Thursday, June 23, 2005

Growing Pains

Nice of Aaron Heilman to stink up the joint and make all of us who called for him to be used in pressure situations look stupid in the process, after finally being put in a pressure situation. Our season in a nutshell.

Seriously, chalk it up to nerves. When you spend 10 out of 11 appearances mopping up, it's easy to not be mentally prepared when you're put in a high-fizz situation as Heilman was tonight, coming in with the score tied at 2-2 and a runner on first base. Heilman of course gave up a 5 spot and put the game out of reach. Now if this keeps up, then we'll all start to question whether Heilman has the moxie to pitch out of the bullpen or not. But even if he falls apart and it's proven that he can't do it...well it's not like the Mets' options were that great before. And quite honestly, I'd rather young players like Heilman and Royce Ring (who got squeezed on the payoff pitch to Jim Thome in the seventh) go through their lumps and improve for the future, than have "Hitaway" DeJean and Manny "The Human White Flag" Aybar take the mound and get old before our very eyes. So that aspect of tonight's 8-4 loss can be lived with.

What can't happen though, and what can't be lived with, is a veteran Mets' lineup getting three hits in six innings against a pitcher who was 8-14 with a 5.15 ERA at Double A Reading last season for crying out loud (Robinson Tejeda)! The Mets were 0-3 against rookies this season with zero runs and 16 K's, so this wasn't totally unexpected, but come on! And how about spreading out all the runs given to Kris Benson around the Mets starting staff. Zambrano did his best Houdini tonight, getting out of jams all over the place including a no out bases jammed doozy in the first, and a bases loaded two out jam in the sixth...and he gets no help from his hitters! (Although he did get a sweet Cliff Floyd play on Lofton to end that sixth inning.)

Meanwhile, Dae Sung Koo made his return from the DL tonight and threw a swedish meatball to Kenny Lofton who put the game out of reach with a bases clearing double. Way to pick up for Heilman, dude. You saw what happened to "The Human White Flag" and "Hitaway" might be next on the docket if you're not careful.

By the way, with four runs against in two outings, how long before Boo-gueth Urbina is cat-called out of Philadelphia? I mean, this is a crowd that would boo their mother for putting too much salt on the meat loaf.

Side note: there was a commercial for Mets coverage on MSG Network during the Mets rewind tonight...and among the various clips of Wright that were featured was a play where he slid hard into second base at Shea Stadium to try to break up a double play. Why did I notice it? Because just like in Atlanta, Wright was nowhere near the bag, and probably should have gotten the runner called out.

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