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The Mets’ Relievers Don’t Even Know Whom to Lash Out at Anymore

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 25: Tim Byrdak #40 and David Wright #5 of the New York Mets looks on as Adam LaRoche #25 of the Washington Nationals runs the bases after his seventh inning two run home run at Citi Field on July 25, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

In the seventh inning of yesterday's Mets loss to the Nationals, with a man on base and a 2-2 count on Adam LaRoche, reliever Tim Byrdak wanted to throw a curveball, but catcher Josh Thole called for a fastball. Byrdak shook him off, and Thole again called for a fastball. Byrdak shook him off again, and still, Thole flashed the sign for a fastball. And so Byrdak threw the fastball, but right over the plate — and LaRoche hit it into the right-field stands for a home run. The Nationals took a 5–1 lead, and the way things were going, the game was just about over — except for the shouting.

Byrdak would later have words with Thole in the dugout, thinking it was his catcher's decision to throw the fastball. And when he learned that the bench called for the pitch, he turned his attention to pitching coach Dan Warthen. After the game, Byrdak said he apolized to his catcher. Via ESPN New York:

"We need to go out there and win ballgames," Byrdak said after the Mets fell to a season-worst four games under .500 (47-51). "We can't let our emotions get the best of us. There's frustration all around this clubhouse ... from what we did in the first half to come out in the second half and have this happen ... there's a lot of guys that are pissed off. Everybody is pissed off. I made a mistake on the mound and I apologized to Josh about it. It never should've happened.

"I didn't execute the pitch. Again, as a bullpen, we need to keep it close there."

The 5–2 loss was the Mets' sixth straight defeat, and their eleventh in twelve games since the All-Star break — though at least now we have proof that it's as frustrating to play for the Mets these days as it is to watch them.

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images