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Collins & Cespedes Blew It

The Mets were humming along through five innings. Steven Matz was good through five innings. At that point, he allowed five hits, one earned, no walks and five strikeouts. Watching the game, he was out of gas. It was a tremendous effort. 

In the bottom of the fifth, Michael Conforto would hit the second of his two homeruns. This one coming off a lefty. The Mets had a 3-1 lead. The Royals only run to that point was the result of Yoenis Cespedes not hustling for a ball hit by Salvador Perez. I’m not saying it should’ve been caught. I’m saying it could’ve been caught. To make matters worse, he kicks it making a possible out a double. 

Things were humming along, and then Terry Collins let the gassed Matz hit for himself.  No one in the ballpark, not even Matz’s grandfather knew what he was thinking. 

In a surprise to no one, a double and a single to start the sixth and the Royals narrowed the gap to 3-2. Collins had to burn through Jon Niese and Bartolo Colon. Actually, he didn’t need to use Colon there, but Colon got the big strikeout to end the inning with the tying run at third. Seeing how Colon pitched, did he come on for the seventh?  No, of course not. It’s the postseason, so you manage like its paint by numbers. 

He used Addison Reed for the seventh. He got the Royals out 1-2-3 in quick fashion. Then Collins brings in Tyler Clippard. A man he had so much faith in in this pivotal inning that he started warming up Jeurys Familia immediately.  By the way, you can’t have faith in Clippard. He’s been terrible lately. All postseason Collins has skipped him or quickly go to Familia. 

Look if you have faith in Clippard, you don’t warm up Familia before he throws a pitch. You may ask why not Familia for six outs if you have him warming up so soon. The reason was Collins felt it important to have him close out a game with a six run lead last night. It compromised his ability to go six outs. It cost the Mets. 

Clippard recorded the first out, but then he lost control. He then walked the next two batters. Familia came on and got a ground ball that Daniel Murphy booted. Tie game. A rejuvenated Royals team then starts hitting Familia. Two hits later and it’s a 5-3 game. 

Now because Ned Yost didn’t waste his closer for useless innings last night, he could use Wade Davis for two innings. The Mets still had a chance. Murphy singled and then Cespedes singled. They’re in business. Tying runs on with Lucas Duda coming up. This is where Cespedes would put the capper on a lazy, baffling game. 

Duda got one in his kitchen. He swung and hit a low bloop to Mike Moustakas. Everyone saw it was going to hold up for him, even the notoriously bad Baserunners Murphy. Not Cespedes. He’s almost on second when the ball is caught. Easy double play. Game over. 

Another quick note on Cespedes that sums up his World Series perfectly: he constantly strikes out on balls in the dirt. Once he strikes out, he goes to the dugout. He doesn’t bother to look to run to first. He doesn’t adapt to how he’s being pitched. He won’t hustle after a strikeout. 

Series isn’t over yet. The Mets still have their three best pitchers lined up. The three best starters in the series. Hopefully, Cespedes will actually hustle tomorrow. Hopefully, Collins will figure out how to become a good in game manager.  Hopefully, the Mets can pull this off. 

0 thoughts on “Collins & Cespedes Blew It”

  1. Patrick says:

    Murphy giveth and murphy taketh away. Good tag line, but, the issues run much deeper.
    Sure he made a bad error at an even worse time. But, It’s not even close to the worst part of this game.
    I can’t rant enough about cespedes’ unworldly God given ability to play baseball. Conversly, I can’t rant enough about a player that relies solely on talent; with a horrific baseball IQ and effort.
    Here’s one for Elias to clarify: on all of cespedes’ strkeouts, without a caught strike by the catcher, HOW MANY HAS HE RAN TO FIRST?!?!?!??!! I don’t need Elias to know the answer is 0. Same for his play defensively. How many lazy trots to fly balls, delayed reads and underhanded throws do we see on a nightly basis?
    (Side note on the lazy routes. It’s a catch 22 situation with his talent. If he has a bad read, a subpar tracking and catches it, then he’s an amazing talent with a rocket arm and blazing speed. Same fly ball. He doesn’t catch it. You’ll hear, a talent like that can’t catch it means it’s an uncatchable ball.)
    How many talent comparisons have we heard about cespedes? Personally, through the media or fellow baseball junkies, I’ve heard mantle, bo, mays, Willie mays hayes… and honestly, what other names are needed?
    What’s the difference between all those players? If you guessed that at their primes, they were defensive and offensive monsters playing cf, you’re right.
    Mets went to cespedes in center out of desperation. If you disagree, you’re naive. Cespedes has always been a LF in MLB. And the mets had to ASK him if he can play center.
    This is when you have to ask yourself why a player compared to untouchable Cooperstown residents had to play cf out of desperation.
    I think it comes down to baseball IQ. And, I believe things like intangible, unmeasureable plays make up nearly all of baseball IQ. And, I think cespedes scores horribly here. Maybe even an outliner… except to the left of the bell curve.
    I know this sounds insane. He might be the dumbest baseball player. But, think about it. Sure he doesn’t run out strikeouts; to the point we’ve all seen him tagged by the catcher practically in the dugout. And sure we’ve all seen him trot a pedestrian line to a fly ball where he swats the ball in his glove in an unbroken stride from start to stop except to underhand the throw back in.
    Think about his best defensive plays more. Why were they all incredible plays? Because they were plays with, probqbly, a 5?% probability of execution. His defensive highlight reel is nearly uniformally throwing. It’s not overflowing with great reads. Perfect routes. Amazing tracking. Basically, his defensive highlight reel is full of throws NO ONE else would make. Which goes back to the superstar catch 22. He’s made enough of those throws for the commentators to say – with that arm, why not? WHY NOT???? Because it’s a lowest of lowest probabilities. Especially for the sabermetric crowd, is that 1 highlight reel play worth it 1:5? 1:10? 1:20…? Even more, why take those chances? Who would agree to those percentages of him actually making the play on a night in night out basis?
    For a man with such lofty comparisons, why has he always been an mlb lf? Whyd the mets have to ask him if he can play center? Why have no other managers played him in center?
    The man lives on talent alone. And that’s why I referenced murphy earlier. He’s not a 2b. He’s always been a d liability at 2b. Outside of the errors, you don’t expect murph to fail you. He’s a square peg for a round hole because he can use a round bat to hit a round ball square.
    But he’s no cespedes – offensively or defensively. Murph doesn’t have half of the talent cespedes has. So much to the point we pretty much accept murph miscues.
    Murphs less talented but more integral. Sure he plays because of his bat. But, he doesn’t sit because he does all he can for the positions he’s placed. He wouldn’t play 2nd if he didn’t work his … off. Murphs always doing more with far less. He’s a guy with one amazing strength and tons of liabilities. Cespedes has tons of strengths and one liability. One liability that deteriorates all of his strengths. Look at the last out tonight if you want evidence. It’s a weak liner to short. Not exactly bang bang, but enough where a DR to 2nd to end the game would be understandable. And who’s on 2nd? The terrible baserunner murphy. The bad baserunner gets back to 2nd on a ball to ss. Cespedes? Doubled up at 1st. Where was he going? It’s a liner (even if it’s a soft one). You’re not going 1st to 3rd on a single to center. Even if the ball gets through, you’re taking 3rd on the throw, not the hit. No extra distance was needed to advance to 2nd or 3rd.
    It’s not murph giveth murph take away. It’s more like riding the cespedes car. But, just before the finish line, you shoot the tires and set fire to the car. Somewhere through the smoke you’ll see collins raising his right hand to bring clippard in

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