Cespedes was robbed and Mets manager helped in key loss

By Rich Mancuso/Sports Editor

Atlanta Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte had a game to remember Wednesday night at Citi Field. Robbing Yoenis Cespedes from a game winning home run in the ninth inning with two outs and two on became a devastating 4-3 loss for  the New York Mets.

And the loss also gave the Braves a three-game sweep of a series, and the Mets a loss that will be remembered this winter if they fail to get one of the two NL wild card spots.

But examine the moves made by manager Terry Collins with the September expanded rosters and going too much by the book of scouting reports.

You see, this is September. Collins and all managers in playoff contention have an ability to use an expanded roster, and at times those moves of lefty against the righthander have a tendency of imploding.

They imploded at Citi Field Wednesday night.

Before the game ending and winning catch, one that Inciarte said was a highlight of his career, Collins pulled Addison Reed off the mound for Josh Smoker in the eighth inning. It was one of those percentage moves made in a September pennant race for the wildcard, and it backfired because the hot Freddie Freeman got a single.

Then, Collins went with the closer for a five-out save. Jeurys Familia allowed the stolen base and a sacrifice fly. The run would score in the ninth inning and the Braves took their lead.

Before all of that, Inciarte also got the game tying run for the Braves in the eighth inning after reaching base on an error. But it was that game ending catch that placed the latest dagger on this Mets chase for a wild card spot in the postseason.

So Collins went with those scouting reports and it backfired. He sat the slumping Jay Bruce and hoped a pinch hit would help in the ninth. Bruce, got booed again and has become one of those ugly trades of a newcomer who can’t adapt to new surroundings.

Collins goes righty-lefty in the eighth and ninth innings. Jose Reyes is removed and Juan Lagares, with limited playing time, since coming off the disabled list, had no impact.  The scorecard at the end of this ugly aftermath for the Mets made a scratch off game look decent.

But the Mets could not get the win. A loss like this could mean the difference of going on in October, and this case with 10-games remaining the Mets need to ride a big winning streak. If not, they will go home for the winter.

And  the manager who always defends the moves, well, Collins won’t blame the expanded roster format of September that made his thinking so much different from a game in April. He goes with the percentages and the scouting reports, and depends on that more because there are more players on the bench and in the bullpen.

But managing in September is not like April. This is a pennant race for one of the two wildcards that the Mets, Giants and Cardinals will battle for, and  that probably will go down to the final day.

So, Collins went with September.and the Mets had this game. But  they came up short which leads one to question, how much this game has changed?

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