Thru 3: Mets pounce on Stammen

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It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon at the ballpark. There’s a big crowd on hand and there was a positive vibe this morning after last night’s tidy 7-1 win over the Mets. Funny how quickly that can dissipate.

Craig Stammen went out for the top of the first inning today and didn’t return until the Mets had scored five runs. Yikes. Things started bad right from the get-go (Stammen walked leadoff man Alex Cora on four pitches) and kept getting worse. By the time six Mets had come to the plate, Stammen had already allowed four runs, three hits, two walks and threw two wild pitches. By the time the inning ended, he had thrown 33 pitches (18 balls, 15 strikes).

Look, this guy is a rookie who was called up before he probably should have been. But you’ve got to start wondering about this guy as a legitimate big league pitcher. It’s important to note this is the second time the Mets have seen him, so there are no more secrets on his end. He needs to make an adjustment.

Now, in Stammen’s defense, he has settled down and retired six of seven hitters in the second and third innings. But with Scott Olsen inching closer to a return from the DL (he makes his first rehab start Tuesday for Class A Potomac) one of these kids is going to have to go. And if the choice is between Stammen and Ross Detwiler, at this point Stammen draws the short straw.

So through three innings here, it’s Mets 5, Nats 0. Livan Hernandez has cruised through the first three with little trouble.

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Mark Zuckerman

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