(Editor's note: Escape Engine will be a series of baseball features on this site. The first month of the series will focus on bullpens.)
The fast rise and fall of a bullpen is a tragic thing to watch. A month of fantastic pitching could just as easily crumble as continue, as anyone knows, but to predict such a fall is divine. Since sportswriters mention bullpens more than they actually talk about them, we've decided to devote a little time to some contenders' bullpens (with little focus on the closer, since they get enough airtime already). This week we've focused on the New York Metropolitans, currently 3.5 games ahead of the Braves in the NL East at 60-47. We have them finishing third in the division if you must know.
Man, let's just get right to it:
Scott Schoeneweis is still pitching: How does this happen? Why does Willie Randolph put so much faith in this man when you can hear penises and vaginas clinch throughout Queens as soon as he starts warming up? He's the National League's Joe Borowski, only he blows earlier in the game. I don't know the Mets' farm system that well, but SOMEONE has to be laying around. I mean damn, a 5.59 ERA? In the National League? And you STILL get in in non-Aaron Sele time? Speaking of which...
Aaron Sele is still pitching: Really? His arm is hanging on with chewing gum and used chocolate. I swear to God I was clutching his rookie card in the womb. I am shocked this man's 'Nam tattoos aren't showing in the summer sleeves. His ERA of 4.30 is only shocking because it's not 60.45 in Tampa Bay. Man, it can't get any worse, right?
Late Innings: Uh, well, it's not worse at least. I like Pedro Feliciano. He has five holds and four earned runs in his last 10 appearances, though all four came in two games. Still, a decent K/BB ratio and a sub 3.00 ERA can't hurt in the 7th/8th getting to Wagner. Guillermo Mota's shtick still works in spots, including a nice little performance tonight against the Brewers for a pair of scoreless innings. Problem is, next time he pitches he'll give up 9 hits in two innings. His maddening inconsistency reminds me of Alejandro Pena or Mike Timlin just a couple of months ago (or in three weeks). Those aren't compliments, by the way.
Oh yeah, that Heilman kid/Long Term Eye: You gotta love him. Remember his temper-tantrums to be a starter when he was a fairly ineffective one or two-inning guy? Now, those days are long behind us. Now, he's a 3.50 ERA guy with a few strikeouts under his belt. If this consistency holds up, he and Feliciano can help the Mets retain the lead in the East.
If he fails, though, I can only imagine what could happen. Billy Wagner only has so many chances, so the Mets need to hope these guys can bridge them. If not, the Braves and Phillies are going to battle for first soon enough. I mean, how do Sele and Schoeneweis sound coming down the stretch? As good as a warm Bud Light with a cigarette butt floating around in it right now.
Fun Fact: This is the goofiest picture in the known universe. Christ, what a banana-eating shitpuff. Will somebody get this motherfucker high please? (I'm looking at you, Mota. Or is Jose holding?)
Projection: I can't believe this crew has lasted this long in first place, honestly, and I can't see them winning the NL East. Somewhere in the Mota-Schowie-Heily-Sele natural disaster in the making, someone will be the guy who wants to DJ but keeps playing that new Common record during the dance party (I mean, c'mon, everyone knows that Dirty South shit keeps the party going). When one falls, the added pressure may just take the rest out too. I'd bet money on it, if I had enough to get my phone turned back on. Le sigh. Maybe Schoeneweis will float me a loan, he certainly isn't helping anyone else.