The Mets have lost their share of games this season that would have you sit an ponder for a few minutes before you get on with your life outside being a Mets fans , but last night’s game , some 12 hours later is still bothering me. I was lucky enough to have Ed Marcus (rusty Jr.) of The Real Dirty Mets on with me last night after the game on my THIS CALL TO THE BULLPEN podcast and we disscused the game plus a lot of other Mets news and views, but back to last night’s game.
Last night Terry Collins managed more with his heart than his head, when he left R.A. Dickey in the game in the 8th inning. I’m not going to kill Collins on the move but I won’t argue with fans who feel he left Dickey in too long. Where I take Collins to task is, and not to go all Tim McCarver on you, why do you have Izzy warming up in the pen, and then you don’t use him? Sure Collins brought Izzy in after Neal Walker’s two-run single up the middle to break a 1-1 tie, but the formula all season has been Izzy in the 8th and Frankie Rodz in the 9th which has worked great for most of the season, so why re-write the strategy now? Well, it seems Collins got caught up in the moment as did all the fans at Citi Field.
R.A. Dickey not only showed guts pitching in pain with his plantar fascia injury that has left him unable to run and walking with a bit of a limp but that did not affect his ability to toss a knuckleball that sashayed better than any contestant on Dancing With The Stars. Maybe it was the warm humid night or just that Dickey got his mojo back but he was vintage Dickster last night.
Every time Dickey came up to bat he was greeted with an ovation that was Seaver-Godden-ess and deservedly so. Problem for R.A. was the lineup that Terry Collins used last night made a journeyman pitcher like James McDonald look like Dock Ellis, minus the hallucinogenics of course. I will give McDonald props on curve ball that was just a nasty 12 to 6 hook.
It seemed that Collins was ready to let Dickey pitch a complete game hopefully with a shutout added to the back of his baseball card. Dickey had retired 12 in a row until the 8th inning. After a Ronny Cedeno’ leadoff single, Dickey got two quick outs, then hit a batter and let young James Harrison get another hit off him bringing up Neal Walker who hits much better from the left side than right, so maybe bringing in Brydak or O’Connor would be the move here. Collins didn’t think so, it was Dickey’s game to win or lose.
Now Dickey got two quick strikes on Walker but a combination of Dickey letting a knuckler float in the middle of the plate and Walker using good hitting technique and shorting up his swing with two strikes, sent the pitch right up the middle for a two run single which was like a swift kick in the nuts.
If Dickey strikes out Walker there, R.A. and Collins are heroes instead it’s become a second guesser’s paradise. That’s baseball Suzyn.