I'd like someone other than Willie Randolph to explain to me why, after Claudio Vargas had pitched brilliantly for 97 pitches over 6.1 innings, allowing only 3 hits and 4 walks, with 6 strikeouts and 1 run, bringing in Aaron Heilman was the right move following Vargas' walk of Elijah Dukes.
I'd also like someone to explain to me why the headline on the Mets website says that "The Bullpen" faltered in last night's debacle.
The Bullpen did not falter. Aaron Heilman faltered. Doesn't matter if it was the right move removing Vargas from the game when he was removed. Why bring in Heilman, and why keep him in after he'd already established he had absolutely nothing? After Wright bailed him out with a Robin Ventura-esque bare handed play on Peña's dying quail, he went 0-2 on Jesus Flores, before he did his trademark nibbling with his dinky little slider on the outside corner, that Flores didn't chase and didn't chase, suddenly it's 3-2 and suddenly Flores pings one up the middle to score Dukes and give the Nationals the lead. Why not remove him then, or after he walked Willie Harris? Why allow him to remain in the game and throw the whole thing down the toilet, giving up 2 more hits to Lopez and Guzman. Why? WHY GODDAMMIT, WHY?!
Why, then, not just let him close it out, since he's blown the game open anyway. Or why not bring in Joe Smith in the first place, since all he did was zip through the 4 batters he faced. With the Mets offense having one of their bad nights (leave it to Tim Redding to shut the Mets down, something straight out of the book of Tom Gorzelanny or Bronson Arroyo), the game was done once those final two runs crossed the plate. Willie came out, removed Heilman, who was loudly and deservedly booed off the field. No excuses. And Willie was booed too, and, again, deservedly so. He managed this game like an Asshole. Maybe the Mets didn't hit, but the Nationals didn't hit either, except when Heilman was in the game. 3 hits in 6.1 innings against Vargas (who has certainly earned himself another start, and certainly deserved a better fate tonight), 3 hits out of 5 batters faced by Aaron Heilman.
I don't know what was said after the game by Willie or anyone else, and I don't particularly care. For the second time in a row, I attended a Mets game that was so depressing to sit through (and seemed excessively long for a game that had been moving at a brisk pace over the first 6 innings) that I somehow slipped into my minor nervous breakdown mode during the 9th inning. The Mets are driving me crazy. Willie is driving me crazy. Heilman is making me crazy. Let him go and be the 5th starter for the Anaheim Angels, throw 196.2 innings and go 7-13 with a 5.05 ERA and be happy as a damn clam. I don't care. If the Mets are willing to eat Sosa's contract, then let's take it a step further and eat Heilman's contract too. They can Can Willie too. That's nothing new. He's managing like an Asshole. I know I'm repeating myself but that Asshole is making me do it. Asshole.
This isn't good.
For the 20 games: 1-1.