Luis Rojas’ mismanagement put the Mets in a position of failure on Tuesday, and his explanations made no sense
In the Mets’ crushing loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night, there were two big stories.
The first was New York’s inability to muster much offense after the first inning and their failure to win the game in the 10th when they had runners in the first and third with one out in a draw.
The second was the baffling management of Luis Rojas, whose multiple questionable decisions put his team in a position of failure. And while defending those decisions after the game, many of Rojas’ explanations made no sense.
The Mets’ offense needs to be better, but they very likely would have won Tuesday night’s game if Rojas managed his field properly. Instead, he showed lack of forethought and no feeling.
For good measure, Rojas made an indefensible 11th inning hitting choice with the Mets until their last out and a chance to win.
Let’s take a look at the movements in question …
As the Mets clung to a 3-2 lead, Rojas turned to Familia in the eighth inning against the heart of the Cardinals squad
The blow seemed odd from the start, since the eighth inning usually belonged to Trevor May this season.
And that should have been May’s spot, especially with Seth lugo unavailable despite not having pitched on Monday.
Instead, Rojas went with Familia, who had struggled in her last two outings, allowing one point (on a home run) against the Miami Marlins on September 9 and two points (on a home run). ) against the Yankees on September 9. 12.
It’s fair to note that May also struggled in her last outing, giving up three points (two earned) to the Yankees on September 11. But he had not been marked in 9 of his 10 outings before.
Unsurprisingly, Familia – after recording the first release – walked Paul Goldschmidt before allowing a gigantic two-point circuit to Tyler o’neill and only one to Nolan Arenado. It was then lifted for May, who got the last two strikeouts of the inning.
Don’t push your best lifters a little harder
Knowing that he was without Lugo (and Miguel Castro), Rojas had to be a little more aggressive with his best relievers.
An example would have been to push Aaron Wolf pitch the eighth inning after needing only seven pitches to pass the seventh.
Another example would have been to ask Edwin diaz pitch the 10th inning after needing only 13 throws to pull off a perfect ninth.
Instead, Rojas withdrew both pitchers after just one inning, creating a chain reaction that caused him to turn to Heath hembree in the 10th and Jake roseau in the 11th.
After the game, Rojas was asked if he was considering pushing his top relievers a bit further due to the importance and urgency of the game and the end of the regular season.
Here is what Rojas said:
“I can’t ask guys more for it. Right now that would be unfair. I can’t put them in a situation where it would jeopardize anything else, their business, their health. You could start a guy. out there and he might not be the same pitcher you ask the guy to be. There’s just a lot of things that come into play.
âIdeally the manager wants to pitch everyone every day, but there are other things that come into play when you speak. It’s the feel of the player, the feel of the pitching coach, mine. “
Here is the trick …
It’s understandable that you don’t want to push your pitchers beyond their limits. But sometimes pushing things is necessary. And with the Mets battling for a playoff berth and Tuesday night’s game pretty much a staple, it was time to push.
A manager saying it would be “unfair” to ask more of one of his pitchers is ridiculous. But it’s fair to ask how far the treatment of children’s gloves has slipped from the front office and / or performance staff.
Jake Reed in the 11th inning
With the draw in the 11th inning, Rojas turned to Jake roseau, who recently left IL and had not pitched in the majors since Aug. 18.
Jake Reed, a 28-year-old rookie who has pitched in a grand total of nine games this season (three for the Mets).
Going to Reed there set the Mets up for failure, and that failure came when Reed was blitzed for three runs (earned two) on three hits in just a third of an inning.
After the match Rojas was asked why he went with Reed Trevor Williams, and replied that Reed is a reliever and Williams is a starter.
That explanation would have held up if Williams hadn’t walked in just minutes after Reed, cleaning up Reed’s mess.
After the Mets scored two runs in the bottom of the 11th to reduce the deficit to 7-6, they had runners in the first and second places with two strikeouts.
It was then that Rojas sent Albert Almora Jr. until pinching against the Cardinals left-hander Kwang hyun kim instead of turning to Luis Guillorme.
Almora, who is hitting .115 / .148 / .173 this season (six hits in 52 batting appearances), was eliminated to end the game.
After the match, Rojas was asked why he opted for Almora over Guillorme, and said he wasn’t even considering using Guillorme there.
âAgainst a southpaw, not the right game,â Rojas said.
The problem with this reasoning?
Guillorme is hitting .276 with a .344 OBP in 33 home plate appearances this season against lefties.
Rojas’ explanation was one last puzzle in a night filled with them.