Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Bird Slap

The Mets will have games like tonight a few times over the course of every season. That doesn't make it any less annoying and when you combine that with the Mets and the fact that the Mets bullpen has been kind of questionable lately and, well, it feels a little more frustrating than it probably actually is.

The Mets kind of had a handle on things early. Daniel Murphy hit a 1st inning Home Run off of Ubaldo Jimenez, Noah Syndergaard was weaving in and out of some jams and the Mets were off and running. The Mets rallied for a second run in the 4th courtesy of a Wilmer Flores RBI but only then did the Orioles start to reach Syndergaard, first in the last of the 4th when they got a few runners on base and Steve Clevenger drove in a run, and then after the Mets got that run back, Syndergaard allowed a 2-run Home Run to Jonathan Schoop, who atoned after a rather embarrassing night on Tuesday, to tie up the game.

So, the Mets would have to win it late, and when Flores led off the 7th with a Home Run they were back in position to do so, except that Hansel Robles handed the run back by allowing a Home Run to Adam Jones in the last of the 7th. This again underscores the concern of the fans; though Jones hits a lot of Home Runs and giving one up to him isn't anything out of the ordinary, giving it up in that spot is problematic because Robles, who can at times look great, will also do things like that sometimes, and that sometimes happens enough to make you not want to trust him in a spot like that. This means that the Mets might have to turn to someone else in the 7th inning, and there are only so many relief pitchers that the Mets have that can be effective enough to be trusted in that spot. And you also can't bank on your starters to go 7 innings all the time.

And, of course, this Home Run plays havoc with the remainder of the game. Again tied, Tyler Clippard held the line in the 8th and perhaps Jeurys Familia should have been summoned into the game in the 9th, tie or no tie, or perhaps Clippard should have gone a second inning. None of these scenarios took place. Instead, Carlos Torres came in for the bottom of the 9th, and as I've said, usually when a Torres appears in a game it usually doesn't end well, and that's even when Carlos performs well. Like Robles, Torres is inconsistent, but unlike Robles, Torres' issue is simply ability whereas Robles' struggles could be chalked up to "Well, he's a Rookie." Point is, Torres gave up a Home Run to the first batter he faced, Henry Urrutia, and the Mets lost the game 5-4.

This is now 4 losses in 5 games for the Mets and in each of these 4 losses the bullpen has been the cause. Again, Bullpens are inherently a crapshoot because that's Baseball and if relief pitchers were any good they'd be starters. Bullpens struggle because there's just a general dearth of talent in them. When a bullpen does well, it's simply because they all catch lightning in a bottle at once and it becomes contagious. However, the Mets fan is still battle-scarred from the horror of Bullpens Past and so when the Mets bullpen has a problem everyone falls into a mad panic. Also, I wouldn't expect the bullpen to fare any better over the next several days because the Mets now have 3 games in Colorado where nothing ever goes well, and then 4 more games in Philadelphia and we know how Steroid Field plays.

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