The New York Mets dropped an extra innings game to the San Francisco Giants on Monday night, losing by the score of 2-1.
The story here really is not about the game itself at all. This game doesn’t even matter. The Giants are pretty bad and the Mets are worse. The results of this game are inconsequential. That being said, it’s really funny to look at the play that gave San Francisco the lead.
Here’s the play. I suggest turning the volume on, but that’s up to you.
Dom Smith. Amed Rosario. The Mets. Truly unbelievable stuff.
**CUE THE MUSIC** pic.twitter.com/yclRui1w4k
— Kris Venezia (@KVenezia1) August 21, 2018
The Mets were about to get out of a jam in the THIRTEENTH inning. 13!! Tyler Bashlor, a person I have never heard of before this story, was in for his second inning of work in extras. He gave up a leadoff single and had a throwing error of his own on the play that allowed Chase d’Arnaud to advance to second. d’Arnaud would advance to third on a wild pitch during Andrew McCutchen’s at bat, which became a walk. He got a foul out, but then McCutchen stole second.
Bashlor then got Buster Posey to ground into a fielder’s choice that got the runner out at home. So it was now first and third with two away. Bashlor coaxed the popup from Brandon Crawford, and Ahmed Rosario appeared to be camped under it to end the threat, and then Dominic Smith, playing left field, barreled into him and essentially jolted the ball out of his glove.
If this reminded you of other similar plays in Mets history, you are not alone. I immediately went and watched the Luis Castillo walk-off dropped ball play.
This brings up the question: Which is worse?
My inclination was to say, “Well, the Castillo play is worse” but upon further review, I may have come around on this new play being the worse one.
I’ve decided to break this down into a few categories: Bone-Headedness, Stakes, and Opponent Participation.
I have to give the bone-headedness edge to the new play. Dom Smith is stupid for just running right into Ahmed Rosario. Smith is a first baseman playing left field and should be looking for every opportunity he can to not be involved in a play. Castillo’s play was a physical error and looks funnier, but physical errors happen like that and I can’t blame that on his baseball IQ. Castillo threw to second because A-Rod baited a throw to second, dismissing the only part of the play that was really “dumb” in my book.
The stakes were obviously much higher in the 2009 game. The Mets were still being competitive at the time of the play. The June 12, 2009 matchup dropped the Mets record to three games over .500 (31-28). They were trying to win, even though it ended up being an atrocious season for the Mets when all was said and done, at the time of the play, it was a huge loss to a Yankee team that was still recovering from a mediocre April. Both teams had playoff hopes, even though the Mets would go on to win just 70 games that season.
Last night’s game, conversely, had zero implications on the playoff picture. Like I said, both teams are already decidedly disappointing this season. Can’t get that upset over a game that literally doesn’t matter. We are past the trading deadline and both teams are out of the playoff pursuit.
The Yankees played a much bigger part in the Castillo play mattering than the Giants did last night. McCutchen was already on third and could jog home to take the lead. The Yankees, conversely, had Mark Teixeira hustling to score all the way from first base on that play, and him scoring ended the game. As previously mentioned, A-Rod also coaxed a throw into second that helped the run score. I’ll give last night’s play the edge on embarrassment here, as the Giants really didn’t do anything extra on this play, from what I can tell, to cause the run to score.
Last night’s play beats out the Castillo play in two of these three categories. The category the Castillo play won, though, is probably the most important one: the stakes. The stakes of the play are what make that play so memorable. Met fans feel like that play ended their season in ’09 and the Yankees went on to win the World Series. Last night’s game doesn’t matter. I will say that the Castillo play is worse overall, but the physical play last night was probably worse, if that makes sense. Whatever you think there, both plays are truly hilarious, and are among the most “Mets” things to ever happen.
Featured Image via Flickr/Keith Allison