It is not piling on to criticize Yoenis Cespedes for getting doubled off second base to end the third inning Monday night in Los Angeles.
The play cost the Mets a run – Wright would have scored after tagging up – and consequently the game. The Mets came away lucky by beating the Dodgers, 4-2, but Cespedes shouldn’t come away blameless.
Cespedes has all the tools – he has 11 homers already and is batting .303 with a .384 on-base percentage – but his hustle and concentration lapses are maddening to watch.
You can forgive a bad throw. You can forgive a dropped fly ball, unless, of course, when you hot dog it and try to make a one-handed catch.
But, you can’t forgive a brain cramp. You can’t forgive being lazy, which is what Ron Darling called him. However, Cespedes may have redeemed himself when he backed up Juan Lagares in the eighth when the latter dropped a fly ball.
I don’t expect perfection for $27.5 million, but I do expect him to think about what he’s doing in the field.
METS GAME WRAP
Game: #31 Record: 20-11 Streak: W 3
Standings: First, NL East
Runs: 137 Average per game: 4.4 Times scoring 3 runs or less: 12
SUMMARY: Once again the Mets took an early lead – 3-0 after three innings – on homers by Curtis Granderson and Plawecki, and Cespedes’ RBI single, and Steven Matz made it stand up to improve his record to 5-1 this year and 9-1 overall in 12 career starts. Matz also helped his cause with a RBI double in the sixth.
THUMBS UP: Granderson homered to lead off the game. It’s the 37th game-opening homer of his career. … Plawecki hit a solo homer in the second, his first of the season. … Love that Collins had the hit-and-run on with Matz in the fourth. Didn’t work, but it was a good call. … Flores stole second in the fourth, but not without cutting his nose. … Matz gave up two runs in six innings with five strikeouts. … Cespedes leads the NL with 31 RBI. … Jim Henderson came back from being 2-0 in the count to strike out Yasiel Puig in the eighth. Henderson then got Thompson out on a pop up to end the inning. … Three hitless innings from the bullpen.
THUMBS DOWN: Cespedes being doubled off second in the third. … Matz throwing 98 pitches in six innings. As long as the Mets keep pulling their starters around 100 pitches, it is fair game to call them out on this. … Lagares’ error in the eighth. … Sunday’s hero, Antonio Bastardo, had a rocky eighth, hurt by Lagares’ error.
EXTRA INNINGS: Chase Utley not in the starting lineup, which isn’t a surprise against the left Matz. … Bartolo Colon was named Co-NL Player of the Week with the Cubs’ Ben Zobrist. Remember him? … Did you know Mets’ pitchers have hit Utley 28 times with pitches?
QUOTEBOOK: [The issue of retaliation] was brought up. What happened, happened. We won the series; let’s not get anybody hurt,” – Collins on retaliation against Utley.
BY THE NUMBERS: 24-5: Mets’ scoring vs. opponents in the first inning.
NEXT FOR METS: Jacob deGrom (3-1, 1.99) vs. Alex Wood (1-3, 5.18). Wednesday: Noah Syndergaard (2-2, 2.58) vs. RHP Kenta Maeds (3-1, 1.66). Thursday: Bartolo Colon (3-1, 2.82) vs. Kershaw (4-1, 2.02).