challenging save, allowing 1 run on 3 hits while striking out 2. K-Rod has only pitched 7 clean frames (no walks, no hits) in 24 games. This trend grows stronger and stronger every time K-Rod goes to the mound, but until he starts blowing saves i guess it can be accepted?

The bats were consistent today off of a lefty with a great pickoff move, Wade LeBlanc. Jeff Francoeur was picked off in a run-down essentially as the pitcher never broke to the plate. A David Wright first inning RBI single put the Mets in the lead for good, and more damage could’ve been done in the 1st but Jason Bay was thrown out trying to score on the Wright single. David Wright then went yard in the 6th, showing some signs that his bat is coming to life. Ike Davis continued the long-ball trend with a 2-run HR in the top of the 7th to put the Mets ahead 4-1.

Ike Davis and David Wright were great today, going 5-8 with 2 HR, 1 SB and 4 RBI. This is the kind of production the Mets need from the middle of the order.

Jose Reyes was caught stealing for the first time EVER by the Padres after 22 attempts. The replay had Jose’s hand getting in before the tag, though. He went 0-5 but reached on an error, then the aforementioned caught-stealing occurred.

Turning Point

Ike Davis’ HR put the gap at 4-1, and that would prove to be more then enough for Mike Pelfrey and the Mets

Game Ball

Mike Pelfrey takes the game ball. This is the 6th outing in a row he has allowed 4 runs or less, and he lowered his season ERA to 2.39. If Pelf keeps this up, he may have a spot on the All-Star team.

Next Up

The Mets look to win the series today, sending out Johan Santana in his first start after that 8th inning no decision against the Brewers. Santana and the Mets will be facing Padres lefty Clayton Richard. Game time is 6:00 PM

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Mets Deck Cards 2-1 In Epic 20 Inning Marathon Sun, 18 Apr 2010 03:29:14 +0000 The Mets won game two against the Cardinals 2-1 in 20 innings. It was the longest victory in franchise history.

Game Notes

Who would have expected Jamie Garcia, a no name pitcher, to go toe-to-toe with a two time Cy Young award winner like Johan Santana? But that’s how it was with both pitchers throwing a gem of a game. Santana was dealing with 9 strikeouts, no runs, 1 walk and only gave up 4 hits. He did need 113 pitches though to get the job done. But that’s what I like to see. Santana looked like the Santana of old, pitching like the ace that he is. However, like in 2008, he gets a no decision because of no run support. One thing to notice about Santana was that he had trouble staying in the 90′s with his fastball. Maxing out at 91 on only four of his pitches.

The Mets bullpen was beautiful today. Igarashi, Feliciano, Nieve, Takahashi, Mejia, Valdez combine for 12 shutout innings and 9 strikeouts. Followed by Francisco Rodriguez finally getting a save opportunity but blew it and Mike Pelfrey got the save. His first career save.

Nieve came in during the tenth inning and walked Pujols on five pitches. Holliday walked up to the plate and hits a foul ball into the stands…or did he? Nope, not with Cora playing first after the double switch. (His third career appearance at first base). Cora dove into the first row of the stands to make the catch. Someone let Sportscenter know about that!

Garcia of St. Louis, who had only one emergency start with the Cardinals last season, had a great start for the Cards in the game. He had 7 scoreless innings against the Mets including a 5 inning no-hitter before Pagan finally broke the no-hitter with a broken bat single into center. However, the Mets had to wait until the twelfth inning by Luis Castillo. That’s how poor the offense was.

The first run came in the 19th inning with the bases loaded with two outs, and Joe Mather, a center fielder, pitching. Jeff Francoeur hits a sac fly to Kyle Lohse, a pitcher, in left field.

Side Game Notes

Mets had to use John Maine pinch run in the game and have Jon Niese pinch hit. That’s how long this game was.

Angel Pagan showed us that he still has the base running blunders that he had last year with running out of the tenth inning.

Pedro had to have an IV after a sudden illness that kept him out of the game yesterday. Glad to see him healthy and back in the game.

Mets had a combined 9 hits for 61 at-bats and a combined 16 strikeouts in the game, including three for Wright and the golden sombrero (4 Ks) for Bay. Bay now has 18 strikeouts in 45 at-bats this season.

Felipe Lopez, Cards short-stop, pitched an inning…no you read that right. He also got three outs without a single hit against him. Future Cy Young? And who do they hand the ball to? Joe Mather, the outfielder for two innings. Also, Lohse is in the outfield. Yeah, the pitcher.

Going 18 innings 0-0 was the longest nothing-nothing game ever played in Busch Stadium.

Shea Stadium was opened on this date in 1964.

Turning Point

When Cardinals decided to use Mather to pitch and allowed the Mets to score the winning run.

Game Ball

Biggest debate ever. There was Santana with a great start, Cora’s catch, Blanco with a great throw to keep the Mets alive, Pelfrey with the save. But I’m going with Hisanori Takahashi who saved the Mets with runners on second and third with no one out.

Up Next

John Maine (0-1) will go up against Adam Wainwright (1-0) in the rubber game on Sunday against the Cardinals.

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Is our bullpen going to be any good? Wed, 17 Mar 2010 18:34:16 +0000 We all know the Mets added a power bat in Jason Bay, are still dealing with injuries/medical issues to key players like Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran, and have huge holes in the starting rotation.  But I haven’t heard as much talk about the bullpen.  A year ago, almost to the day, I wrote a blog on this site about how the Mets’ revamped bullpen, a terrible weakness in 2008, would pile up K’s and blow hitters away–with K-Rod, JJ Putz and Bobby Parnell at the back end of the pen.

K-Rod had a nice season, but his dip from 62 saves in Los Angeles the year before to 35 with the Mets was both a reflection on the Mets having a bad season and him being a bit inconsistent.  His 3.71 ERA was also way inflated from his 2.24 mark the previous season.  Putz was pitching pretty well before blowing out an elbow and being put on the DL about a third of the way into the 2009 season.  And Parnell was great at times, and a gas can at others.

So now, how do you feel knowing that K-Rod is coming off a sub-par season, with Parnell, Kelvim Escobar, Jose Feliciano, Sean Green, Pat Misch and Ryota Igarashi behind him?  On paper, this bullpen is almost as much of a question mark as the starting rotation is.  That’s not to say they can’t overachieve and keep the team in games, but how likely is that?  And the rotation is not exactly the kind of group that will give the bullpen long stretches of rest at a time.  To the contrary, they will be called upon to pitch 2-3 innings each night.

So I ask you, how do you all feel about this bullpen?

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