Another terrible loss for the Mets last night, and of course the bullpen will be front and center for criticism in this one. Pedro Feliciano in particular has been downright awful this season, after several solid years as an important bullpen contributor for the Mets. Jerry Manuel is simply going to have to stop using Feliciano in important situations for the rest of the season. Of course, Manuel also has to temper his matchup-happy ways; I know Omar Minaya inexplicably decided to pack the bullpen with specialists this year, but there are still a few relievers in the bullpen who can reasonably be asked to get lefties and righties out.
Let's not forget, however, that the bullpen gave up three runs in seven-plus innings of work last night. That's not the stuff of world-beaters, but it's not bad either. Aaron Heilman was heroic in extra innings, and Brian Stokes has been shockingly competent when you consider his professional body of work. The Mets had a 7-0 lead going into the bottom of the fourth inning, but Pedro Martinez was the pitcher most responsible for making it a competitive game again.
Pedro's August resurgence came to an abrupt end last night in a four-run fifth inning that got the Phillies back within shouting distance. Martinez is the nominal #4 starter in this rotation only because of John Maine's injury, and as I wrote for Flushing University this week his starts need to be minimized down the stretch. Any thoughts of re-signing Pedro for next season, even at a "discount" price, should be ignored unless there are four competent starters in front of him in the rotation.