Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Bench Test

What can we say about a win like last night? Once again the cynicism of the last few years creeped in and I was sure that Papelbon was going to close us out. And once again the 2012 Mets proved me wrong and won and in a dramatic fashion. The Jordany Valdespin era has begun.

Of course not all was well last night. Josh Thole got taken out of the game after a collision with classic early 2000's Met Ty Wigginton. The list of injured players right now is at: Pelfrey, Thole, Tejada and Bay. Pelfrey is already out for the season and Bay is better off not playing. The prognosis is still out on the other two. Thole and Tejada have been two huge bright spots this season (batting .285 and .305 respectively, both with an OBP over .350) and putting together some wins without them is going to be key. In addition Ike is playing like a blind little leaguer and Lucas Duda couldn't hit a beach ball. On the pitching end  Batista is pitching tonight and we haven't had a win yet from the # 4 pitcher after Pelf went down.

This is where the real test lies. The bench test. If we can keep continuing success with bench players we are going to be a dangerous team.One thing most playoff teams have in common is good production from their non-starters. In past years the Mets have fallen apart when faced with injuries (like 2009, collectively know as the injury year) while other squads were able to excel with bench players. So far the Mets have been succeeding here in many ways: Capt. Kirk has been fantastic and rewarded with a regular roster spot, Hairston remains a valuable bench bat and occasional starter with additional strong showings from Valdespin, Turner and others.  Tonight is going to be a good first indicator of our ability to pass the bench test. We will have Miguel Batista on the mound, three starters out and two in a continued slump and we are playing the Phillies. After last night, I'm starting to think we can do it.


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