Mets: 5 Reasons the Latest Collapse Should Not Be Blamed on Terry Collins
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After another promising start to a season, the New York Mets have fallen into the same trap that seems to catch them every year.
After beating the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 30, the Mets record stood at 43-36, above and beyond expectations. After their latest collapse, they enter play Tuesday against the Miami Marlins with a 53-56 record.
Going 10-20 in the heart of the season is not going to cut it for any team with playoff aspirations, let alone the Mets.
Many will want to try and pinpoint the reason to why the Mets have faltered in the last month. One person they should not be looking at is manager Terry Collins.
If anything, Collins is the one responsible for putting the Mets in position to contend before the calendar rolled into July.
Here are five reasons why the latest collapse should not be blamed on Mets' manager Terry Collins.
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The Mets lost starting pitcher Dillon Gee over the All-Star break after having two procedures on his right shoulder to fix a damaged artery.
Gee was starting to put things together and was pitching better as the season progressed. This injury was unexpected and put a bind on the rotation. It may also have hurt the psyche of this team as this injury was before things really unraveled.
Mets' ace Johan Santana also got injured during the latest collapse and is currently on the disabled list. While his return to the rotation is expected this weekend, he really struggled since his June 1 no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Santana's ERA was 2.38 after the no-hitter. It now stands at 3.98. His struggles contributed to the team's struggles, but not having him in the rotation hurt them even more.
Closer Frank Francisco also was a key piece missing during the collapse. While he endured some early season meltdowns, Francisco was a shutdown reliever from about the middle of May until he went down in late June.
The Mets were forced to put an already beleaguered bullpen into unfamiliar roles and thus suffered because of that.
It is hard to place blame on injuries. They are a contributing factor and are out of anyone's control, especially Terry Collins.
Even with all these setbacks, Collins did a nice job managing with what he had to work with, which was not a lot.
R.A. Dickey Lost Some of His Magic
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As already mentioned, Johan Santana has really struggled since throwing a no-hitter on June 1. Fellow starting pitcher R.A. Dickey has also experienced some difficulties.
After back-to-back one-hitters and the amazing streak of not allowing an earned run for 44.2 innings, the knuckleballer has not had the same effectiveness of late.
While he was the best story in baseball back in June with a 0.93 ERA for the month, it was the exact opposite in July as teams teed off on him. His ERA for the month was 5.13 and while he pitched well against the San Diego Padres in his first start in August, he did not get enough run support and his record fell to 14-3.
Dickey is still having a spectacular season. It is just hard to replicate what he did in May and June all season and now it is starting to catch up with him.
When the magic of the knuckleball dies, so does the Mets' chances of winning and that has been the case during this recent collapse.
The Mets Have the MLB's Worst Bullpen
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It is hard to win a baseball game when you have to turn the ball over to the league's worst bullpen. That is something manager Terry Collins has had to do all season and it has not been easy.
When the season started, the bullpen was thought to have been a strength with the acquisitions of Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch and Ramon Ramirez, but that just has not been the case.
The Mets are last in the majors in team bullpen ERA with 4.92. They have allowed 185 total runs, which is third most.
Time and time again, the Mets held late inning leads only to see them squandered by a ragtag group of pitchers that can not get batters out.
Again, the injury to Francisco forced the Mets to put guys into roles they were not comfortable in, but at the end of the day, they still did not perform and are a big reason why the Mets are under .500 and now are a long shot for the playoffs.
Management Did Not Make a Move at the Trading Deadline
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Maybe what was most disheartening about the Mets collapse was that management did nothing to circumvent the situation and was silent at the trading deadline.
At a time where the front office could have brought a new and uplifting energy to the team, it allowed this negativity and bad play to stew and it festered.
General manager Sandy Alderson did not make a move to try and fix the atrocious bullpen and instead forced Terry Collins to continue to trot guys like Pedro Beato and Miguel Batista out on the mound even after numerous wild pitches and meatballs that opposing batters took advantage of.
They did not pick up another bat. Instead, they continue to put the inept Jason Bay out in left field with the blind hope that something more will come from his bat than an out.
It is easy to understand that Alderson did not want to mortgage the future for now, but even with an opportunity such as the Mets once had, it is mind-numbing that the Mets did absolutely nothing to try and improve this team.
The Roster Is Just Not That Good
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Look at the roster manager Terry Collins is working with. That is enough to make anyone knowledgeable baseball person cringe.
There is a reason why many picked this team to not only be last in the division, but possibly the worst in baseball before the season started. There is just a lack of depth and talent on this team.
The season literally has been magical. Terms like "scrappy" and "over-achieving" have been the labels for this team all year. There were no expectations for the Mets in 2012.
Suddenly, they were in the spotlight with rumblings of playoff contention and they folded up like a metal chair. Why? Because what they achieved was just not sustainable for the entire season.
Terry Collins is the reason why they were even in position to win in the first place. Yes, he has had some help from R.A. Dickey, Johan Santana and David Wright, but Collins has had to mix and match this team since day one.
The Mets have dealt with numerous injuries and Collins has done a remarkable job plugging in and platooning line-ups that give them the best chance to win.
Guys like Scott Hairston, Ronny Cedeno and Jordany Valdespin have made Collins look like a genius at many points in the season.
Collins has done the best job he can with the bullpen he has to work with. It would be hard pressed to see any other manager succeed with that group of relievers the Mets have.
Listen, you can point the finger at a lot of different reasons to why the Mets have experienced this most recent collapse. Just do not point it at Terry Collins.
He is what got this team to where they are at now and for that he should receive recognition which will probably go unrecognized by most, but not here.
Terry Collins is not the reason why the New York Mets collapsed in 2012.