For the second time this season, Francisco Rodriguez lost a game on an embarrassing error by his infield. But while the Castillo game was the nightmare ending of the year, if not the decade (I can still hear Squawker Lisa laughing), Wednesday night's debacle had more of those special features that have made this season such a nightmare:
- The starting pitcher was poor Bobby Parnell, who remains in the rotation even though he has consistently shown that he belongs back in the bullpen.
- The Mets got 16 hits, but only scored five runs.
- Daniel Murphy allowed the winning rally to start by letting a ball go by him down the line - even though he was guarding the line.
Just three days ago, when the Mets were eliminated, I noted that it was appropriate that the game featured an injury and a baserunning blunder. And then I wrote:
It might have been nice to throw in cringeworthy fielding play for old times' sake, but the fielding has actually been less of a problem since the first half of the season. Moving Daniel Murphy to first was a big part of that.Oops!
With two outs and the winning run on second (and a runner on first), the Braves' Ryan Church, playing the role of Mookie Wilson, hits a grounder to first baseman Murphy. Since Daniel has already let the earlier ball go by him down the line, he mixes it up and boots this one up in the air.
The lead runner is rounding third, but if Murphy can just grab the ball when it comes down, he might be able to prevent the winning run for scoring.
Instead, the ball bounces off Murphy's glove a la the Castillo play and the winning run scores. Murphy should have gotten two errors on the play, but was only charged for one, his unlucky thirteenth error of the year.
Like most Met fans, I like Daniel Murphy and continue to root for him, but when you make what could have been three errors in the ninth and you are only hitting .258 with a .711 OPS, you might be part of the problem more than the solution.