MIAMI -- Mets manager Terry Collins did not wait long to smooth things over with closer Bobby Parnell, who was irked that Collins did not use him with a one-run lead in the ninth inning of Tuesday's 2-1 loss to the Marlins.
"He just said, 'I was ready to pitch,'" Collins said. "I said, 'I know you were. That's why I love you. That's why I salute you. That's why you're the closer. But I'm not going to blow you out.'"
Collins' concern stemmed from the fact that Parnell had thrown three innings over the previous two days, which the manager said was "asking a lot of a closer." Collins was unwilling to risk a recurrence of the minor elbow pain Parnell has experienced in years past.
"I'm just not going to blow this guy out," Collins said. "He's had some elbow [problems] -- nothing serious, but a year ago we did this and his elbow came up sore for a while. So I'm not going to do that. It's too early."
Joking that Collins had probably never seen him mad before, Parnell said he understood the decision immediately, calling his anger a natural competitive reaction.
"I understand what he said completely, and I agree with it," Parnell said. "Sometimes you don't want to hear it, and sometimes you want to be out there. But I'm thankful for it, and I appreciate what he's doing."