Ominous Sign? Pinch Hitting for Jason Bay

Lost in the  horrible hoopla over Tuesday’s blown game against the Nationals is that Terry Collins chose to pinch hit for Jason Bay with the game on the line. Is this a sign of things to come?

Jason Bay was all smiles before Tuesday's game; probably not so much afterwards
Jason Bay was all smiles before Tuesday's game; probably not so much afterwards

Here was the scene: ninth inning, runners on first and second, one out, Mets down 2-0. A situation like that is tailor-made for your big time slugger. Bay is supposed to be that slugger, but against a right handed pitcher Collins chose to send Jordany Valdespin to the plate instead of Bay. Of course, Valdespin responded with a three-run homer that temporarily gave the Mets the lead.

It was a surprise, and even despite Bay’s struggles, it was still a bold move by Collins — going with a rookie instead of your $16 million alleged home run hitter.

Bay had failed earlier in his first game back from the disabled list, flying out to shallow center with one out and Wright on third base with the potential tying run. Given everything, even Bay couldn’t question Collins’s decision.

“You don’t really have an argument there,” Bay said. “Had I been doing better, had I been around and swinging the bat well, I could say ‘Hey, what’s going on?’ Obviously, you want to hit. You want a chance to do something well. But there’s no way I can argue.”

I wonder if this is the beginning of the end for Bay’s starting job. If he doesn’t start hitting and guys like Valdespin are, I wonder if Collins would go with a straight platoon.

I also wonder (I wonder about a lot of things) if Collins would go for a complete outfield platoon if the struggles against left handers continue — using Bay, Andres Torres and Scott Hairston against lefties and Valdespin, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Lucas Duda against righties.

All I know is that pinch hitting for Bay was not a good sign for his future with the Mets.


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