Flushing, New York - Ask the New York Mets and manager Terry Collins about new instant replay rules that will be instituted next year. They are all for it after an apparent blown call at first base in the tenth inning that allowed Chris Johnson of the Atlanta Braves to follow and hit a go-ahead three-run homer at Citi Field Wednesday afternoon.
Atlanta would go on and defeat the Mets 4-1 in 10-innings and left town with a split of the two-game series. But it was the ground ball to first base by Freddie Freeman in the 10th inning and ruling by umpire Jerry Layne that was a topic of discussion.
Not to be bitter and sore losers, even though New York is looking to finish the season respectable, had the call been reviewed, almost certainly the Mets would have been out of the inning.
“It’s pretty funny because when I went to the mound and right after the call that was the first thing Justin Turner said,” commented Collins about replay next year possibly making a difference. Collins was ejected from the game after the home run by Johnson.
Daniel Murphy, on the field at second base got heaved as he disputed the play at first. He barked at Layne. Collins tossed his cap to the ground and never picked it up, departing to the dugout and clubhouse.
Collins added, “He (Turner) said next year we’ll find out whether or not the call was right.”
And that was the sentiment of a tough Mets loss. Replay could have made the difference, but the Mets also had their chances and failed to score. They went hitless in nine at bats with runners in scoring position. Juan Lagares, who earlier collected his 11th outfield, assist of the season grounded into a force out and left three runners on in the ninth inning.
“Right or wrong, I would prefer not to get thrown out there,” commented Murphy. “I think tensions were running high and mine boiled over.”
Jonathon Niese struck out a season high tying nine for the second consecutive start. He tossed seven innings and gave up an RBI single to Freddie Freeman in the sixth inning that tied the score at 1-1.
“It’s tough,” said Niese about the call at first base that opened a door for Atlanta, a team that came into the game with the best record in baseball. “If we were playing next year we wouldn’t be in this situation,” he commented about the new instant replay rule that could have changed the complexion and outcome of the game.
Josh Satin, 2-for-4 and starting at first, hit the first pitch down the middle to deep left off Atlanta starter Alex Wood in the fourth as New York took the 1-0 lead. Satin has reached base safely with a hit, walk, or hit by pitch in each of his 29 starts this season which tied for the longest streak by a Met rookie in franchise history.
Satin attributes his success to a shorter swing and more playing time. Collins said, Satin is one of the encouraging parts of the Mets future.
There was a scary moment in the sixth inning. Niese threw a 90 mile fastball that hit Jason Heyward in the jaw that apparently hit his batting helmet ear flap. Heyward hit the ground and stayed there for a few moments before getting up. He was examined and as the Braves left town for St. Louis, Heyward was remained in New York and was staying at a New York hospital for observation.
“He never lost consciousness,” said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. “Right before he went to the hospital, he popped his head into the clubhouse to say goodbye to some of the guys.”
Niese said, “I feel horrible. Sometimes this game can be pretty dangerous. One minute you’re playing, the next you’re down.” Collins said he checked with Niese after Heyward went down, and his starter said. “Everything is okay,” assured that Niese was not shook up and could continue pitching.
It was Johnson and the Braves who continued their run as they have a commanding lead in the National league east. The Mets have that future and soon, they believe will contend with Atlanta again.
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