Nelson Figueroa had pitched six solid innings and hadn't yet breached the mythical 100-pitch mark, but was leading off in the bottom of the sixth in a 2-1 game. The temptation to pinch-hit for the pitcher must've been high, but Willie made the smart choice by letting Figueroa bat there. At that point the Mets had four more chances to tie the game and a starting pitcher who was cruising; it made all the sense in the world to give him the at-bat and see how deep into the game he could go.
RESULT: Figueroa did not reach base, but gave the Mets one more effective inning.
Then, of course, Willie forgot to double-switch after the seventh inning. Luis Castillo left two runners on and Aaron Heilman was set to pitch the eighth. Willie could've double switched by bringing Brian Schneider in to catch or Endy Chavez in to play left field. Carlos Beltran was available as well; as far as I know he's not injured and this is just a routine night off. (EDIT: Beltran has a stiff neck.) Wilie did nothing and simply left Heilman in the #9 spot in the order.
It took Aaron just 11 pitches to go through the eighth and would've been available to at least start the ninth had the Willie double switched and the Mets not scored. But Willie blew it again and Heilman had to be pinch-hit for; Marlon Anderson struck out to make Willie's failure complete.
At this point, I am convinced that Willie Randolph is intentionally refusing to double switch. He is inexplicably ignoring a unique and important National League strategy for maximizing reliever usage, employing pinch hitters at opportune times and for substituting defensive replacements. Marlon Anderson's presence on the roster becomes all the bothersome when you realize it becomes a crutch for Willie to continue to ignore double switching in order to use Anderson strictly as a pinch hitter.
RESULT: Anderson strikes out, but the Mets tie the game on a Carlos Delgado single. Heilman is forced to give way to Billy Wagner, even though three of the next four batters in the Nationals lineup are right-handed. Willie's failure to double-switch forces his closer to pitch to a series of guys who bash lefties:
Zimmerman - 1.103 OPS in 167 PA against lefties
Johnson - .938 OPS in 179 PA against lefties
Milledge - .956 OPS in 70 PA against lefties
Kearns - .883 OPS in 167 PA against lefties
Wagner gets the first two outs and sets up a wonderfully interesting at-bat with his former tormentee Lastings Milledge. I have to admit, I was absolutely rooting for a long, long home run by L-Millz there!! But Wagner gets the out and officially turns Willie's mistake into a mere footnote.
EDIT: Willie double-switched! It took waiting until the 11th inning and two unnecessarily short appearances from Heilman and Wagner, but Damion Easley has come on to play left, the pitcher slides into the #5 spot and Joe Smith is on to pitch. Of course, had Heilman pitched the ninth and Wagner the 10th ... oh, forget it, I guess I should be happy Willie even grasps the concept.