The Blaine Boyer experiment, mercifully now over, sounds exactly like a story about Las Vegas I heard just a few weeks ago.

My father made the trek to Sin City for business, with plenty to do. But along the way, a small group found their way to a blackjack table. An experienced card player, two pushes – on a 21 and 20 – was the best he could do in the first 10 hands. The odds at this point suggested he should stick around and his luck would change. Wrong, he got up after the dealer went 30 hands without busting once.

He heard later an associate went back later to the same dealer, deciding the bad luck was gone and good old math would make him rich. It didn’t take long for Lady Luck to abandon him as well.

My point is that choosing major league baseball players is a crapshoot, especially in the bullpen. Middle, long and specialized relievers all tend to be rejected starters. Sometimes they find a niche and have long-term success, but most have stats that bounce around as much as these players move around the league. A great seventh-inning guy last year could be designated for assignment tomorrow. It really is the epitome of “what have you done for me lately.”

In the case of Boyer, it’s been lose baseball games. The red-haired reliever was 0-2 with a 10.80 ERA, 2.10 WHIP and 1 save in 6.2 innings through five games with the 2011 Mets. In the April 6 10-7 loss to Philadelphia, Boyer coughed up 2 runs in the bottom of the fifth after New York put up a five-spot to bail out an ineffective Mike Pelfrey. On Sunday, he gave up 4 runs in the 11th inning to Washington after D.J. Carrasco finally stumbled.

To say the numbers have not been kind to Boyer this season is an understatement. He is drastically off the mark from his career average now in his seventh years in the pros. According to those figures, he should finish the regular season with a 4.69 ERA, 1.453 WHIP, 47 strikeouts and 28 walks. Just to drive the point home, he’s struck out as many batters as he’s walked – 1.

Assuming nothing’s changed with Boyer, mathematics and the law of averages says his numbers have to recover. GM Sandy Alderson couldn’t have made a mistake when they took the righty reliever who notched a shocking 0.82 ERA and 0.73 WHIP in Spring Training, could he?

In this case it was time to ignore the numbers and cut your losses.

4 comments on “Blaine Boyer busts Mets for last time

  • Brian Joura

    Everyone makes mistakes and it’s a good thing that the Mets cut their losses with Boyer early.

    That being said, putting him on the Opening Day roster was a predictable and avoidable mistake and whoever lobbied for him should have all of his decisions scrutinized even more so than before. I know he was having a good Spring, so were others. This is a guy with a proven track record in the majors of being lousy over an extended period of time.

    On the bright side, one of my 15 Opening Day predictions came true with Boyer’s release.

    • 86mets

      I guarantee you the guy pushing for Boyer was Dan Warthen. I totally agree that his decisions should be heavily srutinized from here on out. He was the one suggesting that Izzy be used as the 8th inning reliever, even though he hasn’t pitched in the majors in 2 years. Izzy would’ve been the one taken north instead of Boyer had he not been hurting and remaining in extended spring training. Don’t get me wrong, I hope Izzy is successful in his return to NY. It’s just that Warthen doesn’t inspire any hope in me (see 2nd to last in team ERA, walks allowed, and dead last in quality starts so far) and his not knowing that his staff ace (Santana) had elbow pain and changed his between starts routine in ’09 makes me wonder how he survived the coaching purge this past winter.

      • Mike Koehler

        I don’t know how comfortable I am blaming him for all their woes just yet, but this certainly doesn’t look like half the pitching we had last year and it’s supposed to be even better.

        Maybe Warthen makes us all look like idiots in a few weeks. Thankfully Boyer won’t be part of that.

  • Charlie Hangley

    I never liked Boyer, but to be fair, that bottom of the 5th in the second Phillies game was a freak show of legendary proportions: with 2 out, a check-swing double, a flyball that Beltran catches 9 out of 10 times and a comebacker banged off the pitcher’s glove accounted for both of those runs.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad he’s gone & thrilled to have Izzy back, but fair is fair…

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