Terry Doesn’t Know Who To Abuse
The Marlins had no chance against deGrom who had all his pitches working. His velocity was back as well with him even hitting 99 on the gun. Through seven innings deGrom had only allowed four hits, which includes the two solo home runs, and one walk while striking out 13 batters.
After seven innings, deGrom had thrown 97 pitches, and with a 4-2 lead, he seemed poised to win the game.
You knew Conley wasn’t going to have it when he walked Jose Reyes to lead-off the game. By the way it’s interesting that it only took Reyes to be good in one hand for him to reclaim the lead-off spot on the team. It should be noted after the leadoff walk, he went 0-3. Still, Reyes would score on a Neil Walker double giving the Mets a 1-0 lead.
The Mets tied the game in the seventh on a Curtis Granderson RBI triple. The ball tipped off Christian Yelich‘s glove with Yelich trying to emulate a catch Juan Lagares made earlier in the game. Granderson scored on Michael Conforto‘s sacrifice fly giving the Mets a 3-2 lead.
When Asdrubal Cabrera hit a solo home run in the eighth, it seemed as if the Mets’ 4-2 lead would be enough to win the game. It wasn’t.
To much consternation, deGrom didn’t start the eighth. However, it was a very defensible position considering deGrom was already at 97 pitches and his having season ending elbow surgery last season. It was also a very defensible position to use Fernando Salas in the eighth inning. That’s the reason the Mets signed him in the offseason. He was to be the eighth inning guy until Jeurys Familia returned from his suspension. At that point, Salas would become the seventh inning guy.
As happens in baseball, Salas didn’t have it. It’s part of being a reliever. Sometimes you just don’t have it. It also happens when you lead the majors in appearances this season. In fact, dating back to September 1, 2016, his first game with the Mets, Salas is the most heavily used reliever in all of baseball. He was bound to struggle sooner rather than later.
What was strange with Salas was how quickly it just happened. He made quick work of Ichiro Suzuki and Dee Gordon to begin the inning. Then he issued a four pitch walk to Miguel Rojas. Believe it or not, this was Salas’ first non-intentional walk as a member of the New York Mets. This set the stage for a matchup against Yelich. Now, it should be noted Jerry Blevins was warming up just for this situation. If you are going to have Blevins warming up, this is the exact situation you bring him into the game. Plain and simple.
Instead, Collins elected to go with Salas. Note, Salas pitching to Yelich wasn’t a bad move per se. Salas is your guy for this spot, and he did make quick work of the first two batters. However, Blevins was already warming in the pen. If he’s up, bring him in, get out of the jam, and give Addison Reed a two run lead. Instead, Collins left in Salas, who gave up the game tying home run to Yelich. He then gave up a go-ahead home run to Giancarlo Stanton. To add insult to injury, Collins brought in Blevins to get out Bour to get out of the inning.
And with that, the Mets 4-2 lead became a 5-4 loss. Sure, you can’t completely pin the loss on Collins as he made some defensible moves. That was at least until he left a warm Blevins in the pen. You could argue that doesn’t mean Salas should give up a home run. You’d be right, but you’d also ignore the simple fact that Collins didn’t put his team in the best position to win. Because of that, this loss is on him.
Perhaps knowing that, he was angry and downright rude to the beat reporters after the game. In the video, Collins explained every reason for his decisions, omitting some key facts:
Terry on Salas. Pulled deGrom to be cautious as team wants to be with starters. pic.twitter.com/fPSPYQIvrw
— Matt Ehalt (@MattEhalt) April 16, 2017
Look, we all agree the starters should be protected, but that doesn’t mean you ruin the arms and the careers of the relievers. There’s a balance, and the fact that Collins doesn’t see that is downright frightening. It’s probably the reason why we saw him run through damaged relievers like Tim Byrdak and Jim Henderson in his career. Apparently, Collins only protects the arms of those pitchers he deems more valuable.
That’s not right, and it needs to stop. Another thing that needs to stop is the faulty logic. If Collins was that concerned over Blevins, under no means do you have him warming up. You either want him rested, or you want him pitching. If you want him pitching, get him in the game against the big left-handed threat in the lineup. Afraid of Stanton, get Reed up. He’s the most rested reliever in that bullpen. Considering how the long games has wrecked havoc on the bullpen, it actually made sense to go with Reed for a four out save.
Right now, Collins is picking and choosing who to abuse and who not to abuse. It is having a tangible effect on the effectiveness of the relievers. It may soon have an effect on their health. We have seen this before with Collins. Hopefully, we won’t see it again. On that front, no one should be hopeful.
Game Notes: With the left-handed Conley on the mound, Collins went with a Yoenis Cespedes-Lagares-Granderson outfield to start the game. Rene Rivera got the start over Travis d’Arnaud giving d’Arnaud two days off after he caught 16 innings. Mets have now lost four of seven to the Marlins. Last year, the Mets were 12-7 against the Marlins.