Thursday, April 11, 2013

I Still Think Dan Warthen Needs to Go

Look at the Mets pitching under Dan Warthen. Go ahead and sift through the stats, the records and the personnel. Talent wise the Mets pitching isn't great. Starting pitching has been better than relief pitching which has to do with the starters having a bit better personnel than the bullpen.

But if you forget about the names on the back of the uniforms and just look at the innings breakdown of the majority of Mets losses the last few seasons, you'll find a glaring commonality. They mostly contain one majorly bad inning.

Last night was just another round of this sick cycle carousel that has plagued Mets pitching. It doesn't matter if it was Dickey, Santana, Gee, or Hefner out there. They've all fell victim to "the big inning."

Psychologically "the big inning" is a heart breaker for any team. In the first inning when you're down more runs than innings left in the game, whether you want to admit it or not you feel like the game is lost. Go ahead and sort through all the Mets losses last year. The majority of them contained at least one inning in which 3+ runs were given up.

So why am I blaming Dan Warthen? I know he doens't throw the pitches but he's the one who's tasked with getting his pitchers game ready. He's the one who has to know the psyche of each starter and where are the signs that trouble is about to break loose. He's the one who needs to make sure mentally each arm in his staff is able to get out of trouble.

When hitters don't hit, the hitting coach goes. When teams don't win, the manager is fired. When pitchers consistently find themselves giving up 3 or 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 runs in a single inning, I'd say the pitching coach needs to be questioned.

Mental toughness is lacking in seemingly every pitcher not named Matt Harvey. From where I sit Dan Warthen has done very little to change the culture of the Mets pitchers and give them the tutoring they desperately need to avoid "the big inning."

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