Terry Collins: Mets 'absolutely' considered intentional BB for Mike Trout with bases loaded

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Monday, May 22, 2017

The New York Mets, facing the prospect of another late-inning bullpen meltdown, actually considered giving Mike Trout the Barry Bonds treatment.

Mets manager Terry Collins acknowledged that he "absolutely" thought about intentionally walking Trout with the bases loaded in the ninth inning of Saturday's game.

The Mets entered the inning with a five-run lead, but the Angels scored two runs and faced a 7-4 deficit with Trout coming to the plate with no outs and the bases loaded.

"The first thought is, I'd almost try to walk this guy [rather] than pitch to him," Collins told reporters.

Collins opted instead to let Mets closer Addison Reed pitch to Trout, who lofted a sacrifice fly. The Mets held on for a 7-5 victory after Reed worked out of another bases-loaded jam later in the ninth inning.

Collins, in explaining his thought process, cited the memorable managerial decision made in 1998 by the Diamondbacks' Buck Showalter, who ordered an intentional walk of Bonds with the bases loaded and Arizona clinging to a two-run lead.

"Those are the kind of situations where you look back at the time when Buck Showalter walked Bonds with the bases loaded rather than pitch to him," Collins said. "It was the same feeling -- 'I might want to walk, pitch around this guy, [rather] than give him a chance to hit.' But fortunately [Reed] made some good pitches."

The Diamondbacks held on in 1998 to defeat Bonds and the Giants. Then-Rays manager Joe Maddon made the same decision in 2008, when he intentionally walked Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton with the bases loaded and Tampa Bay holding a 7-3 lead.

Collins' consideration of the unconventional bases-loaded intentional walk to Trout, last year's American League MVP, may have been prompted by the recent woes of the Mets' bullpen as well.

New York relievers enter Sunday with a combined 5.10 ERA, the third-worst bullpen mark in the majors, and Mets star closer Jeurys Familia will miss several months after undergoing surgery to repair a blood clot in his shoulder.

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