So who’s to blame for Saturday’s 5-4 loss to the Cubs? Jose Reyes? Bobby Parnell? Ryota Igarashi? Terry Collins? I’m going to go with Collins on this one. I’ll explain in a moment.
But first, let’s take a look at the other suspects. The Cubs scored their first two runs courtesy of errors by Jose Reyes. In the first Reyes could not handle a liner and an unearned run scored. In the fifth he bobbled a potential double play ball that would have gotten the Mets out of the inning. Instead a run scored. The run was ultimately earned, however had Reyes cleaned the ball cleanly they might have turned the double play.
Reyes made up for the errors with a run-scoring double in the eighth, one of four runs the Mets scored in the inning as they took a 4-3 lead. So while Reyes made early mistakes, he is not responsible for the loss and what happened later.
It’s easy and obvious to blame Parnell. He came on in the ninth to protect a one-run lead and once again he failed to do so. The leadoff batter reached first on an error by David Wright (his second error of the game. Another suspect?). Parnell then allowed a double to make it second and third. Parnell got the next two batters out, but then Aramis Ramirez singled to score the tying and eventual winning run. So while certainly Parnell can be blamed, the error helped do him in.
No, I’m going to go back to the top of the eighth to assign blame here, when Terry Collins thought it was a good idea to bring Igarashi into the game with the Mets trailing 2-0. Igarashi got the first two outs, but then allowed back-to-back doubles as the Cubs made it 3-0. Of course he did — he is horrible.
Igarashi with fellow dog D.J. Carrasco (right). That’s Josh Stinton on the left. He can actually pitch.
Why is Igarashi still pitching for the Mets? He has proven he is utterly useless. Plus, his contract runs out after this season so he will not be on the team next year. So why bother with him, especially now that the Mets are carrying ten relievers? Nothing can be gained by using him. I sort of understand using D.J. Carrasco — he is signed for next year and it would be nice to rehabilitate him so he could contribute (I would just release him now and eat the money, but that’s me).
But Igarashi has no business being in the mound. For that I blame Collins. Who knows what would have happened, but if it were 4-2 in the ninth instead of 4-3, maybe Parnell would have been a bit more relaxed. Even if he still let up the two runs, that would have made it 4-4 and perhaps they’d still be playing. It’s impossible to say, but what is not impossible to say is that Igarashi should never have been in the game, and you can only blame Collins for that.