Utley Slide Helps Tie NLDS And Ends Tejada’s Season

Cal Ripken Jr., said it was a “hard, clean’’ play, but not dirty, and if anybody should know about take-out slides it is him. That’s not to say others didn’t have their own opinion. Chase Utley took out Ruben Tejada to break up the double play in the seventh inning Saturday night, and in doing so knocked the Mets’ shortstop out of the playoffs with a fractured right leg.

UTLEY SLIDE: Fuels Mets emotions. (Getty)

UTLEY SLIDE: Fuels Mets emotions. (Getty)

Not only did the game-tying run score on the play, but when Dodgers manager Don Mattingly appealed Tejada never touched the bag, Utley was ruled safe, and with the out taken off the board, it enabled Adrian Gonzalez to hit a two-run double that lifted the Dodgers to a 5-2 victory to change the complexion of the series.

Mets manager Terry Collins said the umpires made the right call, and added his players were an angry bunch.

“You have to take the emotion and keep your focus,’’ Collins said. “You can’t lose control.’’

Instead of returning to New York with a chance to finish the sweep behind Matt Harvey, the NLDS goes back to Citi Field tied at a game apiece.

Until then, there will be continued debate on the nature of the slide – clean or dirty?

“Only Chase knows what the intent was,’’ Mets captain David Wright said. “My opinion is he wasn’t close to the bag.’’

Utley, known for being a hard-nosed player, defended his actions.

“It was one of those awkward plays,” Utley said. “There was no intent to injure Ruben, whatsoever. My intent was to break up the double play.”

Speaking of Harvey, what immediately came to mind with the Utley slide was of him getting plunked by the Mets’ Game 3 starter before he was traded by the Phillies. Utley wasn’t thinking that when he slid into Tejada, but if there wasn’t bad blood between Utley and the Mets before, there probably is now.

One thing for sure, what has been a compelling series by its stellar pitching, now has an edge to it.

4 thoughts on “Utley Slide Helps Tie NLDS And Ends Tejada’s Season

  1. It was a hard slide but clean

    I have seen Cuddyer do the same type of slide for us this year.

    They are angry. Good. Go out with intent and focus.

    Matt should shut them down today

  2. If Utley comes to bat again during the series, he needs to have fastballs directed at his head or knees. The first time it should produce a warning. we can shrug it off and say that’s baseball. Thats what they are saying now about tejada’s leg. I have not seen how the league is explaining that you are safe when you dont’ touch the base or that it is ok to take the guy out without trying to touch the base. As J.Upton said, if a star SS had been taken out like that, a rule would be in place the next day to prevent it from ever happening again.

    I think for a roster replacement we need the best fielding SS we have in the minors. (That is assuming an injury replacement can come from the minors and doesnt have to be on the 40 man roster). A guy who will not be unnerved at this level. People are calling for dilson, but seriously, you dont need six 2bmen on the roster and you cant play three 2b at once. if DM were out then yes, dilson would be the best replacement.

  3. I hate that play at second base. I honestly find it strange that the runner is allowed to make contact with the fielder at all. It seems like a contrivance to force an element of danger and physical contact into baseball where it doesn’t naturally fit. It’s another example of football envy. Too many baseball fans are afraid of being mocked by football fans because baseball is not really a contact sport and isn’t as dangerous as football. So they allow runners to make contact with fielders trying to turn the double play to make up some of the difference. It really doesn’t fit into baseball. You should have to slide directly into the base and pop-up. If you slide past the base at all you and the batter should be out. If you slide to the side of it you and the batter should be out. Even if you slide wide of the base and can still make contact with it what other purpose could there be but to interfere with the fielder? If you are trying to get to the base as soon as possible you slide straight into it. Anything else should be an automatic double play and a suspension.