Showing posts with label 2011 Bullpen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2011 Bullpen. Show all posts

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Can We Please Throw Some Strikes?

On the whole, baseball is a simple game. The pitcher takes the ball and throws it over the plate, while the batter either watches it go by, puts the ball in play or swings and misses.

Pretty simple, right?

Well, our beloved Mets have of course found a way to skew the most basic facet of the game: throwing strikes.

Both the Mets' starters and relievers have struggled with walks in the early going, which has definitely played a factor in the early season losses. The Mets were in most of their games until they were burned by the walk.

On Opening Day right before John Buck hit that morale-crushing grand slam, Mike Pelfrey walked two hitters.

After the Mets overcame a seven-run deficit in Philadelphia last week, Blaine Boyer had a huge walk in the bottom of the fifth which allowed the Phillies to tack on an insurance run.

Last night, Jon Niese walked Seth Smith with one out that later set up early NL-MVP candidate Troy Tulowitzki's three-run homer.

Let me start this off by saying that walks are undoubtedly going to happen. Though pitchers are paid to throw strikes, they sometimes try to get too fancy in spotting their pitches and miss the strikezone.

I can live with a starting pitcher doing this, since he is likely to see each hitter at least 2-3 times per start.

However, we need our relievers to throw strikes. In tight games, walks kill a team, especially walks that lead off an inning. The opposing team can then sacrifice the runner over and then has two chances to drive in the run.

The Mets have a putrid 4.83 bullpen ERA (25th in the league). Even worse, they are second only to the LA Angels with 21 bullpen walks.

The Mets have only played 11 games, so that's almost two bullpen walks per game, which is unacceptable.

Granted, the Mets bullpen ERA has been ballooned by Boyer's eight earned runs in just 6.2 innings of work. Luckily, Jason Isringhausen replaced Boyer, and may be able to provide some stability in the pen.

Tim Byrdak and Taylor Buchholz have also struggled with walks. Byrdak has two walks in 4.0 innings, which has played a role in his 9.00 ERA. Buchholz takes the cake, however, with five walks in just 6.2 innings.

Bobby Parnell hasn't been great throwing strikes either, with three walks in 4.1 innings.

Let's all just take a deep breath.

One thing the Mets have shown this year is a little bit of fight. They've shown they can come back in games (at least to some degree).

However, the team's efforts are squandered when the bullpen cannot hold the lead. We need guys in the pen that can come in, throw strikes and give the Mets' bats a chance to either continue their comeback or tack of some insurance runs.

I wonder how patient the Mets will be if the bullpen keeps up these walks. I'm sure there are relievers in the Mets' system that can throw strikes.

If necessary, bring up the "Boof."

Follow me on Twitter @JMMancari.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Last Bullpen Spot Down to Izzy and Boyer ?

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 24:  RY 24:  RY ...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
It looks like the last bullpen spot is down to Blaine Boyer and Jason Isringhausen.

Izzy was quoted about the competition, "Me and [Blaine] Boyer hate each other, just to let you guys know," he said, laughing.

Isringhausen is a 38-year-old Tommy John survivor who felt a pop in his elbow earlier this month -- and who freely admits he could feel another at any time.

Boyer is a less flashy choice, but a less injury-prone one as well.

"They've both had very, very good springs," manager Terry Collins said. "They're both throwing the ball well. We'll just have to sit down and look at all the options we have, and make a decision."

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mets News and Notes: Beltran Update, Bullpen Decisions

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 24:  RY 24:  Tim...
According to :

Beltran will play five innings in right field on Saturday in a minor-league game.

He did not run hard today, a day after testing his legs in a simulated game. Beltran went 5-for-11, including a pair of hits off Chris Young, with two doubles.

Tim Byrdak sealed up a spot in the major-league bullpen as the left-handed specialist. The Mets selected his contract and added him to the 40-man roster. Mike O’Connor, his main competition, was sent down to minor-league camp.

That means one spot in the seven-man bullpen is left. These six appear locked: Francisco Rodriguez, Bobby Parnell, D.J. Carrasco, Taylor Buchholz, Pedro Beato and Byrdak.

Those vying for the final spot: Jason Isringhausen (tagged for four runs in that minor-league game today), Blaine Boyer, Pat Misch and Manny Acosta.

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Isringhausen is getting closer to landing a spot on roster

With each successful Grapefruit League appearance, Jason Isringhausen is getting closer to a spot in the Mets’ opening-day bullpen.

Isringhausen threw a scoreless inning Friday in the Mets’ 10-0 victory over the Marlins and lowered his spring ERA to 1.80. A comeback that seemed unlikely when he signed with the Mets after a tryout Feb. 15 is inching closer to reality.

Isringhausen’s first pitch was a fastball clocked at 93 miles per hour, which, he said, probably won’t get any faster. With 293 career saves, he doesn’t need to prove he knows how to pitch. He needs to prove he can stay healthy. And not just to the Mets.

Isringhausen, 38, who broke in with the Mets as a starter in 1995, last pitched in the majors in 2009 — only eight games with the Rays before undergoing Tommy John surgery. While healing, he wasn’t sure whether he was going to try to play again this season.

Isringhausen has reached out to several of those players as a mentor, a notion that would have seemed inconceivable to anyone who knew him back in the hard-charging mid-1990s, when he was part phenom, part court jester.

Any one of the escapades and misadventures early in his career would be the stuff of legend for many players. For Isringhausen, they were just mileposts along the winding path of his 14-year major league career.
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