Monday, June 25, 2012
Notebook: Batista, Tejada and rallying
Terry Collins didn't want to burn through relievers in a tied game, so he kept Miguel Batista in to face Robinson Cano in the eighth instead of bringing in lefty Tim Byrdak.
Cano hit a solo homer to put the Yankees ahead for good, 6-5.
"I should have brought (Byrdak) in," Collins said.
The Mets' bullpen is already compromised with Frank Francisco on the disabled list, so when Sunday night's matchup became a game of the bullpens, Collins looked to get deep into the game with his relievers. He brought Batista in on a double switch to get two innings out of the veteran, and Batista retired the side in order in the seventh to keep the game tied.
In the eighth, Collins had his decision to make. He didn't want to bring in Byrdak for a couple of batters and then have to go to a righty, burning through three relievers that early in a tied game. Cano made him pay for that decision with his home run, the second he hit against Batista in the series, as he also crushed a homer off him in Friday night's game.
Collins' decision could have been made easier if the Mets had a second left-hander in the bullpen, like the Yankees do, but not having one makes it critical for Collins to use Byrdak in the right spots. Sunday night, the manager waited too long and he had to watch as the Yankees took this edition of a Subway Series as Cano once against bested Batista.
"It's always nice (to have a second lefty) but they're not easy to come by," Collins said. "If you get one, and he's not effective, having him down there doesn't help."
RUBEN RETURNS: Ruben Tejada had a successful return to the Mets as he went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Tejada, who had been on the disabled list since May 7 with a right squad strain, had a sacrifice fly in the third inning to make it 4-1, and then tied the game at 5-5 with a RBI single in the sixth inning.
"I felt good out there," Tejada said. "I'm ready to keep working hard."
BATTLING BACK: The Mets trailed 4-0 and 5-1 against former Cy Young Award winner CC Sabathia, but were able to battle back to tie the game in the sixth. While they didn't finish the job, the Mets showed resilience and didn't go down without a fight against their rivals.
"I'm so proud of our guys. We scrapped and we fought. We can build off that," starter R.A. Dickey said.