ATLANTA -- Because of the All-Star break, Bobby Parnell had not pitched in a week. And Parnell said he was concerned about rustiness even before Saturday's game, so he sought to enlist help pregame by having a batter stand in while he threw, to try to replicate game action.
When he ultimately was summoned for a five-out save, Parnell failed to protect a two-run lead in the eighth. He allowed a pair of inherited runners to score, then surrendered a tiebreaking RBI single to Jason Heyward as well. Atlanta rallied for an 8-7 win at Turner Field as Parnell was charged with the loss, and his first blown save since taking over as interim closer.
New York Mets
"I didn't feel my best coming off that break, but it's just little adjustments," Parnell said. "I got groundballs. And, unfortunately, they didn't go where we wanted them. It's just little things. It's nothing big. Like I've said all year, I like to go every other day, every third day. Sometimes you get out of that rhythm. And that's what it was. I was just out of rhythm.
"In that situation, you hate to be that way. Even before the game, I asked somebody to stand in [while in the bullpen] to throw to hitters. But it's never the same. You can't replicate it. That one is on me. I tried to do everything I could to be ready for it, and I was just out of rhythm."
Said Terry Collins: "He had to go after them, and he tried to do the best he could. In that situation, you come in with two guys on, it's not like you're closing out a game and there's nobody on those bases. It's a little different situation."
Collins agreed that lacking Frank Francisco, who is on the DL with an oblique strain, necessitated asking for the five-out save. But, the manager added: "You pick each other up. Somebody has got to step up. Somebody has got to step up and make some pitches and get out of the inning. If you've got to go to Bobby, you've got to go to Bobby. But we didn't make any pitches before that instance, either. I'm not frustrated by Bobby Parnell's performance. You guys mistook that. Bobby Parnell made some good pitches."
Said Parnell: "I never panicked, or never felt like the momentum was slipping. Things didn't go the way they should have for us, but I felt in charge."
Collins said the moves after his ejection were made by the staff on the bench, and he did not contribute.