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Another Game, Another Ulcer, Another Win

Mike SteffanosWednesday, September 3, 2008
By Mike Steffanos

Game 139: Mets 6 - Brewers 5 (10)

Earlier this year I got tired of the feeling that I was writing about the same depressing loss over and over again. The feeling of déjà vu I've been experiencing lately is much more pleasant.

We spent much of last year and some of this just hoping to see something like this. Of course, given my druthers I'd love to be seeing fight and a no-drama type of bullpen, but you can't have everything.

The Mets are fortunate to have 3 of the next 8 days as scheduled off days. I still wonder how the bullpen will hold up with guys pitching almost every day. Managing a bullpen doesn't seem to me one of Jerry Manuel's strengths as a manager, although I can't blame him for going to the well often on anything that works. He'd do well to find ways to give some of his more heavily used relievers a few more rest days.

Whatever else you can say about Luis Ayala, the man has some stones.

We'll do a pitching chart for Jon Niese if he makes another start.

Box Score

About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

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Comments (3)

Defense, Pitching, offensive contributions from all sides. It's a great combination.

Each game these days I expect the Mets to make a great fielding play to rob the opposition of some momentum, and David, Beltran, Endy, Delgado, Jose and Church keep doing it. Well-played defensive baseball is such a joy to watch.

This bullpen, now: outside of the one game against the Fish, it hasn't been bad at all. Figuroa stepped into a lousy situation yesterday and limited the damage; and the rest of the squad stepped up. Even when they aren't lights out they have been good to excellent, usually; over the last seven games, playing the Phillies, Marlins and Brewers, all good hitting teams, the pen has sported an era of 2.20 in 29 innings. Considering their closer is down, considering that the workhorse of the staff in recent years is generally not trusted at the moment, just how impressive is that?

Wagner going down, and Heilman and Sanchez having their problems has forced the Mets to find new options, which could pay off down the line. I expect Brian Stokes will play a bigger role for the 2009 team; and maybe Luis Ayala will as well. It wasn't so long ago the Mets were one of baseball's older teams, with few new players to excite the imagination; now, I expect some of the players that have emerged over the past month to hold down the fort with Wright and Reyes until the Fernando Martinez/Brad Holt Mets team is ready to charge.

No; this Mets team doesn't owe me anything; payment has been delivered in full. I hope they can maintain this for a while longer, is all. 'Cause, it's fun!

I agree DD. This team has be a joy to watch. They are playing good defense, not losing without fighting back and I believe giving the fans reasonable hopes for reaching the post-season.
I do disagree with Mike's assertion that Manuel is mismanaging the bullpen. I think he is trying to limit his RP to spots where they can be successful and in doing so is keeping everyone on a short leash - except for the closer for the day. As much as fans complain about the blown leads, we must acknowledge that what Manuel is doing is working and he now has the increased number of resources and a few scheduled off days to let the bullpen get a little rest.

dd - Well said. I agree completely.

Greg - My words were Managing a bullpen doesn't seem to me one of Jerry Manuel's strengths as a manager, although I can't blame him for going to the well often on anything that works. He'd do well to find ways to give some of his more heavily used relievers a few more rest days.

How did that become an assertion the Manuel is mismanaging the bullpen? It's imperative that he finds a way to give some of these guys more days off, or the bill may come due later this month. I don't think handling relievers is a strength of Manuel, but given what he has to work with I think he's done okay.

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