It was shaping up to be another stress free victory in Philadelphia on Thursday night. Michael Conforto got the start in center field and in the leadoff spot, and responded by hitting a long home run and scoring a second run. Yoenis Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera pitched in offensively as well. Zack Wheeler had a better second start back than first, and was remarkably consistent on his pitch count from inning to inning, throwing 12-15 per inning until the sixth. He then ran into some trouble and left the game with a 5-0 lead and the bases loaded. Terry Collins responded by bringing in Hansel Robles to face Mikael Franco.
First of many times in 2017 that I will remind you that left handed hitters are hitting .174 with a .587 OPS against Hansel Robles, while righties were hitting .248 before Franco’s at-bat last night. The ball that Derek Norris hit off him for a grand slam in 2015 during “Five Days in Flushing” is still traveling. (It’s in a hostel in Amsterdam right now.) And yet Collins insists on using Robles as a traditional split guy who comes in against righties. Except that Robles throws a fastball that tails away from lefties and comes into righties, and when it comes into righties and catches too much plate, right handers murder those baseballs. We’re in the portion of our lives where the sample size on this isn’t that small. Yet Collins still insists that righties should face righties and lefties should face lefties and that players still wear flannel uniforms. The outcome was unfortunate, yet predictable. I was about to tweet something ominous about Robles facing righties, but he gave up Franco’s grand slam so quick I never had a chance.
Thankfully, the bullpen (including Robles) held the fort from there and the Mets hung on for dear life and a 5-4 victory that should have been more like 17-0. They head into Miami with a 6-3 record after the sweep in Philly, and they are hoping to avoid a trip to the disabled list by Matt Harvey as the Marlins’ new Rally Cat will surely return and attempt to scratch Harvey’s eyes out.
Reports out of the clubhouse say that Ray Ramirez has two walking boots ready just in case … one for each eye.
Today’s Hate List
- Not Paying Attention to Reverse Splits
- Mikael Franco
- Cameron Rupp
- A Closed Roof in Miami
- Jeffrey Loria