After a stellar outing by Mets ace Matt Harvey yesterday, the New York Mets and their fans looked to Jonathan Niese to beat the New York Yankees in the rubber game of the Subway Series. They would never see that happen.
Despite starting the game 2-0 on a Curtis Granderson home run and Juan Lagares scoring on a Daniel Murphy double to right field, the Mets could not recapture the lead. The Yankees answered with a home run from Alex Rodriguez in the bottom of the first. In the bottom of the second, the Yankees would score four more runs all with two outs in the inning.
The Mets tried to rally back with a Michael Cuddyer double to Brett Gardner and scoring Lucas Duda. Adding their fourth and last run on a double by Murphy to bring in Cuddyer. That would be all of the offensive scoring this team would muster against the Yankees pitching staff.
The Yankees would make it 6-4 in the bottom of the fifth. After that, both teams were shut down by their bullpens.
In my honest opinion, I truly believe the Mets beat themselves with sloppy defense. This team that had an 11-game winning streak going into Friday’s game, looked lost in the infield. Four errors, courtesy of Wilmer Flores, Eric Campbell, Murphy and Cuddyer, lead to two unearned runs against Niese. These errors were the turning point in this game.
One of the biggest mistakes made was by Campbell in his baserunning. In the sixth inning, it seemed he lost track of just how many outs there were. Thinking there were two outs, Campbell was doubled off when Flores hit a fly ball to Carlos Beltran in right field. When asked about his third baseman’s baserunning error, Mets manager Terry Collins told reporters after the game:
“It was a bonehead play. We made a lot of mistakes. That was just one of them.’’
Collins also added:
“In a game like this, you can’t make those mistakes. It was just a bad night for us.”
The Yankees were not perfect either. They had their share of errors as well thanks to Chase Headley and Stephen Drew. Unfortunately, the most glaring errors were made by the Mets, who are being more scrutinized to see if they truly are the real deal.
From poor throwing to baserunning errors, these are the moments that make the fans question their players. As it is, Mets fans already doubt Murphy’s ability to field at second. While he was never known for his glove, the fans and the front office alike had hoped he could field at least half decently in order to keep his bat in the lineup. Despite his slow start at the plate, tonight he had two hits, two RBIs and a walk. Even though it seemed the second baseman was the only player able to hit at Citi Field last year, you have to wonder how long he will last with the organization. With Dilson Herrera tearing it up in the minors, it is only a matter of time before Murphy replaced by the prospect. Could it be this year? If so, how soon? Trading Murphy does not seem like an option considering he does not seem to have much value as of right now.
No matter what, if this New York Mets team indeed wants to claim they are ready for the long haul, are here to compete and are striving for the playoffs, mistakes like what was seen tonight cannot happen. There are still five more months of baseball. Anything can happen. It is still anybody’s season. The trade deadline is still three months away. It could tip the scales for any team within striking distance. The Mets need to stay on top of fundamental baseball at whatever the cost. There are players are in the minors just waiting for their opportunity to shine. Poor mistakes could result in a promotion for a prospect and a pink slip for a veteran.