Close your eyes. Think of the current iteration of the New York Mets. What do you see? Probably injured pitchers. Maybe semi-baffling management decisions. Definitely losing. But if you’re not well-acquainted enough with the team to conjure up a mental image of these depressing concepts, do not worry; the Mets conveniently packaged all three together for you today. This afternoon’s walk-off loss to the Rockies showed the team as their truest, if not best, selves.
Reliever Hansel Robles was brought in for a tie game in the eighth inning. This, already, was something of a questionable decision for a fairly high-leverage moment, given that he’s been one of team’s weakest bullpen options this year—performing well below replacement level with an ERA north of 5.00. But Robles took the mound anyway, and for all of a few minutes, everything was fine. During the second batter of the inning, however, both Robles and catcher Travis d’Arnaud got hurt on the same pitch.
After an injury delay with a visit from trainer Ray Ramirez plus some warm-up throws, both remained in the game and got out of the inning without further incident. But Robles’s day was just getting started. He was brought back out for the ninth, even though he isn’t typically given the chance to record more than three outs.
He hit the first batter, Jonathan Lucroy, and watched him advance to second on a sac bunt. Manager Terry Collins then decided to intentionally walk Charlie Blackmon, only to watch Robles walk the bases full on the next batter. Now with a chance to make the very reasonable move of pulling his reliever—who had been doubled over in pain during the previous inning and was clearly struggling after loading the bases in the bottom of the ninth in a tie game—Collins apparently figured, eh, what’s the point, and just left him in.
Nolan Arenado was the next batter. Robles walked him. The Mets lost, 5-4.
Here’s a nice update about how Robles was feeling throughout that:
And exactly how numb was he during this inning in which he walked or hit three of the four batters he faced?
It remains to be seen whether he experienced any emotional numbness, too; for his sake, hopefully he did.