Losing sucks in general, but losing the way we did last night always carries the added stigma that the loss might have been avoidable if not for a critical turning point that sealed the team’s fate in the most horrific of ways.
Dillon Gee started the game and was pitching solidly coming of his nine-strikeout gem in his last start. He had scattered a few hits and the only blemish was a solo home run to newly appointed Mets killer, Ty Wigginton, in the second inning.
With the Mets up 3-1 going into the seventh inning, Gee quickly got the first two outs until Brian Schneider lifted a deep flyball to centerfield that went for a double as the Mets were playing him shallow.
Out comes Captain Hook AKA Terry Collins who pulled Gee in favor of Bobby Parnell. Fifteen seconds later, pinch hitter Carlos Ruiz deposited a two-run homer over the left field fence to tie the game at 3-3. The hordes of Hell followed.
How many times have we seen Bobby Parnell burn us like this before? Too many to count actually.
I’ve said it time and time again, Parnell simply doesn’t have the killer instinct you need to pitch in a big spot like that. He fails to execute time and time again. His only useful purpose on this team is to start a clean inning in the 6th or 7th and that’s it. No matter how well Parnell performs and looks in non-pressure situations, you can’t be deceived into believing that he can pull the same rabbit out of the hat by throwing him into the fire. He is not, nor will he ever be a late-inning closer or setup man. He doesn’t have the stomach for it. And when you want to be a shutdown reliever you not only need the arm, but you also need the stomach to go with it.
But why doesn’t Terry Collins get this? Why is he so oblivious to what is so painfully obvious to most Mets fans?
I read yesterday that the Mets are 13-0 when their starters pitch seven or more innings. Has anyone told Collins?
Who among you really believed, as Collins did, that Dillon Gee was running on fumes after 6.2 innings and didn’t have the wherewithal to get the third and final out of that seventh inning?
How many times have we seen this from Collins already this season?
Hey all you saberists… Is there such a stat as Manager Losses? If there was I’d bet the house that Collins leads the NL in them.
Another thing, why was Vinny Rottino left in to bat against the right-hander Jose Contreras in the eighth inning?
Was the left-handed Ike Davis hurt or something? In fact he was fine and was just as surprised as I was I’m sure.
Not only were you increasing the probability for success in the at-bat, but you were also strengthening the team defensively at first base in what was now a tie game. It would come back to bite Collins in the ass.
The Mets bullpen ERA is now 5.45 for the season, the worst mark in the major leagues. They have allowed 27 ninth inning runs this season, also an MLB worst.
Mets starting pitchers must cringe whenever they see Terry Collins emerge from the dugout and heading for the pitcher’s mound…
I know I do…