After the Mets‘ frustrating 7-6 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, in which Buck Showalter was ejected from in the ninth inning, the manager explained his decision making that led to the bullpen’s eighth-inning meltdown.
Showalter discussed why he chose to pitch Jeff Brigham instead of David Robertson in the eighth, saying that it was the team’s only real option if Robertson was going to pitch the ninth had they held onto the lead.
“Because Robby couldn’t pitch two innings and we didn’t have anybody else to pitch,” Showalter said. “That was it, we were down to our last bullet. Didn’t want to use [Vinny] Nittoli. Didn’t have [Brooks] Raley or Otto [Adam Ottavino] today so we had to one up and in, it was pretty easy where we were.”
He added on the choice to not use Robertson: “Becuase we don’t have another pitcher, we only got ‘X’ amount of pitchers to pitch today. We don’t have anybody. That’s what it is… I can’t use Nittoli unless we get in that situation like we got in. He’s not equipped to pitch there. We have to have somebody long tomorrow, now we don’t.”
Reporters asked Showalter what it feels like being so close to taking two-out-of-three from the Phillies, but ultimately falling short and losing the series.
“Yeah it’s frustrating for the players and everybody,” Showalter said. “We shot every bullet we had just about. We were hoping to get Robby there, he pitched almost two innings yesterday. Otto pitched the equivalent of two yesterday. We scored some runs and we had the chance to open some things up, we didn’t.
“The hit by pitches and things. Brigham has had some good outings for us and it was tough for him today. We made a couple errors that cost us and we can’t come in and walk those two left-handed hitters either.”
Showalter went on to say “there’s better things ahead potentially” for the bullpen with Drew Smith scheduled to return from his 10-game suspension on Monday when the Mets begin their four-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers. He added that Raley was unavailable to pitch because the team is avoiding having relivers go “back-to-back-to-back.”
“We just don’t like the idea right now of going back-to-back-to-back, that’s really what you’re talking about,” Showalter said. “Raley, not going to go back-to-back-to-back. Physically he was unavailable, we’re not gonna pitch him today.
“We’re not gonna throw it on anybody, we gather all of the information about who can pitch and who can’t. Before the game they go out and some of them don’t even go out, they know they’re down that day. Like I said many times, you can’t pitch the same people every night. Physically they can’t do it.”
The manager was then asked if he could re-do the eighth, what would he have done differently?
“Like how? What else could we do?” Showalter responded. “That was kinda where we were. Was hoping, just like last night, we were trying to stretch every out we can with everybody we got. They’re capable of doing the job, they just didn’t do it today.”
New York will now head back home to Citi Field and face Brewers on Monday night, as Showalter and the Mets will look to get their first series win since sweeping the Phillies on June 1.
“If you wallow around in that, you can’t,” Showalter said. “Everybody can critique it and talk about this and that, could’ve been, should’ve been. But we have to move on to Milwaukee. Just like they put the first loss here behind them and got after the second game, they were behind yesterday and have a sticky, hot day, and competed and almost won today. People wonder how they can ever [move on], you have to, you do it, and that’s a part of the job description.”
Source: Yahoo Sports