Mets Sick, Hurt

The New York Mets who aren’t hurt are sick – a flu that raced through the team and the visiting Marlins. And the ones who aren’t sick might have been made so by the continuing struggles of J.J. Putz.

Angel Pagan started hopping after Hanley Ramirez’s fourth-inning double, and quickly exited with what the Mets cheerfully described as “right groin discomfort” (perhaps a subject for a different blog). He was declared “day to day.”
Of course he was. He was a Met position player who attempted to use two limbs at the same time.
Pagan is only on the roster because of Carlos Delgado’s injury, and was only in the lineup because of Carlos Beltran’s stomach flu. This is his third notable injury in two years in a New York uniform, quite an accomplishment for a guy who was only playing in his 43rd game over that span. Jeremy Reed replaced Pagan, and Fernando Tatis remained available. Ron Swoboda was also in the house at Citifield if it came to that.
John Maine exited after a brief bit of stunting in the top of the 7th. Like Beltran, and Saturday’s Florida starter Josh Johnson, he began to get the icks in the bottom of the 6th, but not quickly enough for the Mets to get up the bullpen. So Maine sucked it up and came out to the mound in the 7th, tied his shoe, and signaled to the dugout. That gave Jerry Manuel the right to bring Pedro Feliciano in with an infinite number of warmups.
He might’ve tried that with Putz, whose season looks acceptable on paper, but whose stats (1-3, 3.81 ERA, 2 Saves, 10 Holds) hide a worried fear. The Met hierarchy continues to wonder if he isn’t hurt. Entering with a three-zip lead. A walk, two hits, and the inevitable Ramirez first-pitch RBI single off Bobby Parnell, and Putz had given back two-thirds of the lead. The action on his breaking pitches seems to be less than last year before his elbow problems, and his strikeout to walk ratio is now a scary 19:18 (it was 104:13 in 2006; 356:122 lifetime).
Putz exited to booing and an unspoken question that seems to be racing towards Met management: when will they have to start breaking in Parnell as, at minimum, Putz’s co-equal as a bridge to Francisco Rodriguez?
On the other hand, 20-year old Fernando Martinez is beginning to make converts. His 8th inning RBI double opened up a 1-0 game, and while his manager said pre-game that he could not currently call him a “good” defensive outfielder, another part of Manuel’s response – about the team having to bear with him as he grows – suggested Martinez remains in position to claim the rightfield job even when Ryan Church returns.


  1. dyhrdmet

    very interesting observation. Putz should get checked out sooner rather than later. I don’t think David Wright’s throwing the ball all that well either. some of my fellow Mets bloggers have wondered about all of these injuries befalling mostly players who played in the WBC. i’m starting to think that maybe the training staff is responsible somehow for most of these. i also wonder if these guys all got sick from eating at the Shake Shack in CF at that ballpark in Queens.

    i’d love to see you get a 30 or 60 minute show on MSNBC or CNBC on the weekend to talk baseball (like how Tim Russert had on CNBC before his passing).


    J.J. Putz was phenomenal in 2007 and he started that season with elbow trouble. To compensate, Putz went almost excusively to spotting his plus fastball and seldom went to his split finger pitch and almost never threw a breaking ball. His fastball was so good and so accurate that he willed his way to being the best reliever in baseball for the first half of ’07.

    He had arm problems again in the beginning of ’08 and went on the disabled list. This time when he came back, he couldn’t spot his fastball and had to resort to using the splitter more often and thus he was not as effective.

    I haven’t seen J.J. pitch this year, but judging by his stats, I’ll bet at least one in every three pitches is a splitter or maybe he’s gone back to trying to throw a breaking ball again. Either way, if J.J. can’t throw his fasball as hard and accurate as he did in ’07, J.J. is just an average reliever. Mets fans may have to consider that J.J. isn’t hurt or injured; he is what he is.

  3. natsfan54

    Pagan left the game with a pulled groin…his own we hope. Sorry but I couldn’t help myself 🙂

  4. swarty

    JJ Putz continued his dominance tonight. What a line:
    4 hits, 3 earned runs, and 0 outs.

    Couldn’t Carlos Beltran cough on him? Jeez.

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