On Saturday, New York Mets manager Terry Collins is set to manage his 1,013th game with the team, breaking a Mets franchise record for games in charge.
But maybe he shouldn’t make it that far.
Call it pre-emptive, call it panic, call it whatever you want, but it’s time for the Mets to take a good, hard look at the man leading their team in the dugout.
Collins has constantly mismanaged the Mets over the past six years, with the latest example coming on Sunday against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Up 8-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, starter Jacob deGrom was yanked after allowing a leadoff single to Domingo Santana on what was his 107th pitch.
In came lefty Jerry Blevins, who immediately surrendered a home run to make it 8-5 before walking Eric Thames. Fernando Salas allowed another run on a Jesus Aguilar double before the inning ended.
The Mets continued to provide some support for the bullpen, but every move Collins made was the wrong one.
Salas put two men on before Josh Edgin hit another to load the bases. So with one out in the eighth, Collins called upon his impromptu closer Addison Reed to attempt a five-out save opportunity.
Reed is filling in for Jeurys Familia, who underwent surgery to remove an arterial clot on Friday and will be sidelined for three to four months.
It didn’t go well.
After allowing a two-run single to Hernan Perez, Reed gave up a three-run home run to Manny Pina to give the Brewers an 11-9 lead that they would close out in the top of the ninth.
It was an improbable comeback, to say the least. Entering Sunday, MLB teams that were trailing by five or more runs entering the seventh inning or later were 29-3,389 over the last five seasons.
That’s a .008 winning percentage.
That’s a fireable offense for most other MLB managers on struggling teams.
But not the Mets.
Entering Monday night’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at 16-20, the Mets have been an utter disaster for a team that was expected to make a deep playoff run this season.
Obviously, injuries have played a part in all this. The Mets currently have nine players sidelined or on the disabled list and all of them are high-impact contributors.
That can’t be the team’s scapegoat year after year, though. Injuries decimated the Mets last year and are a part of every team’s season, albeit not to this extent.
It’s up to the manager to work with what he has — and there is still plenty of talent available on this team — and ensure that they can at least close out games in which they are up five runs with six innings played.
That doesn’t mean general manager Sandy Alderson is exempt from criticism for not preparing for a possible repeat of 2016. However, when it comes down to in-game decisions and the handling of his pitchers, the hot seat beneath Collins should be scalding right now.