It’s not necessarily a bad thing to have Jonathan Niese and Bartolo Colon as the Mets long-relief men. However, it’s a different mentality to go from being a starting pitcher throughout your career, to then having to transition to warm-up at any given time during the game. Their bullpen has never been a strength for this team, it just hasn’t. On the bright side, Jeurys Familia has become one of the game’s best closers. He tied Armando Benitez for the team’s all-time saves record in a season by converting 43 out of his 48 save attempts. I also think it’s safe to say that his six out save performance in last night’s clincher was as impressive as it gets for a closer. It was so impressive, that it was the first six-out save for a Mets closer in the postseason since none other than Jesse Orosco’s World Series Game 7 save in 86′.
On the contrary, the Cubs bullpen is pretty darn good. If you include Fernando Rodney and Pedro Strop, along with their current closer Hector Rondon, they certainly don’t have a problem in terms of guys that can close out a ball game. Add on probably their most impressive BP Justin Grimm and long relief men: Trevor Cahill and Travis Wood — it won’t be an easy task to see any of these guys after facing the likes of both Lester and Arrieta.
Winner: Cubs Bullpen; Even though I’d choose Familia over Rondon to close it out.
If this comparison doesn’t scream how tight these two ball-clubs match-up, while also factoring the epic proportions we’re about to watch, then I’m not sure what will.