The Mets have done such a good job at handling the pressure so far in September even with all the chatter surrounding last year's collapse. In fact, they've been so resilient, that the only reminder of any such demise this year lies really within the amount of people covering the games and the number of questions about it.
Oh, yeah, actually, there is one dark, ominous factor looming from last year and that is...ladies and gentlemen?...(drum roll)...the BLOWpen! Yes, of course, the infamous BLOWpen.
Folks, there is nothing worse for a team than a bad bullpen and man, do the Mets have an awful one. For the second straight year, the Mets' season will come down to whether or not their BLOWpen can hang on. Everyone else is stepping up and doing anything they can to help get this team into the post season. Carlos Delgado? Check. Carlos Beltran? Check. David Wright? Check. Johann Santana? Check. Mike Pelfrey? Check? Ollie Perez? Check. Mets BLOWpen? "X".
I swear these kinds of losses are ripping me up. I can only imagine what it must be like to walk around in that clubhouse as a member of that BLOWpen. If I'm a beat writer covering this team, I'm observing that vibe - the interaction, if any - and writing about that. Players will say all the right things, but you know deep down, it's killing them. It seems like any loss the Mets have, it's because of this BLOWpen. Today was the 27th BLOWN save of the year, holding true to their name, BLOWpen.
Sure, as Dave wrote below, everyone will talk about missed opportunities to tack on runs, and no doubt, it hurts. Jerry Manuel obsesses on this, it seems, after every game. Fact is, he knows it and every other baseball fan on the planet knows it, the BLOWpen just cannot get the job done. Period! That's why there is such an emphasis on this club to score any chance they get. Unfortunately, that's not the way baseball works. If teams get a hit JUST 4 times out of ten with RISP, those teams would be making history. Hitters get out 72% of the time, even less with runners on. The law of averages will tell you that pitchers win the battle more often than not. Unless, of course, you're the NY Mets' BLOWpen. Then, everybody gets a hit.
If Brewers can get just one game tonight, the Mets will have a 3 game lead in the loss column, which is huge. And while the BLOWpen continues to lose the battles, there's still a chance for the real gamers on this club - Murphy, Tatis, Church and of course, the guys mentioned before -to win the war.
Only time will tell...May the force be with us.