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The manager sent Aardsma back out for the ninth. Not a bad move but one that backfired as he allowed a leadoff double. Two batters later, Collins pulled Aarsdma with runners on the corners and one out.
With a lefty at the plate, Collins went to Scott Rice, who came up with a big strikeout of Pedro Alvarez. The next batter was a righty, so Collins removed Rice to insert Greg Burke. The following batter was a lefty, so it was likely a one-batter performance for Burke. So, why bring in Burke, who hadn’t pitched in three days, for a one-batter appearance? Wouldn’t that have been a better role for LaTroy Hawkins, who had only one day of rest?
Burke was removed after allowing a walk to load the bases. Collins again went for the lefty-lefty matchup, bringing in Josh Edgin to face Garret Jones. But the Pirates pinch-hit for Jones with a righty. If Collins was going to bring in a lefty if Burke didn’t get the job done – shouldn’t he have used Rice to intentionally walk Martin? Even if the Pirates went ahead and pinch-hit a righty, then Collins would have been able to bring in Burke (or Hawkins) and gotten through the inning using one fewer pitcher.
Edgin got out of the inning and Collins using four pitchers in the frame was what got Gary Cohen and Hernandez so excited about his managerial moves. But Collins showed no creativity and did nothing but his usual “play the matchups” managing here. The only difference was this time it worked for him. At the very least, he should have played the matchups and used one fewer pitcher. Because burning the extra pitcher in the ninth would come back to hurt. [...]
Gonzalez Germen was called on to start the 11th inning, making one wonder if Hawkins was unavailable for this game. A quick check of MetsBlog shows a story posted after the game in which Collins confirmed this was the case.
Collins elected to go to Scott Atchison in that spot, and Howard greeted him by stroking a two-run double off the base of the wall in center field. [...]
Niese pitched well for the Mets, but the Phillies managed to tie the game at 1 on a home run down the left-field line by Freddy Galvis in the fifth inning. Niese gave up two hits in the seventh inning, and with his starter at 117 pitches, Collins summoned Atchison.
The Phillies countered immediately, tabbing Howard to pinch-hit for Kevin Frandsen, who had started at first base against the lefty. Both Atchison and Collins said they expected Howard to come off the bench in that situation, but the Mets still needed to execute to get out of the jam.
"I knew they were going to put Howard in," said Collins. "Scott Atchison's breaking ball is really difficult to hit. I don't care who it is. The issue is he fell behind and tried to sneak a fastball by him and didn't get it in. He didn't make the pitch he wanted, but Jon was done."
If you make a bunch of defensible decisions that don’t work out, can it really be considered a well-managed game?
The better question is how do you lose an extra inning game wiout using Parnell(if he is your best pitcher in the pen)?
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