The New York Mets are Getting Sloppy

Hot Stove New YorkSenior Writer IMay 14, 2009

NEW YORK - MAY 12:  Jose Reyes #7 of the New York Mets steals second base in the tenth inning ahead of the tag from Yunel Escobar #19 of the Atlanta Braves on May 12, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Braves 4-3 in ten innings.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

The Mets lost two out of three to the Braves, which isn’t a complete disaster, but the games were filled with baserunning blunders, fielding miscues and all around sloppy play. The good news is that they’re showing they have some fight in them by coming from behind the last two games (but falling short yesterday). But we’ll start with the bad news.

The whole team has turned into Marvelous Marv Throneberry on the bases and in the field. On Monday night, it was David Wright and Jose Reyes making key errors that led to the loss, and Daniel Murphy missed the cutoff man allowing runners to move up into scoring position.

On Tuesday, Alex Cora was forced out on a “single” to left, Reyes was thrown out by 20 feet trying to stretch a double into a triple (though replays showed he was actually safe—so if they ump blew the call on Carlos Beltran’s stolen base in the 10th inning, it all evened out; or maybe it was the Mets who were owed by the baseball gods for all those bad calls in the Phillies series, right Chipper?) and Fernando Tatis was picked off first.

On Wednesday, Reyes was at it again, getting thrown out at third trying to advance on a groundball to short and then happy-assing his way around the bases on his 12th-inning double.  And Wright made another costly error.

At least all this is fixable. We hope. Jerry Manuel says, “We are going to have to pay close attention to those things. In order to be a good team and a speed team, you need to be aggressive but you have to play smart. And we’re not playing very smart at this point.” Well, they better smarten up fast. And does anybody on the team know how to slide?

Beltran cost the Mets a game when he didn’t slide, Carlos Delgado injured himself by sliding and may now have to go on the DL and Wright was thrown out at home this week on a sacrifice fly by trying that slide-around-the-plate thing that’s all the rage.

If he would have slid right into home, spikes first, he may have jarred the ball or glove loose and could have even taken Brian McCann’s arm off for good measure. That’s the way you do it. Can the Mets ever take out a catcher or slide hard into a base?

The good news is the team is coming from behind and not meekly finishing out games. They don’t fall apart at the first sign of adversity anymore. But if they keep playing the game like Marvelous Marv, they’re going to start losing a lot. And they don’t have time to go back to spring training and learn the basic fundamentals of the game.