I'm furious with the Mets right now. Furious.
There is no way they are going to win anything this year with the bullpen pitching the way it has been. And it's the most frustrating thing in the world to watch.
Aaron Heilman gets the bulk of the blame for Monday's loss to the Pirates, but the problem right now is that it's not just the 9th inning that Mets pitchers can't close out - it's any lead at any time. The Mets had a 5-1 lead going into the seventh inning, and right away gave back 3 runs, making it a one-run game. There is no way that game should have been a one-run game at any point after David Wright's 3-run homer in the first inning. (The offense can get some of that blame too - the Pirates tried to give the Mets a blowout win every which way on Monday.)
So after the game, Jerry Manuel talked about the fact that he had to make immediate changes to make things right. Here are my thoughts:
1) Eddie Kunz will be the closer. Manuel said he didn't want to have to put Kunz in that role so soon after coming up. You know what, the way the other dopes have been pitching, I don't care - Kunz should have been used in that role right away. It's what he did in the minors, he should have continued in New York. It's second-guessing at this point, but Manuel should have had Kunz in there from the beginning.
1a) I'm at the point where if Kunz can't do the job right away, and option 2 (below) doesn't work out, call up Brad Holt or some other minor league fireballer who can close the door. Just temporarily. The Mets are killing themselves here.
2) When John Maine comes back from his injury (possibly Wednesday), he will probably close until Billy Wagner gets healthy. I think this is an intriguing possibility, and if Maine is successful, I think it should be his permanent spot. He can be spotty as a starter, and ends up throwing too many pitches. I think he'd be ideal as a closer - and could solve the Mets' problems there for a while.
3) Johan Santana needs to go deep into tonight's game. It's the Washington Nationals, theoretically the Mets should win big (theoretically). Santana needs to step up and throw a complete game shutout.
4) I know there isn't a wealth of relievers available in the major leagues...but surely Omar Minaya could do better. The only person he seemed to be interested in at the trade deadline was the Nationals' Luis Ayala. 60 hits in 54 innings. And 21 walks. He's 1-8 (the losses are the only stat you can blame on the fact that he plays for the horrible Nats) with a 5.93 ERA. If Minaya makes that move through waivers (there are no indications he is still pursuing Ayala), it would be rubbing salt in this open wound.
Let's end on a positive note - David Wright is on another doubles tear - 3 in 2 games. I don't know that he'll break the team record, but he's creeping up there, and of course, continuing his assault on the all-time record:
WRIGHT (2008): 32 Doubles
TEAM RECORD: 44
WRIGHT (career): 173
ALL-TIME RECORD: 792