One of the biggest projects for the New York Mets(60-65) management during the course of the off season is trying to find arms to revamp their bullpen.
As the pen has been one of the bigger problems during the course of this 2011 season for the Mets, blowing numerous games for the starters during the year.
No one game was bigger for this team than the Saturday afternoon slug fest against the Milwaukee Brewers (75-52) as the pen melted down in the top of the ninth with New York holding a 9-7 lead.
The Mets had just climbed back from a 7-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning, thanks in part to a two-run homer (7) by Angel Pagan.
“It is very tough…obviously you are trailing 7-1, you put up eight runs in a couple of innings it was a tough game,” Pagan said of the game. “At the same time we felt like we gave it our all and we did our best, and it was there day, we battled hard.”
On the homer Pagan had this to say, “It was good at the moment because we put ourselves ahead and gave us a chance to win the ballgame. We couldn’t get it done, but we did everything we could to win and we couldn’t-so we have to forget about it and comeback to try again tomorrow.”
Pagan now has multiple hits in five of his last six games, and is batting .377 (26-69) with 11 runs scored in August this season. The Mets center fielder also made a nice play, while billowing black smoke was emanating from outside Citi Field in the bottom of the seventh.
“Yeah I saw it (the smoke coming from outside the field) I don’t know what happened, but yeah I saw that something was going on back there,” Pagan said of the billowing smoke during the course of the game. On the amazing diving grab he had this to say, “You have to continue to play hard, you never know what will happen during the course of the game. At first you are losing 7-1, you never know-maybe the team will comeback like we did. You try to make all the plays and you try keep the score close so that there is a good opportunity to comeback like we did.”
The black clouds came from a fire from one of the junk yards nearby, are also seemingly following this club as everything that can go wrong has thus far in the month of August.
“Yeah we are going through a funk right now,” starter Chris Capuano said of his teams luck after the game. “Everything that can go wrong has, but hopefully we can start going into a stretch where things start going our way again.
The prime example of that was a relief outing by Jason Isringhausen came in and walked three batters. Izzy got a quick hook from Mets manager Terry Collins, bringing in MannyAcosta to try to stop the bleeding. The righty didn’t fare any better giving up back-to-back singles to Milwaukee took the 11-9 lead in the frame.
“I just lost my command today,” Isringhausen said after the game. “Terry did the right thing pulling me out when he did; the loss is on me tonight. When your guys’ have a comeback like that, and I go out there with a performance like that-it is a debacle. It ranks up there as one of the worse ones I’ve had innings wise, I don’t have any excuses-just couldn’t find the strike zone.”
New York could not find any more runs, after combining for a total of eight in the later part of the game. Ruben Tejada collected two hits in the game, and has hit in five consecutive games (8-15, .533), since being recalled from Buffalo (AAA) of the International League on August 8, Tejada is hitting .375 (15-40).
Capuano had a strange day, allowing seven runs-five earned, in 5.2 innings and is 1-4 with a 5.73 ERA) in his last eight starts dating to July 9. Capuano recorded seven strike outs, but also gave up three monster shots to Ryan Braun (24), Prince Fielder (28) and Yuniesky Betancourt (10).
On pitching to Braun and Fielder Capuano had this to say, “Those are two MVP-type guys right there. They can be pitched too, but they can hit the mistakes that you make on the mound, so you really have to make sure to execute your pitches against them.”
This three-game set will conclude on Sunday as knuckle ball specialist R.A. Dickey (5-11, 3.77 ERA) takes on Yovani Gallardo (13-8, 3.55 ERA) for a 1:10 p.m. start.
Charity Notes: The Mets honored long time employee Bob Mandt, who passed from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) last October, with proceeds of each ticket going to the COPD Foundation. For more information on the foundation click here: http://www.copdfoundation.org/
Also in attendance today was Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand, who was paralyzed during a kickoff return in October 2010—visited the Mets. LeGrand has started a charitable website which can be seen here: http://www.ericlegrandpatriotsaintfoundation.com/index.html
The original story was posted on the Examiner.com site on August 20, 2011 and can be found here: