The only response that I have for this game is; You have got to be kidding me. In an extremely important NL East game, the Mets bullpen once again coughed up a lead late and took the loss. There are so many things to examine in this game which are to blame for the atrocious loss including some questionable deicsions by bench coach Bob Gueren, and a couple of blown calls by the umpires.
First of all, what in the wild world of sports was Gueren thinking when he made the double switch in the 8th to bring in Bobby Parnell for a five-out save? Not only did he take out his best fielding shortstop in Ruben Tejada, but he grossly mismanaged the erratic flamethrower Bobby Parnell. Parnell is a fragile individual who gets rattled in difficult situations. How could you possibly put him in a five-out save situation with the season hanging in the balance. Pedro Beato or Ramon Ramirez should have finished the inning and that is a fact. As a side note, YOU CANNOT WALK THE LEAD OFF HITTER! Nothing else needs to be said here.
Second of all, how can the umpires make such terrible calls in critical situations? Jordany Valespin was involved with both plays as he was unbelievably called out on a drag-bunt play in which he was clearly safe. This play was crucial and with a potential lead off single for him, the Mets could have had a big inning. The next questionable umpire decision was when the men in blue overruled Valespin’s catch in left-field, resulting in men on first and second base. It clearly was not a catch, but Martin Prado should have been called out after being tagged out by Ike Davis. As a result the Braves took the lead against Dickey in the same inning.
It is easy to blame the umpires for those bad calls, but what needs to be said is that this game was blown by the Mets and only the Mets. No one else is responsible for this debacle other than the ineffective bullpen and the managing of the bullpen. If you can’t get five outs then you deserve to lose. It all starts with the starting pitching though. After Chris Young put the Mets in a hole last night, Dickey did the same today and wasted a good offensive game by the Mets’ bats. He did not deserve the win giving up 5 ER in 5 innings in yet another mediocre start. His knuckleball was flat and Braves hitters teed off on him throughout the entire game. Hopefully the first half of the season was not a fluke for Dickey and he will get it back together soon. If he doesn’t, you can count the Mets out.
What was also frustrating was watching the Mets in the 9th inning against Craig Kimbrel. All three hitters were struck out and looked absolutely lost at the plate. Quite frankly, the Mets never had a chance in the 9th after blowing the lead. Kimbrel is automatic.
Moving forward, the Mets clearly need to do something about the bullpen. This cannot continue if the team wants to compete for a playoff spot. With Frank Francisco on the shelf for an extended period of time, Sandy Alderson needs to make a trade for Huston Street, Jonathon Broxton, Francisco Rodriguez, or someone else with experience closing games. Losses like today are demoralizing to a team so we will see how the Mets respond tomorrow. What is certain is that this next week will be crucial for New York with games against Atlanta and Washington. The season could be all but over real soon. It’s time for the Mets to turn it around.