Monday, July 23, 2012

"...And Another County Heard From"

I know that the M.O., at least for the moment, was to try to let Matt Harvey marinate in the minors a little while longer, and hope for the best at the Major League level in the meantime. But, after a weekend in which basically every Mets pitcher took it on the chin, culminating with a 12th inning Meltdown from Ramon Ramirez, Johan Santana ending up on the DL (with all the yahoos screaming about his throwing 134 pitches in his No Hitter and ignoring the fact that he is out with an ankle injury, not an arm injury), and Miguel Batista ending up on the scrap heap where he belongs, it was clear that the move to promote Matt Harvey wasn't another move, it was the only move.

How Harvey fares with the Mets now should be academic. He's up, he's going to start on Thursday, and for better or worse, he should remain in the rotation for the remainder of the season. It's clear that the Mets aren't going to be able to do any better for right now, and, of course, as we've been repeating for weeks, the starting rotation hasn't been the problem here. At least, that's what the prevailing wisdom seems to be. But when Miguel Batista has to make starts for you, then the rotation is a problem. We've mostly been over this; but this is a problem that's been brewing ever since Mike Pelfrey went down. There was a limit to the amount of depth in the starting pitching the Mets had around before they got down to Harvey being really necessary, and the problem was, most of that depth was complete crap. So, now, with the Mets now in their worst stretch of the season, having fallen under .500 for the first time this year, and all the good vibes generated from the 1st half completely gone, the Mets have finally loaded that final bullet into the chamber. How this ends up, I'm not sure. Probably with the Mets playing out the string and finishing a distant 3rd. But even if that happens, if Harvey pitches reasonably well, then there's something to hang your hat on going forward. That's assuming Mets fans feel like hanging their hat on anything on this team anymore.

The Mets clearly aren't going to go balls in and try to land a real good starting pitcher, because this would mean parting with one of these stud pitchers. The key here will be if they can go out and try to flip some cheap crap for another brain-dead, slop-throwing relief pitcher who can catch lightning in a bottle and get some outs for a few weeks.

At least, that's how this appears to me. Whether or not this is a reality isn't quite clear. But bandages won't help anymore, and to this point, that's all they've been able to do. Josh Edgin, Elvin Ramirez and Pedro Beato aren't solutions. They're bandages, and cheap ones at that. It doesn't make sense in-season, but Alderson needs to clean the stink out of this bullpen like Omar did after 2008—get rid of everyone as quickly as possible, and let a new bunch try to figure it out. Because what should have been a really positive, launching point season has begun look an awful lot like just another shitty year in a string of shitty years.

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