Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Mets can't get the call
By Matt Ehalt
Terry Collins and the Mets were unhappy about the call that didn't go their way in the 10th inning.
NEW YORK -- The Mets could have used baseball's upcoming replay expansion Wednesday afternoon.
After a blown call at first base extended the 10th inning, the Braves' Chris Johnson hit a three-run homer to send the Mets to a 4-1 loss at Citi Field.
The Mets should have been out of the inning on a Freddie Freeman grounder, but first base umpire Jerry Layne ruled Freeman safe.
Baseball will allow managers to challenge plays next season.
"It's tough. Obviously [if] we were playing next year we wouldn't be in that situation. That's the beauty of replay and how necessary it is," Mets starter Jon Niese said of the expanded replay rules. "It is what it is. Made the call and we just got to get over it and come back after the off day."
With the game tied at 1 in the 10th with two outs and a runner on first, Freeman hit a chopper that deflected off the glove of lefty Scott Rice. Rice scurried to retrieve the ball and he quickly grabbed it and threw to first, and his throw beat Freeman to the bag in a close play.
Layne, however, ruled that Freeman had beaten the throw, bringing manager Terry Collins out onto the field to argue. Collins said Layne told him he believed he had made the correct call.
"I should have fielded that. Came at me and just tipped off my glove and I missed it," Rice said. "I thought the ball beat him to first but it was really close."
With Johnson, a righty, coming up, Collins went to his bullpen and brought in sidewinder Greg Burke. Johnson deposited the first pitch into the left-field seats to put the Braves ahead 4-1. Burke said he left the sinker up a little bit, but he put it where he wanted to for the most part.
Moments after the homer, Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy got ejected from the game for what he described as a "difference of opinion." As he walked into the dugout, he threw his glove violently.
Collins, out to the field for the second time, ended up getting ejected, too, and left the field without his cap. Collins said he went out to protect his second baseman. The Mets couldn't rally in the ninth against Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel and split the two-game set.
"Right or wrong I would prefer not to get thrown out there," Murphy said. "I think tensions were running high and mine boiled over."
When baseball improves its replay system next season, it will help prevent blown calls from altering games, such as what happened Wednesday at Citi Field, several Mets mentioned afterward.
"It’s pretty funny because when I went to the mound right after the call, that was the first thing Justin Turner said. He said next year, we’ll find out whether or not the call was right," Collins said.
"And I said yeah, well, that doesn’t help us today."