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There are moments that will be forgotten from the 2015 World Series.

It will be forgotten that with two outs, Juan Lagares grinded out an excellent nine-pitch single in the eighth inning of Game 1 and came around to score the go-ahead run.

It will be forgotten that Michael Conforto cranked a pair of home runs in Game 4 or that a 42-year-old Bartolo Colon came out of the bullpen in that same game and won a grueling 10-pitch at bat against Salvador Perez to bail the Mets out of a bases-loaded jam.

It will be forgotten that Eric Hosmer had just as awful a defensive series as Daniel Murphy did. His error in the eighth inning of Game 1 allowed the Mets to take the lead and a similar error in Game 5 allowed the Mets to tack on a critical second run in the sixth inning.

Moments like these will be forgotten because of the furious comebacks that the Royals pulled off throughout the series.

The moment we won’t forget for a long time is Matt Harvey pleading his case to Terry Collins to leave him in the game and the subsequent decision made by Collins to let his starting pitcher start the ninth inning. We’ll all remember that because of what transpired in the aftermath of that moment.

If Harvey retires the side in order in the ninth or Jeurys Familia bails him out, then maybe we forget about the pitching change Collins did or didn’t make. If the Mets blow the game open against Edinson Volquez in the sixth inning, then it’s Yost, not Collins, getting crushed for leaving his starting pitcher in for too long. It turns out that the managerial decisions that go down in history are the ones followed by the big hit in extra innings or the ball that rolls under the glove or the throw that gets airmailed to the backstop.

No one is going to write columns about Yost leaving Volquez in the sixth inning of a one-run game for too long, even though at the time it became increasingly apparent that his starting pitcher had no business being on the mound. Volquez’s command had wavered during the past inning or two and Kelvin Herrera was hot up in the bullpen. Yost should probably have pulled Volquez before he had even gotten himself into a bases-loaded jam. Then he let him face Cespedes. Then he let him face Duda. Then he let him face d’Arnaud. The Royals were lucky to only be down 2-0. But no one will remember that.

Just like how no one will remember that a day after Yost aggressively (and appropriately) got Kendrys Morales in to pinch-hit in the fifth inning of Game Four, he nearly didn’t get his best bench bat into the game. The furious comeback against Harvey and Familia is the only reason Morales even got the chance to hit in extra innings.

Yost had a clear opportunity to get Morales into the game in the seventh inning, with a runner on first, two outs, and Alex Rios up. He double-switched Rios out of the game immediately after his starting right fielder grounded out to third (Paulo Orlando replaced Rios and led off the next inning). If he was going to pull Rios from the game anyway, why not let the far superior hitter represent the tying run? He clearly wasn’t saving him for a higher-leverage situation. (You could easily make the case Morales should have hit instead of Salvador Perez with the tying run at third and one out in the ninth.)

The theme of forgotten moments extends to Collins too, as hard as that might be to believe. As much as he’ll get roasted for not bringing Familia in quick enough, he would be catching even more flak had Yoenis Cespedes hit the ball on the ground during that that critical sixth inning. His decision to leave Cespedes in the game after fouling Volquez’s 0-1 offering off his kneecap and hobbling off the field moments later is overshadowed by the fateful ninth inning, but it also could have been a much bigger deal.

Cespedes is no doubt a competitor, a gamer, a professional baseball player—whatever clichéd term you want to attach to him. We know he’s not scared of anything. Not even death. We know he’s been playing banged up. Which is why, he, perhaps more than anyone, should have been asked to show he had two functioning legs before being left in to finish out such a key at bat. If he had been asked to, say, run down to first before stepping back in the box, the Mets might have watched him do something like this.

Bringing Lagares or Kelly Johnson in cold and already in a 0-2 hole is a lot to ask for; the result likely wouldn’t have been any better. But they also would have been able to run out a ground ball, a task Cespedes clearly wasn’t in any position to do. A ground ball fielded by a Royals infielder would have been an automatic double play. Leaving Cespedes in was questionable at best and irresponsible at worst. In a way, Collins and the Mets were lucky that he popped out with the bases loaded. It was a tactical decision that—like Yost’s—would have been picked apart even further had things played out differently.

So yes, Ned Yost outmanaged Terry Collins in Game 5, just as he did the entire series. But the Mets also tallied just four hits in the 12-inning affair (and only three through the first nine innings) and committed the type of defensive gaffes that have haunted them throughout the entire series. That’s the bigger reason the Royals spent Sunday night celebrating their first World Series championship since 1985.

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ezrawise
11/02
I personally will never forget Drew Butera's half inning of defensive mastery.
mattstupp
11/02
There were a number of events that didn't break the Mets way that I choose not to second-guess Collins on because I don't believe there was a clear right/wrong choice. However, it perplexed me (and I haven't seen/heard other mention it) that Sean Gilmartin was mothballed for the entirety of the playoffs. By most measurements, Gilmartin was the Mets' SECOND BEST reliever this year. Better than Clippard, better than Reed. In a series in which the Mets' bullpen cost them three games, his absence looms especially large, though no one seems to notice. I wonder how things might have played out had he been used in some key moments. If this seems inconsequential, think of the flip-side: how might things have gone differently if the Royals didn't use THEIR setup man, Herrera, in key spots?
seanqueue
11/02
Even if Collins didn't want to use him in high leverage situations, why not have him throw two innings of mop-up with a 6-run lead in Game 3? If you cannot trust a pitcher in that situation, he really has no business being on your roster in the first place.
mattstupp
11/02
Good point. Where on earth did the apparent distrust of Gilmartin come from? And if there was distrust, he was the guy to use in the blowout. Terry's use of Familia in Game 3 may have impacted his use/performance in Game 4.
oldbopper
11/02
When I saw Familia on the mound in the 9th inning of Game 3 the feeling came over me that this questionable use of this excellent pitcher would, in some way, impact the rest of the series and it did, in a big way! Collins admitted that he was hesitant to use Familia for a 2 inning save because of that.
Robotey
11/03
ACtually, Gilmartin did pitch against the Dodgers and gave up 3 runs and 4 hits to 4 batters faced
mattstupp
11/04
Gilmartin did not face the Dodgers at all. In fact, he was not even on the NLDS roster. I believe you're thinking of Eric Goeddel, whom Gilmartin replaced on the roster to start the NLCS.
DDriesen
11/02
Collins mismanaged this Series start to finish. Maybe you ask Cespedes to run up and down the line once to see that he can't even walk it and pull him? Maybe instead of amping up Harvey even more by sending Warthen to tell him that he was not pitching the 9th (a decision that he had to know would be fought and from which he would back down), maybe Collins pulls Harvey aside and says - "forget the cheering and the moment, just go out there and focus, but if ANYONE gets on, I have to pull you."? Nope, just like deGrom in Game 2 and Matz in Game 4, Terry sticks too long with "his guy" when they are not hitting the mark and the bullpen should be summoned in a ridiculously close, high leverage situation. Add in a healthy does of Cespedes impersonating Puig and the other errors and you have the unfortunate bitter after-taste to an otherwise remarkable season.
ndparks
11/02
Personally, with Harvey at 102 pitches (and probably a really angry agent) I wouldn't have sent him out there. However, I am shocked that the discussion wasn't "Ok, but first runner on and you're done." He was around 110 pitches after the first batter, and with how they have been babying his arm, it was pretty clear he was gassed. Even more surprising is he left Harvey in to face a lefty after the walk. I just don't know if Collins froze or what, but leaving him in after the walk made no sense given the pitch count. Not that pitch count is everything, but considering what great pains they had taken over the last 3 months to limit him, I'm just really surprised all that went out the window. Especially since they had their full compliment of relievers ready, even though it was day 3 of 3 straight games with the off day Monday had the series extended. Leaving him in to start the 9th was not necessarily the wrong call, but leaving him in after the leadoff walk was really puzzling.
bigbob50
11/02
Ned, should not be knocked for anything he did. Most of you have not watched the Royals all season. We rarely pinch hit and Ned is extremely loyal to his players. That's why they perform for him so well. For example Rios has had a tough year, but Ned stayed with him and he has been very big in the postseason. Players know he has their back. He stayed with Volquez because he knew what the game meant to him with 6 innings pitched with 2 hits and one earned run ain't too bad.Ned uses his strengths like a master. Our bullpen was used pretty good last night wasnt it? 6 innings with no runs and 2 hits. Our advanced scouting reports are second to none and helped us very much for specific situations. And no player would complain if they are pulled for any reason like Harvey. It would not have happened because his players respect him. Quite honestly I think Ned would have pulled Cespedes after he fouled off the pitch on his knee and somebody else would have batted because it give the team a better chance to win. All this said I respect the Mets and their starting pitching and think they will be back in the near future
JohnnyT
11/02
too many people, including here, over analyze every stinkin moment even the 3 announcers should shut up for a bit and just let people watch the game of baseball baseball doesn't have to be explained every 2 seconds Collins is a solid manager and thank god we didn't have Matt Williams bottom line they didn't hit in last 2 games against Chris Young you have to get 5-6 runs period they had 4 hits 2 of them solo shots and they let pitchers off the ropes as well didn't hit in clutch with runners in scoring position so all the other stuff is magnified somewhat as a met fan since their inception the summer and fall gave unexpected thrilling moments against Nationals LA and Cubs teams all with solid SP's they have a galvanized clubhouse if they can sign at least 3 of those 5 young pitchers to long term deals its a foundation wont be able keep everyone invest in those guys .. also Conforto D'Arnaud Duda are good young guys would love to see Harper or Trout at Citi Field in 2 years but Yankees will throw insane money I love Baseball Prospectus ..
deepblue64
11/04
If Collins is a solid Manager I'd hate to see what you think a weak one looks like!
JohnnyT
11/02
wish that Blevins and Mejia were available those 2 would have been upgrade for sure oh well future is good I hope
fbraconi
11/02
One relatively small managerial (non) decision puzzled me. By Game 5, the Royals were running at will-- including Hosmer in the 11th and Dyson in the 12th. Why didn't the Mets pitch-out a few times during the series to curtail that? To every strategy there's a counter-strategy....
elljay
11/03
Grady Little moment for Yost in the 6th letting Volquez continue after loading the bases. Refusing to use the best pen in MLB in that situation just is a terrible decision regardless of the outcome. If crippled Cespedes hits a grounder to 3B, it's the easiest triple play in history - he can't even hobble, never mind run. Collins HAS to let Familia start the 9th - If your closer can't finish, you have zero chance in the series anyway. The Royals were great. The Mets had a terrific run and lost to a better team. Love baseball....
shmage
11/03
One managerial decision not made, because in the history of baseball it probably never has been made despite being totally obvious: to call for an INTENTIONAL BALK. This was the situation in the 9th: Mets up 2-0, Gordon has just stolen second, and there is one strike on Hosmer. A runner on second always puts additional pressure on the pitcher even if his run is meaningless, because on every pitch the battery has to guard against its signs being stolen, and also because pitchers have the incurable habit of taking their eyes off the batter to look at the secondbase runner. Since there is zero chance of a legitimate double play, and since the run is meaningless, there is no possible reason to leave the runner on second. The only reasonable strategy therefor is to balk him to third (and if he might be distracting at third balk him again to the dugout). If Collins had ordered those plays, and then brought Familia in for a clean one-run save, They would be playing ball in KC tonight!