The Forgotten Man in Cleveland

Ellie SContributor IAugust 23, 2009

NEW YORK - JUNE 27: Joe Smith of the New York Mets pitches against the New York Yankees at Shea Stadium on June 27, 2008 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

Maybe it's his name. I really don't know. But Joe Smith has gotten comfortable in the Indians bullpen and doesn't get any recognition for it.

I've read stuff on Tony Sipp's comeback from surgery and Kerry Wood's inconsistency. But since his June return from the disabled list Joe Smith has been pretty consistent.

Today, his ERA is 3.34. On April 28, before his DL stint, it was 7.11. For the entire month of May, Joe was on the DL with shoulder soreness.

Since his return, he has only given up earned runs in four appearances. That spans from June all the way to last night, when he pitched another perfect inning. That's 27 appearances and 26 innings with a 2.42 ERA.

And by the way, he has been facing both righties and lefties.

He got off to a slow start due to almost no Spring Training thanks to a viral infection. Therefore, April was his Spring Training but at the pace of the regular season. He missed a month with an injury but has come back stronger than ever.

And to relate this to the Mets, most people hate Omar for trading Endy Chavez in the JJ Putz trade. But he also gave up Joe Smith.

And Sean Green hasn't proven he's better than Joe, who would have definitely been a part of the Mets bullpen this year. It really was a downgrade to the bullpen.

Maybe now somebody paying any attention to the Indians will see this and realize how lucky they are. They have had a poor season but their bullpen, at least one member, hasn't been the reason for it.

Let's Go, Joe!