The Mets staged a nice little comeback victory on Sunday in Houston, following that game on Saturday that may have been the worst game of the season — they fell behind in the first inning and didn’t show any fight the rest of the way. I couldn’t even bring myself to write about it. Wait, I am doing that now.
That’s because Sunday’s game washed the stink off of that game. Down 2-0, the Mets scored seven runs in the fifth and sixth innings on their way to a 7-4 win. Justin Turner was the unlikely hero with a two-run double (left) and a three-run homer — the first home run of his career.
And it almost didn’t happen, thanks to some idiotic strategy by Terry Collins. I know I am beating a dead horse on this, but of course it involves a sacrifice bunt.
The Mets were down 2-0 in the fifth, runners on first and second, no outs, Turner up. For some reason Collins wanted him to sacrifice. Turner fortunately failed on two attempts, then rapped his double to tie the game.
Why in the world would Collins sacrifice in that situation? Why play for one or two runs when you have a chance to bust the game open, which the Mets eventually did? It was the fifth inning. And they weren’t facing Roy Halladay or Jesus, where this was going to be the only opportunity to score. They were facing some 23-year-old rookie named Aneury Rodriguez who has exactly zero wins in is major league career thus far. Granted, he was no-hitting the Mets until that inning, but it he wasn’t dominant — it was only a matter of time before the Mets got to him.
That time was the fifth inning, and Collins almost screwed it up with a bunt to give the kid some breathing room. I could only see the Houston feed of the game, so I am curious what the Mets announcers had to say about the sacrifice attempt. Keith Hernandez has been pretty outspoken against bunting so early in a game — I’ll bet he had some things to say about this one, if was even doing the game.
Collins strategic maneuverings so far this season — bunting when applicable, righty-lefty switches, ill-advised stolen bases while down in the ninth — have been less than impressive. He’s certainly no Bobby Valentine. Let’s hope he’s not another Art Howe.