Some disclaimers at the top. This is not a Di-Jest article. I'm serious here.
And I was not awake when Chris Young made his egregious error in the 14th innings. I lasted through the Mets' at bats in the 13th.
Last disclaimer is that I am not a Chris Young fan, didn't like his signing, and haven't liked particularly anything he's done since the season opened.
All that said, I was fuming from the 8th inning on. And my wrath is aimed at the person who blew it in the top of the 8th.
Being a Strat-O-Matic manager makes one more cognizant of platoon issues than most casual fans are. But even casual fans have a pretty good feel as to which lefty batters you can trust in a big spot vs a lefty pitcher. Certainly Mets fans know that Daniel Murphy is not cowed by lefty pitchers, in fact this year's his stats are quite a bit better against lefties than they are against righties. Abreu can be trusted usually for a good AB even against the southpaws.
So let's review the 8th inning.
The Phillies have brought in Jake Diekmann who is a true lefty killer. He has allowed lefties just a meager .154 BA and his OPS allowed is just 385. How good is that? Ruben Tejada has a higher BA and OPS than that and we all know what a give up he is at the plate. Meanwhile Diekmann is pretty bad vs the righties giving up a .286 BA and 881 OPS. That's better than Scott Rice does against righties but then again Rice turns righties into Miguel Cabrera while Diekmann just turns them into David Wright, let's say.
Abreu got an infield single and then took the Phils by surprise by stealing 2B. Now the game is tied 5-5. You need to get Abreu in - or at least over to 3B - this AB. Here is where Collins blew it.
He let Duda bat. Now Lucas vs lefties is batting .217 with a sub 500 OPS. He is a major strikeout threat and not someone you could trust to lay down a bunt. You already know that if there was a lefty starter that Collins would have Campbell at 1B which tells you that he knows that Duda is scuffling vs lefties. But here the game is on the line and he is facing Diekmann WHO MAKES HIS LIVING beating up on lefty batters.
Collins has to bat Campbell for Duda there. My recollection is that no RH RP was up in the pen at the time so Diekmann would have had to face him. Certainly there's no guarantee that Soupy would have gotten a hit or a productive grounder but I would have loved the odds there rather than the Diekmann/Duda matchup. And even if I am remembering incorrectly I still would prefer Campbell going up against Mike Adams over Duda facing a real tough lefty.
What did happen was Duda struck out on a pitch out of the strike zone.
d'Arnaud flied to fairly deep right. It's not fair to say it would have happened the same way but that fly could have been the sac fly that gave the Mets the 6th run that it never got in the next six innings.
Then the Phils did bring in a righty to face Tejada and Adams handled him easily.
A manager's job is to put his team in the best possible position to win. I submit that Terry Collins did not do this on Friday night. And that mistake has repercussions since we know that Collins spent his entire bullpen chasing down a win that was not to come.