With David Wright out of the lineup with a stiff neck, the Mets needed Matt Harvey to once again be the stopper after an ugly sweep. He unfortunately labored through 5 1/3 innings with 121 pitches, working out of the stretch for the majority of the game. Still, he was in line for his 5th win when he left in the 6th, and the bullpen was actually fairly effecient in getting the ball to the closer Bobby Parnell with a 2-1 lead. Unfortunately, Parnell gave up a leadoff double to Justin Ruggiano in the bottom of the 9th. After a misplay by Collin Cowgill allowed Ruggiano to move to third, he came in to score the tying run on a sacrifice fly. The Mets had PLENTY of opportunities throughout the game to score more that a couple, but they went 1-18 (I’ll write that out for all of you- ONE FOR EIGHTEEN) with runners in scoring position. The ONE time they got a hit with RISP was in the 15th, when Ruben Tejada singled home Lucas Duda for a new lead of 3-2.
But Shaun Marcum, in his 2nd inning of bullpen extra-inning work, couldn’t hold the win he was handed, and the game was lost 4-3.
Box Score and highlights here.
High and Lowlights:
- Matt Harvey went 5.1 innings, giving up a season-high 7 hits. He walked 2, struck out 7 and gave up 1 run.
- The bullpen collectively went 9.2 innings, giving up 9 hits and 4 walks, with 2 strikeouts and 3 runs. Had they been able to hold it, they would have been the unsung heroes of this game.
- As stated before, the offense was 1-18 with RISP. Glaringly horrendous.
- John Buck hit a towering home run into the Flamingo Home Run structure, but only went 1-7 in the extra-inning affair.
- The Mets turned 5 double plays in the effort.
- David Wright, who was out with a stiff neck ironically where he got pulled from the USA team with the oblique in March, pinch-hit in the top of the 13th with Ruben Tejada on 1st and no out. He struck out looking against old friend Jon Rauch.
Honestly, I fell asleep in the umpteenth inning (which is easier to do when you’re in a house in the woods upstate and you can’t do anything Mets-wise but listen to Howie and Josh and the game is creeping ever so closely to one of those loooooong affairs….) I THINK I remember David striking out, but I can’t be too sure. For a while, this game was reminding me of last year’s 2-1 win in San Francisco, where the Mets offense kept grounding into double plays when they had a chance to tack on, but Parnell was able to have an easy 1-2-3 inning. Not this time, though Parnell has been pretty freakin’ good this year and had a clean 2nd inning in the 10th.
I’m sure I missed a boatload of things to rant about, so without further adieu I yield the floor to Danny Abriano, who, unfortunately for him, did not dose off…
Commentary from Danny Abriano:
This was one of the ugliest games (on both ends) I’ve ever watched. Instead of focusing on the loss, which was obviously excruciating, I’m going to focus on how poorly managed this game was. This isn’t an assertion that Terry Collins was responsible for the putrid hitting with runners in scoring position, but he certainly was responsible for making sure his team was in the best position to win. And that’s something he didn’t do.
Entering the ninth inning, the Mets were ahead 2-1. Terry Collins had already double switched Jordany Valdespin out while leaving Lucas Duda in. No explanation there. He then switched Collin Cogwill into the game in center field instead of Juan Lagares. I sometimes forget that Lagares is on the roster, but I’m not the manager. Of course, Cowgill broke back on a fly ball that should’ve been the first out of the inning. His poor judgment allowed the ball to drop and paved the way for Miami to tie the game on a sacrifice fly. If Collins had inserted Lagares for the ninth, the game likely would’ve ended right there. Instead, we were all treated to six more innings of nearly unwatchable baseball.
In the 12th inning, with Jeurys Familia on the hill, Collins made the single worst tactical decision of his Mets tenure. With a runner on second, two outs, and a 1-2 count to Donovan Solano, Collins elected to have Familia intentionally walk Solano. You don’t have to read that again…I didn’t make a mistake typing. That move might have made sense if a pitcher was on deck, but that wasn’t the case. Miguel Olivo was on deck, and Familia then walked him (unintentionally) to bring up Placido Polanco with the bases loaded. Familia got out of the inning, but that doesn’t matter.
What matters, is that Terry Collins thought it was a good idea to intentionally walk a hitter who was behind 1-2 in the count so his pitcher (who has control issues) could pitch to Miguel Olivo. Why did he do this? After the game, Collins told reporters that Familia hung a pitch to Solano and that he wanted him to face Olivo instead. Sorry, but that makes absolutely no sense. Familia hung a pitch so Collins thought it was wise to wipe away the two strikes he had on Solano and make him start fresh?
After a week where Collins’ bullpen management arguably cost the Mets two games, last night’s fiasco was the breaking point. Honestly, the eventual loss had a minimal effect on me last night. The thing that has stuck with me, is how incredibly bad Terry Collins is at in-game management. The man simply doesn’t have the aptitude to manage a game properly. There’s no reason for the Mets to wait until the team is ready to contend to rid themselves of Collins. That move should be made sooner rather than later. Frankly speaking, what Collins did last night is something he deserves to get fired for.
The Mets face the Marlins again tonight at 7:10 PM. Jeremy Hefner gets the start.
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