Explain some of Luis Rojas ‘decisions in the Mets’ loss to the Padres
SAN DIEGO – The Mets ‘4-3 loss to the Padres on Thursday – the first in a four-game series between two of the National League’s top teams – was marked by the Mets’ missed offensive opportunities, early dominance by Yu Darvish and The Global Excellence of Fernando Tatis Jr ..
However, a series of decisions by manager Luis Rojas and his team impacted the game, ultimately not in favor of the Mets.
Here’s a closer look at three of them, along with a bonus explanation of a play on third base.
1. Decay with Blankenhorn?
The sleeve: Top of the ninth
The score: Padres in the lead, 4-3
The situation: No withdrawal, runners in the first and second
The game: Travis Blankenhorn vs. Mark Melancon
In the modern, analytic-driven world of baseball where the Sacrifice Bunting is unpopular, this seemed like a potential exception.
Blankenhorn, claimed on waiver from the Twins this week, was at home plate in a major league game for the seventh time in his life. He only played 10 games at Triple-A. The Mets acquired it due to injuries to several other players.
Rojas said the Mets weren’t considering having Blankenhorn Bunt – mostly because if it had gone well, it would have just meant having right-hander Kevin Pillar facing right-hander Melancon, a clash the Mets didn’t like. .
“He’s a kid who as far as we know is known for a bit of his power, especially against right-handed pitchers,” Rojas explained. “He had a really good score. He was pretty disciplined, throwing tough, brittle balls. And he ended up in a 3-and-1 and he was behind on a cutter.”
Blankenhorn sent a Grounder in third place. Manny Machado tagged frontman Tomas Nido.
Pillar then relied on double play to end the game.
2. Keep Pete in the game?
The sleeve: Bottom of the sixth
The score: Padres in the lead, 4-2
The situation: Alonso, a pinch hitter, grounded in a late-inning double play
The game: The Mets against the extremely effective padres
The Mets needed races. Perhaps their best hitter is Pete Alonso. Leaving him in the game would have meant at least one more player at bat.
But Alonso wasn’t in the lineup to start because the Mets wanted to give him a day off. He was on the injured list, skipped a rehab mission and played three full games in a row.
So that was part of the agreed easing process, Rojas said. Keeping Alonso in the game would have defeated the point.
“We hadn’t thought of him then and of ending the game, staying that long,” Rojas said. “His availability was probably to use him off the bench and probably at some point to make a double switch where he remains. But not to play all four innings.”
Instead, the Rojas reliever passed Jacob Barnes in the game. This allowed him to pitch two innings, helping to protect a worn bullpen.
This place in the roster led to the ninth inning. Pinch hitter Nido chose.
3. Hard blow for Walker?
The sleeve: Top of the fifth
The score: Padres lead, 3-0
The situation: Two strikeouts, runners in the corners
The game: Taijuan Walker vs. Darvish
The options were to let Walker fend for himself so the Mets could shoot him one more inning, or try to score using a real batter.
Rojas went with the former, for two reasons: the Mets were short in the pen (after a de facto match in the pen on Wednesday) and short on the bench (with Jonathan Villar unavailable due to strain on the boards. hamstrings).
“It was a really, really tough decision with the two-out situation,” Rojas admitted.
Walker hit a Grounder at 106 mph, but it turned into an out. Then he did indeed provide one more round (the Padres adding an unearned point).
Bonus: send McKinney home?
The sleeve: Top of eighth
The score: Padres in the lead, 4-3
The situation: Two outs, Billy McKinney approaches third base
The game: McKinney vs. first baseman Jake Cronenworth and wide receiver Victor Caratini
A strange ricochet in the right field meant that McKinney had at least a triple RBI. It could have been a home run inside the park. Third base coach Gary DiSarcina, fearful of finishing the round at home, stopped him at third.
Rojas said he still wanted the Mets to be aggressive on the bases, but he ultimately backed DiSarcina’s appeal.
“It’s a tough decision,” Rojas said. “Framing third base is hard work.
“A lot of times you want to try your luck because they always have to make a perfect home pitch and score. But I’m going to stick with my third base coach’s decision. I think he probably would’ve been out at the marble.”