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Isringhausen becomes closer -- for now

Jason Isringhausen #45 of the New York Mets

Jason Isringhausen #45 of the New York Mets looks on in the eighth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. (May 28, 2011) Credit: Jim McIsaac

MIAMI -- It looks as if the Mets' closer job is now a one-man committee, with Jason Isringhausen emerging as the manager's top choice after only a week of deliberation.

In trading away Francisco Rodriguez during the All-Star break, the Mets insisted they would audition a trio of relievers for the role -- Isringhausen, Bobby Parnell and Pedro Beato. But Terry Collins chose to give Isringhausen the first shot at the start of the second half, and he's seen no reason to split those responsibilities now.

Isringhausen is 2-for-2 in his save chances, and he nailed down career save No. 295 in Friday night's 7-6 win over the Marlins. For now, Collins is comfortable with Parnell in the setup role with the expectation that he'll be groomed to take over in 2012.

"So far, it's worked," Collins said. "It looks like that's where we wanted to get to. That's why I didn't want to name 'a guy,' because I know that with the time we have left, we're going to have to juggle things a little bit. If you name one guy, all of a sudden it's a story because he doesn't pitch."

In following this plan, the Mets have assured Isringhausen he won't be traded, but he may get spelled for the ninth on occasion. Isringhausen is 38 and a veteran of four Tommy John surgeries. "I think there's going to be a time Bobby will pitch the ninth inning this year," Collins said. "I don't think there's any doubt that's going to come."

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