Wagner To Putz To K-Rod?

It’s been refreshing to see the Mets win not once, but two straight times at Turner Field against a Braves’ team that has mostly dominated them for the last decade. And for the first time this season, I actually felt confident both nights, at least from the moment David Wright hit that home run Monday to put the Mets ahead for good. Livan leaving the game in the 7th with a shutout last night? That was also impressive. Delgado proved that the Mets tend to be sloppy and droppy at the worst possible moments, and sure, there are more bumps ahead, but our boys are at least showing signs of life and showing their worth on the field with some grit and fire. 

But I want to talk about something as a footnote to Joe’s post regarding JJ Putz. It will be interesting to see what happens between now and the trade deadline, but I tend to think that Putz was meant to pitch at Citi Field for the full season, maybe through 2010, despite all we gave up and despite a hefty 2010 option. He’s not immune to gas can tendencies, but nothing as bad to this point as we endured the last two seasons.

 Which brings me to this point. Billy Wagner is scheduled to be back in the bullpen by August. If he’s even close to his old self, Jerry Manuel might have the luxury of having three closers — albeit three very high-priced closers, but three closers. That works in our favor with an entire starting staff of 6-inning starters, and also might give Manuel the option to use Wagner as a situational lefty. No way is Wagner brought back in 2010, but they’re paying him anyway, and if he can accept a lesser role to try and win a ring, it could be a very scary thing down the stretch for the Phillies and Marlins.

I guess there are some big ifs there, in particular that Wagner comes back and doesn’t whine about not being the ninth inning guy or even the eighth inning guy, but he should be happy to be pitching at all.