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Parnell: Plan is to learn closer role

Bobby Parnell #39 of the New York Mets

Bobby Parnell #39 of the New York Mets celebrates with teammate Mike Nickeas #13 after defeating the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. (Sept. 4, 2011) Photo Credit: Getty Images

MIAMI -- Bobby Parnell's tenuous grip on the closer's job loosened a bit more Tuesday night when he suffered his fourth blown save in nine chances. That prompted Terry Collins to excuse him from duty for Wednesday's series finale against the Marlins and the manager also suggested mixing in others, like Jason Isringhausen and Pedro Beato, in the final 22 games.

"You've got to be careful," Collins said. "Bobby's going to continue to try and close some games, but I do believe -- even though he's throwing 100 -- at this time of year, the fatigue starts to set in. He's just not commanding his pitches. We've got to make sure he understands that you've got to slow yourself down once in a while and make your pitches count."

Parnell has blown two of his last three opportunities, and during that stretch, has allowed four hits, five walks and four runs in 2 1/3 innings. Clearly, a 100-mph fastball is no guarantee for success, and Parnell is still working on gaining a mental edge. While closers are supposed to shake off bad outings, Parnell showed that may be an area of weakness.

"Thanks for letting me relive it guys," Parnell said to reporters.

Parnell insists he is healthy and shrugged off Collins' suggestion of fatigue. But he hasn't done much to convince the Mets he can handle the role in 2012 and there's not much time left.

"The plan is to learn it for this month and then come in next year with some experience," Parnell said. "To be able to evaluate it in the offseason and know what I need to do going into next year."


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