Terry Collins has made it clear the starting pitchers will be extremely limited, especially at the beginning of the season. This decision has already had immediate negative effects, resulting in some early shade to the Mets’ manager.
The Irony in Terry’s plan
As we saw Saturday night, Jacob deGrom was taken out of the game with only 97 pitches, looking as good as he ever has. Tying a career high of 13 strikeouts, Collins made the decision to pull deGrom after seven innings. Keep in mind, the Mets were leading the game at that point by one run; also keep in mind, leads for deGrom are extremely rare.
Collins replaced deGrom with Fernando Salas in the eighth inning. With respect to the management’s clear statement that Mets starters would be limited, putting Salas in isn’t where Collins went wrong. As a matter of fact, in Collins’ defense, Salas has been perfect for the Mets. With that said, and on the contrary, Salas was also making his eighth appearance in 12 games. Understanding the Mets want to keep their starting pitchers as limited as possible, overworking the thin bullpen is not the solution.
“I want to protect these guys. Jake was basically at 100 pitches, he was striking guys out, he was pitching great. That’s enough… Fernando Salas has done nothing but put up zeroes, so we went with that.”
The blow-up by Salas
Moving forward, in a crucial moment in the bottom of the eighth, with a 4-2 lead and a runner on, the right-handed Salas was forced to face left-handed batting superstar Christian Yelich. I say forced because the Mets had zero left-handed pitchers warming up for this potential at-bat. Yelich crushed a two-run bomb to tie the game. The batter after, Giancarlo Stanton crushed another one to take the lead. There is absolutely no reason that the reliable, lefty-specialist Jerry Blevins was not ready to face Yelich.
Gotta have Blevins there, especially if he was used later in the inning. https://t.co/BHB9rONDmV— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) April 16, 2017
Collins defended his decision-making by explaining he wouldn’t have anyone to come in to face Giancarlo Stanton if Yelich were to get on. This is where Mets’ fans get frustrated even further, because Addison Reed is fully capable of a four-out save; especially in the case of a division rivalry affair.
Nevertheless, as much as the Mets want to limit their starting pitching, they are clearly pushing their bullpen too far. With a 16 inning game against the Marlins earlier in the week, the Mets really could of used deep starts from their rotation over the next few games at least. Unfortunately, it was predetermined that Collins wouldn’t express this route, and it looks like he’s sticking to his guns. Although it’s early, the bullpen has already been responsible for the majority of the Mets losses. Many fans fear this theme could be a focus point moving forward.
Terry Collins’ statement afterward
Here's Terry Collins' full explanation for going to Fernando Salas in the eighth: pic.twitter.com/U4cSWVIVPq— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) April 16, 2017
P.S.: Also to keep an eye on moving forward – will Michael Conforto ever be free? #FreeConforto
For all your collegiate and professional apparel needs, check out 365 Gameday.