With Bobby Parnell struggling to lock down the 8thinning role, Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen and Manager Terry Collins have been forced to look in other directions.

A string of bad outings have led the Mets to consider alternatives in who will bridge the gap from middle relief to K-Rod in save situations.  So far in 2011, that man has been Bobby Parnell, but his numbers don’t indicate that he will be that guy much longer.  In 4.1 innings, Parnell has allowed 6 hits, 4 runs (all earned), 3 walks and has accumulated an ERA of 8.31.  For a team that is already struggling, this can only go on for so long. 

 Just this past Monday, Parnell allowed three runs in the eighth including an errant throw to home plate and a two-run home run to Troy Tulowitzki.  The outing lead Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen to say:

 "If he keeps struggling in that role, we will go elsewhere…We'll go with the hot hand, which might be [Jason Isringhausen], Pedro Beato or D.J. Carrasco. We're looking, but nobody is jumping out. ... Bobby is either going to step up and do the job or we'll have to find someone else. Other than that, I think we'll be fine."

 They will need to be fine.  The losses of Pedro Feliciano and Hisanori Takahashi have left gaping holes in the back end of a Mets bullpen that is struggling to find faith in anyone, including their $37 Million dollar closer, the disappointment that is Francisco Rodriguez.