Manuel Takes a Strength and Turns It into a Weakness

August 5, 2009

With a record that has incurred more losses than wins, the Mets and their fans must savor any chance they can get in witnessing a victory. Heading into the top of the ninth inning last night, the Mets were leading by two runs and they had their All-Star closer, Francisco Rodriguez, on the mound to save it. To make a long story short, he blew the save and the Mets went on to lose the game in extra innings by the dreadful score of 12-7. Prior to the start of the game, Mets manager Jerry Manuel admitted that Rodriguez was being used sporadically. He also made reference to the fact that his closer loves to pitch and would have no qualms with being called upon to throw four out of five days. Manuel also reiterated these comments after the game as well.

After placing my violin back into its case, I waited for one of the many beat reporters to inquire why the Mets manager had pulled right hander Brian Stokes so quickly in the tenth. With the score tied at seven, Stokes was able to induce a ground ball that registered the first out of the inning. For his success, Stokes was taken out and replaced with left-hander Pedro Feliciano. If you haven’t noticed yet, Manuel loves to matchup his relievers, lefty-on-lefty, and then proceed by rolling the dice. After allowing the bases to load, Feliciano battled back to strike out Cardinals Skip Schumaker for the second out. Feliciano’s reward? An early trip to the showers. In comes, you guessed it, Sean Green. Not only does Green hit Cardinals Mark DeRosa with the first pitch he throws but he then goes on to surrender a grand slam to who else? Albert Pujols. I guess the only positive you could take from that hit was that unlike Pujols’ first home run of the game, this one didn’t land inside the Mets apple.

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