Confession: I didn’t see the game tonight, I only just saw the highlights. Not much to see, save for a dominating performance by a former Cy Young winner, Zach Greinke, and a rough night for Dillon Gee.
Then there was the top of the 7th. The struggling Rickie Weeks found the cure for his prolonged slump: Get an at-bat against alleged major league pitcher D.J. Carrasco. He hit a homer over the Great Wall of Flushing. The next batter, Ryan “Fed Ex” Braun, got plunked in the shoulder by Carrasco. Umpire Gary Darling promptly tossed Carrasco out of the game.
There were no warnings issued. Darling simply went all Paul Kersey and took matters into his own hands. Bad call by Darling, and terrible umpiring. One of the beauties of baseball is (or maybe, was) that players policed themselves.
Take the Cole Hamels/Bryce Harper incident. Hamels drilled Harper, then Hamels got drilled (Accountability – another argument against the DH), and the matter was settled. But on this night, Darling decided that centralized authority was the way to go, and he sent Carrasco to the showers (instead of AAA, where D.J. belongs).
As Mets manager, Collins has been nothing if not unorthodox. Whether it’s removing his closer in the 9th inning, batting Daniel Murphy 5th, or encouraging Carlos Beltran to be an “RBI whore,” Collins thinks outside the box. Benching your star player to avoid retaliation is something this blogger has never seen before in his 41 years of baseball scrutiny. But he was right.
Why risk an injury to your best hitter in an 8-0 game, especially when said hitter suffered a concussion caused by a beanball a couple of years earlier? Besides, this offense would be lost without Wright, who’s hitting out of his Virginian mind right now (.408/.497/.608)
Anyone with grade-school level lip reading skills could tell you how Wright felt about the move. He thought it was…well, let’s just say he thought it was bovine excrement. His teammates heard the whole thing – Ike Davis looked like a .173 hitter in the headlights – and will respect him for it (as if they needed more reason to respect him). To Terry’s credit, he let David speak his piece.
The bottom line is, Darling was wrong to toss Carrasco without a warning. Collins was right to pull Wright. And Wright was right to show his verbal might.
This team isn’t perfect, but they’ve made it clear that they give an excrement.