Sunday, April 29, 2012
Bullpen blasted, but TC has faith
The Mets bullpen was charged with 18 runs (17 earned) in 11 innings during the three-game series in Colorado, but Terry Collins largely was dismissive of the results because it occurred in high-altitude Denver.
“Not here,” Collins said. “If we started getting banged around at Citi Field I might have some concerns. This place? … This is a tough place to pitch. You ERAs are not going to be very low in this park.”
Collins went on to praise the pre-weekend contributions of Manny Acosta, Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco.
Acosta combined with Chris Schwinden in the 11-run inning Friday night. Rauch loaded the bases Sunday, which set up Todd Helton's grand slam off Tim Byrdak on Sunday. And then Francisco blew his first save as a Met in the 10th by surrendering a solo homer to Carlos Gonzalez. It was Francisco's first blown save in six tries, although he also has allowed runs in five of his past six appearances.
"It's not only that the ball flies here. It's everything, like it's hard to breath. It's awful," Francisco said. "But, you know, you've got to deal with that."
Rauch confirmed disappointment in not getting a 2-2 strike call against Michael Cuddyer. He eventually walked his former Twins teammate to load the bases and set up the Helton-Byrdak matchup. Rauch was charged with his first three runs of the season after tossing 10 straight scoreless innings to begin his Mets career.
"I just rushed through on my mechanics and wasn't locating pitches today," Rauch said. "It costs us."
As for his discontent, Rauch added: "It was the 2-2 fastball to Cuddyer that I was a little visibly upset about. But it happens. It's part of the game. And I shouldn't have let it affect my other pitches."