Monday, August 20, 2012

Ho Hum

Saturday night, Terry Collins pulled Jonathon Niese from a 2-0 game with 1 out and nobody on base in the 8th inning. Niese, to that point, had been brilliant, allowing 5 hits and no walks along with 7 strikeouts. I questioned the move. Surely, even though he had thrown 109 pitches, Niese was able to finish the 8th without incident. He'd done an excellent job of baffling the Nationals all night. Fortunately for Collins, Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco were equally sharp, getting the final 5 outs of a rare Mets victory.

Tonight, Terry Collins pulled R.A. Dickey from a 1-1 game after 7 innings in which Dickey had allowed 1 run and 3 hits, along with 2 walks and 6 strikeouts against the Colorados, the only run coming on a Tyler Colvin Home Run on a knuckleball that didn't knuckle. Collins pinch hit for Dickey with Justin Turner, with 2 outs and Andres Torres on 1st. Torres, one of the few Mets capable of swiping a base, remained glued to 1st base, and Justin Turner flied out to center. Surely, having only thrown 99 pitches, Dickey was more than capable of coming back for the 8th inning. Perhaps Torres' walk was the worst thing that would happen to the Mets, as it meant Dickey's spot in the lineup was going to come up, as opposed to Torres doing what he usually does and popping out to the 2nd Baseman.

In the top of the 8th, Josh Edgin came in, promptly allowed a bunt single to Jonathan Herrera, who went to 2nd when Edgin wisely threw wildly to first, went to 3rd on the subsequent Sacrifice Bunt by Ratso Helton, and scored on the inevitable passed ball. The Mets did what they seem to do best in this miserable 2nd half and mount a rally to get the tying and lead runs on base and fail to get them home. The Colorados tacked on another run in the 9th, but that wouldn't have mattered. 2-1 may as well have been 10-1 the way things have been going lately.

I can understand the strategy of removing Dickey when he was removed. But if that's the case, why not just have Thole bunt Torres over to 2nd before sending up Turner, or throw him a signal to steal a damn base. Of course, in the 9th inning, Torres found himself on base and took off immediately, just in time for Shoppach to pop out to the Catcher. My contention is that if Torres was just going to take a nap while he was on 1st, then why not just let Dickey hit and go back out there for the 8th. If he gives up the lead run, I can live with it, and I'm sure he can too. But since there's nobody trustworthy in the bullpen, he clearly is the best option there is, so why isn't he still out there? It goes against conventional strategy, I suppose, but I'd rather be 1-1 in the 8th with Dickey on the mound. We saw the alternative in action and it wasn't very good.

The Ballclub will be in attendance on Tuesday night. I'm hopeful that the results will be better against the Colorados with Chris Young on the mound, but who knows. Maybe there will be another frivolous giveaway, something like Mets USB cable night, or Mets Turd Sandwich night...Oh, wait. That's every night. Or at least it is lately.

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