I was all set to get on Terry Collins for the moves he made on Monday afternoon. First, there was leaving Jon Niese in the game to pitch the sixth inning after he had already labored through 105 pitches in five innings on a muggy day. And that one still holds as a bad move as it probably cost the Mets the game. With the score tied 2-2, Niese walked Ty Wigginton before giving up a home run to John Mayberry which was scalded. Maybe Terry got spoiled with the long outings by Santana and Dickey that he wanted to press his luck. He got whammied on that one.
The second bad move was having Manny Acosta go anywhere a pitchers mound. With the game still winnable in the ninth with the score 5-4, TC had Acosta come in to pitch the ninth, and he was predictably atrocious. Wigginton, who had already had a million hits during the game (that would be internet hits, more likely ... actual hits: two, with two walks) came up with two men on. Acosta somehow got ahead 0-2 on Wigginton, then gave him two meatballs that Wigginton fouled off before throwing him the worst pitch of them all, a hanging slider that Wigginton deposited into the left field stands. Upon further review of that at-bat, the two questions I had were these: How did it take Wigginton five pitches to hit one out when he could have easily put one of the first four pieces of space debris back in orbit, and how was Acosta allowed to be in this high pressure situation with his 10.80 ERA (which is now 11.86)?
But then I realized, this was Acosta's last chance. Remember what happened with D.J. Carrasco. He hit Ryan Braun in an 8-0 game, and then he was put into the same situation: a one run deficit. Carrasco spit the bit, just like Acosta. I wondered what TC was doing putting Carrasco in that game, much as I wondered why Acosta was in the ninth inning of this game. Both winnable, both put out of reach by these guys. Carrasco was DFA'd after that game against the Reds, and it looks like Acosta will meet the same fate. Both guys given enough rope to tangle themselves with, and now both will be eating beans from the same can on the side of the train tracks.
Crazy like a fox, that Terry Collins. He's using these outings in big spots to show his bosses that, like Mike Singletary, he cannot play with 'em. Cannot win with 'em. Cannot coach with 'em. Can't do it.
But he still shouldn't have left Niese in. And that's really where the game was lost despite the Mets tying it after that Mayberry home run. Always a shame when the team fights and claws against a pitcher who was dealing like Emo Cole Hamels was, and can't win it because of some dubious moves.
Oh, and did I mention that David Wright had to play shortstop because the lone remaining guy who can kinda play shortstop sprained his anke and had to be carried off the field? Justin Turner joins Ruben Tejada and Ronny Cedeno on the sidelines as he sprained his ankle on a rundown play (that was Turner's own fault as he wandered off first base on a throw home with first and third) which might have cost the Mets an early run. Maybe it's that Jose Reyes hex. Maybe not, but if I were Omar Quintanilla I wouldn't pick up any tiki idols on the side of the road on the way from Buffalo.
Mike Napoli hit a home run in the sixth inning of the Rangers' 4-2 win over Seattle. It won a guy some money in one of those "if a guy hits a home run during this inning you win" contests run by FOX Southwest. What made this one a little special and a little eerie was the name of the guy who won:
Can't make it up, kids.