Last night was really about two shortstops. Zack Wheeler pitched another incredible game, giving up 2 earned runs over his 7 innings of work. Unfortunately for him, it was the 1 unearned run that would be the difference in the game.
In the top of the third, with a run already in, Ruben Tejada booted a relatively easy ground ball that he had charged in on. There wasn’t a lot of speed running to first and it appeared as if he had made this play hundreds of times in his life. Unfortunately he couldn’t come up with it and Freddie Freeman scored the all important 3rd run of the game.
Tejada was back a shortstop because of Daniel Murphy‘s absence. Wilmer Flores shifted over to second while the more experienced and better fielding Tejada went back to short. Although the play came early on, it was the difference in a very well pitched game.
What seemed to rub Tejada’s play in even more was that in the bottom of the 8th, Braves shortstop and perennial Gold Glover Andrelton Simmons made one of the best plays of the season, robbing Travis d’Arnaud of a would-be RBI single. That RBI would have tied the game.
When d’Arnaud was asked about whether or not he’d seen the replay he responded simply “I heard. In slow motion, it looks like he had no chance. Then, at the last moment, he just reached for it, got it and made a perfect throw.”
Last nights game will raise the age old question of whether or not the Mets have a viable option at shortstop moving forward. One that can make the plays on the field and provide a little bit of offense. The eyeball test is telling Mets fans that the guy isn’t currently in Queens.