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The Mets just wrapped up game number 101 of the 2016 season. They gave up the lead in the ninth inning for the second straight game. After Jeurys Familia converted 52 consecutive save opportunities, he blew his 2nd in a row. The Mets also were only able to muster up a single run in the game against the struggling Colorado Rockies. Jacob DeGrom pitched seven scoreless innings in another great performance. The Mets offensive woes have been well documented this season. They’re hitting just barely over .200 with runners in scoring position and we’re almost at the end of July. That number is laughable. This is a team that had championship aspirations at the beginning of the year. Injuries have been a large part of the Mets struggles this year but I dare to point out one other issue that seems to be overlooked; Terry Collins has looked lost at the top step this season.
Everyone praised Terry Collins after taking this team to a World Series last year when it didn’t seem as though the Mets had any business being there at the beginning of the year. And rightfully so. Collins did a great job managing this team last year and getting them into the World Series. But this year, not so much. Collins seems to have a hard time when the going gets rough. He’s not the type to shake things up and try to fix things with abstract ideas. He likes to stick to a formula and he likes to stick to the big names in his clubhouse. For example, when Matt Harvey got off to that DREADFUL start in the beginning of the year, Collins kept running him out there every fifth day for far too long. There’s nothing wrong with sticking with your ace and letting them try and figure it out. However, Harvey’s struggles lasted well over a month and Collins was incapable of coming to grips with that fact. We can sit here and argue about what could have and should have been done but at the end of the day, Terry should have sat down with Harvey and told him to take some time off to figure it out. He didn’t do that and Harvey continued to struggle with a few solid outings sprinkled in until he ultimately got hurt and decided to have season ending surgery. That’s just one case that we can point out. How about another?
Since the Mets acquired Jose Reyes after the Rockies cut ties with him, Collins has had him in the lineup and leading off in just about every single game. On the surface this idea doesn’t seem too bad given the offensive struggles the Mets have had. When you dig a little deeper however, Collins has consistently chosen Reyes over Wilmer Flores which makes absolutely no sense given the success Flores was having before Reyes arrived. In June, Flores got a bulk of the playing time at 3rd in the absence of David Wright and performed admirably. He hit .289 and drove in 12 runs in the month of June. He’s continued that success in July despite less playing time now that Reyes has become the everyday 3rd baseman. In July, Flores is hitting .333 with a 1.132 OPS, 7 home runs and 13 RBI’s. Yet despite all of that, Reyes continues to get the bulk of the playing time at 3rd base despite hitting a mere .239 since his return.
This brings us to yesterday’s game against the Colorado Rockies. After saying that he would rest Familia after blowing the save against the Cardinals on Wednesday night, Collins decided to use Familia anyway in Thursday afternoons game.That decision didn’t pan out. Familia recorded just one out and blew his 2nd straight save in as many games. This decision just made absolutely no sense to me. In a day game after a night game, after Familia blew the game the night before, after saying Familia would rest in Thursday’s game, Collins STILL put Familia in. I understand the need to win these games but there’s also something to be said about giving your stars a break. Familia has been phenomenal all season but has looked a little shaky lately. This would have been a great time to give Familia a rest. Addison Reed has been one of the best relievers in baseball throughout the entire season and is more than capable of saving a game here and there. Familia reportedly went to Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen earlier in the day and said he was ready to pitch. We all know how much Collins likes to put his pitchers back in there when they say they want to go back in there, i.e. Matt Harvey in the World Series last year, but it’s the managers job to do what’s right for the team.
Collins has made questionable in game decisions throughout the season as well. It may seem like I’m coming down hard on Collins right now and that’s because I am. I know it’s not all his fault but it seems like Collins has exacerbated the issues this year instead of putting a band-aid on them. Unless the Mets are able to pull of a big time deal at the deadline this year, there seems to be no end in sight for their offensive struggles. It would be an understatement to say that this year has been a disappointment. It’s been Murphy’s Law with the Mets this year, anything that could go wrong, has gone wrong for them. Their manager hasn’t done a great job saving the ship from sinking though. I don’t think Collins is a bad manager, I just feel that he has crumbled under the pressure this year. There were big expectations for this team and all the issues just seemed to snowball so quickly that it has overwhelmed Collins. The Mets will need a pretty strong run here in the last 61 games to get into the playoffs. I’m not sure that this year’s team has it in them. Especially with their manager seemingly unable to push the right buttons to get those must win games.