Terry Collins now hesitant to use Noah Syndergaard as a late inning reliever
All hands on deck has gone to almost all hands on deck ahead of game five.
Terry Collins said on Wednesday Noah Syndergaard was not only available in relief for the final game of the Division Series on Thursday, but could very well be used in a late-inning relief role to get the ball to Jeurys Familia if necessary.
But on Thursday, Collins had a change of heart, saying he’s concerned about putting Syndergaard in that situation, a role he’s never been in.
“He’s never pitched out of the bullpen,” Collins explained on Thursday. “Is it fair to him and fair to our club? Is it the most successful thing to do to put him in the eighth inning when he’s never had to experience it outside of the fact that he throws hard? And what’s it going to do if he fails for his psychological moving forward?”
“I take those into consideration when I make decisions,” Collins continued. “We’ve got to make the right decisions as we move forward.”
Syndergaard could conceivably be used if Jacob deGrom stumbles for a long relief role as well. Syndergaard is available on regular rest on Thursday, meaning he’s capable of giving the club at least two innings before his turn to hit comes up.
Meanwhile, Clippard thinks both Syndergaard and Matt Harvey could thrive in a late inning relief role in game five.
“When I think about Noah and Matt coming out of the bullpen, those guys have such great stuff, and the game is elevated and their adrenaline is elevated to see what potentially how their stuff could improve,” Clippard explained on Thursday. “A one-inning scenario could be potentially very exciting to watch.”
But the game plan, of course, if for deGrom to go deep into the game and for him to hand the ball to either Tyler Clippard, Addison Reed, or Jeurys Familia in the final third of the game.
But in the final game of a playoff series, when there is no tomorrow unless the team gets there, the manager must do whatever it takes to make tomorrow a reality.
And if that means Syndergaard or Harvey need to come in and get one big out a piece, then so be it.