TIME FOR A NEW APPROACH

What, you didn’t see it coming? Of course the Mets were going to lose that game last night just the fact that Warlord Jerry was caught a bit short in the pen. Luis Ayala was a sore hammy and Mush Schoeneweies has his period. That left him Feliciano, Smith, Sanchez, Figs, Stokes and of course Heilman.  With that group available I have an issue with the way J-Man used them.

 

Big Pelf came up big again with a very good 6 2/3 inning and I have no problem with the Feliciano and Sanchez to end the inning but why do you come back with Dirty in the 8th when your best reliever Brain Stokes is warmed up in the pen? You go Stokes and then Heilman in the 9th to close then I have no problem but to try to go further with Dirty when he flat out sucks has not gotten through a full inning of relief since 8/11 was a big mistake. This mix and matching bullshit has to stop. Stokes has been great and Ayala has been fine in the 9th even with J-Man trying to exhaust him Friday night. As it stand now the late innings should be Feliciano/Smith, Stokes, Ayala and let the chips and earned runs fall where they may.

 

You just knew that after giving up a earned walk then throwing eight intentional balls, Heilman was a dead duck. This bullpen is not hard to figure. If the Mets do not score in double figures there in trouble of losing a game. That’s sad.

 

Maybe it’s time for J-Man to take a page out of Brewer GM Doug Melvin’ and my book on pitching and start your relievers in the beginning of a game. Melvin is on record as saying if the Brewers were not in the pennant race he would like to start his closer for the first two innings and then come in with a starter. This is a tactic I used this season in Little League and it worked. I did it due to strict pitch counts in the LL rule book. My 11 yr old pitchers could not pitch more that 85 pitches and if they hit that mark they required three full days of rest AND had to skip one game. Silly and unproductive rule. Three days rest yes but an additional game is ridiculous but I digress. Since I saw a pattern that my top guys were hitting that 85 pitch mark towards the late fourth inning, early fifth inning (LL games are six innings) it set up having to bring in lesser taltent kids to close out close games. After dropping three game like this I decided to start my lesser guys and let them give me 20 pitches (this way they needed no days of rest) the worst that could happen is we’re down five runs as there is a mercy rule of no more than five runs scored in an inning and five runs in a little league game like a Mets game is no big deficit. So I would use two lesser pitchers for two innings (unless I was down more than five runs in the second then I went with my best guy) and bring one of the two best pitchers I had to get through the rest of the game. So every game I had at least one of my better pitchers available. If this worked for me why not for J-Man.

 

Look Aaron Heilman wants to be a starter in the worst way right so let him start and pitch two innings, then say Stokes for an inning then come with your starter. Now this wouldn’t work with Johan Santana or even Petey (more due to his psyche than anything else) but how about having Big Pelf pitch the last five innings of a game or even OP? What’s the worst that could happen? This bullpen save for Stokes, is a crap shoot so why not flip the order around and see if that works.   

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