Wright is confused, Cuddyer, Johnson and Murphy are not pleased with Utley’s slide
The Mets have been left confused and stunned by the events which transpired in the seventh inning in what ultimately resulted in a 5-2 loss at the hands of the Dodgers, tying their best-of-five Division Series at a game a piece.
With runners at the corners and one out in the seventh inning, Bartolo Colon induced a groundball behind the bag
“Only [Chase Utley] knows what his intent was, “Wight explained. “I have a problem with the play on a number of different levels. One being the slide itself, in my opinion, he wasn’t even close to the bag. With that being said, he never touched the bag and I think the neighborhood play is there to try and protect players trying to turn double plays from getting hurt.”
Wright remained confused by the decision which led them to rule Utley to be safe at second base, as it was a pivotal and ultimately game-deciding play which cost the Mets not only the game, but a player in the process.
“I have a lot of questions and I am not sure if they have been answered or not,” Wright continued. “I am not trying to call out the officials or the officiating. I’m just confused as to that play on a number of different levels. It was a big play. They put some good at-bats together. It definitely seemed like after the play we lost the momentum.
“It’s not sour grapes or calling out the umpires, I’m just confused as to a number of different reasons why he was called safe there. Hopefully, if they haven’t been answered we will get some answers.”
Wright believes that while neighborhood play was not considered because of the bad feed from Daniel Murphy to Tejada, Utley should have slid closer to second base.
“My understanding is that it isn’t considered the neighborhood play because it wasn’t considered, I guess, a good throw to Ruben [Tejada]? Other than that, I don’t know. I don’t understand. My understanding is that when you slide, you have to try and slide somewhat into the bag, and I don’t think he ever touched the bag until the call was reversed.”
Wright felt it was obvious as to why Tejada never tagged Utley out as Utley ran off the field upon being called out by the second base umpire.
“Once the player is called out, you don’t go to tag him, especially when you are laying there with a broken leg, you don’t go to tag him when he is laying on the ground 10 feet from the base. You just assume he is out. I have a number of questions and just don’t understand the whole sequence of events.”
Meanwhile, Michael Cuddyer felt Utley’s slide was simply dirty and not acceptable on any level.
“That’s not a slide. That’s a tackle,” the veteran outfielder said. “That’s for you to decide if tackling is legal in baseball.”
Murphy shared a similar sentiment to Cuddyer.
“To call it a slide will be generous,” he said.
Kelly Johnson was visibly shaken after Saturday’s game, and feels rules which are designed to protect catchers at home plate should apply to fielders who do not have any equipment to protect them from collision.
“The issue is, he hit our shortstop first, before hitting the dirt,” Johnson said. “At what point is that illegal? At what point do we say, ‘Hey, we missed something here?’ We have rules at home plate to protect our guys, what’s the difference?
“Ruben stuck his neck out there and before he could get the ball out of his glove he’s getting tackled,” Johnson continued. “I don’t get it. It’s sad. There’s got to be something in there that says you have to hit dirt, you’ve got to slide, not jump in to him and knock players out of the game.”