WASHINGTON -- New York Mets manager Terry Collins took responsibility for Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the Washington Nationals. Without prodding, Collins indicated he should have stalled long enough for Jeurys Familia to warm up rather than allow Bobby Parnell to continue pitching in the eighth inning once the tying run reached base.
After inheriting a two-run lead, Parnell struck out Wilson Ramos to begin the eighth. He then walked Ian Desmond and surrendered a single to Matt den Dekker. Pinch hitter Tyler Moore had a hard lineout to left-center for the second out. But Parnell then issued a wild pitch that allowed Desmond to advance to third base and den Dekker to advance to second. Michael Taylor followed with a game-tying two-run single and Danny Espinosa contributed the decisive RBI double.
In retrospect, Collins said, Familia should have been inserted to face Taylor.
Familia only started warming once den Dekker reached base.
The loss was incredibly costly for the Mets. Instead of trailing the Nats by a game, the Amazin's are now three back in the NL East as they board a train back to New York for a four-game series against the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field.
"That's all on me. It's not on Bobby. He's been throwing the ball great," Collins said.
The manager added: "I could have let Jeurys get looser. I could have delayed the game a little bit and let him get loose."
Said Parnell: "Just poor timing for a bad day on my part. These guys did everything they were supposed to. I just didn't do my part. It's totally on me."
Parnell was charged with three runs. Before the implosion, he had allowed only one run in 12 1/3 innings since returning from Tommy John surgery.
"He was fine," Collins said. "He threw 95 [mph] again today. He looked great. He made some good pitches. When we got Moore out, I said, 'You know? We'll let him have this guy [Taylor]. If he gets on, I'll go to Jeurys.' The ball in the dirt [for the wild pitch] all of a sudden changed that. That's my fault. I didn't think Jeurys was quite ready. ... I could have delayed it. You know, you could always send the catcher out and do some other things. I could have had Jeurys ready in plenty of time. That's my fault. [Parnell] has just been pitching so good, I had all the confidence in the world we'd get out of it. It's a huge loss for us."