Mets Problems: Leave Too Many Men On and Untimely Errors

Wendy AdairAnalyst IJune 11, 2009

NEW YORK - JUNE 10:  David Wright #5 of the New York Mets in action against the Philadelphia Phillies during their game on June 10, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Last night, the Mets lost to the Phillies 5-4 in 11 innings, so no one play in the first 10 innings completely decided the outcome of the game.

The Mets did hit Cole Hamels fairly well, but they left 16 men on base, which has become much too common an occurrence. 

The bases were loaded on three separate occasions but the game was not blown open by the Mets when it would have just taken one or two timely hits to not make it necessary to play 11 innings.

The Mets were 6-for-19 with runners in scoring position last night. That is a ratio, but the fact that only one hit was for extra bases was an issue, which by the way, was provided by Mike Pelfrey. 

Timely hitting has been a problem since day one this year and has also been an issue the last two seasons as the Mets ultimately missed the playoffs in each. 

During Tuesday's game, the Mets hit three home runs, but none were hit last night, and if they had, things would definitely have turned out different, but last night was all about small ball.

Another aspect of the game last night that prolonged the game unnecessarily were the misplays in the field by Carlos Beltran in centerfield and David Wright at third base. 

Beltran was not charged with an error but probably should have been as the ball did bounce off the heel of his glove when he leaped against the wall. It was a difficult play, no question, and Beltran, a gold glove outfielder, does make that same play nine out of 10 times.  However, when your starting pitcher has just come out of the game, that play has to be made.

The misplay loaded the bases for the Phillies, and they capitalized on it when a dribbler was hit up the third base side and Wright appropriately charged the ball, but was not able to get his glove down and was given an error on the play. 

Very few third basemen in the history of baseball make the charge, grab and throw better or more consistently than David Wright.  In one inning, the Mets had seen two of their gold glove players make defensive mistakes that were costly.

Two unearned runs scored as a result, but the Mets were in no way out of this game because of these miscues, as they had been winning 4-1 and when the top of the seventh was over, the game was suddenly tied at four.

Even after the miscues, the Mets still had chances to win.

Wright reached base four times last night, with three hits and a walk in the seventh inning.

He also stole two bases, both with less than two out and only one time did he score, and that was on a double by pitcher Mike Pelfrey.

Last night's game was won by the Phillies and they earned it.

I can't take anything away from them, but the Mets did not cash in the runs when the needed to, or make the plays when they needed to and these both ended up helping the Phils out too much.

Jerry Manuel has fully expressed concern about the LOB situation that has loomed large this season and also in the errors the Mets are making.

Granted, physical errors are not nearly as frustrating as mental errors, but they do need to be addressed.

The question is, which area will Manuel work on first with his players—scoring runs when you need to late in the game or making plays when you absolutely have to make them?


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