Roll the dice, Terry.
You are in the middle of a pennant race, so right now you have to leave it to chance and sometimes push these guys even if they are not 100 percent.
Sure, Neil Walker had a bad back and Yoenis Cespedes’s quad was barking, well maybe you can’t be so quick to keep them out of the lineup.
It’s going to be the cost of doing business if the Mets are going to make the playoffs. If the Mets want to hear, “Winner, winner chicken dinner” come October, then the day to day players must be pushed.
“Just as we have done in the past, we have to monitor the situation,” Terry Collins said. This is more than day games after night games. We will see about tomorrow night.”
Well, Walker said after the game, he plans on playing tomorrow, but the jury is still out on Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera, who was removed in the first after colliding with Phillies first baseman Tommy Joseph and aggravated his knee.
Now Collins did say the knee felt better during the game, so hopefully, there will be no lingering problems.
But even if there are, to win this pennant race, Collins needs to play these guys or at least rotation them in and out of the lineup. If Cespedes gets a day of rest then Walker and Cabrera must play and so on.
None of them are 100 percent right now, so the Mets have to be judicious.
Even with their small problems today, it was probably a good day to get a little relaxation for their star players. It was a day game after a night game and the next seven games may decide the Mets season.
With the Marlins coming in for four games tomorrow and Jose Fernandez pitching the first game, Collins will need his best lineup out there. After the Miami series, the Nationals come in and if the Mets don’t plan on laboring on Labor Day, then they will have to ensure their best players are out there.
That means making sure Walker has extra work on his back and seeing that the mercurial Cespedes doesn’t join his buddies at the Barclays.
They need to be in the lineup every day.
“You just got to keep fighting and keep them rested,” Collins said. “And when they can’t go, run someone else out there. You need them.”
But there’s some good news here. The Mets seems to be fine with their mound reinforcements. First Steven Matz is scheduled to pitch Thursday, today’s starter Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo have also pitched very well in their limited action.
This will allow Collins to rest certain starters, like Jacob deGrom, who is getting skipped tomorrow, Noah Syndergaard and even Matz, who’s arm seems to be spinning like a roulette wheel.
We have seen what the Mets have done with a full contingent. Over the past week with their lineup on all cylinders, they showed they can score runs and these young guys are more than 4-A fill-ins.
Maybe, today was just the aberration and the Mets are really the team we saw in the last week. Maybe they just decide to pounce on Fernandez tomorrow for a change.
But either way, one thing is for certain, they need to keep what they have intact for the rest of the season and they will need to take chances with these guys, playing them even if they aren’t 100 percent.
Roll the dice, Terry.