Posts Tagged ‘Bobby Parnell’

Mets Starting Pitching Has No One Else to Blame

August 24, 2009

Occasionally, in my day-to-day conversations with co-workers and friends, the topic of the New York Mets comes up. After agreeing that the team stinks and that they will not be making the post-season this year, I usually defend their performance by pointing out the enormous amount of injuries they’ve had to deal with. Nonetheless, after tuning into yesterday’s 9-7 loss to the defending World Series-champion Philadelphia Phillies, I have come to realize that injuries or not, the Mets lack good starting pitching.

Looking at their last four games, including Sunday’s outing by left-hander Oliver Perez and Wednesday’s embarrassing performance by righty Bobby Parnell, reinforces that notion. For Parnell, you can make the case that his ineffectiveness is because he started the 2009 campaign in the bullpen. He most likely wouldn’t have been given a chance to start for the Mets if lefty Jon Niese and right-hander Fernando Nieve weren’t on the disabled list. For Perez, who has been hindered by soreness in his right knee, the reasons for his disappointing pitching numbers are not so easy to assess.

In Perez’ fourteen starts thus far this year he has yet to pitch into the seventh inning. On Sunday, the Mets left-hander was yanked by manager Jerry Manuel after giving up six runs in just two-thirds of an inning pitched. With right-hander John Maine’s return to the starting rotation uncertain and the recent release of veteran Livan Hernandez, GM Omar Minaya will have his hands full heading into the 2010 season.

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For the Mets, It’s A Win Here and A Win There

August 15, 2009

Since Mets centerfielder Carlos Beltran was placed on the disabled list on June 21st, the Mets have won nineteen out of forty-seven games. With such a dismal number of victories, my only guess is that it has made them appreciate greatly when the outcome ends in their favor. As optimistic as the Mets may be feeling right now after witnessing Bobby Parnell’s winning performance last night, seven strikeouts in six scoreless innings, this latest contest could very well be seen as just another stranded victory in a sea of never-ending defeats.

Prior to the Mets 3-0 shutout of the San Francisco Giants last night at Citi Field, they have lost ten out of their last fifteen games. As much as any Mets fan would like to revel in the coffers of yesterday’s performance, it still does not make up for all the atrocious and despicable baseball that they have displayed these last few months. However, not to be too negative, Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez notched his twenty-sixth save last night and looks to be his old self again. Angel Pagan, back from a couple of days of rest, blasted a lead-off home run in the bottom of the first inning getting the Mets on the scoreboard early. Most impressive though was Bobby Parnell’s ability to finish up an abbreviated outing without allowing a walk, something that has unfortunately eluded Mets starters this season.

As we enter the third weekend of August, the Mets are currently twelve games out of first place in the NL East and nine and a half games out the Wild Card. Despite the obvious, it seems apparent that Mets manager Jerry Manuel is not ready to concede the fact that his ball club is now better suited for the role of spoiler.

“We have to continue to really get after it these last however many games and see where we are,” Manuel said. Hope springs eternal, I guess.

That Raging Mets Fan May Not Be a Fan at All

May 12, 2009

During last night’s game with the score tied, 1-1, the Atlanta Braves had runners on first and second with two outs in the top half of the seventh inning. Mets manager Jerry Manuel had just taken out right-hander Bobby Parnell and replaced him with lefty Pedro Feliciano. Pitching to Braves catcher Brian McCann, Feliciano got exactly what he wanted, a ground ball. Unfortunately, Mets shortstop Jose Reyes bobbled it and failed to complete the play prolonging the inning. The Braves went on to tack on four runs upping the score, 5-1. It doesn’t take a baseball enthusiast to note that Reyes had made a big mistake.

The Mets sure-handed shortstop will must likely be criticized for what he was unable to accomplish last night. If the Mets hadn’t just won seven games in a row in convincing fashion, NY beat writers, local sports talk radio hosts, and all those fickle Mets fans would be calling for Reyes’ head. Prior to the Mets surge into first place atop the NL East, the team was catching an unbelievable amount of slack. Whether it was the inability of the Mets hitters to knock in runners while in scoring position or an over-taxed bullpen due to lackluster starting pitching, Mets fans were becoming steadfast believers that their team was heading towards a fate equal to that of the last two seasons.

Factor in a brand-new $800 million stadium that Mets fans consider unfriendly along with a free agent signing that stinks to high-heaven and you get self-proclaimed Mets fans who feel very strongly in the comments that they are spewing about. It wouldn’t surprise me if the majority of them were camped out in front of their HD TVs tuned to SNY shaking their heads and stomping their feet still reeling from the pre-winning streak performances of their favorite team. I gather that type of behavior will start to rear its ugly head once again. Why? The ace of their staff, Johan Santana, was tagged with his second loss of the season in which he again received limited run support.

It’s just a matter of time when the magnifying glass will be dusted off and young Daniel Murphy’s defense will be brought into focus. Manager Jerry Manuel’s mismanagement of the bullpen will be cause for concern and David Wright’s strikeouts will continue to mount. Yes, these are the non-stop reminders from so-called real Mets fans. Whose only intention is to unleash their childish criticisms and who probably would have never followed the Mets if they didn’t have such a high payroll. According to these fans, the sky is the limit as long as it’s not their sky and not their limit. I was happy that the Mets didn’t sign Derek Lowe. I’d rather spend an evening with Gary Sheffield than all day inside Mannywood. I knew Pedro Martinez was washed up. And most importantly, I like these Mets. So now I have to ask all those embittered Mets fans, do you?

Six in a Row Would Be Nice, Too

May 9, 2009

One if not the most important aspect for a hitter is his ability to see the ball well on its way towards home plate. Mets cleanup hitter, first baseman Carlos Delgado reiterated that point last night by going 3 for 4 including a whopping three-run homerun in the bottom of the eighth inning that put the Mets up, 6-2, and the game out of reach. Delgado, who also drove in two more runs in the first inning with a single, finished the night with a total of 5 RBI. Unfortunately, for one or two other Mets players, being able to locate the baseball was not so easy.

With a runner on second and the score, 2-1, in favor of the Mets, Pittsburgh’s Nate McLouth hit what seemed like a routine fly ball to right-center field. Mets Carlos Beltran began drifting under it. Right fielder Ryan Church had a beat on it, too. As the two outfielders converged under the ensuing popup, the ball landed to the right side of Beltran allowing the tying run to score. After the game, Mets manager Jerry Manuel was in good spirits. However, he felt that the Mets defense was somewhat lacking in some areas. Hmm, I wonder what areas he was speaking of.

The Mets, again, received another solid performance from their starting pitching. This time, from an unlikely source their young left-hander, Jon Niese. Niese pitched six strong innings in which he failed to surrender a walk. Right-hander Bobby Parnell earned the victory, the first win of his career, with another impressive outing in the eighth. With a Philadelphia win last night, the Mets still remain a half game out of first place in the ultra-competitive NL East. The Mets will try and continue their winning ways this afternoon at Citi Field.

State of the Mets: Pitching Rotation

January 3, 2009

I recently saw a preview of the Mets’ projected five-man starting rotation. And let me tell you, if the season were to start today, I would warn fans to heed on the side of caution. When I continued to scroll down towards the names that were in place for the fourth and fifth starters, Jonathon Niese and Bobby Parnell, I developed an ugly feeling in my stomach.

“All I kept hearing in the streets of New York when you go to get bagels in the morning was, ‘Please, address the bullpen,'” Mets GM Omar Minaya has said. He later added, “Well, to you Mets fans, we’ve addressed the bullpen.”

Now, Omar has to address the other side of his pitching staff, the starters. I’m not deaf. I see the headlines. I am well aware that the Mets had made an offer for Derek Lowe. But some insiders have said it was a “low-ball” offer. Who knows, due to the current economic situation, there just may be fewer clubs interested in front-line starters with high price tags? This would be to the Mets benefit.

I have to believe in the Mets organization in that they are looking out for the fan’s best interests. I just don’t want some poor guy losing his lunch this season because Mr. Niese or Mr. Parnell threw one too many hangers to major league hitters.