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Terry Collins Hurt This Team Again

The Mets batted Ty Kelly second and put him in left field leaving Brandon NimmoMichael Conforto, and the Mets hottest hitting outfielder, Alejandro De Aza, on the bench. 

Terry Collins decided to make Rene Rivera his DH. I can’t tell you how many times I checked the lineup and this sentence to see if it was correct. 

You had to do it because there is no way the left-handed hitters on the Mets could hit Tigers starter Matt Boyd who entered the game with a 4.71 ERA. 

The Mets started Logan Verrett

Seriously, how do you think things went?

Verrett only lasted 3.2 innings allowing seven hits, six runs, six earned, and two walks with two strikeouts. He spotted the Tigers a 6-1 lead with his only run supporting coming off a Jay Bruce solo fourth inning home run. 

The Tigers then proceeded to try to give the game away to a Mets team not fully equipped to take full advantage. 

Curtis Granderson started the charge with a fifth inning solo home run. Birthday boy Wilmer Flores would hit an RBI single to pull the Mets to with three runs. 
It was a terrific game for Flores at the plate going 2-4 with two RBI. With the lefty on the mound, he got the start at first base in place of James Loney

Flores’ RBI single actually scored Kelly, who actually played well going 2-4 with two runs and a walk. He’d score his second run in the seventh off a Miguel Cabrera throwing error. 

On the very next play Mike Aviles would misplay a ball off the bat of Flores allowing Neil Walker to score. Walker continued his hot play of late going 2-4 with a run and a walk. 

It set up runners on first and second with no out, and the Mets down a run. Naturally, the Mets wouldn’t score on a night they went 2-12 with runners in scoring position leaving 10 men on base. Travis d’Arnaud would hit into the second of three Mets double plays on the night, and Kelly Johnson popped out to end the threat. 

The Mets would have one rally left in them starting with a Bruce two out single off Francisco Rodriguez. De Aza would pinch hit for Flores, and move Bruce to second setting the stage for the final play of the game:

It took a great throw from J.D. Martinez, and a terrific job by Jarrod Saltalamacchia to legally block the plate under the new rules while getting the tag down. 

While Tim Teufel has made some curious decisions as the third base coach, this wasn’t one of them. He should’ve sent Bruce there. Like most of the night (season?), the real issue was with Collins. 

First, he could’ve pinch ran an arguably faster Brandon Nimmo which might’ve been the difference between scoring and making the final out at the plate. Second, Collins could’ve at least tried to challenge the play especially after what happened last night. 

Sure, it turns out Bruce didn’t touch home, but who cares?  There are enough quirks in these replay rules that it might not have mattered. Furthermore, what do you have to lose by challenging?  If you don’t, you lose the game. There should be nothing holding you back from challenging that play. 

Then again, there is no reason to believe the Mets were best off with Kelly and Rivera in the starting lineup. Collins found a way to do both. 

At least the Marlins and Cardinals lost tonight as well. 

Game Notes: Bruce had his best day as a Met going 2-5 with a run, an RBI, and the homer. Rivera only lasted two at bats going 0-1 with a walk at DH before getting lifted for Conforto. 

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