Of course, it crossed my mind. Left field in Houston is a tough place to play, perhaps one of the toughest in the National League. So, when Jed Lowrie’s pop up fell between Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Ruben Tejada, it immediately raised the inevitable speculation the Mets’ newest left fielder felt awkward because it was his first time in left on this level.
As a centerfielder, Nieuwenhuis played aggressively, but on this play he appeared tentative.
“It was just a ‘tweener’ ball that I should have caught,” Nieuwenhuis said. “It dropped, and that’s unfortunate. (R.A. Dickey) was pitching a great game and I just made a mistake.”
Neither Nieuwenhuis nor manager Terry Collins blamed the mistake on the former playing a new position, but it’s on the table. There is always an adjustment period in playing a different position.
Nieuwenhuis stayed in the leadoff spot and delivered a game-tying, two-run single, but his offensive night was mixed because he was also picked off first base.
ON DECK: Reviewing April’s fast start.