The Mets’ Wednesday afternoon game looked like it was going to be a ho-hum affair, with Bartolo Colon dominating from the second batter of the game until the finish. Before that could happen, Terry Collins started doing things.
Jun 12, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets manager Terry Collins (10) looks on prior to the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
With Bartolo Colon at 86 pitches, and having retired 13 of the last 14 batters faced, it appeared to all who were watching that Colon would be back out there for the complete-game attempt in the ninth.
However, with two outs and no one on in the top of the ninth, Colon was lifted for pinch hitter Bobby Abreu.
Asked after the game why Colon was taken out, Terry Collins had two reasons, neither of which made much sense.
Collins said that with Colon at 86 pitches, but pitching in the heat, it was akin to having thrown 120 pitches.
Collins then said that if there had been one out in the ninth, he would’ve let Colon hit. However, with two outs, he wanted to send someone up there to try to hit a home run. Bobby Abreu has one home run in 2014, and three in his last 355 at-bats.
With Colon out of the game, Collins brought in his closer – Jenrry Mejia – for the ninth.
Mejia opened the ninth by allowing a double down the right field line and hitting Jon Jay with a pitch.
Mejia responded by getting Matt Holliday to ground into a double play, and by getting Allen Craig to hit a soft grounder to the left side. Because of where David Wright was positioned, Craig’s grounder wound up being a run-scoring infield single.
Removing Mejia from the game made no sense. That’s to make nothing of the fact that a young, successful closer was pulled from a game seemingly for no reason.
When you delve deeper into it, things get even more puzzling.
Instead of going to Jeurys Familia, Collins opted to turn to Dana Eveland, who has spent more time in the minor leagues than the major leagues since making his debut in 2005, and who has thrown eight innings in the majors since 2012.
Although Eveland retired Adams to end the game, it doesn’t mean the process was smart. The process, in this instance, was ridiculous.
Asked after the game why he pulled Jenrry Mejia, Collins said that Adams had been crushing right-handers, and that he needed to go to a lefty in that situation.
Let’s forget for a moment that Dana Eveland is simply not a good pitcher, and entertain Collins’ need to go to the lefty.
Now, let’s look at Dana Eveland’s career numbers against left handed hitters.
For his career, Eveland has allowed lefties to hit .290 against him.
Mejia, the pitcher Eveland replaced (who also happens to be the closer), has held lefties to a .228 batting average over the course of his career. In 2014, lefties have hit .214 against Mejia.
Collins’ moves on Wednesday were not just highly questionable, they defied both logic and reason.