Monday, August 11, 2008

What is it about Kunz that they don't like?

The Mets bullpen today blew a Mets lead in the 8th inning or beyond for the 9th time this season. Fans who were ready to burn Billy Wagner at the stake and now wistfully awaiting his triumphant return. The monkeys are checking out Gulf Coast League box scores seeing how Ambi Burgos is doing in his rehab appearances. At least, Burgos gets some strikeouts once in a while. Feliciano, Smith, Heilman and Schoenweiss combined to blow a 5-1 lead against a team that just traded away 2 of its 3 top offensive players in the last two weeks.

And it got the monkeys wondering "What is it about Kunz that Jerry Manuel and Dan Warthen don't like?" In his first appearance, he appeared a bit nervous and threw a ball away, but recovered to get a ground ball double play which had been his specialty in the minors. In his second appearance, he gave up his first homer in three years, but no other hits. In his third appearance, he came in with the bases full, threw a wild pitch before walking a batter. However, he did regain his composure and whiffed the next hitter. So while he may have looked nervous at times, he has shown some resiliency. Have the other members of the bullpen showed that?

The monkeys are not saying Kunz is going to be Mariano or K-Rod or even Billy Wagner. However, Kunz does have closing experience and whether that came in AA or the majors, closing is still something he has been groomed to do. Why not throw him out there a couple of games in a row? Because an overworked Heilman has been such a sure thing? Because Schoenweiss has been lights out? Because Pedro Feliciano puts fear into major league hitters? Because Joe Smith has a "funky" delivery? Really, who is a better current option?

This was another terrible loss for the Mets in a season filled with them. It is only because the starting pitching has excelled that the Mets find themselves in a Pennant Race. The bullpen cannot keep letting them down. Let's try Mr. Kunz for a couple of days since the other options are driving us and everyone else bananas.

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