Terry Collins is explaining his decision to stay with Jeurys Familia in the 11th inning of Friday night’s loss to the Angels despite having Jose Valverde and John Lannan ready to go.
To recap, Familia was in his third inning of work and clearly tiring with a runner on third and one out. Collins ordered the next two batters intentionally walked to set up a force play at any base. Familia then hit the next batter to force in a run to end the game.
Mike Puma of the New York Post spoke with Collins after the game and wrote this:
Collins’ rationale was he wanted Valverde for a potential save situation and would need Lannan for possible long relief duty if Valverde were to blow the save.
That seems to make sense. If Collins used Lannan first, then Valverde blew the save, he would have had to use one of the starters in long relief since there would have been no relievers left.
But to save two fresh pitchers when the game was on the line and Familia was obviously done? That makes no sense at all.
Terry Collins did not say whether a possible lack of confidence in the struggling Lannan, who has a 36.00 ERA, played into his thinking.
I wrote after the game ended that Collins should have used Valverde in that situation. After all, Valverde is there to save games, and that was when the game needed saving. Valverde would have been good for another inning, then Collins could have ridden the former starter Lannan for as long as necessary.
But like many managers, Terry Collins is locked into the “only use a closer when we are ahead” mentality. Not to say the Mets would have won the game, but at least using Valverde would have given them a fighting chance instead of sticking with the understandably fading Familia.