Terry Collins Double Switches His Way to Double-Header Split
This was one of those days that makes you question why exactly the Mets are sticking with Terry Collins right now?
He also continues to make just poor decisions with his pitching. If you didn’t know any better, you’d expect Collins gets paid by the bullpen move, and he gets paid double for each double switch.
He really pressures his pitching staff. Today, Collins took that to an absurd level.
Even knowing Seth Lugo would be limited to 75 pitches in the second game of the double header, Collins ripped through his bullpen.
Part of that was Tommy Milone only lasting 4.1 innings. The bigger part of that was Collins managing the game like it was Game 7 of the World Series to try to protect a five run lead.
What was really irritating was Collins first ripped through the guys who could give him multiple innings – Hansel Robles, Rafael Montero, and Josh Smoker. The trio combined to pitch one inning with 35 pitches.
With all Collins histrionics, the Mets still blew the 5-0 lead. They got there because Cabrera and Flores hit a pair of homers.
Rosario has 4 homers, 3 of them in the 8th inning or later, 2 to give the Mets a lead in a tie game.
— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) August 27, 2017
The Mets would hold onto the 6-5 lead with AJ Ramos getting the sixth out save to preserve the rare Mets Sunday win. Of course, to get the rare win, you needed a play you rarely if ever see.
Murphy ripped a liner above a leaping Cabrera. Travis Taijeron, who had some on in one of the multitude of double switches, overran the ball, and Jackson broke towards home.
Juan Lagares adeptly backup up Taijeron on the play. He then made a strong throw to Cabrera, who in turn, made a strong throw to Travis d’Arnaud. With the tag, the Mets cut down Jackson, and the Mets won the game on your typical 9-8-4-2 put out.
After this game, the question was whether the Mets pitching staff had enough bullets left to pull out a win in the nightcap. The answer was a resounding no.
The Mets had rallied from a 2-0 deficit to take a 3-2 lead in the second game.
Lagares knocked in the first run on an RBI double. He then came home to score on a Brandon Nimmo two run homer to give the Mets a 3-2 lead. It was short-lived.
After Lugo went 3.2 innings allowing two runs, Smoker came on, and he kept the Nationals at bay in his 1.1 innings of work.
Then came Robles in his second appearance on the day. After getting a Murphy line out, the Nationals had a runner on first with one out.
Robles continued by walking the first four batters allowing the Nationals to not only tie the game, but also take a lead. On the bright side, Collins double-switched Smith out of the game meaning he was willing to sacrifice development to win this one game.
Ultimately, it didn’t matter. Erik Goeddel pitched the eighth, and Lind took him deep to give the Nationals a 5-3 lead. The insurance run loomed large with the Mets rallying in the ninth off Sean Doolittle.
d’Arnaud led off with a pinch hit single, and Gavin Cecchini singled to move d’Arnaud to second. With a 0-2 count, Reyes dropped a single right in front of Taylor allowing d’Arnaud to score to pull the Mets within one.
The tomfoolery ended with a Lagares line out to Alejandro De Aza.
Collins did everything he could to win both ends of the double header even if it meant eschewing his main responsibility right now- developing players. He didn’t care what he did to the bullpen. For all that effort, he just had a split to show for it.
Game Notes: Kevin McGowan was activated for the second half double-header as the 26th man. He would not pitch.