The Mets lost a heartbreaker against the Miami Marlins on Jackie Robinson Day, and manager Terry Collins‘ misusage of the bullpen will be what sticks out from this game.
Jacob deGrom started for the Mets and delivered. He got through seven innings allowing just two solo home runs (back-to-back) and striking out 13 Marlins hitters.
After throwing 97 pitches and striking out the side in the seventh inning, it really looked like he’d be coming back out for the eighth. Specially when you take into consideration the fact that the Mets bullpen had been taxed so heavily the past couple of nights, it seemed like a no-brainer to let a dominant deGrom at least start the frame.
Unfortunately, Collins decided to stick to his role pitchers and brought in temporary setup man Fernando Salas in the eighth.
Salas, who had already pitched in 7 out of the Mets 11 games this season, was visibly out of gas. He walked Miguel Rojas on four pitches that were nowhere near the plate.
With the left-hand hitting Christian Yelich coming up, Collins stuck to Salas. He didn’t have Blevins ready in the bullpen for Yelich, and he made the Mets pay. Yelich’s game-tying two-run home run were the first runs that Salas has given up all season. It’s hard to blame him in that scenario as he was clearly exhausted.
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Collins decided to once again keep Salas in there to face Giancarlo Stanton, and his bomb to center field pretty much put the game away for the fish right then and there.
This game will and should ultimately fall on Terry Collins’ shoulders. He had several options, but decided to stick to his roles and play it by the book even when the situation clearly dictated another course of action.
If he didn’t want to leave deGrom in the game, which many will argue he should have, fine. Have a guy that hasn’t been already overused ready to come in. We know Blevins can pitch to righties as well as lefties, so he should have been the other option not named Jacob deGrom.
This loss is going to sting for a bit because the Mets got great starting pitching from a still underrated Jacob deGrom, and they got timely hitting. Curtis Granderson‘s game-tying triple in the seventh, and the solo shot by Asdrubal Cabrera in the top of that monstrous eighth should be what we’re talking about right now, but instead, it’s bullpen management.
Tomorrow’s a new day. Hopefully Harvey can get the team back on track, and they can get back in the win column where we know this team belongs to be.