Pitching in relief on Rafael Montero, Hansel Robles gave up a go-ahead home run during the eighth inning Monday night as the Mets lost, 4-2, to the Yankees.
Robles entered the game to pitch a scoreless, two-strikeout seventh inning. He returned the following inning, but immediately allowed a game-breaking home run to Aaron Hicks.
The majority of pitches thrown by Robles were either up or in the strike zone.
"If I can throw in, I'll throw in," Robles said, when asked if he's trying to throw more pitches inside. "I can only control so much."
Robles is a short reliever, there's no question about it. It's literally the only thing he's done well this season, which is to get one or two outs and move on. If he's proven anything this season it is that he cannot be counted on for more than a few batters, and he absolutely should not be pitching multiple innings, regardless of how good he looked earlier in the game. I can only hope the Mets and Collins are aware of this and are simply running him out there in games like this to test him and solidify what we already know to be true...
In the at-bat with Hicks, who took the first pitch with the bat on his shoulder, Robles left another pitch up over the plate that the batter turned on with such torque that the ball vanished in the blink of an eye. Hicks hit it like he knew the pitch was coming. And, that's the thing, he basically did know it was coming. Or, at least he was waiting for something like it, because he knows, I know, everyone knows, that Robles has been incapable of throwing back-to-back anything this season. The prior pitch was inside, so Hicks was sitting, waiting patiently with power for what was obviously going to be something in his wheelhouse.
Robles should be in spring training next year. But, he should not be considered a lock for next year's bullpen. To make the cut in 2018, he has to be charged with a specific short-term role and do well in it during games. Otherwise, I think he may be left behind...