As I sat there last night and watched a fourth inning unfold that included a bases-loaded walk to the opposing 47-year-old pitcher (the second consecutive walk of the inning, mind you) and a grand slam home run to the most hated Phillies player, probably ever, I thought that maybe, just maybe, I had entered some sort of twilight zone.
Manuel has done a lot of things over the course of his short tenure as Mets skipper that made me scratch my head (and then shake it in disbelief, disappointment and disgust.) But last night takes the cake. Pardon my French, but what the hell was he waiting for? Exactly how long was he planning on keeping Johan in there to be humiliated by the Phillies and their fans? Was he trying to destroy his confidence totally, or perhaps just a little bit?
I’m being facetious, but it was a little embarrassing. The embarrassment is not Johan’s unusually bad pitching performance. It’s not even losing 11-5 to our division arch-rivals. It’s the half-assed managing that took place on the field.
Santana just didn’t have it last night. And that’s okay. But it’s not rocket science to figure out he was struggling. The solution? GET SOMEONE UP IN THE BULLPEN!!!
Manuel didn’t pull Santana after a bases-loaded walk to the opposing pitcher. He didn’t pull him after the next batter knocked one over the fence for a grand slam. But for crying out loud, why wasn’t anyone at least warming up after the aforementioned events? One could argue that at this point, he may have felt that the damage had been done and he only needs one more out to get out of the inning. There comes a point, however, as a Major League manager, when you have to realize something is not right.
It was only after a single by Polanco and the second home run of the inning (this one by Chase Utley) that Manuel decided, “Hey, you know what? Johan may be having some trouble out there.”
Gee, Jerry, ya think???