Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Francisco, Mets fans sweat in ninth
By Adam Rubin
Frank Francisco said he felt like he was in control the whole time -- even though he walked two batters, the latter forcing in a run, and had to strand the bases loaded in the ninth to close out a 4-3 win against the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday.
"Did I look nervous?" Francisco asked with a laugh after coaxing a groundout from Brian Roberts to second base to secure the series sweep.
Slightly more seriously, Francisco added: "I was sweating like crazy. It was hot out there. I think I got tired a little bit."
Terry Collins said he was sticking with his closer no matter what -- at least until the tying run scored, at which point he would have brought in Miguel Batista.
Collins entered the day resolved to get Francisco work since the closer had not appeared in three days -- although Collins would have backed off using Francisco if Dillon Gee had remained in the game and would have been bidding for a shutout in the ninth.
"Well, he's my closer," Collins said. "And, actually, he's been throwing great. Cripes, he hit 97 mph today and made some good pitches. (Wilson) Betemit's at-bats is what got the pitch count up. I don't know how many pitches he threw, but I thought Frank was throwing really good. He had to be out there. He hasn't been out there very much, and he needs to work."