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Monday, September 22, 2008

N.Y. Observer: Megdal: How Bad Is the Mets Bullpen?

Uhh…as bad as Zoo World without Richard Meltzer? As bad as Hey-O-Hansen without techno-squalls? As bad as…well you get the idea, I think.

It has been argued (by me) that overcoming a bullpen as terrible as New York’s this season is a tribute to both the tremendous offensive talent and frontline starting pitching the Mets possess.

But as Sunday’s 7-6 loss to the Braves demonstrated, the reverse is also true. It takes a historically awful Mets bullpen to undo the great work by New York’s offense and starting pitching. If Sunday—which saw the bullpen allow four runs (and an inherited fifth runner) in just two innings—is any indication, the Met relievers are up to the task.

The basic horror is easy enough to document. Despite an offense that is second in the league in runs scored and a starting rotation with a second-half ERA of 3.76, the Mets are 1 ½ games behind the Phillies in the National League East, and just 1 ½ games ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers for the wild card. The obvious culprit is the bullpen, which has a second-half ERA of 4.99.

Only once before have the Mets had a half-season ERA higher than 4.99—in 1962, New York’s first year, on a team that finished 40-120. For comparison, last year’s bullpen—widely and correctly blamed for much of New York’s second-half troubles—posted an ERA of 4.40, well over a half-run more effective. Put it this way—with 2007’s extremely-flawed bullpen, this Mets team would likely find itself in first place.

 

Repoz Posted: September 22, 2008 at 03:49 PM | 61 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets

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   1. flournoy Posted: September 22, 2008 at 04:19 PM (#2949965)
Oh, go blow it out your ass. The Braves have a 6.04 bullpen ERA in the second half, and a 5.77 overall in the second half.
   2. rpackrat Posted: September 22, 2008 at 04:23 PM (#2949969)
Howard,

While I don't disagree about the bullpen, the Mets' offense was not excellent yesterday. They blew numerous scoring opportunities (would somebody please tell Carlos Beltran that he should not even think about bunting with men on base unless it is the bottom of the 9th or extra innings, no out, and a tie game?). That said, they still scored enough for the bullpen to come in with a lead. *Sigh*
   3. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: September 22, 2008 at 04:23 PM (#2949971)
Well played, fluornoy.

By simply pointing out that another team has an even worse bullpen, you totally invalidated every one of his points.
   4. HowardMegdal Posted: September 22, 2008 at 04:27 PM (#2949977)
While I don't disagree about the bullpen, the Mets' offense was not excellent yesterday.

Yes, they left runners on base. But the Mets scored six runs, and their starting pitcher exited in the seventh with a 4-2 lead. That should have been enough.

And Beltran NEVER should be bunting, couldn't agree more.

Oh, go blow it out your ass. The Braves have a 6.04 bullpen ERA in the second half, and a 5.77 overall in the second half.

But the Braves aren't in contention. I was writing about a relevant team.
   5. Hubie Brooks (Not Really) Posted: September 22, 2008 at 04:29 PM (#2949981)
This bullpen is seriously screwing with my mental well being. It is hard to take.
   6. JimMusComp likes Billy Eppler.... Posted: September 22, 2008 at 04:39 PM (#2949988)
So happy the Halos cut bait on Schoeneweis (can't believe I can still spell that from memory) eons ago. While he has his uses as a LOOGY he is a whiny little biotch.
   7. The District Attorney Posted: September 22, 2008 at 04:43 PM (#2949992)
Is that 4.99 really correct? As I read the b-r split page, the bullpen's ERA is 4.22 on the year, which would mean it would have had to have been pretty damn good in the first half to be at 4.99 in the second half, which I don't think it was.

I also think that, again if I'm reading the page right, the numbers break down to 3.44 in April, 4.04 in May, 4.43 in June, 4.61 in July, 4.92 in August, and 4.01 in September. So that can't average out to 4.99, obviously.
   8. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: September 22, 2008 at 04:44 PM (#2949993)
How bad is the Mets' bullpen?

Pretty goddam bad...
   9. Harris Posted: September 22, 2008 at 04:46 PM (#2949995)
this thread should've been titled
"does gravity make things fall?"
   10. Win one for Agrippa (haplo53) Posted: September 22, 2008 at 04:48 PM (#2949997)
You get that awful, sinking "they'll fix the bullpen only to have everything else fall apart" feeling for 2009.
   11. HowardMegdal Posted: September 22, 2008 at 04:49 PM (#2949998)
I also think that, again if I'm reading the page right, the numbers break down to 3.44 in April, 4.04 in May, 4.43 in June, 4.61 in July, 4.92 in August, and 4.01 in September. So that can't average out to 4.99, obviously.

This is a really good question- I'll drop an e-mail to the God of B-R. Check the split here:

I Split G W L S CG SHO IP ERA H R ER HR BB IBB SO HBP

2nd Half,GR 213 14 13 20 0 0 166 4.99 182 96 92 19 77 20 140 5

I can only assume the Mets had a fantastic bullpen ten days from July 1 to the break. But it almost certainly wasn't an extra 40-plus innings.

I'll get back to you on it.
   12. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: September 22, 2008 at 04:51 PM (#2949999)
DA-

The split page shows the Mets' second-half relief ERA at 4.99. The Mets have had a lot fewer relief IP in the second half (305 to 166), so the 3.89 first half relief ERA has the most weight.
   13. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: September 22, 2008 at 04:56 PM (#2950005)
I also think that, again if I'm reading the page right, the numbers break down to 3.44 in April, 4.04 in May, 4.43 in June, 4.61 in July, 4.92 in August, and 4.01 in September. So that can't average out to 4.99, obviously.


That's not monthly relief splits, that's for the entire staff, including the starters. I don't think they have monthly relief splits.
   14. PreservedFish Posted: September 22, 2008 at 04:56 PM (#2950006)
It's incredible how OOGYful the Mets relievers are, and it badly handcuffs Manuel, to the point where it's almost impossible to make good decisions if you get less than 7 innings from your starter.

Schoeneweis, Smith, Stokes, Feliciano and Figueroa ... ALL of those pitchers have an OPS allowed under 600 against their natural OOGY opponents, and ALL of them have an OPS allowed of over 900 against the opposite hand. Heilman just misses the cut at 660/995. THE ENTIRE BULLPEN IS OOGYs and if you need innings out of it it is a nightmare.

Ayala is dependably mediocre against righties and lefties, so it almost makes sense that he is the closer. He is the only guy that won't automatically start giving up doubles if he is left in to face the wrong player (instead he will just do that at his own pace).
   15. JPWF13 Posted: September 22, 2008 at 04:57 PM (#2950007)
Per ESPN the Mets' pen is 27-26 4.20 (Atlanta's is 20-28 4.39)

The Mets' pen has blown 29 saves, league average is 22. (Atlanta's pen has blown only 18)

The Mets' pen is 59% in saves/save OPs- league average is 62%
Philly is at 75%.

That's it literally- the "difference" between the Mets and Phils are the Pens- if both Teams' pens blew saves at the same rate the Mets would be more than 10 game sup on them.
   16. The District Attorney Posted: September 22, 2008 at 04:57 PM (#2950008)
That's not monthly relief splits, that's for the entire staff, including the starters.
No, I think the listing for the entire staff is the sequence of numbers that goes (Apr-Sep) 3.70, 4.52, 4.30, 3.70, 3.74, 4.30.

The split page shows the Mets' second-half relief ERA at 4.99. The Mets have had a lot fewer relief IP in the second half (305 to 166), so the 3.89 first half relief ERA has the most weight.
Okay, that part makes sense (apparently the "second half" is shorter in general than the "first half" -- I guess the All-Star break is the dividing line.) But I wonder why the monthlies don't add up.

You get that awful, sinking "they'll fix the bullpen only to have everything else fall apart" feeling for 2009.
The thing that sucks about the bullpen is that it's really hard to fix it even if you want to, because relievers' performance tends to be very volatile. I think that Omar knows this, and that's why he has never devoted a lot of resources to doing so. I think there is a lot of logic to that, and at this point, I really have no idea what it makes the most sense to do. You can get screwed either by trying to fix it or by not trying to fix it, unfortunately.
   17. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: September 22, 2008 at 04:59 PM (#2950009)
deleted by me
   18. HowardMegdal Posted: September 22, 2008 at 05:03 PM (#2950011)
Clarification from Sean Forman, God of All That Is Right:

The all-star game was pretty late this year. Here is July 1 to July 14.

| IP | sum(ER) |
+---------+---------+
| 40.6667 | 13 |


A sub-3 era for those two weeks. And after the ASB in July.

| IP | sum(ER) |
+---------+---------+
| 39.3333 | 28 |
+---------+---------+

6.40 ERA.

sean
   19. flournoy Posted: September 22, 2008 at 05:05 PM (#2950012)
By simply pointing out that another team has an even worse bullpen, you totally invalidated every one of his points.


I don't care about his points. I was whining.
   20. JPWF13 Posted: September 22, 2008 at 05:07 PM (#2950014)
The thing that sucks about the bullpen is that it's really hard to fix it even if you want to, because relievers' performance tends to be very volatile.


That's the real problem- you can (to a point) fix your offense by throwing money at it, you can have some [less sure] success fixing your starting rotation by throwing $ at it-

you can throw scads of $ at your pen, and the result is seemingly random- a team can invite 30 AAAA pitchers to camp, assemble a pen out of that, and have just as much success.

The problem for the 2009 Mets (assuming the 2008 Mets don't make the playoffs)- is the pressure to "fix" the pen- by throwing money at established names, from the MSM media and the fanbase will be immense.
   21. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: September 22, 2008 at 05:09 PM (#2950015)
No, I think the listing for the entire staff is the sequence of numbers that goes (Apr-Sep) 3.70, 4.52, 4.30, 3.70, 3.74, 4.30.


You're right. And I just did by hand what you got Sean to do for you. In 5 of 12 games in July after the break, the pen gave up 3 or more runs, 3 times they gave up 6.
   22. Swoboda is freedom Posted: September 22, 2008 at 05:09 PM (#2950016)
Schoeneweis, Smith, Stokes, Feliciano and Figueroa ... ALL of those pitchers have an OPS allowed under 600 against their natural OOGY opponents, and ALL of them have an OPS allowed of over 900 against the opposite hand. Heilman just misses the cut at 660/995. THE ENTIRE BULLPEN IS OOGYs and if you need innings out of it it is a nightmare.

Would they ever consider putting a reliever in the outfield and switch pitchers? Put Smith in right field for a batter, then bring him back in?

The main problem is that none of their pitchers can get lefties and righties out.
   23. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: September 22, 2008 at 05:11 PM (#2950018)
RE: #20: So answer lies in New Orleans/soon-to-be-Buffalo, then...
   24. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 22, 2008 at 05:13 PM (#2950020)
If it's not yet time for a separate "Mets Therapy" section, just give it another six days. This is fun.
   25. HowardMegdal Posted: September 22, 2008 at 05:21 PM (#2950024)
Would they ever consider putting a reliever in the outfield and switch pitchers? Put Smith in right field for a batter, then bring him back in?

This is a great question. I wonder which pitchers would be best for this idea.
   26. PreservedFish Posted: September 22, 2008 at 05:24 PM (#2950027)
#22 - would be fascinating. Maybe would be smart. Seems extraordinarily unlikely

I was watching the game earlier this year when Bobby Cox pulled the same move. A stroke of brilliance, but it's really difficult to imagine that happening during this pennant race.
   27. Exploring Leftist Conservatism since 2008 (ark..) Posted: September 22, 2008 at 05:31 PM (#2950033)
you can throw scads of $ at your pen, and the result is seemingly random- a team can invite 30 AAAA pitchers to camp, assemble a pen out of that, and have just as much success.
I'd be willing to bet there's some meaningful correlation between the amount a team spends on its pen and the results it gets...

This is a great question. I wonder which pitchers would be best for this idea.
Have to be guys who wouldn't get all huffed jogging to and from the outfield. We can rule out Charlie Kerfeld.
   28. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: September 22, 2008 at 05:32 PM (#2950034)
Building a pen, 2008 edition. The Phils' bullpen was extraordinary this year. Besides a lot of luck, here's how it happened:
Lidge -- trade/big $; fantastic season
Gordon -- big $, risky proposition, minimal usefulness
Romero -- scrap heap last year, resigned to relatively high $ -- very effective but teeters on implosion
Madson -- home-bred, has been effective to very good in all years in pure relief
Chad Durbin -- the better Durbin -- scrap heap pickup -- extraordinary in 1st half and still effective in 2nd half
Condrey -- was expected to provide more of same from 2007, i.e., the guy who bounces from AAA to end seat in bullpen -- surprisingly effective in what is likely to be career year
Seanez -- scrapheaper -- surprisingly effective in what is likely to be last hurrah

At minimum one to all of Romero, Durbin, Condrey and Seanez will implode in 2009, although I think Durbin has found his home as a 1+ inning middle reliever.
Gordon is toasted through and through.
Madson is solid and I'd think the Phils will want to get him locked down for 3 or 4 years.

Gillick's been good or lucky off the scrap heap and the ones who doen't work out are usually gone in a hurry (here's a toast to the memory of RJ Swindle).

They could do the same thing next year and end up pissing away a title like the Mets in the last 2 years (not that anything is clinched in 2008).

EDIT: The Phils have been lucky with pitching health, too.
   29. yo la tengo (the poor man's Ron Darling) Posted: September 22, 2008 at 05:35 PM (#2950039)
I saw Roger Craig do this with the Giants and, IIRC, he had a pitcher watch a home run sail over his head in right field. Funny stuff...
   30. SoSH U at work Posted: September 22, 2008 at 05:39 PM (#2950044)
I saw Roger Craig do this with the Giants and, IIRC, he had a pitcher watch a home run sail over his head in right field. Funny stuff...


I saw Gary Coleman do this in The Kid from Left Field, so I know it works.
   31. aleskel Posted: September 22, 2008 at 05:44 PM (#2950052)
you can throw scads of $ at your pen, and the result is seemingly random- a team can invite 30 AAAA pitchers to camp, assemble a pen out of that, and have just as much success.

in my mind, this is because a bullpen, no matter how you've constructed it, is only going to be as good as your starting rotation and your offense allows it to be. A bullpen is always volatile because by definition relievers are inferior pitchers for one reason or another; the difference between a good reliever and a bad reliever tends to be how much they are used. If you have effective starting pitching that goes deep into games on a regular basis, and an offense that piles on runs, you will have fewer high-leverage situations that will require the service of your top 2 or 3 relievers. And the stress that's placed on those top relievers will trickle down to your less-reliable relievers, which is how you get a snowballing bullpen collapse.
   32. PreservedFish Posted: September 22, 2008 at 05:49 PM (#2950057)
THE ENTIRE BULLPEN IS OOGYs and if you need innings out of it it is a nightmare.


Seriously though, what are you supposed to do about this? Yesterday Manuel brought Stokes in to face a switch-hitter. A switch-hitter! Against this bullpen, that is not fair. It's like cheating. There's nothing to do there, there is no right move. Everyone in the bullpen turns Greg Norton into Joe Dimaggio.

Sometimes the starter goes 7+ innings, and he gets to use Smith/Show in their proper roles, and the bullpen looks muscular and adaptable and awesome. But usually you get these situations multiple times per game when a guy like Show starts an inning and it's "if he gets the first batter out, they'll allow him to face the righty," the righty doubles and you are either going to need 3 pitchers for 3 outs in this inning or you are just going to pray to God that you somehow luck out when the percentages are wildly in the opponent's favor.
   33. Harris Posted: September 22, 2008 at 05:49 PM (#2950059)
The problem for the 2009 Mets (assuming the 2008 Mets don't make the playoffs)- is the pressure to "fix" the pen- by throwing money at established names, from the MSM media and the fanbase will be immense.


I suggest you fire Omar Minaya and hire Ed Wade. He'll get you some proven veterans to remedy the situation.
   34. Metman died today. Or yesterday maybe, Posted: September 22, 2008 at 05:51 PM (#2950061)
Despite an offense that is second in the league in runs scored and a starting rotation with a second-half ERA of 3.76,


Phillies starter have a 2nd half ERA of 3.88. Not a substantial difference. The Mets bullpen has undone any advantage the Mets offense has provided over the Phillies
   35. Harris Posted: September 22, 2008 at 05:53 PM (#2950063)
RE: Phils bullpen synopsis:
I think you've left a couple other interesting tidbits off as well...
Scott Eyre has been wonderful. Taken some of the load off Romero, used as LOOGY, not pressed. Gets job done. He's another scrap-heaper.
Condrey has never really been put in a pressure spot until last night (that was his first "hold" of the year!). He usually pitched well in mop-up. If he was bad, you usually found out right away and he wouldn't be left in until it was too late.
Madson is jekyll and hyde, and Manueal has finally realized this. I think he's on a shorter leash and works better that way.
   36. HowardMegdal Posted: September 22, 2008 at 05:53 PM (#2950064)
in my mind, this is because a bullpen, no matter how you've constructed it, is only going to be as good as your starting rotation and your offense allows it to be. A bullpen is always volatile because by definition relievers are inferior pitchers for one reason or another; the difference between a good reliever and a bad reliever tends to be how much they are used. If you have effective starting pitching that goes deep into games on a regular basis, and an offense that piles on runs, you will have fewer high-leverage situations that will require the service of your top 2 or 3 relievers. And the stress that's placed on those top relievers will trickle down to your less-reliable relievers, which is how you get a snowballing bullpen collapse.

Have you watched this bullpen? Seriously? Mets are 19th overall in bullpen innings. Second in the NL in runs scored. How does this in any way apply to the Mets?
   37. HowardMegdal Posted: September 22, 2008 at 05:55 PM (#2950066)
Yesterday Manuel brought Stokes in to face a switch-hitter. A switch-hitter! Against this bullpen, that is not fair. It's like cheating. There's nothing to do there, there is no right move. Everyone in the bullpen turns Greg Norton into Joe Dimaggio.

So true. Mets need a switch-pitcher in the worst way. Or just a pitcher.
   38. Danny Posted: September 22, 2008 at 05:57 PM (#2950067)
   39. aleskel Posted: September 22, 2008 at 05:57 PM (#2950068)
Have you watched this bullpen? Seriously? Mets are 19th overall in bullpen innings. Second in the NL in runs scored. How does this in any way apply to the Mets?

you're right, the Mets are a special case; I was just speaking generally re: how to put together a good bullpen, for which my answer was build a better rotation and a better offense.
   40. HowardMegdal Posted: September 22, 2008 at 06:11 PM (#2950082)
you're right, the Mets are a special case; I was just speaking generally re: how to put together a good bullpen, for which my answer was build a better rotation and a better offense.

Generally, I completely agree with you. And the fact is, despite the horrific second-half bullpen, the Mets are in good shape to make the playoffs. So even with them, it's been true to a degree. But not in the sense that it improves the bullpen itself- rather, the offense has outscored the bullpen enough, aided by the starters limiting bullpen innings.
   41. cardsfanboy Posted: September 22, 2008 at 06:18 PM (#2950084)
I don't care about his points. I was whining.

heck I was going to join you in the whine fest. My team with it's 30 blown saves, and it's 5.10 era in save situation is worse than the Mets 29 blown saves and 4.46 era in save situations, but then I realize that my pen has been bad consistently all year long, while the mets teased with decent first half.
   42. billyshears Posted: September 22, 2008 at 06:19 PM (#2950085)
I've seen this movie before. It doesn't end well. I still think the critical error the Mets made last season was not recognizing how dire the situation was soon enough, junking almost everybody in the pen and sending Pelfrey and Humber out there to see if they could do any better. The Mets don't really have the quality of available arms to do so this year, but I would certainly give Parnell, Kunz and Niese their shot to see if somehow they can avoid giving up at least one run every inning.
   43. cardsfanboy Posted: September 22, 2008 at 06:20 PM (#2950086)
I was watching the game earlier this year when Bobby Cox pulled the same move. A stroke of brilliance, but it's really difficult to imagine that happening during this pennant race.

Cardinal fans who hate TLR and worship Whitey will bag on TLRs use of the pitcher batting 8th as him being overly smart, while Whiteys use of Worrel in the outfield is pointed to one of his list of brilliance. It baffles me sometimes. I think both moves could be brilliant or screwed up depending on luck.
   44. flournoy Posted: September 22, 2008 at 06:22 PM (#2950089)
Cox did put a pitcher in the outfield this year. I wouldn't really call it a stroke of genius, though. Maybe it would have been if he had tried the move with a pitcher other than Chris Resop, who promptly allowed his own inherited runner to score to lose the game. (Sounds like a good trivia question.)
   45. flournoy Posted: September 22, 2008 at 06:23 PM (#2950090)
heck I was going to join you in the whine fest. My team with it's 30 blown saves, and it's 5.10 era in save situation is worse than the Mets 29 blown saves and 4.46 era in save situations, but then I realize that my pen has been bad consistently all year long, while the mets teased with decent first half.


Braves' pen in the first half: 3.22 ERA. Second half: 6.04 ERA.
   46. cardsfanboy Posted: September 22, 2008 at 06:28 PM (#2950096)
collapse of the east? I really hate the pitching collapse of the Braves because it will add even more fuel to the Mazzone is god talk.
   47. flournoy Posted: September 22, 2008 at 06:46 PM (#2950117)
There are a number of factors related to the Braves' pitching collapse.

1.) The bullpen was overused in the first half. Take a look at Blaine Boyer and Will Ohman, who shined in the first half, but pitched far too often. Boyer has been indescribably wretched in the second half. I can't fathom why Cox thought it was a good idea to ride so hard on Boyer in the first half after he missed most of the last two years with arm injuries.

2.) Injuries. Much of why the bullpen was overused in the first half can be attributed to this. The Braves didn't plan on losing Smoltz, Glavine, Hudson, Moylan, and Soriano to season-ending injuries. They did plan on losing Hampton to injuries, but nobody cares about Hampton. They've known since last winter that Chuck James had a frayed labrum, and that sure showed in his performance. Going into spring training, they were looking at a Smoltz-Hudson-Glavine-James-Hampton rotation. Now the only one healthy is Hampton, inexplicably. (Who missed the first four months of the season, of course.) This put a lot of pressure and a huge workload on Jurrjens and Campillo, and their second half fades were predictable.

It's a vicious cycle. Injuries beget bigger workloads for the healthy guys, which beget more injuries. The further you cycle, the more you suck. The Braves have cycled four or five times.
   48. Kyle S at work Posted: September 22, 2008 at 06:54 PM (#2950122)
Who would have thought that Elmer Dessens wouldn't be able to get anyone out? The Braves bullpen collapse is so mysterious!
   49. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: September 22, 2008 at 07:07 PM (#2950136)
If it's not yet time for a separate "Mets Therapy" section, just give it another six days. This is fun.


Sadist.

Tell me, Andy: now that the "Last Whatever At Yankee Stadium" flapdoodle is over, what exactly do your guys have going for them?
   50. ChadBradfordWannabe Posted: September 22, 2008 at 07:12 PM (#2950141)
Anybody else coming to the game at Shea tonight?

Just wondering
   51. I Remember When Posted: September 22, 2008 at 07:33 PM (#2950159)
I think the NL WC race is most interesting to see who of the Mets & Brewers want the playoffs the least and who can blow it more convincingly. Do we really have to have a NL WC entry this year - wouldn't it just be better if we could skip it altogether?
   52. cardsfanboy Posted: September 22, 2008 at 07:35 PM (#2950162)
I think the NL WC race is most interesting to see who of the Mets & Brewers want the playoffs the least and who can blow it more convincingly. Do we really have to have a NL WC entry this year - wouldn't it just be better if we could skip it altogether?
Page 1 of 1 pages


I think since no one seems to want it, that the spot should be given to the last national league team to win the world series. :)
   53. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 22, 2008 at 07:36 PM (#2950165)
So true. Mets need a switch-pitcher in the worst way. Or just a pitcher.

At this point, I think Mets fans would settle for a belly-itcher.
   54. Greg Pope Posted: September 22, 2008 at 07:36 PM (#2950166)
Scott Eyre has been wonderful. Taken some of the load off Romero, used as LOOGY, not pressed. Gets job done. He's another scrap-heaper.

This just points out the (near-)uselessness of projecting relievers. Eyre was a scrap-heaper for the Phillies, but that's because the Cubs dumped him after signing him to a 3/12 contract as a free agent. And he was on the scrap heap before the Giants picked him up.
   55. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: September 22, 2008 at 07:46 PM (#2950183)
So true. Mets need a switch-pitcher in the worst way. Or just a pitcher.

At this point, I think Mets fans would settle for a belly-itcher.



PRIMEY!
   56. Swoboda is freedom Posted: September 22, 2008 at 07:50 PM (#2950190)
Have you watched this bullpen? Seriously? Mets are 19th overall in bullpen innings.

I think due to the abundance of OOGYs on the Mets, the number of innings doesn't reflect the strain. Getting warmed up takes its toll, even if you only pitch 1/3 or 2/3s of an inning.
   57. PreservedFish Posted: September 22, 2008 at 08:05 PM (#2950210)
The Mets could really use a guy like Matt Wise. Not a relief ace, just someone with a 4.00 ERA that can throw an inning and won't collapse at the sight of a lefty. The importance of such a pitcher can be demonstrated by the fact that as soon as the Mets found one such man (Ayala) he was named Closer.

Duaner Sanchez could be that guy, but he has disappeared in the last week. Is he injured or just in the doghouse? I have virtually no confidence in him but he deserves another go, at least in the "please can we get through the sixth using just one pitcher?" role.
   58. Harris Posted: September 22, 2008 at 08:28 PM (#2950253)
I think you can project relievers with some usefulness....and the bulk of them start to get worn down at this point in the year.

Nobody in Philly expected Chad Durbin to maintain his awesomeness and he hasn't. i didn't expect Lidge to be this great, but he has, especially by making most of his puke outings in games where the phils weren't likely winners anyway and he was just getting some innings to stay sharp.

What I'm getting at here is that most guys are pitching within expected variance. Just seems that all the Mets are on the bad side of their variance.

Stark posted a humorous articles stating how if baseball games were only 6 innings, the Mets would lead the division by 11½ games. If only 8 innings, 6½ games.

That 9th inning has been a doozy.
   59. Padraic Posted: September 22, 2008 at 09:39 PM (#2950347)
Stark posted a humorous articles stating how if baseball games were only 6 innings, the Mets would lead the division by 11½ games. If only 8 innings, 6½ games.


And, according to Stark's simulations, Charlie Manuel still doesn't use Brad Lidge before the 9th.
   60. Harris Posted: September 23, 2008 at 02:33 AM (#2950758)
And, according to Stark's simulations, Charlie Manuel still doesn't use Brad Lidge before the 9th.

you know....that's an interesting point I did not consider. I guess you have to work your plans around the actual # of innings in a game, and the Phils wouldn't be throwing Chad Durbin out there instead of Lidge if it were a 6 inning game.

Nice thought provoking point. I feel kinda stupid for not considering that.
   61. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: September 23, 2008 at 03:01 AM (#2950794)
I think the NL WC race is most interesting to see who of the Mets & Brewers want the playoffs the least and who can blow it more convincingly. Do we really have to have a NL WC entry this year - wouldn't it just be better if we could skip it altogether?

Just give the NL wildcard to the Sacramento River Cats. They're probably as good as any NL team other than the Cubs or Phillies.

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