(Neil Miller/Sportsday Wire)
This was a bellwether type of game, where the Mets can see if they can beat the big boys of the National League. They were swept by the Pirates back in May, but that was a different team.
And now they are in Citi Field, where the Amazin’s have been amazing.
In the end, though, the Pirates were just a little bit better.
No one is denying Sandy Alderson did a nice job two weeks ago bringing what was necessary for the Mets to be contenders.
They got their bench. They get their star. They got their eighth inning guy.
But they feel like they are just a bullpen arm short.
When they acquired Tyler Clippard, the relief corps were supposed to be complete, but the loss of Jenrry Mejia to a drug suspension made that trade into keeping the status quo and didn’t make them better.
And tonight we saw what happens when you face a good deep team. Bobby Parnell is just too inconsistent this soon, after coming back from Tommy John Surgery, to be considered a reliable No. 3 bullpen guy.
“That’s all been considered,” manager Terry Collins said. “Last week in Tampa, he threw 97. There’s nothing in that arm that might signal where that might be. He had some bad outings, but Bobby pitched very, very well for us.”
Parnell is a good reliever, but again, it may be too soon to rely on him in a pennant race. There will be days like this and if you use him in the tight spots, days like today will be the cost of doing business.
“I don’t think I’m doing too much,” Parnell said. “I just didn’t do it in a big spot.”
That’s the problem.
Now, there is time. With two weeks still until the post season roster lock, Alderson can go and look for something on the waiver wire. It may be somewhat costly but it also may be worth it.
Over the past two weeks, we’ve seen what this team can do when they get the lead. The starter goes seven or eight and Clippard and Jeurys Familia take it from there. It works well with teams like the Marlins and Rockies, but with the Pirates the Mets need more.
And guess who they will be facing come October. That’s right, it’s going to be the Cardinals, Cubs, Pirates or Dodgers. All of which have given the Mets fits this season.
There’s going to games like this over the next few months, where the Mets will need someone else to come up big. Right now, it’s tough to say who can be truly trusted.
But then again, there’s still time.
The clock is ticking, however.
Complete the job Sandy.