Thursday, June 18, 2009

Seven of Nine: Relieving is Futile

I'm all for Seven of Nine when it comes to former Borg drones, but for Met relievers, not so much. I did not get to see the Met game tonight because I was at the Yankee game (more on that later). I did watch the postgame, where the big topic was Pedro Feliciano's workload. Feliciano has now appeared in seven of the last nine games, which could have something to do with him giving up the game-winning homer to Aubrey Huff.

First of all, how thankless is it to be a middle reliever? It's like being a field goal kicker who only kicks in the third quarter. You never get to win the game, but you sure can lose it.

Feliciano is entitled to give up a run or two now and again. After tonight, his ERA is 2.60, behind only Francisco Rodriguez in the pen.

But there's no way that pitching seven times in nine games can be a good thing. Jerry Manuel is managing as if he's still the interim manager. Just because the Mets fired the manager a year ago this week does not mean it will happen again. Jerry is certainly safe until the end of the year, and probably beyond that. But he may not be so safe if, by the time September rolls around, he has burnt out the bullpen.

And let's not hear anything about how the Mets have no choice but to use their only good lefty reliever all the time. There is always a choice. Maybe not a good one, but a choice nonetheless.

Despite the problems finding healthy and successful starters, nobody is suggesting that the Mets go to a four-man rotation to maximize the number of starts by Johan Santana and Mike Pelfrey. The Mets would never risk overworking their top starters like that. Feliciano and the other setup guys should get the same respect.


As for Huff, his second audition went a lot better than his first, except for him bizarrely getting tackled during his interview with Kevin Burkhardt.

Maybe the Orioles thought that the Yankees' postgame awarding of a wrestling belt to the player of the game was supposed to involve actual wrestling.


Ryan O said...

Not going to get on Pedro, he has been pitching excellent. But he's the only reliable guy who can get lefties out.

Anonymous said...

Pedro has thrown 70 pitches in those 7 appearances. that averages out to 10 per outing. he also has had 4 days off during this time as well. I can appreciate your point Jon, but I think that it seems worse than it actually is when you couch it as 7 in 9. Breaking them down as I did puts it, to me at least, in a different perspective. He is our only lefty specialist.

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