Mets manager Terry Collins, in his team’s five-game defeat in the World Series against the Royals, was out-managed by opposing skipper Ned Yost. There were plenty of mistakes, including poor defense on several occasions, but Collins will deservedly draw a not-insignificant percentage of the culpability.
It started in Game 3, when Collins called on closer Jeurys Familia to pitch the ninth inning, when the Mets were leading by six runs. Familia needed only 11 pitches, but it was an unnecessary expenditure by Collins. Throwing those 11 pitches — not to mention warming up — has a non-zero effect on him going forward.
In Game 4, Familia should have started the eighth inning, when the Mets were protecting a 3-2 lead. Instead, Tyler Clippard started and issued back-to-back one-out walks. Daniel Murphy then committed an awful error on an easy ground ball, and from there the Royals had the game in the bag. Had Familia not pitched in Game 3, perhaps Collins would have been more willing to have him go for six outs in Game 4.
Starter Matt Harvey was rolling in Game 5, shutting out the Royals through eight innings. On the FOX broadcast during the bottom of the eighth inning, Harvey could be seen receiving the news from pitching coach Dan Warthen that he wouldn’t be pitching the ninth. “No way,” Harvey said. He went to Collins in the dugout and argued his way back out to the mound to start the ninth inning. Harvey issued a leadoff walk to Lorenzo Cain, then a run-scoring double to Eric Hosmer. Familia finally came in, but he was hurt by a poor throw by first baseman Lucas Duda, saddling him with undeserved blown saves in back-to-back appearances.
One wonders if the prospect of Familia pitching three games in a row influenced Collins’ decision to relent to Harvey. That he could be talked out of a decision at all by a player certainly does not paint him in a good light.
It all stems back to that one decision in Game 3 to use Familia when it wasn’t necessary. It all snowballed from there.