Awkward article in the Times today that tries to compare the Mets' losing streak with other famous New York "collapses". I know it's all in good fun, but leaving aside the fact that Crazy Eddie's jail term for fraud, the end of the disco era, and Jorge Sosa's control problems are what you might generously describe as only tenuously connected, did you really need to get a Harvard psychology professor to tell you that "there is always next season"?
Anyway, I'm sticking to my the-Mets-will-be-fine guns here, but they're sure not making it easy for me. Relief pitchers are funny creatures, aren't they? Sosa was brilliant last night and terrible tonight. Feliciano and Heilman simultaneously dropped from excellent last year to just pretty good. Mota... well, there's a logical explanation for that one, so let's leave him out of it. Joe Smith burned brightly but too fast. This past offseason I thought the Mets were making a huge mistake letting Chad Bradford go, and I still think that may be the case in the long run -- but he's not having a very good year for Baltimore anyway. (Though he has grown an alarming 80's-cop mustache, so at least this season hasn't been a total bust for him).
Seriously, outside of the game's top-tier closers, are there any safe bets in the bullpen from year to year? Is this about small sample size, or is it just because if middle relievers were really reliably good they wouldn't be middle relievers? Or both? I will consult the oracle that is Baseball Prospectus on this subject in the morning.
I admit my confidence is finally a bit shaken now -- it was tonight's loss that did it. The Mets are certainly better than they've shown recently, and better than the Marlins and the Nationals... but what if they just have another week of bad luck, injuries, bullpen meltdowns?
No. It doesn't matter. Repeat after me, the Phillies have the third-worst ERA in the National League. The Phillies have the third-worst ERA in the National League. The Phillies have the third-worst ERA in the National League...