The New York Mets (20-17) bullpen has had three meltdowns in the last six games; the latest was a disappointing loss to the Cincinnati Reds (19-17) in MLB action on Wednesday. New York has lost for the third time in four games, and has a two game losing streak.
“Tonight they (the Reds) the ball a little harder, but I thought our guys made good pitches, we just need to add on runs,” Collins said of the loss. “We are sitting there with three and four runs, so if we can add on some runs it’d take a lot of heat off the pen.”
Johan Santana hasn’t had much luck in his starts, as the ace-lefty had a fine performance, tossing 6.2 innings striking out five batters. Santana collected his fifth consecutive quality start, leaving with his fifth no-decision of the season, which is tied for the most in the National League.
“Johan pitched very well for us tonight,” Collins said. “He made some great pitches tonight when he had too, and I thought he did a great job.”
The offense was able to contribute getting him the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, but that all went away when the call to the pen was made. Cincinnati was able to plate four runs in the top of the eighth inning, as John Rauch blew his third save of the season tonight.
“Rauch made two very good pitches tonight on Stubbs and Phillips and they put it in play and that is where we got into trouble tonight,” Collins said.
Rauch allowed three runs, earned, and three hits in 0.1 innings, the reliever who was spotless in the beginning of the year has now complied a 12.71 ERA (eight earned runs/5.2 innings). New York now falls to 16-2 when taking a lead into the eighth inning.
On the positive side of the game, Lucas Duda was able to tie his season high with three hits tonight. Over the last 28 games, the right fielder has a .315 average going 29-for-92. Breaking a long draught was Ike Davis, who connected on an RBI double in the sixth inning snapped a 0-for-16 streak.
Collins had this to say about Davis, “I thought his swings have been continuing to get better, off course he had the big hit tonight.” The manager continued to say,” I hope he starts to get on a roll, I hope he can start to get these hard hit balls to start landing in the field so that he can get his confidence back.”
Having an impressive day in the field was Mike Baxter, who made an impressive diving grab in the top of the fifth inning. Baxter has shined thus far in his time with the team, logging the most pinch-hits (eight) of any Major Leaguer this season, and his .471 pinch-hitting average (8-for-17) is the fourth-best among his peers.
“Certainly, with this being his first full year with the team, I am shocked about the job he has done,” Collins said prior to the game. “It all goes back to how well he’s prepared for his job. It’s one of the most difficult jobs in baseball, for a guy who’s been here, who’s done it and knows the pitchers in this league. To do it as a rookie is remarkable.”
It was announced by the team that pitcher D.J. Carrasco have been designated for assignment. The club will be calling-up lefty Robert Carson from Binghamton (AA). Carson had a 1.84 ERA with one save in 12 games for the B-Mets.
R.A. Dickey will be on the hill on Thursday to conclude this brief two game series with the Reds. In his last start against the Marlins, the knuckleball specialist was able to pick up a win and a quality start in the 9-3 victory on May 12.
Dickey has only one career start against the Reds, which was a 4-2 victory at the Great American Ballpark on July 25, 2011. The righty tossed 6.2 innings and allowed two runs, sitting down seven batters in the 1-0 decision.
Thole Update: Mets catcher Josh Thole has been cleared to begin non-baseball activities as tolerated. The backstop was on the 7-Day Disabled List with a concussion since May 8.
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