Mets Still Without Wagner, Willing to Ignore Sample Size

Lui Ayala

The Mets were hoping to get injured closer Billy Wagner back this week. Unfortunately, he reported stiffness and pain in his elbow after throwing off the mound in Pittsburgh this weekend, pushing his return back to ... well, no one knows. All anyone knows for sure is that he's not coming off the DL today.

But relax, Mets fans! To bolster the bullpen, the front office picked up Luis Ayala from Nationals! Jerry Manuel sounds pleased. From Anthony Rieber of Newsday:

"The two innings the other day that we faced him, he threw strikes, attacked the hitters," manager Jerry Manuel said. "I kind of expect the same thing."

Umm ... Jerry? Are you really happy to pick up the Nationals' scraps? Can two good innings last week outweigh the 1-8 record and 5.77 ERA (6.97 since the All-Star break) he's posted over 57 innings the entire season?

When told of Ayala's record and ERA, Manuel said: "Oh, man."

That's right, folks The power of sample size strikes again. Sarcasm aside, no one expects Ayala to be a savior -- all he cost the Mets was the infamous Player to Be Named, whom Reiber outs as the extremely expendable Anderson Hernandez, who's currently hitting .203 for Triple-A New Orleans. If Ayala can simply eat a handful of innings and absorb his nightly beating without giving up the lead, the trade will be worth it.

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