You would be correct and in full disclosure, I think the signing of Jon Rauch was a mistake. However, give credit where credit is due, as we should applaud Rauch for helping the stopping of the bleeding, as he is keeping up his end of the bargain of late.
Take last night’s game for example.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, while holding on to a 2-1 lead over the San Francisco Giants, and after Tim Byrdak got out his only lefty batter, Rauch easily got out the next two batters to preserve a 2-1 lead. It was a game the Mets would eventually hold on to win after Bobby Parnell slammed the door shut in the ninth.
While we, collectively as fans, still cannot fully trust the bullpen, it is encouraging that Rauch is finally settling down and finding a groove of late. In his last 13 appearances (spanning 9.1 innings pitched), Rauch has given up only one run on just four hits and two walks while collecting five holds.
Rauch’s overall numbers of the season are evening off, as he now sports a respectable 3.54 ERA to go with an impressive 1.04 WHIP. Sure, his 25 strikeouts in 38.1 innings pitched are not what you would like out of one of your more important setup men, but Rauch is getting the job done nonetheless.
Sure, Rauch has benefited from Terry Collins using him properly while also being the beneficiary of being bailed out on some occasions. However, Rauch is still earning his keep.
For a bullpen that has been all but tarred and feathered by the fans (me included) and the press, I think it was necessary to point out that it’s not always bad as it seems. Rauch has had a major hand in the last two Mets’ victories and he’ll need to keep it up if the Mets ever want to get back over the .500 mark.
Remember when Rauch started April out on fire?
Well, it’s not like Rauch forget to pitch. Lately Rauch has shown composure and gumption to learn from his failures and apply himself to turn around his season. While no doubt the majority of May and June were Rauch’s Waterloo, he is finally making up for lost time.
Again I am not suggesting we throw Rauch a parade, but it’s nice to see he has fixed what had ailed him earlier and for that we should give him the ole proverbial pat on the back.
For a bullpen that has been an unmitigated disaster, we have to take all the silver linings we can find.
Follow me on Twitter @Stacdemon