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Impressive Germen pitching himself into bigger role

NEW YORK -- His Major League resume is practically nonexistent, but Gonzalez Germen has already shown the Mets that he's capable of pitching in high-pressure situations.

On Saturday against the Phillies, with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth and the Mets clinging to a one-run lead, manager Terry Collins called Germen from the bullpen to pitch to Delmon Young.

With plenty of poise, the 25-year-old Germen struck out Young to end the inning. He ended up giving the Mets 1 2/3 scoreless innings without allowing a hit, and he struck out three en route to the Mets' 5-4 win.

It was another solid outing that earned him both his first Major League win and the praise of his manager. It might also have earned him a bigger role out of the bullpen.

"There's no reason why we shouldn't be using him more," Collins said. "Of course, he's only been here a week, and he's been in four games already. He's been very, very impressive."

In four appearances since making his Major League debut on July 12, Germen has a 2.45 ERA. He's allowed only one hit in 3 2/3 innings, and he has six strikeouts.

Catcher John Buck has been impressed with Germen, who goes right after hitters instead of "nibbling" the edges. Buck said Germen has a good fastball, a great changeup and a slider he can throw at any time.

With those quality pitches and a deceptive delivery, Germen has an arsenal that's been getting him big outs. For now he's been throwing mostly fastballs, but that could change.

"With him being fresh, a lot of guys don't know what he has," Buck said. "You can kind of use that. It works to his advantage right now. Maybe later, teams start seeing him more, we can mix it up a little bit more."

Germen's debut, in Pittsburgh, came in the bottom of the 11th inning. He walked two batters -- one intentionally -- and also struck out two. He surrendered the walk-off single to Jordy Mercer that handed the Mets the loss, but that was the last hit he's given up.

The next day, Collins sent Germen into the game in the bottom of the seventh with two outs. Germen got Gaby Sanchez to foul out to Buck.

Germen has given the Mets a quality arm in a bullpen that's been used plenty in recent games. Now he might be called on even more.

"One of the things we talked about in Spring Training is that we need to find some relief down the road," Collins said. "It looks like he might be the guy who steps up and gets that job."

Chris Iseman is an associate reporter for
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