Parnell carving niche in Mets' closer's role

Parnell carving niche in Mets' closer's role

NEW YORK -- The first time Bobby Parnell recorded a save this season, he was nervous. The second time, not so much.

"I felt a lot more focused," Parnell said of his Game 1 save in Monday's doubleheader sweep of the Marlins. "I felt like I got it out of the way and was more focused on the job. I wouldn't say I've been there and done that, but I didn't have the first-time jitters, those Opening Day jitters."

Parnell certainly did not have them in Game 2 of the doubleheader, entering with a four-run lead and recording the final three outs without incident. Though it was not a save situation, Mets manager Terry Collins said that as Parnell continues to develop into his closing role, he wants the young right-hander to begin innings whenever possible -- rather than enter in the middle of jams.

"I'm trying to take this guy along in steps where he can come in with clean innings if I can help it," Collins said. "So I thought it was our best way to go about winning that game."

Because Parnell pitched in both halves of Monday's doubleheader, Collins planned to turn to Jason Isringhausen if a save situation arose on Tuesday.