Terry Collins put the Mets in position to lose on Wednesday
The Mets aren’t playing with a full deck, but Terry Collins isn’t properly utilizing the options he does have. And Collins’ deficiencies were on full display during Wednesday night’s loss to the Cubs.
With the team currently without David Wright, Travis d’Arnaud, and Juan Lagares, most of the attention has been on the Mets’ struggling offense. But Wednesday night’s game was lost by the bullpen – which Collins has been mismanaging from day one.
With the Mets leading 1-0 entering the eighth, Collins went to Carlos Torres, who has been overused lately but was coming off two days of rest. Going to Torres in that spot was fine, but after he allowed a single, uncorked a wild pitch, and then served up a game-tying run-scoring single, his night should have been over. Instead, Collins went right back to Torres for the ninth.
Prior to the bottom of the ninth, though, Collins made another mistake.
After Lucas Duda led off the ninth with a single, Collins had Wilmer Flores – his fifth hitter and the team’s leading home run hitter – drop down a sacrifice bunt. The two hitters Flores was setting things up for? Rookie Kevin Plawecki, who had 1 hit in his last 11 at bats, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis, hitting .088 on the season. Plawecki and Nieuwenhuis failed, and the game went on to the bottom of the ninth.
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In the bottom of the ninth, Torres allowed the first three runners to reach, setting up an impossible relief situation for Jeurys Familia, who recorded the first out before issuing a game-ending walk.
With Buddy Carlyle out, Collins had just six options. But Carlos Torres should not have been his ninth inning choice.
If Collins hadn’t wasted Hansel Robles on Tuesday in a game the Mets were trailing 5-1, he could’ve been called upon on Wednesday. But Collins did waste him.
With Alex Torres struggling and Sean Gilmartin a lefty specialist, it basically came down to keeping Carlos Torres in, going with Erik Goeddel, or using Jeurys Familia.
Going with Goeddel would’ve made sense since he’s pitched well and could’ve potentially provided multiple innings. Going with Familia made sense, even though it would’ve broken a really pointless unwritten rule that says you shouldn’t use your closer in a tie game on the road.
Instead, Collins opted for Carlos Torres, the only choice that made absolutely no sense, and the Mets wound up losing just minutes later.
Terry Collins isn’t to blame for the players the Mets are missing on offense, and he’s not to blame for the pitchers they’re missing in the bullpen. However, as is noted above. he is to blame for not properly utilizing the players he does have.