Jon Niese was officially moved to the disabled list today to make room for R.A. Dickey, who pitched respectably before Jerry Manuel took the ball from his hands too soon and proceeded to manage the Mets out of yet another yet another winnable game.
I can barely watch anymore, yet we see it almost every night: The Mets get a leadoff runner and in an effort to choke dead whatever rally might come of it, Jerry foolishly orders someone to make an out on purpose, frequently removing an effective pitcher while doing so, reducing the number of shots to drive the guy in and asking the following batter, no matter how bad he’s struggling, to make something happen or bring real pressure on the guy following him. Once he’s turned the game inside-out to get that single run (if that), they’ve barely inched closer to victory since it’s now a question of whether the beleaguered bullpen, the same two guys whether they’re winning, losing or tied, can be nothing less than perfect or risk a humiliating fate. And since the bulletproof bullpen Jerry quixotically pursues exists mostly in theory and rarely in practice, the games are always too close and failures continue to pile up: They’re barely playing .250 ball on the road, and it’s a disgrace.
That Omar Minaya provided Manuel with too many offensive outmakers and a thin rotation shouldn’t sheild Jerry from taking a hit for this team’s failures. Those handicaps ought only to illustrate how counterproductive and foolish Jerry’s whole playing-not-to-lose approach is. The Mets aren’t good enough to try and win every game by one run and make outs on purpose, and it’s time the people in charge realized it.