I went to Governor’s Ball on Randall’s Island last night (more on that to follow, possibly) and missed the finale of this edition of the Subway Series. From the reaction, it seems many fans questioned Terry Collins’ decision to use Miguel Batista against Robinson Cano with Tim Byrdak available in the short-staffed bullpen. Cano homered, the Mets lost and Byrdak, for once, did not pitch. So that’s bad.
That the loss came to the Yankees, or that there was all sorts of posturing before and after the series and a live chicken somehow involved, doesn’t mean all that much. The Mets are 39-34 on the year and still very much in the hunt for one of the two Wild Card spots. They need to win as many games as possible, obviously. Going 1-5 against the Yankees is bad mostly because they lost four more of those games than they won.
The good news is that the team called up Justin Hampson today, which will give them a full bullpen and a second lefty. Hampson’s been good for Buffalo this year, sporting a 2.13 ERA and striking out 42 batters in 42 1/3 innings.
Given the way Collins relies on platoon matchups and the frequency with which Byrdak has been used, there’s no harm in giving Hampson a shot. Josh Edgin has struggled of late in Triple-A, plus Hampson was good in his 84-inning tenure with the Padres from 2007-2008.
Hampson’s 32 so he’s not exactly a sexy prospect, but it’s probably at least worth noting that Byrdak was 33 when he broke into the Majors for good. Randy Choate only had one full season on his resume when he re-emerged as a big-league LOOGY at 33 in 2009. Pedro Feliciano pitched in Japan in 2005 before he became the Mets’ near-everyday lefty at 29 in 2006, etc. Sometimes these guys show up from off-the-radar and contribute. Maybe Hampson can, too.
The roster still looks heavy on slap-hitting middle infielders, though.