Sunday, May 3, 2009


Long ago, sometime after his complete meltdown in the mid-'80s, I thought beleaguered Mets' reliever Doug Sisk -- he of the uncontrollable sinker and penchant for walks -- retired.
But no.
His spirit -- and his pitches are being channeled by Sean Green, who yesterday not only walked in the game-winning run against the Phillies in a 6-5, 10-inning loss, but also plunked a pinch-hitter with a wayward sinker. The fact that Green, who toiled in obscurity in Seattle and as his last name suggests, is new to this whole Mets-Phillies rivalry thing.
And he emerged from the bullpen wearing a deer-in-the-headlights look.
Green, who entered yesterday's game sporting an 8.41 ERA, largely the result of two straight batterings at Citi Field, needs to be sent on the the next train to Buffalo to work out his kinks in Triple-A.
Anyone wondering now why Seattle was so willing to include him in the deal that sent J.J. Putz to the Mets last winter?
Green's seatmate should be Mets' starter Oliver Perez -- more on him later -- who handed out walks on the mound the way a doctor's office does with lollipops, issuing six in just 2.1 sordid, stressful innings.
Back to Green, briefly.
Like Sisk, whose July 1984 meltdown in a game against the Chicago Cubs in the heat of a pennant race turned a 5-4 lead into an eventual 11-5 loss was that season's turning point, which saw the Mets tailspinning out of a division lead, Green shows little guts -- or command. Even in Green's first appearance, on Opening Day, in relief of Johan Santana with a runner in scoring position , gave up a screaming line drive to the gap which Daniel Murphy ran down.
Groundball pitchers aren't supposed to give up screamers.
Brian Stokes, who has yet to allow an earned run in 11 innings pitched -- let me type that again, in large enough for Mets' Manager Jerry Manuel to see -- BRIAN STOKES, WHO HAS YET TO ALLOW AN EARNED RUN IN 11 INNINGS PITCHED!!! -- would've been the much smarter choice to try and keep the Phillies at bay.
Naturally, he was left to sit idle in the bullpen while Green, predictably, wilted under pressure.
Solution: Send Green to Buffalo, replace him with Nelson Figueroa, who the Mets should never have released in the first place, then signed and assigned to Buffalo.
Of course, the game might not have even been close if not for yet another shoddy start by Oliver Perez, who made a valiant attempt to break Mike Hampton's club record of nine walks issued in a single appearance. But Perez fell just short and was relieved by 40-year-old rookie Ken Takahasi, who in his 2.2 innings of scoreless relief threw half the number of pitches Perez threw and looked completely at ease on the mound facing the Phillies' hitters.
Perez, who is becoming more and more reminiscent of Oliver, the misift kid from "the Brady Bunch" who was somehow foisted on that blended family and soon earned the nickname "Jinx" among the children for the bad luck that seemed to follow him and infect the tribe, seems to not be able to throw a strike if his life depends on it.
Solution: Insert Takahashi in the starting rotation and send Perez to Buffalo, with Green.
OK, so let's say Perez, as his Major League service time dictates, declines his assignment. Then how 'bout another one: an assignment to the Citi Field grounds crew?
How about a gig being Mr. Met's understudy?
Just get Perez and Green off the roster. Immediately.

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