Is there any possible way the Mets can overcome these bullpen disasters?

Does anyone want this guy pitching in relief in lieu of what we have now?

No, we won’t get that far, but at this point it has been becoming comical, hence the reason for the placement of a picture of third-string catcher Rob Johnson in this headline. Heck, Johnson does have the best numbers in the bullpen doesn’t he?

All kidding aside, getting back to the question that led off the post: Is there any possible way the Mets can overcome these current bullpen disasters?

In a word, no.

By now you have been witness to bullpen implosion after bullpen implosion, followed by… well you get the idea.

Now riding a six-game losing streak, the Mets are floundering and spiraling out of control and most of the blame, of course falls on the beleaguered bullpen, which by now you should know rank dead last in the majors in ERA (5.03).

Last night the bullpen was once again a disheartening and demoralizing bunch, as they let a 2-1 lead in the 6th inning to swell to 4-1 in the seventh inning. This time the culprit was Miguel Batista. Batista was in there to get some work as he’s set to start on Saturday, and in the process effectively replace Dillon Gee in the rotation.

While technically, the loss fell on the shoulders of Chris Young, who allowed a two-run home run to Adam LaRoche in a 0-0 game in the 6th inning, the Mets’ bullpen (in this case, Batista) did nothing to help matters for a potential comeback.

Prior to the bottom of the seventh, Andres Torres had an RBI single in the top of the inning to cut the Nats’ lead to 2-1. Then came the bottom of the seventh.

Batista would get the first two batters with ease, but as we’ve been accustomed to all year, the last out would prove to be ever so evasive. Batista would go on to allow two singles to Jesus Flores and Roger Bernadina before allowing a deflating 2-run double to Steve Lombardozzi, which put the Nationals ahead 4-1.

It proved to be just too much to overcome, as David Wright’s and Jason Bay’s (go figure) home runs in the top of the 9th went for naught with the Mets eventually losing 4-3.

So far this year, Jon Rauch and Ramon Ramirez have been busts. Batista has been in over his head in the bullpen. Tim Byrdak is just a LOOGY. And lastly, Bobby Parnell is once again reverting back to old habits.

Things are getting so bad that many Mets’ fans are opining for the 2007 Mets’ embattled bullpen. Where are Aaron Heilman and Scott Schoeneweis when you need them?

Seriously, though, is there any hope this season can be salvaged?

I’d like to think so, but by the time Sandy Alderson makes the necessary moves to bolster the bullpen, will it have been too late? Also factor in that the Mets may need more than one bullpen arm.

With the Mets still just five games out of the wild card standings, they are not that far out of the race and if they make some prudent additions, there still could be some hope for a resurgent finish. Plus, you have to factor in the return of Frank Francisco as well. Not so coincidentally, the Mets are 7-13 since the last time Francisco pitched.

If I were Sandy Alderson, I would give the Padres a call and try to package a deal to acquire not only just Huston Street, but perhaps including Luke Gregerson as well. Heck, at this point they should entertain the idea of even reacquiring Dale Thayer.

That’s how bad it’s gotten.

Another team that could swing such a deal could be the Mariners.

They have a steady back-end of the bullpen with Brandon League (who is pitching much better of late) and Tom Wilhelmsen leading the charge. Considering they covet Stephen Pryor as their closer of the future, Seattle might be willing to negotiate a deal.

I don’t need to tell you that status quo won’t cut it. With that said, the Mets should look to bring back up Elvin Ramirez as well and see if he can reacquaint himself in the majors. At this point it’s worth a shot. What do they have to lose?

The bottom line is the Mets’ front office has to act and act quickly. Time is running out and if the Mets don’t make a move then they can kiss their post-season hopes goodbye.

The bandwagon that picked up a lot of riders in the first couple of months is losing steam and it’s time for Mets’ brass to stop the bleeding.

Follow me on Twitter @Stacdemon

5 comments for “Is there any possible way the Mets can overcome these bullpen disasters?

  1. Metsense
    July 19, 2012 at 8:37 am

    The majority of readers on this blog back in April did not expect the Mets to be competing for a playoff spot on July 1st, but they were a playoff team on that date. When Fransisco went down (and the fact that the bullpen had been showing cracks) was the time major help was needed. The Mets weren’t chasing a dream on July 1st, they were seizing an opportunity. There were no trade rumours, no inuendo, no nothing and no support from the front office for this team of overachievers. Sandy never adjusted his thinking from transition team to playoff team. 3.5 games out(they only need to catch Atlanta) of a playoff is still close enough to do something but it’s like closing the barn door after the horse got out.

    • July 19, 2012 at 8:55 am

      I agree completely. And to make matters worse, Collins is going overboard on getting matchups. This works great for Byrdak, who needs to face LHB but not so well with the other pitchers.

      Monday night Ramirez retires two batters, they pinch hit a lefty batter and Collins pulls him for Edgin. The Nationals turn around and pinch hit a righty. So, the Mets burn an effective reliever and don’t get the platoon advantage anyway.

      And it’s not like this was some guy who just destroys RHP – it was Roger Bernadina! And Collins had to know that Davey Johnson wasn’t going to keep Bernadina in, as he has only 11 PA versus a lefty this year, with a .364 OPS.

      I’d like to see Collins bring in all non-Byrdak relievers at the beginning of the inning whenever possible. And if they’re getting outs — leave them in!

      • David Groveman
        July 19, 2012 at 11:24 am

        I think the Mets are 1-2 losses away from looking in the other direction.

        Trade: Chris Young, Tim Byrdak, Andres Torres and potentially others for mid-level prospects and prepare for 2013.

        Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia should see time in the majors but there is no reason to promote them unless we think they will help us in 2012 and that our 2012 is going to be worth helping.

        Give the Mets another 5 games to turn it around before we worry about trades.

  2. kjs
    July 19, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    I expected 71 to 74 wins in 2012, so I’m not too distressed. Certainly Dickey, Santana’s no-hitter, Wright, and Tejada made it a bearable first half. I look at the rest as evaluating players for 2013, and I become more distressed at seeing non-factors for the future playing. If there was a time to make a move, as you point out, it was a while ago on a variety of fronts, as the NL is going through a shift of power, so an opportunity to grab a WC may have been obtainable. That’s over. That’s life in MetLand, where the GM in charge is more tied to protecting the owners’ bottom line.

    There were few bandwagoners, unless we’re referring to people tuning into SNY. I attend many games. We’re 14th in MLB attendence, mainly with help from Yankee and Phillie fans eating unsold seats (the prices—like the rent—are too damn high!). I’ve gone to games where the announced attendence is a sad 28,000 (in a baseball city with a tristate population that tops 20,000,000!), but it’s even sadder when one realizes that includes many a no-show, many a tourist, and many a corporate arse tweeting behind home plate between bites from a lobster roll ($18).

    As for trades, I have no strategy. When you have subpar trading chips, you can expect only subpar returns. When you have no money slotted for upgrades because a baseball-bankrupt family is holding it hostage, there’s little you can do.

  3. Name
    July 19, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Seems like people are finally catching on to the fact that Collins does NOT do a good job managing the bullpen. Now, i know ballplayers are proud men, but Collins does have Warthen and Bob Geren on the bench; i certainly hope they are helping him make these bullpen decisions.
    Even though Ramirez hasn’t been good this year, he has managed to lower his ERA into the mid-3’s, for what’s that worth. He needs to find his way out of the doghouse.

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