It looked brilliant Terry.
And it in the end the move worked. That’s all that mattered.
In the seventh inning of tonight’s Mets 4-3 win over the Reds, with Juan Lagares on third and Kevin Plawecki on first, in a 3-0 game, a big decision had to me made.
Mets manager Terry Collins had Lucas Duda out on deck, with and his counterpart Bryan Price coming out to mound to see his pitcher Brandon Finnegan after 106 pitches. Does he bring in lefty Tony Cingrani or keep his starter on the mound?
Mind you, Duda hit a 3-run homer off Cingrani last season the day before the Mets clinched in Cincinnati.
Would history repeat or would Price leave his tiring starter in the game?
In the end, Finnegan stayed and Duda, who was not announced into the game, goes back into the dugout. Yoenis Cespedes then comes out and deposits the first pitch fastball almost through the Great Wall of Flushing.
Tie game with David Wright driving in the winning run three batters later off Cingrani.
Brilliant Terry, right?
Well not so much.
“The situation was that I told Dickie Scott to go get Cespedes, he’s going to hit, but I didn’t know where the hell he was,” Collins laughed. “It took him a while to get to the on deck circle. I said Luc I am not putting you in but I need someone on deck, so he went out and stood on deck. And he could have ordered a hamburger by that time.”
Well, at least he’s honest.
Look, anyone who has followed the Mets for the past six seasons, knows Collins won’t remind anyone of Leo Durocher, Billy Martin or even Bobby Valentine. He’s not going to make those little in game changes that will go down in baseball lore.
Even though, the 26,978 in the stands thought Collins was channeling is inner John McGraw, he’s still going to be the same guy who kept this team playing hard through the thin years and helped author a storybook October six months ago.
That’s a good thing. To a man, every Met loves playing for Collins. In the offseason, Cespedes took a contract length discount because he felt so comfortable here. At least during this tenure, you will have a very hard time finding someone with a bad word to say about the 66 year-old manager.
You can include us media types as well. Because he’s so honest and so easy to deal with, Collins gets the benefit of the doubt from the press corps. During the NLDS last season, some of the Los Angeles writers considered Collins a pleasure after having to deal with the cautious Don Mattingly.
That’s why tonight, it wasn’t the game winning move that proved once again why Collins is such a good manager in New York. It was the loose as a goose response he gave about it after the game.
“I don’t want to bring up my thoughts behind the whole thing. I thought if I put (Cespedes) up there, they would think he really can’t hit this guy,” he said. “A lot of guys would put a guy up to get a move made. That wasn’t my intention, but that’s how it worked out.”
So add another Met win in the books and a game closer to the Nationals.