NEW YORK -- Terry Collins pre-emptively addressed questioning of Daniel Murphy's move to first base in the manager's postgame news conference Tuesday.
New York Mets
"There's going to be a lot of talk about, 'Why Dan Murphy at first base?'" Collins said after Murphy's error led to five unearned runs in the fifth inning of the Mets' 9-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. "Hey, look, Dan Murphy is a good first baseman. He's a very good first baseman. Lucas Duda hasn't had a ground ball all year long. He's the right move to make right now to get Jordany [Valdespin] in there. He didn't make the play. It just happens."
"It didn't start very well," Murphy said about his return to first base. "That's a routine ground ball. I just misplayed it. It's a good ballclub, so they unfortunately made us pay for it."
Things further devolved.
With the score tied at 2 that inning, David Wright failed to cleanly field a grounder from Yadier Molina. Rather than an inning-ending double play, Wright had to settle for the out at first as the Cardinals scored the go-ahead run.
"David Wright, if there's a ... situation you'd want to hit the ball to somebody, I'd pick him," Collins said. "We just didn't make the play."
Hefner then surrendered a three-run homer to Allen Craig in what became a five-run frame.
"I threw it right in his bat path," Hefner said about the ill-fated changeup. "That's probably the worst pitch I've thrown all year."
"You've got to go and once in a while pick up your infielders and make a pitch," Collins said.
Overall, the Mets allowed seven unearned runs, the most in the majors this season and the most by the Mets in a game since a 2007 loss at San Francisco.