Wednesday, September 2, 2015
We've been through enough of Jon Niese to know that just about every time he looks like he might be ready to turn the corner and return to being the 2012 Jon Niese who was starting to draw ink as one of the best young lefties in the National League, he has an outing like he did last night, where he gives up a couple of hits, gets a bug up his ass, gets frustrated, gives up some runs, gets even more frustrated and ends up grooving an 0-2 pitch to a light-hitting backup infielder and said infielder mashes the pitch into the seats, and instead of being down 2-0, he's down 5-0 and we then have to see him screaming at himself on the bench. This is the inherent problem with Jon Niese and it's once again why he's teetering on the verge of getting knocked out of a crowded rotation. He's just not Pitcher enough to put it all together.
But that was only half of the problem on Tuesday night. After the Mets rallied against Aaron Harang to cut the Nieseified 6-0 deficit to 6-4 after 5 innings, Terry Collins was stuck in Bullpen Limbo. Here, he had more than his usual assortment of pitchers at his fingertips because of the expanded September rosters. Back on the team were Bobby Parnell and Erik Goeddel and more are probably on the way before too long. But in a situation where Collins really needed his bullpen to keep the game where it was, every move he made resulted in the Baseball equivalent of him stepping in gum. First, Parnell was brought in and really ever since he blew that game back in Washington in July, Parnell has been an unmitigated disaster. He's in dire need of completely making over his game at this point and if that doesn't work I just don't think he's Major League material anymore. He came into a game that needed to be held and instead walked two batters and then heaved a bunt attempt into Right Field allowing a run to score and basically opening the door for the Phillies to stampede over the Mets. Then again, Collins didn't do anyone any favors by removing Parnell and replacing him with Eric O'Flaherty, who's been even worse than Parnell and probably should have been booted off the team weeks ago, and yes, I know he's only been here a few weeks to begin with. I mean he should have been cut before he was even acquired. He comes in to face the lefty, walks the lefty and then gets taken out of the game. And then comes Carlos Torres, because at this point why not, the game is one long hit away from getting slammed down the toilet and who better to have the honor of giving up that hit but Torres? For good measure, Torres then allowed another 4 Philly runs after that, making it 8 for the inning and turning a 6-4 game that seemed to be tilting the Mets way into a 14-4 game that sent everyone running for the exits.
The Mets then made some perfunctory rallies late in the game and somehow made a total shit show look like slightly less than a shit show, but when you allow 14 runs, you haven't done much right and after some of the beatings the Mets have inflicted on recent opponents, well, turnabout is fair play. Still, a game like this is avoidable if, perhaps, Collins calls on Goeddel in the 7th. Or Gilmartin. You know, someone who's useful. Time to figure something else out.