Remember yesterday when I stood up for Terry Collins by saying that there was no need to waste Tim Byrdak on Raul Ibanez because Raul Ibanez was absolutely terrible lately and that Robinson Cano was a much better lefty to use Byrdak on?
Well after Collins got away with using Miguel Batista in a 1-2-3 seventh in a 5-5 tie (after R.A. Dickey didn’t quite have his best stuff yet neither did CC Sabathia as the hyped pitching duels usually wind up overhyped … thanks ESPN), he brought him back in the eighth to face Cano, with Byrdak left to nurse more wayward chickens in the bullpen. Collins pressed not only his luck, but the luck of all Met fans watching on television wondering why, Terry. Why.
The result? Predictable.
Can’t stand up for you on this one, TC. I understand you didn’t want to burn three pitchers in the eighth and that’s commendable. But two things to remember here. First, realize that you could have used Byrdak for the whole inning, as after Cano, Mark Teixeira is a switch hitter, but Nick Swisher and Raul Ibanez followed. And second, Miguel Batista is brutal. You were lucky to get away with using him in the seventh. The eighth was the inning to use Byrdak, the Mets best and most consistent reliever, and you left him in the holster. Awful. Whammied.
What this series proved is that there if the Mets want to contend, and they seriously think they can contend the rest of the year, they need to get help for that bullpen. Whether it’s a second veteran lefty or a power arm, something needs to be done … especially with Frangag Frantsisk on the disabled list. Hoping for Ramon Ramirez to find himself and for Jon Rauch to end his run of bad pitching and bad luck and for Bobby Parnell to be able to handle the ninth inning the next couple of weeks is all well and good. But if the Mets fancy themselves as “in this race”, they need to do something.
Now if they feel that trading for a reliever is too rich for their blood, or contrary to their longer term plan because it wasn’t in their expectation to contend this late in this year, then that’s fine. But if that’s what they feel, then this season is going to be laid to waste because of this bad ‘pen and the Mets need to look at themselves in the mirror and come to terms with that. And then decide that they want to explain to the rest of the roster (whether it be in the clubhouse or through the media) … a roster which has busted its ass all year why it’s not getting any help. (And I don’t necessarily count Justin Hampson as help, yet. Though he does provide a second lefty who may or may not hold more worth than a warm body.)
Something else that I want to get off my chest … Nick Swisher. Twitter finally asked the question of Met fans tonight: Why on earth would Mets fans hate Nick Swisher? After all, he isn’t doing things that Jose Reyes hasn’t done in a Mets uniform in terms of exuberance and loving fun. And yes, that’s true. All he really does is smile, and the camera always seems to find him. Reyes did the same thing. But Reyes got killed for it. Murdered … to the point that there are still people on earth who think the Mets lost to the Marlins on the last day of the ’07 season because Reyes and Lastings Milledge did a dance. (Just like I’m sure some will think that the Yankees beat the Mets two of the last three because Frantsisk called the Yankees “chickens”.) Swisher, as do most in MLB, do their little dances and go into their “fun loving” routine, with nary a mention. And that’s why Mets fans hate Nick Swisher … they just want him to get the same crap that Reyes got. He isn’t going to get it. Partly because he’s a Yankee. Partly because there isn’t an unwritten rule against acting like a child.
Oh, and here’s another, much more valid reason to hate Nick Swisher:
“When this game was coming up, it was all talk about Dickey & no talk about our lineup or C.C. or what we have to offer.” –Nick Swisher
Are you serious, Nick? The “nobody is talking about us” card? You’re a f*cking Yankee! Your life is one big undeserved slurp job. You don’t get enough attention in New York City? You don’t get invited to the Fan Cave enough? Is this some sort of Zod complex where it’s not enough to run the town and make the playoffs every year, but everybody needs to bow to you and kiss your ass at every turn? (Lotta Yankee fans have this complex too.)
Now tell me why Mets fans shouldn’t hate his guts?