Willie, Is That You?

I think the Mets have secretly replaced Jerry Manuel with Folgers Crystals Willie Randolph.

How else can you explain the “who cares about stats and perfromance” reliance on Aaron Heilman and the stubborn insistance on putting him in key situations?

Call it the Heilman-lich Maneuveur or call it just plain stupid…just stop calling him into big spots.

Now the Mets had a 4 run lead heading into the 9th last night, so that wasn’t exactly a big spot.  But it was still the 9th inning of what was a “must win” game of sorts

Following a bad stretch of games by the Mets that culminated with a sweep at the hands of the Astros and put the Mets back in third place, the Mets needed to start this hommestand off with a win.  It didn’t matter that the lowly Padres were in the other dugout.

There was no better time than last night to put Eddie Kunz into the 9th inning, it was a non save situation and he could have gotten Shea Stadium experience under his belt.  Plus you had Heilman coming off of back-to-back L’s on Friday & Saturday.

But nooooooo….Manuel, in a Willie-esque move of stubbornness, HAD TO call for Heilman.

Heilman started the 9th with a 4 pitch walk to Astros rookie Nick Hundley.  That should have been enough to make a pitching change.   But alas, Heilman was left out there.

Next batter was Luis Rodriguez who blooped a ball in between Argenis Reyes and Carlos Beltran.  It was a botched play by Reyes, who wasn’t aggressive enough and should have made the play.

After a forceout, Heilman gave up a 3-run HR to Jody Gerut.  A 6-2 Mets lead was suddenly a 6-5 nail biter.  Thankfully, Joe Smith and Scott Schoeneweis were able to come in and pick up the last 2 outs and get the Mets a victory.

Note to Willie Jerry, Aaron Heilman is 1-6 with a 5.67 ERA.  No more big spots for him, thank you.

The Heilman nonsense overshadowed the positives for the Mets.  Namely Fernando Tatis’ 2 HR, 4 RBI night, a decent start by Mike Pelfrey (who got the W), and 1 1/3 great innings thrown by Pedro Feliciano.

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One Response

  1. We’ll see tonight if Manuel is any different from Willie. If he goes back to Heilman in the same type of situation, we’re in trouble. I don’t think he will. I think he’ll learn from yesterday and look elsewhere for late-inning game saving relief. Learning from mistakes is something Willie had a hard time doing.

    Personally, I think Kunz should be given the chance to close. He was bred as a closer through college and the minors. It’s in his blood now to close games. Plus, by using Kunz as the closer, you can keep all the rest of bullpen roles intact.

    Everyone is so quick to blame Argenis Reyes for that ball that dropped between him and Beltran in the ninth. While I agree that it was a catchable ball for Reyes, Beltran needs to share the blame. If no one is calling for the ball, Beltran’s supposed to keep coming. If he went full speed for that ball the whole way, he would have gotten under it to make the catch. Beltran lollygagged it and it cost them. Beltran needed to be more aggressive, especially with a rookie 2Bman who is, in most situations, going to look to defer to him.

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