New York Mets Doomed by Sloppy Play and Mental Miscues in Series Opener

Craig TurnerCorrespondent IMay 19, 2009

Things could be better for the New York Mets, limping into a three game set with the  best team  in the National League, the Los Angeles Dodgers

Carlo Delgado will undergo hip surgery to repair a  labrum tear in his right hip.  A thumb injury has landed Alex Cora on the 15-day DL and Jose Reyes is still out with calf trouble, but will be in the line-up on Tuesday. 

Injuries happen over a 162 game season.  But the Mets mental lapses during Monday's contest is unacceptable.

Physical errors are going to happen in baseball.  Especially with players out of position and some getting spot starts due to injured starters.

Where was Ryan Church's brain in the 11th?  

Church was picked-off by catcher Russell Martin' snap throw, but the umpire missed the call. 

Church didn't even slide back into first during the pick-off play.  This is upsetting to any coach or manager, at any level of play. 

All of this leading up to his big blunder of the game later in the inning with Angel Pagan at the plate with two outs. 

Pagan smacked his 4th hit of the night into the gap in right center.  Church would score easily with two out, going on contact.  Rounding third, Church would miss the base and continue to slide into home. 

The Dodgers appealed the play and Church was called out for missing the bag.  For someone that plays a solid nine innings, day-in and day-out, Ryan Church was the butt-end of a few mental brain freezes on this Monday night in LA.

With Church batting .276 and showing no power with only one home run in 116 at bats, don't be surprised to see Angel Pagan in the line up more. 

Pagan, finally healthy again after an injury during the Spring, has shown that he can hit and adds another speedster to the Mets line up. 

With the way the Mets have been aggressive on the base paths this season, I can see manager Jerry Manuel opting to play Pagan over Church.

Pagan did have a mistake of his own during that dreadful 11th inning, giving Carlos Beltran control too late on a lazy fly to left center, but that type of mistake corrects itself with more playing time. 

"Those are the things that can happen when people aren't accustomed to playing their positions," Manuel said, blaming the loss mainly on Church's missed base.

The Mets look to rebound tomorrow in LA with John Maine facing Dodger ace Chad Billingsley. 

Let's see if Pagan is in the starting lineup.

Game Notes: 


-Five errors

-Tim Redding threw six innings, allowing two earned and only two hits. 

-The bullpen was solid, once again.  4.1 innings, 0 earned runs.

-David Wright continues his hot hitting going 2-3, with two doubles and walking twice.

-Angel Pagan goes 4-6 in his first start of the season.

-Luis Castillo and Fernando Tatis both continue to slump going a combined 0-10 and leaving 11 left on base.


-Orlando Hudson stays hot going 2-5 with an RBI

-Randy Wolf continues to be a great sign for LA going 7.2 innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out two.