Friday, September 2, 2011

I Don't Know What Trusting A Bullpen Is Like

2006 was the first year I closely followed the Mets, or any sports team, for an entire season.  I guess I chose a good year to start because almost everything worked out for the Mets that year.  Including the bullpen.  Billy Wagner, Darren Oliver, Aaron Heilman, Chad Bradford, and others shut down opposing teams effortlessly.  Even when Duaner Sanchez was injured, they replaced him with Roberto Hernandez and that worked.  Until the last few games of their season, the bullpen was a constant strength.

Ever since then the Mets bullpen has been questionable.  We know all too well the way the bullpen let them down in 2007 and 2008.  And ever since the end of 2007, I just have never felt comfortable with any relief pitcher.  It always feels like every inherited runner is going to score and if a pitcher creates his own mess, he won't get out of it himself.  If there is one pitcher throwing well, he will inevitably burn out and leave the team reeling for a while.  It seems like the manager is always going for the least-terrifying option who I can never trust enough to really think of as the best option.  The streaks when everyone is going well.  The streaks when no one can get an out.  Sure, this could describe the bullpen of any number of teams in any season, but since the end of 2007, it has always described the Mets.

Maybe next season will be different.  Bobby Parnell could become a consistent pitcher and learn how to use that ridiculous fastball.  Pedro Beato could help too, assuming he stays a relief pitcher.  I just might get to see what a real bullpen looks like.

Let's Go Mets!

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