The weekend series with the Braves got off to a horrible start with that loss Friday night. But the Mets came back to win the next two, so anytime you take a series against the Braves it’s a good weekend.
The offense scored early and often, plating two runs in each of the first two innings. Jose Reyes and Daniel Murphy continued to stay hot with two hits each. R.A. Dickey (left) went eight innings allowing just a run, leaving a 6-1 lead for the bullpen to protect.
That’s when it got interesting. Newly-recalled Manny Acosta allowed a walk and a double, and then Terry Collins got nervous. Perhaps sensing another bullpen meltdown, Collins brought in closer Francisco Rodriguez with the Mets still leading by five runs. K-Rod promptly served up a three-run homer to Diory Hernandez to cut the lead to 6-4. As we all bit our nails,Rrodriguez struck out the final two batters to end the game.
If K-Rod somehow finishes 55 games and triggers his $17.5 million option, he should split the money with Collins. There was absolutely no reason to bring him into the game at that point. Even a grand slam wouldn’t have tied the game. Collins should have brought in another reliever, and if he faltered, then bring in K-Rod.
Maybe Collins has no confidence in the rest of his bullpen. Or maybe he knew another bullpen meltdown resulting in another loss (especially to the Braves) would be simply devastating to the team and the fans. He was taking no chances, and you really can’t blame him for that.
Leave it to Bobby Valentine to speak the truth. While his colleagues in the ESPN booth Sunday night rambled on about Reyes’s “injury history,” Valentine said that is overblown, pointing out he really only suffered a hamstring injury early in his career that wasn’t treated properly. There was the second leg injury in 2009 as well, but Valentine was right when he said Reyes is healthy more than not and is an annual 600-plate appearance type of guy.
Later, producers set-up a segment posing the question, “Who should the Mets keep — Reyes or David Wright?” Valentine refused to play along, saying it is a load of nonsense to think that the Mets can’t afford to keep both of them. Valentine correctly pointed out that the Mets aren’t paying their first baseman, second baseman or catcher much money, and they have to spend the money somewhere, so why not on both Reyes and Wright? He said a New York team can easily afford it, and he’s absolutely right.
Valentine should be making these decisions in someone’s front office or as a manager. He does a fine job as a broadcaster, but it is such a waste that Valentine is not employed by a major league team when lesser talents keep getting fired and rehired.