I'm starting to get sick of Brian Bannister really quickly. As a former big fan of his, I'm exercising my biggest flip-flop in print since I turned on John McCain in the 2000 Republican Primary. Brian Bannister's performance last night was once again ugly. He put himself in jams and had a BB/9 rate of 10.80 in last night's start. He has a BB/9 rate of 5.87 on the year. For comparison, Pedro Martinez had a BB/9 of 2.50 in his age 25 season (Bannister is 25). In Pedro Martinez's 2000 (age 28), a BB/9 of 1.33. In Victor Zambrano's 2005 (which, unfortunately, was a career year for him) he had a BB/9 of 4.16. The pattern I'm trying to establish is that Bannister is walking way too many batters. And the problem is that history easily shows that his Houdini act can't stand up much longer. Last night he killed the Mets, tossing 100 pitches in five innings, giving up a run in his final inning of work. Willie cannot, in good faith, send him out for the sixth. He then remains resigned to burn the bullpen.
Darren Oliver throws an inning. Then Sanchez tosses two. Then Heilman is run out to throw another. Then Wags pitches two in a non save situation. Feliciano faces 2 batters. Then ChadBrad finishes Feliciano's inning, pitches another inning, and is run out for a third inning of work. This one didn't go so well. But Bradford is a ROOGY, not a set-up man.
And while this decision means Jorge Julio will have to buy the shots this time because he didn't pitch, it is fair to say he did pitch last night (like Sanchez, Heilman and Feliciano).
I'm also a bit incensed by this story I just linked. I thought we got rid of Benson to get rid of his party-hard habits and his party-harder wife and get a pair of projects in Julio and the Maine, but it turns out we got a man downing shots while lying on a bar.
And, since when were third base coaches having such crazy bashes? Sandy Alomar, Sr., you turn 63 this year. How's about a little invite for the "press"?
Anyway, do not despair. Tonight Pedro's on the hill, and he'll throw all 14 if he has to.