Death, Taxes, and Reed in the Eighth Inning

terry collins

Some things are guaranteed in life, and some should be.  Some are unwritten rules that are ingrained in you from a young age that almost become instinctual.  Hold open a door for the person behind you, give up your seat for an elderly person on public transit, tip your delivery guy, call your mother on her birthday; you know, the normal ones.  Can we just add one to the list right now? Give Addison Reed The Eighth Inning, for better or worse.

It would appear as though skipper Terry Collins, who has lately appeared like a ship captain trying to drop anchor on a vessel that is submerging on its own, is unaware how good Mr. Reed is.  Maybe Terry did not get the memo in August that Reed broke the Met’s single season record for holds with the year barely two-thirds of the way over.  It is possible he doesn’t remember the last time he played mix and match in the 8th things got pretty ugly? I do.  August 1st in the Subway Series, TC allowed Blevins to start the 8th and Reed to enter in a jam.  What happened? Mets blow a 5-3 lead and lose to the Yanks in extras.  Since then, Reed has allowed a mere three runs in 22.1 innings (before last night).

Maybe Terry was unaware left-handed hitters are hitting .188 against Reed this year, a lower mark than right handed-hitters.  Sure, Freddie Freeman is 2-for-5 in his career vs Reed, but I would rather let my best pitcher get beat rather than a guy who issued a bases loaded walk the previous night step into this fire.  This is not a knock on Josh Smoker, who has been a nice story since his debut but is till trying to settle in.

Was Terry once again “distracted”? That was the poor excuse provided after another crushing loss to the Braves that I sat through last week in Atlanta.  He did not pinch run for Wilmer, a notoriously slow runner, despite having 37 people on the active roster.  Terry, the manager of a major league baseball team, was distracted by a bases empty two out double which somehow, despite not altering the score or game situation, altered his pitching plan for the next inning.

Keep in mind, Terry was not completely distracted, as he sent up Kelly Johnson to hit for T.J. Rivera that inning.  He also had extra time to get that pinch runner in, since the Braves went for a mound visit after the pinch hit. But let’s not open closed wounds I guess.

The flurry of moves that followed last night after Reed was pulled last night were borderline comical.

The Mets dugout and bullpen became a proverbial clown car.  Who would come out next?  A double switch here, a questionable pinch hit choice there, and hey, even a pinch runner. It brought me back to the days of the WWF Royal Rumble and seeing who would come out from behind curtain next.  There seemed to be no rhyme or reason for it, no logic, just throwing some stuff at the wall to see if it would stick.  It was absolute baseball randomness and what has become Terry’s modus operandi.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at New York Mets

I constantly tweet about Terry being ‘consistently inconsistent’.  There is really no other way to deduce logic from the situation.  In an ironic twist, Jay Bruce, who was not good enough to hit with the game on the line on Tuesday night, was asked to save the day just one night later in the bottom of that disastrous eighth inning.  Travis d’Arnaud was asked to win the game when he was (thankfully) not started in place of Rene Rivera who has been the more superior receiver, defender, and more consistent hitter than Travis has been all year.

The light at the end of the tunnel that is constantly being pointed out is that through all this, despite brutal losses and head scratching moves and injuries to just about everyone, the Mets are in a three way tie for two playoff spots.  I personally do not see this as a positive.  I see this as the Mets being lumped in with a disastrous group of poor teams due to the fact that they are losing games against their much more inferior opponent on a nightly basis, and also the unconventional moves by a manager that does not put his team in the best chances to be successful.

Walking out of the stadium after last nights brutal loss brought me back to some bad times.  Bullpen implosions in 2008, collapses in 2007, a called third strike in 2006.  Some of which led the stadium to get so quiet you could hear the celebrations of the opposing players while in the stands.  Maybe the light at the end of the tunnel, is that in just ten more games the Mets could somehow get that wild card despite a manager who has been off his game for most of September.

Thoughts from Joe D.

When you’re fighting for a playoff spot with just 10 games left to the season you’re not supposed to get swept by the worst team in the league. Could last night’s loss have been avoided? I don’t know but I still have a huge problem with how Terry Collins manged that eighth inning.

With the game’s premier setup man on the mound to begin the eighth to preserve a 3-2 Mets lead and Jeurys Familia ready to pitch the ninth, it looked like the Mets would be able to stave off a sweep at the hands of their longtime division rival. However that plan went awry quickly and devolved into a loss courtesy of….

That pain in the ass Ender Inciarte was leading off the eighth and quickly tapped a grounder to first base to begin the inning. But the usually reliable James Loney boots it for an error and the Braves were in business. It’s no big deal really and three pitches later Addison Reed quickly got Adonis Garcia to popup for the first out of the inning.

Then it happened. Terry Collins emerges out of that bullpen cockily waving his finger, snatching the ball from Reed, and summoning Josh Smoker to pitch to the ever so dangerous Freddie Freeman.

Honestly, I can understand why Collins embarrassed Jay Bruce by pinch-hitting Eric Campbell for him on Tuesday, heck, I actually defended the move.

But this was Addison Reed man… He has a 1.64 ERA in two seasons with the Mets. He has a 0.961 WHIP this year and hitters are batting .206 against him. In six years he’s accumulated 106 saves and 129 holds.

And you bring in Josh Smoker to replace him, who has been a major leaguer all of three weeks?

Collins is so ignorant of his players that he didn’t even know Smoker has a 1.125 OPS against left-handed hitters and Reed has kept them in check all season holding them to a .503 OPS. My God in heaven how in the world does a major league manager not know that? I bet the Braves knew it.

I don’t want to hear any hot air from the usual Collins defenders about matchups or lefty on lefty or any other false narrative to cover up for a terrible baseball move. Yeah, yeah, yeah, everybody blames poor Tewwy Cowins after a loss. Gimme a break, he blew it.

Addison Reed is your setup man and the best 8th inning guy in the major leagues. He leads the planet with 39 holds!!! You don’t yank him out like he’s Pedro Beato or D.J. Carrasco on the mound. Collins needs to do a better job of using that freaking lump that separates his shoulders.

So thanks to another one of Terry Collins’ colossal blunders, the Mets lost a game with just 10 left to go. Luckily, both the Cards and Giants lost too. But not only that, Collins probably burned out Familia and now he’ll be unavailable if needed tonight against the Phillies.

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About Chris the Teacher 37 Articles
A teacher and coach by day, Chris spends his summers going to see the Mets in different parks around the country having already visited 24 Major League Ballparks. Highlights include seeing Tom Glavine’s 300th win at Wrigley Field as well as the Mets Clinch the NL East in Cincinnati in 2015. A loyal Mets season ticket holder since graduating from Stony Brook University in 2005, he enjoys raising his two boys Michael and Carter (after Gary) as Met fans and appreciates the freedom his wife gives him to pursue his travels.