But here he comes, eager for a chance at redemption. Eager for a chance to show his former team what he and his new team are all about. It is this fact however that plays well for the Mets. What Mets fans know all too well is that Benitez handles pressure about as well as Mike Piazza does the 3-6-3 double play. No doubt should he be in a save situation against his former team, his machismo will manifest.
When Benitez is amped, and against the Mets he would approach Spinal Tap levels, he gets into trouble. He is an imposing figure from 60 feet 6 inches, and with a fastball that can touch the century mark, he should be a dominant closer. But he was notorious for major malfunctions in the biggest games. He missed his spots. Fell behind. Grooved flat fastballs. Game over.
It's not automatic, but the Mets will probably see Benitez this weekend in a save situation. They may even wish it. They will have a couple things going for them should it happen. Benitez's scoreless streak is at its breaking point. Mets closer Braden Looper had a similar streak to start the season and while impressive, it ultimately became an albatross. Art Howe was wise to use Looper in non-save situations during the streak where he could get that monkey off his back without it resulting in a loss.
Benitez's streak will end soon as well and the Mets are in a position to make it happen. A save opportunity for Benitez against the Mets would be the first time all year he would feel any New York-like pressure. He'll do his best to show himself reformed. The Mets will finally prefer to see his old form.
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