04.27.06

Mets Mulling Bannister’s Replacement

Posted in Baseball at 11:05 am by

After SP Brian Bannister was carried off the field miway through yesterday’s 9-7, 11 inning win in San Francisco, the Mets are considering calling up a starter from Norfolk, writes the New York Daily News’ Adam Rubin.

GM Omar Minaya named Darren Oliver – who picked up yesterday’s win in relief – as a strong possibility, but Willie Randolph suggested it’s more likely a Tides starter would be summoned.

If Bannister can’t go, the Mets would have four options: John Maine (1-3, 2.62 ERA), Jeremi Gonzalez (1-2, 3.52), Jose Lima (2-2, 6.00) and Yusaku Iriki (1-1, 2.70). Maine, obtained with Jorge Julio for Kris Benson, is the only one of those pitchers on the 40-man roster, meaning no one would have to be exposed to waivers to promote him.

Randolph ruled out Aaron Heilman, saying: “I like the way our bullpen looks right now.”

Maine allowed one run over 7 inning as the Tides beat Scranton/Wilkes-Barre yesterday, 4-2.

Yesterday, Michael Tucker was signed to a minor league deal. Depending on the condition of Carlos Beltran, Tucker might provide a (sort of warm body) in the Tides outfield if Victor Diaz or Lastings Milledge are brought north. Either way, he’s certain to bring just as much vitality and veteran know-how to the organization as Gerald Williams.

In the wake of the Sultan Of Surly connecting with an 99 MPH fastball from Billy Wagner, the following self-styled experts surveyed the scene :

If the Mets had lost this one it would have fell at the feet of the golden boy David Wright and his throwing error in the 9th inning. He gets that ball to Delgado it’s 3 outs and Bonds keeps his broken down steroid ass on the bench. – Steve Keane, The Eddie Kranepool Society

Did Wagner have any business giving up a game tying dinger to a watered down Barry Bonds? Maybe not. But here’s what I think about Barry Bonds: To me, Bonds has become a softball player. He takes big swings, jogs around the bases whether he hits it out or not, and is fast becoming the size of your normal softball player. I half expect Major League Baseball to institute a softball type rule where after Bonds makes contact, there’s a runner waiting at home plate to run for him. I also expect Bonds to catch fly balls in one hand with a beer in the other, like the third baseman on WKRP in Cincinnati during the big softball episode. But even though he’s a softball player, softballers can still hit. So tip your hat.Metsradamus.

With where we are in the season, intentionally walking in non-intentional spots is a no-no for me. Wagner is one of the best and he brought it at reportedly 99 mph so if you are not going after Barry with him, who are you going to go after him with? Also, Barry owns a career .231/.286/.538 line against Wags. Right call, bad outcome. Mets win, everyone is happy.The Metropolitans.

The intentional walk is almost always a bad idea, and in this instance it would have put the tying run on base and brought the potentional winning run to the plate. The Mets pitched to Bonds and he hit the ball a mile, but I still think it was the right call even if it didn’t work out this time. – Eric Simon, Amazin’ Avenue

If yesterday’s game were in the playoffs, it would probably rank as one of the top five or six most entertaining wins the franchise has had in the past 20 years. An exaggeration? Perhaps. But it had it all — a hobbled pitcher rounding the bases, a 47-year old man knocking in the go-ahead runs (and stealing a base!), and an excruciating error that led to one of the most dramatic home runs you’ll ever see. To top it all off, the Mets showed incredible resiliency, bouncing back in the top of the 11th to take the victory. You really can’t ask for more in a baseball game. – Ryan McConnell, Always Amazin’

It took either alot of guts or alot of stupidity to pitch to Barry Bonds when he represented the tying run at the plate in the bottom of the 9th inning and first base wide open, waving her arms frantically and alluringly.

Then again, Billy Wagner was on the mound, and pitching out of a situation like this to preserve a two run win is precisely why he was hired. Not to mention the fact Bonds had been only 2 for 12 against him in the past.

Wagner can’t really be faulted for extending this game unnecessarily, nor can Willie. Wagner had the Giants on the ropes in the 9th after striking out the first two Giants he faced before David Wright’s unfortunately timed throwing error put Moises Alou, who absolutely killed the Mets with a 7 for 12 series and 7 RBIs to boot, on first base and gave Barry Bonds the opportunity to pinch hit in the first place. – Jaap Stijl, Archie Bunker’s Army

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