You have to hand it to Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez. They weren’t afraid to call out Yoenis Cespedes tonight for his failure to hustle after a foul ball off the bat of Cody Bellinger. It didn’t factor in the outcome of the game – a 6-0 loss to the Dodgers – but it was “bad optics,’’ as the popular saying goes.
Would Cespedes have caught the ball had he hustled? I don’t know. But, could he have caught it? Yes. That’s what’s so maddening about watching this guy.
Darling called it a “Cadillac effort,’’ while Hernandez said “it was not much of an effort.’’
Gary Cohen said “it is obvious over the past couple of weeks that he’s picking his spots to run hard,’’ as a way of protecting himself from his leg injuries.
Darling then nailed it when he called the perception, “ugly.’’
And it is.
I know Cespedes has been injured – both this year and last – but I called him out for his lack of hustle before they extended him. It is one of the reasons why I wanted the Mets to pass on him, at least for the sum of $110 million.
Look, I know every player is entitled to a bad year, and hopefully the remaining three years of his contract he’ll play like the player the Mets hoped when GM Sandy Alderson decided to give him all that money.
But, you would think – and least I do – that for a player who is making $22.5 million this season, and only has 30 RBI, would give a little more effort. That means running out ground balls and hustling after foul pop-ups.
Collins said deGrom relied on his fastball too much early in the game, but the pitcher refuted that, saying he mixed in sliders.
“My stuff was good, but I wasn’t able to locate it,’’ deGrom said. “They took advantage of the mistakes I made.’’
The Dodgers’ Chris Taylor set the tone of the game with a homer on the ninth pitch of his at-bat leading off.
BY THE NUMBERS: The Mets have lost seven straight games to the Dodgers, dating back to May 28, 2016. … Dodgers pitchers have thrown 11 shutouts this season; the Mets have been blanked five times. … De Grom leads all pitchers with 13 hits. … Amed Rosario has hit safely in all four games he’s played. He also stole his first career base. … Chase Utley hit the 39th homer of his career against the Mets.