By Mike Steffanos
Game 10: Mets 5 - Brewers 4
This game featured important roles for three players for whom I have some concern.
Livan Hernandez had a good first outing against the Marlins, and looked good for about 4 innings last night. Then he just seemed to lose his control and started leaving everything up in the zone, where he is eminently hittable. I guess how much of a concern this is would depend on what caused him to start missing up and over the plate with all of his pitches.
Much has been made about how being back in the NL and a healthier knee will lead to Livan being a solid innings eater in the fifth starter spot. Any success he has, though, will be predicated on putting his pitches where they need to be. Again, it wasn't like the Brewers had caught on to what he was doing last night, it was simply the low quality of his pitches in the sixth inning.
I have to admit to you that I didn't like the Gary Sheffield signing and am not at all convinced that he can be a productive hitter for this team in any role. Having said that, I have been impressed that he's still a hitter who can take a really good at bat, as he did last night. His 500th homer came on the ninth pitch of an at bat in which he fell behind 1-2.
Perhaps he'll prove me wrong and be a valuable bench bat for this club. Even if he doesn't, I hope some of the other players pick up on the intensity the veteran Sheffield brings to the plate every time up. He's never been one of my favorite players, but I've always admired him for that.
Finally, a few kudos to Luis Castillo, who seems to be adjusting to the eighth spot in the order as well as could be expected. If he could keep hitting and Reyes could get hot, Castillo might score a few runs out of a real tough spot in the order..