New York Mets manager Terry Collins has said that he is to blame for the ninth-inning collapse which saw the Mets lose Game 5 of the World Series.
The Kansas City Royals claimed the World Series 4-1 after defeating the Mets 7-2 at Citi Field on Sunday.
The Mets held a 2-0 lead heading into the ninth inning, with Matt Harvey having pitched eight scoreless innings. Collins had planned to replace Harvey with closer Jeurys Familia for the ninth inning, but after Harvey pleaded his case Collins stuck with his starter.
The move backfired, with Harvey allowing a leadoff walk to Lorenzo Cain, and a stolen base before an RBI double from Eric Hosmer. Familia then entered the fray, but for the third time in the World Series he was unable to close out the game.
"He just came over and said, 'I want this game. I want it bad. You've got to leave me in,'" Collins said of his discussion with Harvey. "I said, 'Matt, you've got us exactly where we wanted to get.' He said, 'I want this game in the worst way.'
"So, obviously, I let my heart get in the way of my gut. I love my players. And I trust them. And so I said, 'Go get 'em out.'"
Collins added: "If you're going to let him just face one guy, you shouldn't have sent him out there. When the double [was] hit, that's when I said, 'I've got to see if we can get out of this with only one run.' And it didn't work. It was my fault."
Harvey explained that he has felt strong heading into the ninth and refused to blame Collins for how the game unfolded.
"I would ask for the ball every time," Harvey said. "Going into the ninth, I felt great. I felt like my mechanics, everything was right where I wanted it to be. As a competitor and as a person, I always want the ball. That's what I've said all year long. In this situation, I wanted the ball. Unfortunately, it didn't work out."
He added: "I think there's a lot of fingers to point at. I wanted the ball. In that situation, I did everything I could to go back out there."