TC doesn't second-guess loading bases

April, 12, 2014
Apr 12
3:13
AM ET
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Terry Collins offered no second-guessing of his strategy to walk two batters and load the bases with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning, after Raul Ibanez had reached third base.

Jeurys Familia, working his third inning of relief, subsequently plunked Hank Conger with a fastball to force in the winning run in the Angels' 5-4, 11-inning win.

The run snapped a 20.1-inning scoreless streak by Mets relievers.

It marked the first walk-off hit-by-pitch by a Mets pitcher since Scott Schoeneweis against the San Diego Padres on June 5, 2008. The Mets three times since then had lost on walk-off wild pitches (by Brandon Lyon, Pedro Beato, Fernando Nieve), twice on walk-off walks (Sean Green, Aaron Heilman ) and once on a walk-off balk (D.J. Carrasco).

"He pulled it across his body, and that's why it went there," catcher Travis d'Arnaud said about Familia's fateful pitch.

Collins still had closer Jose Valverde and John Lannan in his bullpen. But the manager said Valverde was being held back for a save situation. And Lannan, who has struggled mightily, was being held back for the long haul if Valverde had pitched with a lead and the Angels had somehow re-tied the score, according to Collins.

Familia had never tossed more than two innings in a big-league game as a reliever.

"Well, your options are pretty limited," Collins said about having a runner on third with one out. "You either play the infield in and then create a bunch of holes. Or you try to set up some force plays. It's the big leagues, and I know he's a young guy, but he actually has thrown the ball very well lately. I wasn't worried about him walking anybody. You've got to do what your supposed to do -- and that's get a force out at the plate -- and go down to the bottom of the lineup if you can. Conger hasn't played a lot. You play the cards."

As for having Familia pitch a third inning, Collins added: "Because that's all we've got. We have Valverde and Lannan. If you save Valverde for a save, if they happen to tie the game, you better have somebody behind him. And that's John Lannan. So that was all we had."

Collins went on to praise the bullpen's recent performance after it had allowed 14 runs (13 earned) in the season's first four games.

"They've done very well," Collins said. "But, you know, you go three nights in a row where your starters give you five, you're going to burn your bullpen out. They've done a great job. Jeurys did a good job tonight. You're not asking any guy like that to go out there for three innings. He went out there and did a nice job. We couldn't get him any runs."

Said Familia: "I felt all right."
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.295 8 42 62
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 19
RBIL. Duda 60
RD. Murphy 62
OPSL. Duda .864
WB. Colon 10
ERAJ. Niese 3.23
SOZ. Wheeler 125