E -METS. As an organization. In every way.
The Mets, an organization that does not value defense at all, paid the price once again Monday night at Citi Field with one of the most pathetic losses in the franchise’s history, 2-1 to the Giants in 13 innings.
The winning run came home when shortstop Amed Rosario dropped a two-out popup off the bat of Brandon Crawford in short left field after a late-charging Dom Smith, a first baseman by trade, ran into Rosario, giving him a forearm shiver to the back of the neck and jarring the ball lose, sending it to the soft green turf as what was left of the crowd let out one gigantic groan.
The Mets did not score in the bottom of the 13th and walked away, heads down, incredible losers once again.
In that 13th inning, reliever Tyler Bashlor surrendered a leadoff single to Chase d’Arnaud and helped d’Arnaud to third with a wild pick-off throw to first and a wild pitch. After a walk, Bashlor got a pop-up from Joe Panik that was caught, an out at home on a fielder’s choice and then the fateful popup that Rosario dropped, allowing Andrew McCutchen to score what proved to be the winning run.
Quicker than you can say Luis Castillo, this was another gut-wrenching loss for the Mets.
Along the way the Mets wasted a tremendous start by Zack Wheeler. The only run the Giants scored in seven innings against Wheeler came in the seventh on a pop-up, too — a pop-up double to short left, a ball that should have been caught as well but the Mets were in a shift and Rosario, pinched to the middle, could not get to the baseball.
Alen Hanson, a switch-hitter batting lefty, who was getting beat by fastballs all night by Wheeler, got beat again, but the Mets were shifted toward the middle and the jam shot plopped to earth.
Wheeler, like everyone in the ballpark, was surprised that a harmless pop-up became a run-scoring double.
“Somebody should have been there,’’ said Wheeler, who allowed four real hits while striking out 10.
Asked specifically about the shift in that situation, Wheeler had to bite his tongue before answering: “When a ball gets hit and you don’t get an out from it, it’s frustrating,’’ he said. “It’s frustrating when you make your pitch.’’
Wheeler was obviously overpowering the hitter, but there was no common sense in the situation. The computer said to shift and the Mets shifted.
“I was beating him all night with the fastball and that’s what I kept on doing,’’ Wheeler said. “I got in there and he popped it up. It cost me a run.’’
The Mets saved the worst pop-up for last, and Smith, who is just getting used to the outfield, messed it up and felt terrible about it.
As he stood in front of his locker, you had to feel sorry for Smith, who has had nothing but trouble this season from his first game in spring training when he overslept.
“I was playing kind of deep because it was late in the game, I came running in hard,’’ Smith said. “It’s hard to take your eyes off of it, you don’t really know where the infielder is and that is pretty much what happened.’’
Smith called it late. Rosario was camped under the baseball and disaster occurred.
Asked how many balls he has had like that in the outfield since being switched to the outfield Smith admitted, “Maybe a couple. In Triple-A, you don’t get that many hit as high. I just have to learn from it. Definitely, I feel horrible. It sucks, especially the way this year has been going.’’
The Mets are using this part of the lost season as a science experiment. It blew up in their face again.
Maybe someday this organization will value defense. Maybe someday they will put players in the best position possible for them to succeed. Maybe someday they will develop players, actually make them better in their minor league journey.
Maybe someday. But not this day. E-Mets. You reap what you sow.
These Mets reap dysfunction at every turn.