Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Bullpen letdown costs Mets rubber game
By Adam Rubin
Bobby Parnell surrendered a game-tying two-run homer to pinch-hitter Carlos Ruiz in the seventh and Ramon Ramirez served up a three-run homer to Jimmy Rollins in the ninth as the Mets lost to the Phillies, 10-6, Wednesday. Overall, the bullpen was charged with eight earned runs, upping its major league-worst ERA to 5.45.
"I've been throwing some good curveballs," Parnell said. "Unfortunately I hung that one. ... That's really, as far back as I can think, the only one I've really hung and got beat on. I'm going to keep throwing it. Maybe set it up a little bit better. Instead of throwing a fastball down and away for a ball, maybe do something else different."
Terry Collins had pulled starter Dillon Gee after 6 2/3 innings with his pitch count at 110 and the Mets leading, 3-1, to set up the ill-fated matchup between Parnell and Ruiz.
"That was the guy we knew was sitting over there," Collins said. "We had the matchup we wanted. We had Bobby ready for him. Bobby was going to face him no matter when he came in."
Parnell and Jon Rauch worked for a third straight night. Collins suggested the workload may have caught up a little with those two relievers. Rauch surrendered the tiebreaking run in the eighth.
As for Ramirez, Collins said: "When you're around a guy for the first time, you can only examine what you're watching. He's got good stuff. But today, the changeup to Jimmy Rollins was up instead of down. Instead of getting a groundball, you get a ball that goes in the upper deck."
• On a positive note, Lucas Duda produced the first two homers against left-handed pitchers of his major league career -- off Cliff Lee in the sixth and then against ex-Met Raul Valdes in the ninth. Duda had gone 138 career at-bats against southpaws without a long ball.
"Obviously Cliff Lee is an outstanding pitcher," Duda said. "It's just one of those things. I swung at the first fastball that I saw, and I connected and it went out."
Said Collins: "If we get him going, our lineup is going to change immensely."
Duda went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and snapped an 0-for-16 skid.
• The Mets said they definitely can use Thursday's off-day after playing 20 straight days. "I think we caught a little bit of that fatigue," Duda said. "I think that day off is going to help us a lot."
• Josh Thole, after the paperwork delay, ended up getting an eighth-inning at-bat in Triple-A Buffalo's game. He grounded out. Thole is due to catch Chris Young in Thursday's 10:35 a.m. Bisons game.