Since he was first called-up to the majors, Dominic Smith has been benched and pinch hit for against left-handed pitching. As a result, when Smith was allowed to face the left-handed Francisco Liriano and swing away 3-0, reporters rightfully ask about it. Collins answer was startling:
Terry Collins ladies and gentlemen pic.twitter.com/tiGXFfdswx
— Good Fundies (@goodfundies) September 3, 2017
With rumors already swirling Collins won’t be back next year, it sure seems like he’s checked out.
He’s that guy who gives his two we notice and shows up to work everyday in a Hawaiian shirt, cargo shorts, and flip flops. He takes two hour plus lunches, and leaves before 4:00.
He disagrees and really doesn’t know how long Amed Rosario has dealt with a finger issue.
Brandon Nimmo won’t hit leadoff anymore.
Odd and inconsistent use of his relievers will continue.
Injured players will continue to play well after they shouldn’t. To that end, just wait for what we know is Wilmer Flores‘ imminent return.
The marginalization of young players for underperforming to not performing vets will continue.
Bad decision making will continue.
Why will all this continue? Why the hell not.
Yesterday, the Mets lost their cool with Yasiel Puig‘s home run trot. Wilmer Flores had something to say to him as he passed first base. Travis d’Arnaud said something as Puig crossed home plate. Between innings, Yoenis Cespedes and Jose Reyes pulled Puig aside to talk with him about the incident. Jay Bruce voiced his displeasure with Puig in a post-game interview. That’s where we are this season.
Cespedes and Reyes, two players known for their on field celebrations, are talking to another player about how he acts on the field. More than that, it’s bizarre that a Mets team who has played terrible baseball this year is going to go out there and tell another player how the game should be played. Instead of Puig, maybe the Mets players should be focusing on their own issues:
1. They Can’t Pitch
The Mets have a team 5.05 ERA, which is the worst ERA the Mets have had since the 1962 Mets. It doesn’t matter Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Seth Lugo, and Steven Matz have been injured this year. That ERA is just inexcusable. There was still enough talent on this roster that an ERA that high should never be that possible. Certainly, there is no reason why this pitching staff should be in the same conversation as the worst baseball team in history.
2. The Defense Is Terrible
The team -9 DRS and team -7.3 UZR ranks 21st in baseball. Their -14 DRS at the shortstop position is the worst in baseball, and the -6.0 UZR is ranked 27th. At third base, the Mets -7 DRS is 27th and -4.8 UZR is 26th. Behind those numbers, Asdrubal Cabrera has no range anymore. Travis d’Arnaud is having difficulty throwing out base stealers. Flores and T.J. Rivera have once again showed they are bats without a position. Overall, it’s ugly, and they are not helping their pitching staff.
3. They’re Always Injured
Of all the position players on the Opening Day roster, Michael Conforto, Bruce, and Reyes are the only ones who have not spent time on the Disabled List. For his part, Conforto is playing through back issues, and his play has dipped in June. The only two pitchers in the starting rotation from the famed seven deep group who haven’t been on the Disabled List are deGrom and Gsellman, both of whom are coming off of offseason surgeries. In the bullpen, the Mets have seen Jeurys Familia go down with an injury, and Terry Collins pitched Josh Smoker into one. If the Mets want to be angry, be angry with their trainers, physicians, and maybe even themselves for how they prepare.
4. They’re Under-Performing
So far this season, the Mets have had 13 position players with at least 100 plate appearances. Only five of them have an OPS+ over 100. Cespedes is the only player with a .300 batting average. Conforto is the only one with a .400 OBP. Aside from Cespedes, each player has had one month where they have been in a deep slump.
Other than Addison Reed and Jerry Blevins, no Mets pitcher who has thrown at least 15 innings has an ERA below 3.29, and that ERA belongs to Syndergaard. After him the lowest ERA on the team is 3.94. There are five pitchers who have an ERA over 6.00 and seven with an ERA over 5.0
We can get on Collins for his bizarre managing decisions all we want, and they are quite justified. Still, Collins is not to blame for these players under-performing. That’s on all of them.
5. They’re Not Showing Up For The Big Games
It’s easy to forget, but the Mets were on the precipice of being relevant in the National League East and Wild Card races. They had back-to-back four game sets against the Nationals, who were reeling with their terrible bullpen, and the Dodgers, who have had injury issues of their own. Instead of taking control of their destiny and making themselves relevant, the Mets fell flat on their faces. In the seven games thus far, they have allowed 14 homers and have been outscored 53-22. It is one thing lost six of seven. It is a whole other thing to be dominated by teams the Mets believed they were better than entering the season.
If the Mets want to be angry with anyone, they should be angry with themselves. They are allowing the homers. They are the ones who are getting their doors blown off on a nightly basis. They are the ones who have taken a promising season and made it a disaster.
For once, Collins had it right when he said, “We’ve got bigger problems than somebody’s home run trot right now.” (Anthony DiComo, mlb.com). Maybe instead of focusing on Puig, the Mets should be focusing on those bigger problems.
Prior to Thurdsay’s game with the Nationals, Sandy Alderson indicated he believes the Mets roster is talented, and he’s content to leave his top prospects in the minors. Another way of saying this is with Asdrubal Cabrera landing on the Disabled List with a thumb injury, he’d rather go with Jose Reyes as the Mets shortstop over Amed Rosario.
With Neil Walker going on the Disabled List for an extended period, the Mets had their excuse. But no, they’d rather go with an infield that has Reyes at SS.
Considering when Cabrera was injured, Reyes was hitting .188/.261/.293 and Reyes’ -1.2 WAR ranking him as the worst infielder in all of baseball, Sandy’s decision making here should be called into question.
In situations such as these, there’s only one thing you can do – Start a game log comparing Reyes and Rosario to see if Sandy was wrong, or if Sandy was right:
Cubs 14 – Mets 3
Reyes 1-4, 2 K
51s 13 – River Cats 2
Rosario 2-5, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, SB, GIDP
Mets 9 – Cubs 4
Reyes 0-2, R, 2 BB, SB, K
River Cats 5 – 51s 4
Rosario 0-4, 2 GIDP
Nationals 8 – Mets 3
Reyes 0-3, K
51s 12 – River Cats 4
Rosario 2-4, 2B, BB, 2 RBI
Reyes 1-9, 2 BB, SB, 4 K
Rosario 4-13, 2 R, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, SB, 3 GIDP
The difference between the Mets and Braves last night was Dansby Swanson.
Swanson made a number of great plays in the field. In the third, he made an incredible diving catch on a Michael Conforto sinking liner to start an inning ending double play. In the eighth, Swanson went deep into the hole to field what should’ve been a sure Wilmer Flores single turning it into an out.
Swanson killed the Mets at the plate too. His two out two RBI double in the sixth gave the Braves a 2-1 lead. In the ninth, Swanson took advantage of Curtis Granderson playing no doubles defense and Granderson having a poor arm. Swanson busted it right out of the box for a hustle double.
Rio Ruiz followed with an RBI single. It was quite the juxtaposition seeing Swanson race past Asdrubal Cabrera on his way to scoring the game winning run. Swanson might’ve been able to field or knock that ball down. Cabrera had no hope.
With Swanson, the Braves not only beat the Mets last night, but they’re also ahead of the Mets in the standings.
Now, it hasn’t been a smooth road for Swanson. After playing well in his call-up last year, Swanson struggled to start the year. In April, Swanson looked completely overmatched hitting just .156/.200/.233 with a double, two homers, and five RBI.
Since, he’s hitting .250/.353/.402 with seven doubles, four homers, and 21 RBI. Over the last week, he’s hitting .350/.409/.500 with two doubles, a homer, and five RBI.
Needless to say, he no longer looks overmatched. Better yet, he looks like a game changer out there, and the Braves are being rewarded for sticking with him.
This is a stark reminder the Mets have Amed Rosario, who is every bit as capable of having the game Swanson had last night. In fact, Rosario is the only man on the Mets 40 man roster capable of replicating the things Swanson did to beat the Mets.
Sadly, this won’t motivate the Mets to do the right thing. They’ll make excuses. Many will point to the Super Two cutoff that has likely already passed. For those pointing out Rosario needs more at-bats in Triple-A, Swanson never played a game at that level. The arguments the Mets don’t want him to struggle ring hollow when you consider the season is close to being over . . . if it isn’t already.
Last night, the difference between the Braves and the Mets was the Braves dynamic young shortstop being in the lineup, and the Mets dynamic young shortstop playing in Triple-A. Seeing how this was the difference, it makes you question how much longer the Mets can wait on Rosario.
Yogurt famously said in Space Balls, “Merchandising, merchandising, where the real money from the movie is made.” Like most jokes, there is a twinge of truth to it.
Of course, Mel Brooks was making a joke, albeit a satirical one. There was nothing funny about what Major League Baseball and New Era did today even if it was equally as absurd as Mel Brooks holding Space Balls the Flamethrower:
— New York Mets (@Mets) May 29, 2017
Today is about honor and respect . . . SO BUY A CAP NOW!
Look, New Era is permitted to profit from the sales of their caps. They’re allowed to market their products as they seem fit. Based upon the availability of cap sizes remaining, it even appears to be working. With all that said, this is just tone deaf.
This is a day to honor the lives of brave warriors who sacrificed their lives in defense of this country. It’s a day for moments of silence and reflection even if we spend most of the day between bar-b-ques and going to baseball games. It’s really not a day to purchase camouflaged caps to tip to bring to a graveyard just so we can tip them.
Another small note here. If Major League Baseball and New Era are going to profit off the lives of fallen soldiers, shouldn’t they give something back? Look at the sale last website. Double check the Twitter feeds and other social media accounts. Is there even one mention that even the slightest portion of the proceeds will go to help soldiers and their families?
No, there are none. So while we’re tipping our $39.99 caps (plus shipping and handling), they can’t even donate what amounts to a tip to those from whom they profit.
The move makes a lot of sense. Not only is Lagares a Gold Glover in centerfield, but the Mets also lack another true defensive center fielder. Another thing the Mets lack is a true defensive third baseman.
With David Wright‘s injury problems, the Mets have been forced to play players out of position. The results have been poor. The Mets collection of third baseman have a -1 DRS and -2.7 UZR which rank 20th and 27th in the majors respectively.
The main culprits there are Jose Reyes and Wilmer Flores. Reyes has a career -8 DRS and -4.5 UZR at third base. Flores has a career -10 DRS and -1.9 UZR at third. Simply put, neither player is a third baseman.
We all saw that on yesterday’s game. Flores doesn’t have good range at third, and he’s iffy with his throws. In the sixth, he spiked a throw to home plate when he had Christian Arroyo dead to rights. It took a good play by Kevin Plawecki to save him from the error and to record the out.
There was no one to bail Flores out in the ninth. In what could’ve been a game ending double play, Flores threw the ball offline. A Neil Walker stretch prevented the ball from going into right field, big it couldn’t get the force out at second. As we know, this came back to haunt the Mets in a 6-5 loss.
The obvious question that arises is why was Flores still on the field. The Mets had a 3-2 lead in the ninth inning. Their closer, Jeurys Familia, is a sinker ball pitcher who generates a number of ground outs. With that being the case, isn’t it incumbent on Collins to put his best defensive infield out there?
Matt Reynolds, who is generally regarded as a good defensive infielder, was available on the bench. Certainly, he’s a better defender than Flores at third. Much better actually. Why wasn’t he in the game?
Keep in mind, this was another game Collins over-managed. He used four relievers to pitch two innings. He went to the extreme on the matchups to the point where he removed his eighth inning reliever, Addison Reed, because a left-handed batter was coming to the plate. He did that despite Reed pitching extremely well against left-handed batters during his time with the Mets.
If Collins is willing to empty his pen, why not his bench? What’s the justifiable reason for keeping the better infielder on the bench with a sinker ball pitcher on the mound? There is no good reason.
Look, we can all agree that it’s the players in the field who win or lose games. Certainly, Flores helped lost this game with his error. Familia was the one who gave up the subsequent hits. However, ask yourself whether Collins put his team in the best position to succeed in the ninth inning.
The answer to that needs to be a clear and unequivocal, “No.”
The Mets were up 6-1 in the eighth inning against a San Francisco Giants offense that showed no life all game long. This could be a function of the fact the Giants have scored the fewest amount of runs in the National League. In essence, with the Mets up by five runs, the game was over.
Not according to Terry Collins. He managed the game like it was a one run game in the seventh game of the World Series.
Hansel Robles pitched a scoreless seventh lowering his ERA to 1.47. With his being a reliever accustomed to pitching multiple innings, it was justifiable to send him out there to pitch the eighth. He opened the inning by hitting Justin Ruggiano.
This led to Collins lifting him for Jerry Blevins. Even with the left-handed Joe Panik and Brandon Belt coming up, this was completely unnecessary. The Mets were up five runs. You don’t need to start playing matchups late in the game. This was a chance to rest Blevins who is on pace for 96 appearance. Furthermore, left-handed batters are 1-19 against Robles this year.
This isn’t a one year fluke with Robles either. In his career, Robles has limited left-handed batters to a .164/.255/.304 batting line. That’s better than the .210/.262/.314 Blevins has allowed in his career. There’s no need to go to a lefty in that spot.
Once Blevins came in and did his job, there was no need to take him out. He needed just six pitches to get Panik and Belt out. He’s been much better against right-handed batters since joining the Mets. He very well could have pitched to Hunter Pence. Instead Collins went to Addison Reed.
With Reed coming into the game, he’s now on pace to make 81 appearances. That would top his career high in appearances which he set last year. As if using Robles, Blevins, and Reed wasn’t enough, Jeurys Familia came in to close the ninth.
Collins did that despite Blevins, Reed, and Familia having pitched on Monday. He did this despite knowing Tommy Milone was starting tomorrow.
Milone was picked up off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers. Milone was available because he had a 6.43 ERA in six games this season. In his three starts, he’s averaging under five innings per start. Chances are the Mets are going to need to heavily rely on their bullpen in a day game after a night game.
Certainly, it’s too soon to pitch Paul Sewald after 3.1 innings on Sunday. To that end, he shouldn’t be available tomorrow. Fernando Salas needed a day off after pitching in seven of the last nine days.
This is all the more reason you let Robles finish that eighth inning. Then with a five run lead the Mets can pitch Rafael Montero in the ninth inning now that he’s once again out of the rotation.
Doing this keeps the key bullpen arms fresh for when the team really needs them. Instead, Collins burned the arms with a five run lead against the worst offensive team in the National League. This is how bullpens get burned out. This is why key bullpen arms aren’t as effective later in the season when they’re needed the most.
After Seung-hwan Oh blew a save tying the game at 3-3, the Cardinals rallied to win with Yadier Molina hitting a walk off double scoring Matt Carpenter from first base. The only problem was the umpires got the call wrong.
Molina’s ball bounced over the wall and hit the back wall. It should’ve been a ground rule double with Carpenter being sent back to first base, and Stephen Piscotty should have been at the plate with an opportunity to knock in the game winning run. However, that never happened. The reason is that by the time Bryan Price determined he wanted to challenge the play, the umpires had already left the field. It should be noted the Cardinals did as well.
As per Derrick Goold, the umpires advised they left the field because the Reds gave no indication within 10 seconds they had the intention of requesting a replay within the 30 second requirement. According to Major League Baseball Rule Replay Review Rule II. D. 1., the 10/30 replay rule does not apply to the last play of the game. In those situations, an immediate replay request is required.
It does make sense that an immediate request is required because there is absolutely no reason why a manager would wait for word from the team’s replay officials. If you do not request a replay, you lose automatically. With that in mind, a team should want to request a replay immediately.
Price didn’t mention why he failed to challenge it immediately in his post-game interview. Rather, he discussed how the loud noise prevented them from complying with the 10/30 rule. What is absolutely bizarre is that Price was willing to lose a game on a technicality because he needed to hear from his replay official.
Even more bizarre and inexcusable was the umpires not knowing the replay review rules.
The natural reaction is to call for the Reds to protest the game. Pursuant to the protest rules, the Reds have until noon tomorrow to protest as the basis for the protest was the last play of the game. Protests will only be upheld if: (1) the call had an adverse impact on the outcome of the game; and (2) the rules were misapplied. Another way of stating the second part of the rule is judgment decisions made by an umpire are not a sufficient basis to uphold a protest.
Accordingly, a protest would not be upheld. First, the Reds did not challenge immediately. Second, whether a ball is deemed out of play or not is an umpire’s judgment. As such, by rule, the protest would not be upheld despite the call being patently wrong and it having a profound impact on the Wild Card race.
With the Cardinals winning, the Mets magic number to clinch a Wild Card spot is still two, and the Giants have a one game lead over the Cardinals in the loss column pending the outcome of their game against the Rockies.
It should be noted, the Cardinals still could’ve won this game, but the optics are very bad for baseball, especially with Umpire Bill Miller admitting after the game, the umpires got the call wrong. (C. Trent Rosecrans).
The only solution going forward is baseball adopting an NFL style rule where all scoring plays and turnovers are automatically reviewed. From now on, baseball needs to implement a rule that all walk off runs need to go to replay immediately. It’s the only way to prevent something like this from happening again.
Unfortunately, changing the rule won’t overturn the call in this game that may have far reaching ramifications in the Wild Card race.
After Johan Santana threw 134 pitches on a surgery repaired shoulder to throw the first no-hitter in Mets history, Terry Collins was in tears. He seemed distraught. In the post-game press conference, Collins called Santana his “Hero,” and he was prescient in saying:
I’m very excited for him, but in five days, if his arm is bothering him, I’m not going to feel good.
As we know, even though Santana would make 10 more starts, his career effectively ended that night. He would need another shoulder surgery in the offseason. Between that surgery and other injuries, Santana has never pitched in another big league game.
When Collins was interviewed by Phil Taylor of Sports Illustrated three years later, Collins expressed his remorse. He would say, “It was without a doubt, the worst night I’ve ever spent in baseball.” Now, no one really knows what effect this game had on the need for Santana to have a second surgery. However, for his part, Collins thinks the no-hitter had a lot to do with it:
I was aware of what the wear and tear of that night could do to him, and basically, the worst-case scenario happened. To throw that amount of pitches with that much pressure and that much adrenaline going, it can beat you down. And it did.
If Collins truly believes that, it makes what he did with Jim Henderson all the more indefensible.
Henderson has come a long way to get here. He’s had two shoulder surgeries himself. He fought against all odds to make the Mets Opening Day roster. Not only did he make the roster, he quickly established himself as a very important part of the Mets bullpen.
So far this year, Henderson has pitched in five of the eight games the Mets have played. On Tuesday, he threw 34 pitches, which was the most he’s ever thrown in one game. Wednesday was a day game. The Mets added Rafael Montero to the roster so the Mets would have a full bullpen for the game. With the score tied 0-0 in the seventh inning, Collins put Henderson in the game.
Before Wednesday’s game, Henderson’s fastball averaged 95 MPH. On Wednesday, he was sitting around 89 MPH. He allowed a single and two hits before Collins pulled him from a game he shouldn’t have entered in the first place. Collins excuse?
TC: "Henderson said before the game that he felt great."
— Steve Gelbs (@SteveGelbs) April 13, 2016
It’s difficult to believe that Collins used this as a justification. He says he is troubled by Santana’s no-hitter, and he thinks it had a profound impact on effectively ending his career. Why would he willingly do the same thing again with another player? Why would he go to Henderson when there were other, fresher options? It doesn’t make sense.
It should be noted that Collins had a different tone in Wednesday’s press conference than Santana’s. Collins was fired up. There was no hint of him fearing for Henderson’s future.
Collins thought this was a must-win game, but it’s a stretch to believe he would sacrifice a player’s health for it. Collins said he was desperate, but there has to be a line. Collins might’ve wanted to respond to people questioning the Mets effort, but putting a player’s health and career in doubt, you prove nothing.
At the end of the day, Terry Collins has shown he has learned nothing. While we all understood him leaving Santana in, there was no excuse for pitching Henderson there. Collins could’ve ended someone’s career for what really was just another April game. Overall, Mike Vaccarro put it best when he chastised Collins:
Shame on Terry Collins. That wasn't just reckless game managing, but it put his pitcher's health in peril. #Mets
— Mike Vaccaro (@MikeVacc) April 13, 2016
Collins has had some nice moments as the manager of the Mets. Wednesday wasn’t one of them. Collins once called Santana’s no-hitter the worst night of his baseball life. Wednesday could’ve been the worst day of Henderson’s professional life, but Collins showed no remorse. Collins may be haunted by Santana’s no-hitter, but he has clearly showed he’s learned nothing from it.
Editor’s Note: this was first published on metsmerizedonline.com
I have a bone to pick with Sandy Alderson. No, it’s not the offense that isn’t hitting. They should hit eventually. Well, we at least hope they will. No, it’s when Alderson dubbed Mets fans “Panic City.”
Let’s remember the context of that gem. The Mets were one game over .500, lost six of their last 10, and were 3.5 games behind the Nationals. They had allowed 14 more runs than they had scored. The Mets had scored the third fewest runs in baseball. The Mets had gone from seven games over .500 with a 4.5 game lead in the division (5.0 games over the Nationals) to falling in the standings. The Nationals were hot, and they were getting better. The Mets were seemingly falling apart while their General Manager was mocking the fans.
Funny thing is the Mets got worse offensively after that. It got to the point where fans were EXPECTING Clayton Kershaw to pitch a perfect game. Not too long after that, the Mets got healthy, made some trades, ran into a cushy August schedule, and they took off. Panic City was forgotten.
The Mets are grossly underperforming now. In five of the Mets six games, they’ve scored three runs or less. Terry Collins is batting low OBP guys in front of high OBP guys, and he’s stacking lefties (yes, with Neil Walker‘s L/R splits, he’s effectively a lefty). Mets fans are annoyed as well they should be. But no, that’s not how it’s characterized. Because of Alserson’s comments, we’re “panicking”:
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) April 12, 2016
can't believe the panic i'm hearing out of ny/nj/conn over 2-5. mets will be fine.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) April 13, 2016
Panic City, assemble!
— Matt Ehalt (@MattEhalt) April 10, 2016
Everybody’s a comedian.
Look, no matter what happens from here on out whenever the Mets have a tough stretch this fan base is going to be mocked for panicking. Honestly, I do not know one Mets fan panicking. Not one. I know if people raising legitimate concerns about a lineup that strikes out a lot and doesn’t have high OBP. But that’s not panic, that’s reality.
I haven’t heard one person declare the season over, demand a trade, or call for Collins to be fired. There’s no panic. There’s just really justifiable frustration over a team that’s not hitting, losing to bad teams, and wasting some good pitching performances. No, Mets fans are colored as being unreasonable and overly reactionary.
We will never see the article about how right the Mets fans were in 2015. We will not see how that the fans were 100% right in their complaints. We will not see how the fans were right about demanding that Michael Conforto be called up. However, we will see articles and tweets demeaning the fanbase once again calling them “Panic City” as if Mets fans should enjoy really bad offensive baseball.
It’s all because Alderson thought he was hilarious in demeaning Mets fans one day when they were irritated watching an inept offensive club ruining start after start. Apparently, realizing a team that finds runs hard to come by is panicking. A fan base that wants their General Manager is panicking. Apparently, not being happy with a team playing poorly against a weak early schedule is panicking.
Thanks for that Sandy.