"This exact lineup must never see the light of day ever again." –me, yesterday.
"Go f**k yourself, blogger." -Terry Collins, practically.
To be fair (which is what I like to do because I'm a Libra), the general can't show signs of weakness just because his lineup was shut down by Kyle Kendrick. So he went with it again on Saturday, and it worked out better … but it was still a 9-4 loss which you couldn't pin all on the lineup. If Collins wants to die by this lineup then by all means, let him die by this lineup. Besides, why not let this lineup roll again against a guy who is making his second major league start in Jonathan Pettibone?
Well, here's what's apparent: It doesn't matter what lineup Terry puts out there. He can pick it out of a hat and it isn't going to make much difference. First off, because when they let Jonathan Pettibone off the hook with one run after having the bases loaded with one out in the fourth, even after pinch hitting for the pitcher with Justin Turner (who obviously ran out of magic leprechaun dust), then you knew that they would live to regret it, no matter what lineup you throw out there. And if Terry thought this lineup, or any lineup, would break through with a ton of runs off a guy who had made one major league start, then he obviously hasn't watched a lot of Met baseball over the last 50 years.
Second, when you immediately, and I mean immediately spit the bit with your bullpen after "Super Lineup 2.0" failed you in the clutch, then what's the damn point? Shaun Marcum, after it was said that he needed to be at 90 pitches to come back effectively, was pulled after 71 in an attempt at immediate gratification in the form of a big inning in the fourth. Collins was managing to win the game, and that's commendable. It's something he should have done on Thursday by bringing in Bobby Parnell to start the ninth instead of Scott Rice. But managing to win is much, much tougher when relying on your bullpen to get fifteen outs is like asking Jeff Wilpon to walk straight to his office without photo bombing a Harlem Shake video. A good bullpen would have made that decision a hell of a lot easier. The Mets' bullpen makes that decision into one that's between diving into a bathtub full of tacks and drinking corrosive substances for fun. And you saw this first hand when Robert Carson got lit up in the fifth as if he was the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.
As for Marcum in his first start of the season, it was encouraging. His struggles in the third couldn't have been too much of a surprise as he's coming back from multiple ailments. But his pitches were dipping and diving and at least there's a base there that we can be encouraged with. This team badly needs Marcum to be a guy who can go six or seven innings a night to take innings away from that bullpen. Bad enough that volatile group will have to eat three or four innings from most Dillon Gee starts since he can't survive the sixth inning, and from a good portion of Jeremy Hefner starts since nobody knows what to expect from him on a start to start basis. The worst bullpen in the National League can't be expected to take major innings three out of every five starts.They'll die of exhaustion and I'll tie of shards of television glass piercing my skull when I put my head through it.