The Mets and Cardinals played 20 innings that saw Tony La Russa use every position player available and a majority of his pitchers as well. He sent ten different players to the mound. While he was pulling relievers after an inning of use, Mets manager Jerry Manuel had four consecutive relievers toss at least two innings, enabling him to keep bodies in reserve.
At least in theory, because it doesn’t really matter if you keep a couple relievers back in case you do end up playing 20 innings when you have those relievers constantly warming up. See, those pitches they throw out in the bullpen actually tax their arms too, even though they don’t show up in the box score. Quoting from Anthony DiComo’s post game report,
Four Mets pitchers threw at least two innings of relief, allowing Manuel to save closer Francisco Rodriguez for a save situation. That did not occur until the 19th… Rodriguez, who had warmed up every inning from the eighth through the 19th, estimated that he threw more than 100 pitches in the bullpen. And he admitted to being somewhat gassed by the time Manuel finally called his name.
Amazing, just plain amazing. Forget the idiocy of holding your supposed best reliever back for a possible future lead for a moment and just soak in the stupidity on the part of whoever had Rodriguez up and throwing for 11 consecutive innings.
On the plus side, I think he’s stretched out now so the Mets can go ahead and get Oliver Perez out of the rotation.