When Will This Team Toughen Up?
In the fifth inning, Nelson Figueroa hit Albert Pujols with an inside pitch that Pujols seemed to turn into. It was the second hit batsmen of the game for Figueroa. None were life threatening.
In the very next inning, reliever Brad Thompson let a 95 mph fastball rip toward home plate only the catchers mitt was not the intended target. The heater sped toward David Wright’s head and if not for Wright’s quick reflexes which had him hit the ground hard, things could have taken a grave turn for the worse.
How did the Mets react when their franchise player laid there sprawled on the ground thanking God for his life?
The same way the Mets always react in these situations. Mum’s the word.
“I thought it was bush league,” Jeff Francoeur said afterward. “You don’t throw at a guy’s head. Hit him in the back.”
It was very reminiscent of the Roger Clemens and Mike Piazza incident. An incident that former Mets closer John Franco recently recalled by referring to Mike Piazza as a freaking wussy, although his choice of words were much stronger.
After Wright sheepishly got up and dusted himself off, not one peep came out of his mouth. Not even a glare. he simply swung at the next pitch and grounded into a double play.
Wright had this to say after the game.
“When it starts coming up there, forget about retaliation, you can get somebody seriously injured,” Wright said. “If you are going to go after somebody, make it in the back or do it the right way. You don’t throw at someone’s head.”
Gary Sheffield seemed to be the only one who was really riled up about it. After Wright grounded into the double play, he stepped up to the plate and gave Thompson an earful while pointing to his head. He ripped the next pitch for a line drive single, but pulled up lame and had to leave the game. Unbelievable…
I’m really tired of seeing the Mets get slapped around by opposing teams without any retaliation whatsoever. It’s already bad enough that none of our pitchers know how to own the inside part of the plate. You never see a Mets pitcher send an opposing hitter a message with some chin music whenever they crowd the plate. You always hear Ron Darling talk about it, but the message is never heeded in the clubhouse.
During the last two Philadelphia series, you saw three different plays where Jayson Werth, Chase Utley and Shane Victorino all slid in hard and took out Castillo or Cora at second base to keep them out of the double play. Keith Hernandez says the Phillies play the same way the Mets played when he was with the team. Good old-fashioned hard nosed baseball.
It’s just another one of those things that really bugs me about the current Mets.
I wish they would toughen up.
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
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