As the Mets’ six-game winning streak came to a halt on Monday, thanks to an all too familiar blowup by the bullpen, Mets fans were reminded just how much they miss Billy Wagner. But with Billy facing yet another setback in his rehab, it remains unknown just how long New York will be without the closer they love to hate.
In the meantime, there’s a pennant race going on, and the Mets’ recent surge isn’t going to cover up the fact that the bullpen needs help — and more than just Luis Ayala. And at this time of year, the franchise will likely have to search internally for solutions.
John Maine, two starts removed from the disabled list, recently said he’d move to the ‘pen if needed. And while that’s very noble of the young starter, Maine pitching the ninth doesn’t make as much sense as Pedro Martinez.
In 13 starts this season, Pedro is averaging a mere 5 1/3 innings per outing, resulting in more work for an awful bullpen, and more chances to blow critical victories. But Pedro is a saavy veteran who’s been throwing up to 91 miles per hour this season. And if he could save the bullpen — and ultimately the Mets’ season — he’d put his Hall of Fame career back in the spotlight much more so than as a starter who can no longer make it to the seventh inning.
During the Mets’ post-game show on Monday, Keith Hernandez said the team shouldn’t mess with its rock-solid rotation. But how can you not? It’s much easier to fill the No. 5 spot in the rotation than it is to find a reliable pitcher to finish out close victories.
Why not move Brian Stokes (10-8, 4.41 ERA in 22 starts at Triple-A New Orleans) out of the ‘pen, where he’s not used to pitching, and into the rotation? He may not be the greatest solution, but couldn’t you live with a rotation of Johan Santana, Maine, Oliver Perez, Mike Pelfrey and Stokes for the sake of the relief corps?
Since the All-Star break, the Mets’ bullpen ERA is 6.53. Something needs to change. Otherwise, the Mets will be at home come October.
There are currently 3 responses to “Should Mets put Pedro in ‘pen?”
Hot Stove New York uses Gravatars — short for Globally Recognized Avatars — for the pictures that show up next to comments.