Willie Randolph has been taking some heat for his use of the bullpen and it’s not totally fair.
Like most managers these days, Randolph follows a formula with his pitching. Have the starters go six or seven and mix and match with the pen. The Mets had the NL’s best pen last year and he’s not doing anything differently this season.
A couple of moves haven’t worked out, but the theory behind them was sound. Before it is over, his percentage will be pretty good.
A thing to remember about how managers use their pen is called the “second guess” factor. If a manager deviates from the formula, he’ll be bombarded with questions. While the formula works, it is also the path of least resistance.