The Mets had one of their most dramatic wins of the season yesterday thanks to a Carlos Beltran grandslam homerun in the ninth inning. Thanks to Luis Ayala, the Mets almost had their most crushing defeat of the season in a season filled with crushing defeats.
Jerry Manuel looked enormously stressed out in his postgame press conference and the monkeys found themselves with a few extra gray hairs after Jorge Cantu nearly had a walkoff homer. Later we learned that Luis Ayala was pitching with a bad hamstring or bad quad. We're not sure which since Ayala mentioned the injury and pointed to a different part of his body. With Heilman unavailable and having used Brian Stokes and Joe Smith already, Manuel didn't have many options other than to stay with Ayala. Interestingly, he didn't even mention Duaner Sanchez as an option meaning either Sanchez is nursing an injury or he has completely lost Manuel's confidence.
Meanwhile down in Binghamton, Al Reyes was closing out a save. Not his cleanest effort, but no runs allowed. Reyes has pitched 4 scoreless innings in AA since the Mets acquired him. Last year he saved 26 out of 30 chances. Being on Tampa last year, he is used to be surrounded by bullpen misfits so he should feel entirely at home with the Mets. Take away his April 2nd outing where he pitched 2/3 of an inning allowing 4 runs and his ERA in the majors this year is 2.86. If Billy Wagner cannot come back, there is a decent chance Al Reyes could be the Mets October closer if they can finish this out.
Al Reyes is also 38 and was released by a team bound for October so there are no guarantees. He could turn out to be Billy Taylor, but the Mets didn't give up Izzy to get him so no shame in trying him out. And of course what makes him best of all, he's not Heilman, Feliciano, Smith, Sanchez or Schoenweiss. And the monkeys and Mets fans are ready to embrace anyone who is not them.