Thursday, May 17, 2012
Pitch & Game Get Away In Mets Loss To Brews
New York – Terry Collins said the game of baseball has unwritten rules when it comes to a retaliation pitch. Tuesday night, at Citi Field, the New York Mets manager said he would not risk David Wright from getting hurt because of a pitch that may have been intended for his leading hitter.
He lifted Wright in the seventh inning with the Mets trailing 8-0, which was the final score. Collins was protecting his player saying there could be a retaliation pitch coming from the Milwaukee Brewers side. The situation stemmed from a ball thrown by D.J Carrasco in the top of the inning that hit Ryan Braun. Plate umpire Gary Darling immediately ejected Carrasco.
Ricky Weeks homered to left off Carrasco before Braun came to bat that gave the Brewers a comfortable 8-0 lead. Wright was seen in the Mets dugout pleading his case with Collins.
“In my opinion he wasn’t getting hurt,” said Collins about not letting Wright come to bat. The Mets third baseman was 2-for-2 and batting .408, more importantly off to one of the best starts of his career.
But Wright, the unofficial captain of a young Mets team, that came into the game five games over .500 was making his plea to the manager. “He said, ‘if anyone is going to get hit its going to be me.’” said Collins.
Collins inserted rookie Jordany Valdespin to bat. In the same inning he also lifted Daniel Murphy, second to Wright in hits, for Justin Turner. It may have been a protective situation for Collins, but it did make for interesting baseball theatre in Flushing.
“I’m not accusing them of anything,” said Collins about his moves to protect Wright and maybe Murphy.” I just know of what might have taken place.” He said Wright was not mad which appeared to be the situation when a camera shot from the dugout showed what looked like a contentious situation with the player and manager.
“Wright said, ‘if someone is going to get hit let it be me. I said, ‘you are not hitting,’” commented Collins about the discussion that ultimately became an issue of a rare game that New York has not been in this season. They were shutout for the second time.
Zack Greinke (4-1) extended his scoreless streak to 15 consecutive innings and threw five-hit ball for seven innings. He was helped by three Brewers home runs, two from Travis Ishikawa and a career high five runs batted in.
But it was all about that supposed retaliation pitch and why Wright was not allowed to hit.
“If they are going to retaliate they are going to hit David Wright,” said Collins. “I understand the perception. David Wright is not in a position to get hurt He’s a pro, why I love him. He’s not getting hit on my watch.
When asked about the ensuing discussion in the dugout with Collins, said Wright, “Terry is the manager he has to make the move that he believes is best for the team. I respect that. “
He added, “You get caught up in the moment. Terry and I have no issue in this. He told me before the inning, I was coming out of the game anyway. But in that situation, my thinking of the time, Ryan gets hit, I go up there I’m going to get hit.”
Meaning Wright was willing to take one for the team, but Collins would not take the risk. “There is a zero issue…there really is,” said Wright.
Carrasco said the pitch was a sinker that went in. “I was there to throw a few innings out of the bullpen,” said Carrasco in his defense of the pitch. He told Darling he wasn’t trying to throw at Braun in a seven-run game.
It was a rare two-game series before the Reds come to town for a two-game series Wednesday evening (The Reds will have a night off in New York and on Friday begin a three-game series with the Yankees in the Bronx).
So there will be no room for further theatre unless the Brewers make an issue when the Mets visit Milwaukee in mid September.
Email Rich Mancuso: Ring firstname.lastname@example.org