Mets Luck……..Nothing But Mets Luck

 

 

 

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As much as the Mets left too many runners in scoring position (again) and especially leaving the bases loaded in the 9th, the loss yesterday was just another case of Mets luck. You know good luck, bad luck and the dreaded Mets luck.   

I actually felt sorry for Terry Collins yesterday. Most games I get quite agitated when Collins goes all Tony LaRussa/Sparky Anderson and tries to match reliever for hitter in the late innings of close games.  I always imagine hearing  Gary Cohen announce “This call to the Mets bullpen is sponsored by Acme Warehouse, the official warehouse of Wily E. Coyotte and Terry Collins”, because when Collins goes into his super manger genius mode, it usually blows up for the Mets. But yesterday it nearly worked, in fact it should have worked.

Jon Niese was fantastic especially in the 7th inning when he was running on fumes; he found a way to get out of a jam after a lead off walk and a single put him in a dangerous hole. He reached back and found a little “sumthin’ sumthin’” to strikeout Paul Janish and Jordan Schafer to finish his afternoon on an high note.

Tied at 1 after nine innings, the tenth inning was one of those innings we’ve seen too many time with this Mets team. Scott Atchison got two quick outs then he surrendered a little bullshit single to Andrelton Simmons, that was all for Atchison as Collins called for Scott Rice to face the left-handed hitting Freddie Freeman. As we all know the inning should have been over at this at bat but unfortunately it continued. After an argument that for some reason didn’t get Collins thrown out of the game, Collins made another pitching change, his third in the inning, as he called for the freshly recalled Greg Burke to face the leading hitter in the NL Chris Johnson.

At this point I was getting quite perturbed as I felt Collins was over managing again being that Burke was the 5th reliever used leaving just Pedro Feliciano and Friday nights starting pitcher Carlos Torres left in the pen. Then I thought back to Jerry Layne‘s bad call (I was standing on the first base line on the Field Level for the last three innings of the game it has a great view of the field plus there are TV’s over hanging which give you a much better replay than the big video board whose only function it seems is for kiss cam and watching little kids hit wiffleballs)  being the reason that Collins had to make the move from Rice to Burke.  

It was obvious after the Johnson home run that Collins felt the same way. By the way, it’s tough to kill Burke for giving up the 3 run, kick in the balls, home run to Johnson. As you can see here on the Pitch F/X the ball was wayyyyy out of the strike zone. Mets luck strikes again.

I digress, as soon as the ball soared over the left field wall, Collins stormed out of the dugout to go after Jerry Layne again and for some strange reason Collins wasn’t thrown out of the game until a couple of minutes into his second tirade when he threw his hat to the ground at Layne’s feet. I find it hard to believe that Collins didn’t drop one F-bomb in the two confrontations with Layne over the call but a toss of the hat was offensive enough to get bounced.

Anyway just another day of Mets luck, YUCK!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Will Resilient Mets Help Their Manager Get A Contract Extension?

 

So did you stay up for the whole game last night? I lasted as long as Matt Harvey, after the 7th inning I went to bed since it was 12:30 AM and I had to wake up at 5AM it seemed like a good time for nap before getting ready for the day ahead.  The Met win in 16 innings ended about 90 minutes before I hit the shower to ready myself to take on the world where I heard Marc Ernay break the news to me on 1010 WINS that the Mets had won in 16 innings.  This may not be a Mets team that will contend for a post season spot but there is no doubt they are the most resilient Mets team we’ve seen in a long time and it’s that resiliency that could get Terry Collins a contract extension.

I go back and forth on Collins. I don’t think he’s a very good tactician especially late in games and he and Dan Warthen have no set bullpen assignments which makes the relievers nuts. But he has the players ear and respect in the clubhouse and he’s surprisingly good with the media and if you think that’s no big deal go speak to Mr. John Tortorella of Vancouver B.C. about his tenure as NY Rangers head coach.

What will be interesting to watch is if this Mets team does the opposite of Mets teams of the past few seasons and finishes strong in the second half is that enough to give Collins a contract extension?

Sandy Alderson has said that wins and losses will not be the determining factor in bringing Collins back in 2014, if in Alderson’s eyes the club has made progress on the field that would weigh in favor of an extension of Collins contract.  So if the team keeps playing as well as it has and keeps bouncing back from defeats that in seasons past would have had a negative effect on them for a week or two, then it would be quite difficult not to bring Collins back for at least another season.

Collins should also hope that Tony LaRussa is enjoying retirement because if he’s not and itching to get back into the game, things could get very interesting around here comes the off season.

About last night’s game, it seems that Matt Harvey may be experiencing  the same lofty fan expectations that Dwight Gooden had to endure, every start has to be a near no hitter with a dozen or so strikeouts and zero base on balls and of course a complete game shutout. Gooden talks about this in his book how he would hold a team to five hits or so with a couple of walks and five or six strikeouts in seven innings and have fans and media feel let down. Are we approaching that train of thought with Matt Harvey?

Harvey threw 40 % of his total pitches (121) in the first two innings of this game, dividing his 50 pitches in half each inning. His K/BB break down in the first two innings was 33/17. He made one bad pitch, leaving a fastball up to Buster Posey on a 3-1 count that Posey turned on and deposited into the left field stands for a two run home run and just one walk, to Andres Torres in the 2nd where ball four was a strike as home plate ump Adam Hamari was inconsistent in his calls all night. What more can you expect from your Ace?

And let’s not go after Collins for letting Harvey start the 7th inning, he was still throwing his fastball in the mid to upper 90’s and he was throwing strikes and showed no sign of fatigue. After pitching in the heat and humidity in his last few starts, the cool San Francisco evening air looked to rejuvenate Harvey if anything.

My only concern with Harvey is his off the field rise of stardom. I don’t begrudge Harvey of any of the fruits of his fame; I just worry about too much, too fast. On the mound Harvey is in control and takes care of business so well that he’s not just a Mets phenom but a baseball one as well. I just worry about the off field Harvey interfering with the on field Harvey. I hope my worry is much ado about nothing.

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Could Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan Reunite In Flushing?

 

Welcome to July. Time for some Mets-cellaneous views and opinions as our favorite baseball team closes out yet another losing month:

The angst expressed by some Mets fans and know nothings in the media over Zack Wheelers start yesterday was stunning.  It wasn’t a great start for Wheeler but his problems came from lack of command and poor choice of pitches, two things that can be fixed. Wheeler also altered his delivery which I’m not a big fan of doing this between starts as I’m starting to think there is too much information overload given to Wheeler than just letting him go out there and pitch comfortably.

If you watched Wheeler pitch yesterday and think he’s a bust then you need to stop watching baseball and also stop going on social media with your dumb ass opinions because all you do is embarrass yourself.  Pitchers like Matt Harvey come around once generations so just enjoy watching him pitch and enjoy watching him wear a Mets uniform and stop comparing every young pitcher in the Mets system to him.

My only concerned with Wheeler is that he gets his instructions from Dan Warthen. If Wheeler and the rest of the Mets pitchers can survive the next 3 months of Dandy Dan’s Guide to Pitching, next season should bring a new voice to the Mets pitching staff. I’d have to think that there will be a new manager and coaching staff installed for the Mets 2014 season, and those hiring’s could be the most important free agent hiring’s of the Mets off season.

Last Friday I saw a tweet from 95.7 The Game in San Francisco that Dave Duncan was going to be a guest on their morning show. You can listen to the interview here. As I listened to Duncan speak about pitching I went into full J. Peterman mode, screaming at my computer screen, “NAME YOU’RE PRICE, MAN”!!!!!!!!

Duncan left the Cardinals in 2012 to care for his ailing wife who unfortunately lost her fight with cancer in early June.  From listening to Duncan in that interview it’s clear he still watched what’s going on in MLB and it would not be a reach to say he’d like to get back into the game.

Sandy Alderson had a very successful relationship with Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan back in the late 80’s when Alderson ran the Oakland A’s, winning a World Series title in 1989. Could Alderson place a call to LaRussa and Duncan offering them to get the band back together? As much as LaRussa annoyed me during his St Louis Cardinal days, I would be totally on board bringing LaRusa and Dave Duncan to the Mets. Mets fans have discussed and debated who could be the next Keith Hernandez or the Gary Carter, the player who would bring the Mets back to prominence, maybe Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan in Mets uni’s fit that bill in a supervisory position?

Now I know my whole scenario is pretty much a pipe dream, I mean who am I kidding, Freddy & Jeffy Skill Sets own this team not Mikhail Prokhorov SIGH!

 

Anyone miss Ike Davis? Would a Lucas Duda/Josh Satin platoon at 1B be more productive than trotting out Ike every game? What happens when Ike returns or better yet does Ike return?

A big THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! To David Aardsma for hitting Ian Desmond to lead off the 6th inning yesterday.  Finally a pitcher with onions!

And so it goes and so it goes and so it goes and so it goes

Where it’s going no one knows:

The Mets have not had a winning month since June of last year. Here is the W/L record for the Amazin’s from July 201 to June 2013:

July 2012 7-18

Aug 2012 12-16

Sept 2012 11-16

Oct 2012 1-2

Apr 2013 10-15

May 2013 12-15

June 2013 11-15

That comes out to a grand total of 161 games and a 64-97 .397 winning percentage.

Enjoy your Monday!

 

 

 

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Hey Terry Collins, Only You Can Prevent Clubhouse Fires!

I like Terry Collins. Terry Collins knows more baseball than you, me and anyone else who calls themselves a baseball fan and although he didn’t say it quite the way he should have, he’s right no Mets fans knows what goes on in the teams clubhouse better than he does. But with all that it seems to me, an outsider that the players are running that clubhouse and because of past bad experiences as manager of the Angles and Astros, Collins is too worried about a repeat of those experiences in Anaheim and Houston.  The problem with that is, Nice Guy Terry Collins is going to end up in the same place as an Angry Guy Terry Collins, out of a job.

The Saga of Jordany just won’t go away.  It’s the talk of the town and now it has spread across the nation. In a story in USA Today, LaTroy Hawkins and Marlon Byrd, two players new to the Mets, have called out Valdespin in print for being an obnoxious little shit. What does this have to do with Collins? Well, if I’m the Mets manager I’d call both of these veterans into my office and rip them two new assholes. Valdespin is hated for lack of baseball decorum so why is Hawkins and Byrd treated differently for violating the baseball tenant of what’s said in the clubhouse, stays in the clubhouse ? This Valdespin situation is been going on too long, you think a Tony LaRussa or Billy Martin would let this go on? These are the kind of situation that Joe Torre was at his best in, making sure little clubhouse fires don’t turn into infernos. Terry Collins is thisclose to having to put out a 3 alarm fire.

So Valdespin flips a bat and embarrasses Jose Contreas and is charged with a capital crime in baseball, but talking about teammates to the press has no repercussions? What a bunch of bullshit. What’s the standard? When does the manager get mad enough to call his team together and read the riot act to shut the fuck up and put all this hate towards Valdespin and aim it at the opposition?     

Sandy Alderson has said on many occasions that the Mets win/loss record would not dictate if Collins gets an extension of his contract. Collins will be judge on the progress the team has made from last year to this year so right now Collins looks like a prime candidate for a 1 bedroom at Del Bocca Vista. If anything this team has regressed badly. Now that’s not all Collins fault, that blame goes more to the front office and ownership that essentially has written off 2013 and has its sights on 2014 and beyond. The problem though that Collins has is the front office wants to see what he can do with the so called talent they have given him. That’s quite a task.

Collins needs to start challenging his players. He has to stop worrying that if he becomes Terry Hard Ass they will revolt instead of their current state of being revolting to watch. Good Guy Terry is not getting much of anything out this group so maybe it’s time to rattle some cages.

Yesterday I attended the Mike Francesa and Bobby Valentine breakfast at the Hard Rock Café. Valentine, an early riser, was at the Hard Rock so early that he came around to each table to chat with the folks in attendance.  I’ve been a Valentine fan for a while and yesterday just enforced my admiration for him. After the program, Valentine hung around and was talking with a few of us who didn’t have to run to work. At one point while having a nice chat on baseball, Valentine said “com’on walk with me while I get something to eat” and as he tried to find some breakfast he never broke stride in our conversation.

Bobby V had some very interesting thoughts on the game:

As a player who was beaned, once right near his eye that a doctor said if it were an inch up, probably would have blinded him, he feels the “unwritten rule” of hitting someone is stupid and should not be tolerated.

When asked about Roger Clemens throwing the bat head of Mike Piazza’ bat at Piazza, Valentine said the team was in shock when happened and after hearing about Clemens using PED’s it all came together to him that Clemens was wound up on something that night. He also said that Bud Selig spoke to both he and Joe Torre letting them know that he didn’t want anything to go one in this series that would embarrass baseball.  So it was quite surprising when Clemens wasn’t discipline or tossed for his actions.

Bobby V could not believe how there was this much fuss over the Vladespin home run pimp job and the fact that it’s still being talk about and how he can’t understand why Valdespin is not in the Mets lineup every day. When Francesa said that Vladespin might not produce a lot if he played every day , Valentine countered with how do we know unless he plays and pointing out that no one else is producing so give him the shot as he can hit, has power, can steal a base so why is he being wasted on the bench?

Valentine is a proponent of sabermetrics and talked about his time as Texas Rangers manger when he had hired Craig Wright as his Sabermetrician  for the Rangers. He spoke about how he also waited on line at bookstores waiting to get the latest copy of The Bill James Abstract on its release day. As much as he used advanced analytics as a manager he said that the statistics are a very good barometer of what a player did in the past but not in predicting the future. Valentine went on to talk about how you could project what a player could do but as we see with many players unforeseen circumstances arise and throw off the statistical projections.

Valentine loved the enthusiasm of the teams that participated in the World Baseball Classic and spoke to people at MLB during the finals in San Francisco about encouraging teams in MLB to not supress players to show the type of emotion that Latin countries and not be so stuffy. Valentine was candid in saying that MLB needs to find a way to get more women and minorities to come out and watch baseball games.

On his year with the Red Sox, Valentine said it was an experience and another “notch on his belt” and not much more. He also said that while he was a fan of Bill James and was looking forward to working with James, he never once heard from him nor was he ever given any statistical reports. Valentine was shaking his head as he told that story.     

 

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Check Out The Sports Media Watchdog Podcast from 9-30-12

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Listen to internet radio with Mike Silva on Blog Talk Radio

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Check out last night’s Sports Media Watchdog podcast as Mike Silva and I discuss Tony LaRussa’s new book “One Last Strike.” They review the Tom Coughlin documentary on the NFL Network, the journey of R.A. Dickey and bias announcers.

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Hey Sandy Alderson Go Get Your Friend Harvey

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So our All Star break was thrown into chaos yesterday and we can’t even blame this one on Tony LaRussa. When the news broke about Dillon Gee going to the hospital with a shoulder problem, I knew that it wasn’t a structural injury because we saw no sign of anything of that nature in his start on Sunday plus he would not have gone to the ER for that.  What popped into my head first was David Cone and his suffering of an aneurysm in his arm back in 1996. It seems Gee’s blood clot is not as severe as what Cone suffered but because they had to perform a cauterization to break up the clot and not just give him blood thinners gives me the idea that this is still very serious and could be a season ending event for Gee.

Forget the baseball part of this for a moment, how scary it must have been for Gee and his wife that not only did he have to head to the ER to get checked out but to have it happen at the All Star break with most of the Mets brassi n KC and teammates off on their own.  Hopefully Gee will be ok and between the procedure and medication this will be a onetime freak occurrence.

So what do the Mets do if Gee is out for longer than 1 or 2 starts? The first out cry from the fan base was to scream for Sandy Alderson to bring up Matt Harvey and while Harvey has shown some improvement with his command of pitches and has improved his strikeout rate, his walks per 9 innings is still close to 4 and the Mets would love to see him get more experience in Buffalo.

If Gee misses a start or three the team can survive with Jeremy Heftner and a few strategic off days but if this is a situation where Gee needs further surgery, the Mets may not have a choice but to bring up Matt Harvey to take Gee’s spot.

I don’t worry about Harvey handling the pressure of joining the big league club as it fights for a post season spot. From what we saw and heard of Harvey in spring training, he seems to be a real confident guy and a young guy who asks a lot of questions and absorbs information like a sponge.

When you look at Harvey and compare him to Dillon Gee, I think Harvey can pitch as well as Gee, if not better right now, so if this is going to be a sustained absence by Gee, the Mets best and maybe only option is Matt Harvey.

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I’m Still Mad R.A. Dickey Is Not Starting The All Star Game And I’m Not To Affraid To Say It

I got myself in a bit of a Twitter pissing match today over the news that R.A. Dickey was not picked by Tony LaRussa to start the All Star Game tomorrow night. I, like the majority of Mets fans, are totally piss off that Dickey is not starting the game. I made it known on Twitter how pissed I am and how wrong it is that Dickley will not be on the bump for the bottom of the first inning tomorrow night.

I’m not a fan of Tony LaRussa who I’ve always felt is a self-important prick and his decision to start Matt Cain over Dickey just solidified that opinion of the so called genius. I have many reasons why I feel so strongly about Dickey starting the game tomorrow night, he’s earned it with a tremendous first half, his story is one of the most compelling in sports and is a lesson in perseverance and verifying that hard work pays off and he plays for the NY Mets.

Part of the nastiness of my Twit fit was being called out for getting too emotional about Dickey not getting the start and then I was hit with the always clever “who gives a shit who starts the game” I do. I care for the reasons I mention and the fact that he is a NY Met, the baseball team I live and die with. I don’t give a rats ass about any other player who was snubed by not being named to the team or the fact that Matt Cain has pitched well this season, all I care about is a guy writing one of the best rags to riches story is not in the spotlight because of a retired manager who had to have his final “look at me moment” didn’t do the right thing by giving the All Star Game,  a game most baseball fans have grown tired of, a reason to tune in to see the best that the American League has to offer try to hit that mysterious of pitches, the knuckleball and not just any knuckleball but an Angry Knuckleball.

The same folks who took me to task about my “emotional outburst” over Dickey not getting the start are folks I’ve had a bit of trouble understanding most recently.   I’ve tried to explain that the word fan comes from fanatic and when it comes to the teams I root for especially the NY Mets I am proud to say I’m a fanatic, and when I feel the Mets or a Mets player is unjustly treated I react and I’ll never apologize for that.

What’s makes the, I don’t want to say attack as that’s a bit strong but the nasty tone of the tweets is one of the tweeters who claims to be a big NY Rangers fan but felt it would be a shame if Martin Broduer left the NJ Devils. I tweeted back” fuck Marty Broduer, the Devils and Newark NJ”. I mean if you are a true Blue Rangers fan why would you give a rat’s ass if Broduer left Newark for say Toronto or Montreal? Fuck ‘em. Henrik Lundqvist is better any way.

This would be like saying it would be a shame if Jimmy Rollins went to an American League team, are you fucking kidding?

R.A. Dickey is too classy to rip the Genius for not starting him and he doesn’t have to , as R.A. has enough Mets fanatics to handle this injustice for him.

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WINNING UGLY, BETTER THAN LOSING PRETTY

Back in 1983, Tony LaRussa led a band of Chicago White Sox to the AL West Division title that were so disrespected, many opponents said of them they were Winning Ugly,  many of the East Coast sports writers felt if they played in the AL East they’d be a 2nd division club. In 2011, LaRussa is still managing and still winning and in taking the NL Pennant last night in Milwaukee, he still has his team Winning Ugly.  I’m not a fan of LaRussa as he comes off as believing the baseball Hall of Fame should have been built in his hometown of Tampa FL since it was he who invented baseball, but last night for the first time I really felt bad for him during this ugly Game 6. You could see the frustration on his face as he watched Edwin Jackson piss away a 5-1 lead in the second inning, and he had to go to his bullpen much sooner than he had hoped. If we learn anything from this post season it’s even the top echelon teams in baseball have woeful starting pitching so in order to win you need a well-stocked bullpen, something that Sandy Alderson has alluded to in his state of the Mets press conference at the end of this season.       

One more note on that 1983 White Sox team, Jerry Koosman was a stalwart of that pitching staff winning 11 games and saving 2. Many around that team felt the season turned around when GM Roland Hemond sent 2B Tony Bernazard (Yes THAT Tony Bernazard) to Seattle for 2B Julio Cruz.

Check out Mike Silva’s NY Baseball Digest as he has an interview he conducted with Bobby Valentine who is plugging a movie he was an executive producer on called “Peltotero” which follows tow Dominican teen agers as they pursue a career in the big leagues.  By the way, I agree with Mike’s thinking on Jose Reyes, and I bet that’s the path Alderson will take with Reyes’ contract negotiations as well. He will not get in a bidding war for the shortstop.

WOW now I know why I had such a great night sleep, Wally Backman has decided to stay in the Mets organization. A Festivius miracle I tell ya!

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WINNING!!!!!!!!

Com’on you didn’t think the Mets would lose every game this season did you?  And what a game it was, give credit to Terry Collins for going radical by using Chris Capuano and R.A. Dickey on their throw days in relief. Why waste those pitches in the pen.  Collins checked the data available to him that revealed Larry Jones going 1-7 against Capuano which I guess was foreign to Freddi Gonzalez who batter Larry for Freddie Freeman (whenever I hear the name Freddie Freeman I think of Freddy Cannon and the song Palisades Park) then having R.A. Dickey come in for quick inning in the 7th followed by Izzy and K-Rod.  I’m sure Tony LaRussa is distraught over not coming up with this strategy when he invented baseball.

Dillon Gee showed up at the Ted like a homeless man with no glove, no spikes but was ready for service. Gee’s bags were lost between Providence R.I. and Philadelphia and to make things worse Gee did not arrive in the ATL until 1AM. So with Bobby Parnell’s glove and Josh Thole’s spikes and a spare suit of Mike Nickeas (who will need that suit for the next profession he has because he ain’t cut out for big league baseball)  in his locker, but forth one of the better starts by a Mets starter this season. Gee will get at least one more start as a fill in for Chris Young and Collins has said that Gee will most likely go back to Buffalo so he can continue to pitch on a regular basis but if he has another strong outing like yesterday, with the shape this pitching staff is in, how do you send him back to Triple A ?

Matt Harvey had another strong outing for St Lonesome yesterday going 5 innings in the Baby Mets 4-1 win over Ft. Myers. In 16 innings pitched so far this season Harvey has not given up an earned run while striking out 20 and walking just 6. It will quite interesting to see how the front office handles the 24 year old first round pick in the 2009 entry draft.  A couple of more of these solid starts and Harvey could see himself fast tracked to Binghamton by late May.

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OVER THE BIG PELF RAINBOW

Through all the anger and despair of another lost season in Flushing sometimes you have to step back and look at some positives, though there aren’t many but one is the resurgence of Big Pelf.  Pelfrey’s season is a microcosm of the Mets this year, more ups and downs than an elevator shaft at the Empire State Building.

Pelf had a great start to the season and then was just average in May and June and down right awful in July and now has bounced back to this April quality this month of August.  So how did Big Pelf turn his season around?

For one thing Pelfrey is back to throwing strikes and using his two seamer  with authority. It seems any problems Pelf has it always comes down to confidence in his pitches and this year it’s taken him a while to master that two seam fastball which is a new pitch added to his arsenal. It seems that pitch eluded him for the month of July and one thing we know for sure about Big Pelf is for a big strapping guy, he can be quite fragile emotionally. Maybe the July meltdown and the fact that he now realizes his problems are in his head and not his arm will be the turning point to his career. There is too much talent here for Pelfrey not to become a stud pitcher.

I watched just bits and pieces of last night’s game as I was more involved in the Red Sox-Rays game but I did see that Jerry Manuel brought Bobby Parnell in to pitch the 9th inning last night but then let Takahashi finish the game. Parnell  K’d Hunter Pence then gave up a single to Carlos Lee who took second on Pagan’s double then after Chris Johnson singled Manuel decides it’s time to become Tony LaRussa and over manage by bringing in Takahashi. Why not see if Parnell can get out the jam ? I can see the point of not wanting to lose this game and get Pelfrey a another win but I’d would think with Parnell having been pitching well in this spot of late and with Parnell looking to fill the void at closer why not let him finish? Even if he gives up a hit and the lead and blows the save, at least you can see how he responds to that as closers have to have short memories in order to succeed. You could lose this battle but win the war if Parnell shows the guts to forget it and comeback strong in his next outing. He could also strikeout the next two batters and have his confidence sore from that experience as well. Maybe that was too much for Jerry Manuel to think about .

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