Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Angel in the outfield, devils in the infield for Mets

You know you're in trouble when your best infielder is Carlos Beltran.

But say this about the Mets - despite having their lineup in a shambles, the Mets almost won this game.

And even after what might have been the bonehead play of the season, Ryan Church missing third base in the top of the eleventh when he appeared to score the go-ahead run, the Mets did not give up even when the game looked over.

Bases loaded, none out in a tie game in the bottom of the eleventh. An infield featuring Jeremy Reed at first, where he has hardly played, and 36-year-old Ramon Martinez fresh off the plane and installed at short, where he has already made two errors tonight. David Wright and Luis Castillo were in their usual spots, but they were joined by special guest star Carlos Beltran, installed on the right side to create a five-man infield.

And it almost worked. The Mets got one out, then a sharply-hit ball to Reed, who threw home in what could have been the start of a home-to-first double play. Except that Reed threw wildly past Ramon Castro at home and the Dodgers won.

The Mets made five errors, but most of them came from players new to the position or new to the team. Presumably Beltran and Angel Pagan will have better communication going forward and a ball won't drop between them as it did in that ill-fated eleventh, back when Beltran was still an outfielder.

But Church missing third - no excuse for that. And this on top of him not sliding back into first on a pickoff attempt when he could have been called out.

As brutal as the game turned out to be, there were some genuine bright spots. Tim Redding had a strong first start and Angel Pagan had four hits.

But the Mets have gone from a team alone in first to a team in crisis in just a couple of days. They took the field tonight with only three regulars who were in the starting lineup on Opening Day, along with a pitcher who was not in the rotation at that time.

This makeshift lineup is going to need to rely on good defense and smart play, not five errors and missing third base.


Wayne Wilentz said...

You are being far too charitable. The Pagan/Beltran gaffe on that flyball to Left-Center was unforgiveable. I stayed up till 2 watching that game, and I know I need to be charitable with Reed, but the rest of the errors were sickiningly Nationals' type flubs. This is not a championship team I watched last night. They need to make a move and deal for a solid 1st baseman.

Jon Lewin said...

I was charitable toward Ramon Martinez because he's not a major-league shortstop. But if Reyes doesn't come back real soon, the team is sunk.
And I agree on first base - they can't keep putting people there who have to borrow a first baseman's glove.

Anonymous said...

Aside from the obvious errors mentioned, let's not forget about the fielding deficiency's of ramon castro. how many times is that blockhead going to try to back-hand a ball in the dirt instead of using his body? can he learn how to block the plate? It was reed's bad throw, but is it too much to ask castro to get into position to receive a throw?

and what of jerry's errors? do we need to see jeremy reed play every night? what did murphy do to end up in the dog house with church? and prior to last night, why exactly is church in that dog house? and I know that I have defended the use of sheffield, but he doesn't need to play every day either, and if he is going to, put him behind wright.

I am not ready to hop off of the ledge yet, but I haven't liked what I have seen the last 2 games. tim redding gives you 6 innings and 2 runs you've got to win the game!

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