Collins Made Sure The 6-1 Lead Held Up
It doesn’t matter how poorly the Giants are playing this season. If Zack Wheeler is going to pitch like he did tonight, he is going to beat even the best offensive teams.
Through six innings, Wheeler allowed just two hits and one run. The only issue was the four walks, but with the stuff he had there was no way the Giants were capitalizing. His slider was sharp, and he was getting his fastball up to 98 MPH. The only damage against him was a Buster Posey fourth inning solo homer.
By the time Posey hit that homer, the game was effectively over. The resurgent Mets offense jumped all over Jeff Samardzija.
Now, despite having a 6-1 lead in a May game against a terrible offense, Terry Collins managed the eighth inning like it was the eighth inning in the seventh game of the World Series.
After a scoreless seventh, Collins let Hansel Robles start the eighth. After Robles hit Justin Ruggiano, Collins brought in Jerry Blevins to pitch to the left-handed hitters Joe Panik and Brandon Belt. Collins went to Blevins despite him being used way too frequently early this season despite the score being 6-1, and despite left-handed hitters hitting just 1-19 off Robles.
After Blevins got the two lefties, Collins went to Addison Reed to face Hunter Pence because of a little known MLB rule that if Pence hits a home run in Citi Field in the eighth inning of a game played on May 9th with the Giants down by five runs, the home run counts for 10 runs.
This ladies and gentleman is why Collins has stuck around long enough to pass Bobby Valentine for the second most games managed in Mets history.
Naturally, given how close this 6-1 game was Collins went to Jeurys Familia to close it out in the ninth. Somehow, the official scorer did not give Familia a save for this one. In any event, thanks to Collins pulling out all the stops, the Mets are back to .500.