The Mets broke the rules on Saturday night, and lost because of it

Daniel Murphy 1 slice


In the midst of a pennant race, if a team does not play by the rules, more often than not that team is going to lose.

And on Saturday, the Mets lost, in large measure because they did not play by the rules.

With Francisco Cervelli on second base and nobody out, Starlin Marte bounced a ball to Daniel Murphy. 

But instead of Murphy simply stepping on the base to get the sure out, he decided to take a low percentage shot at throwing out Cervelli at third base.

The result was as expected. Cervelli was safe, so was Marte, and Terry Collins lost any shot of maneuvering around Cervelli’s leadoff double.

“I took a shot. It was the wrong play,” Murphy acknowledged. “That’s all I can say. It was the wrong play. It put us in a bad spot. It put [Sean Gilmartin] in a bad spot.”

The play goes as a fielders choice in the scorecard, but it was indeed a poor error in judgment by Murphy which broke a fundamental rule of the game.

The effort is certainly noted. Murphy is an aggressive player, and his mind was on doing whatever he could do to prevent the lead run from advancing a base. But in no way, shape or form is it the right play.


What’s worse, Murphy had absolutely no shot at getting Cervelli simply because he had to jump in the air to get the bouncing ball hit by Marte. Those moments in the air and coming down were just the difference in any play being close at third.

But it was that decision which prevented Collins from walking Chris Stewart with one out and going for a double play with Sean Rodriguez at the plate.

Instead, the mistake brought the infield in, Stewart singled, and the floodgate flew open on Gilmartin, Murphy and the Mets.

In fairness, it might not have mattered in the end anyway. The battle-tested Pirates find a way to win in that situation more often than not. The Mets could have done everything right, and the same thing might have happened.

But, that’s the way it should go down. The Pirates need to win in that situation while the Mets do everything in their power to prevent it.

Certainly, the Mets certainly don’t need to beat themselves, which is really what happened.

It’s even more important they put their best foot forward in front of a team they have not beaten in 2015, and must show they can.

All signs suggest the Mets will very likely have to go through one of Pittsburgh, St. Louis or Chicago to get to the last round of the fall tournament, teams they’ve gone a combined 3-16 against in 2015.

On a night full of a lot of positives, energy, determination and fight, it sure was a lonely way for Murphy and the Mets to go down.


Your overwrought, pretentious writing is terrible.


You’re comment makes you even worse than your comment.


***and I said “you’re” instead of “your” because I can’t wait to hear your comments about my comment.

You stellar human being you.


Michael – You’re an awesome writer and I’ve enjoyed reading your blog, but this is the first time that I strongly disagree with you.
I was at the game last night, seated in the lower level – and I thought Murphy made the right decision. He just made a terrible throw. A good throw would have gotten Cervelli, even with a tag needed.
I played baseball competitively for 15 years and played both first and third base. I’ve had several coaches, most of whom had opinions that differed on this play. Some coaches appreciated the aggressiveness and allowed 1Bs to make that throw if the situation was right. Other coaches made it a cardinal rule that a 1B NEVER throws to third, with the exception of bunt plays.
I happen to be of the opinion that that throw SHOULD be made in a situation like last night. If Murphy makes an accurate throw, the lead runner and go-ahead run is cut down.
I was sitting in the lower level at Citi Field last night, and before Murphy even fielded the ball, I yelled “Get three.” It was my instinct (and Murphy’s apparently, too) to get the lead runner who was flashing across his line of vision.
It’s a fascinating play. Your opinion that 1Bs shouldn’t be making that throw is fine. It’s just that in this instance, I think Murphy made the right decision, just a bad throw.


Do we know for a fact that Murphy gets the out at first base? At least to me, it didn’t seem like it was a slam dunk to beat Marte to the bag for the “sure” out.


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