Eleven games out of first place and seven games below .500, it appears the Mets are preparing for next season. Tonight, Bobby Parnell starts his first game against the Padres. His removal from the bullpen will weaken the Mets middle relief; however, that doesn't appear to concern the team. Hopefully, he'll be on a strict pitch count so he won't injure his arm.
On the injury front, Castillo is out of the lineup due to an ankle injury suffered when he tripped on a dugout step. To replace him, the Mets traded for ex-Met Anderson Hernandez, who must have become out of favor with the Nats. The Mets had to make the trade because their farm system is so weak.
In yesterday's game against the Padres, Jerry Manuel once again erred in leaving a pitcher in a game too long. This time the pitcher was Francisco Rodriguez. With the Mets up 2-1 entering the ninth, all Rodriguez had to do was to get three outs. He couldn't do it. Instead, here's what Rodriguez did:
• He walked the first batter he faced.
• The next batter doubled, scoring a run.
• He walked the next two batters, the second intentionally.
At this point, if I were the Mets manager I would have removed Rodriguez from the game. Manuel didn't do that and the next batter hit a grand slam.
Manuel left Rodriguez in despite the fact he was having control problems. In his brief stint he threw 28 pitches; only 12 were strikes.
I expect that this will be Manuel's last season with the Mets. I wouldn't be surprised if Minaya, if he's still around, hires Manny Acta to replace him. Another mistake, but Minaya can't seem to avoid making them.