Stop Laying Blame: Stuff Happens
TweetPinShare0 Shares FLUSHING – It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way. On a night when Mets rookie sensation Michael Conforto hit two home runs, only the second Met to do so in a single World Series game – the first being Mets’ legendary catcher, Gary Carter – and with a slim 3-2 lead heading into the 8th, the Amazins were supposed to tie the Series at two games apiece, win Game 5 tomorrow, and head back to Kansas City to face the Royals with a 3-2 lead.But then Daniel Murphy, the NLCS MVP and Toast of the Town made the costliest error of his career: with one out in the eighth, he flubbed a sure second out and possible double play, inning-ending ball, allowing the tying run to score. Two runs later, and the Mets were down 5-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth. Scapegoat #1: Daniel Murphy.Then, the unraveling began. Blame Mets reliever Tyler Clippard for walking a batter after going ahead 0-2 in the count. Scapegoat #2: Tyler Clippard. Then, there was Mets Manager Terry Collins, who left Clippard in the game one batter too long. “He should’ve brought in Jeurys Familia,” some bitter fans complained, or even left Addison Reed in the game, who did a nice job in the 7th. Scapegoat #3: Terry Collins.Finally, there was the awful way the game ended, with Yoenis Cespedes doubled off of first base due to sloppy, amateurish baserunning. Scapegoat #4: Yoenis Cespedes.Now, for a dose of reality: these are two very evently matched teams. Offensively, neither team has a monster lineup, but both are streaky and clutch. Pitching-wise, the Mets have killer starters, the Royals a killer bullpen. There is very little margin for error here.So, here’s what happened: Collins went to his surefire formula: Reed, then Clippard, the Familia. It works on most nights. It didn’t tonight. Clippard went ahead 0 and 2 and then lost the battle and walked the hitter. That usually doesn’t happen, but it did in the 8th. Then, Daniel Murphy, who’s better with his bat than with his glove, made the worst possible mistake at the worst possible time. And finally, Yoenis Cespedes made a blunder. Stuff happens.Lest we forget 1986: Boston Red Sox first baseman Bill Buckner was supposed to catch that grounder by Mookie Wilson. Had that happened, the Mets would be 46 years removed from their last World Series, not 29.And let us not forget that it is precisely because of Murphy, Clippard, Collins, and Cespedes that the Mets are one of only two major league teams still playing baseball, while the other 28 are watching the World Series on TV.Finally, let us not forget two baseball immortals: Yogi Berra, who so famously said “it ain’t over ’till it’s over,” and Gary Carter, who led that two-out 9th inning rally in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series, when things looked far more hopeless than they do now.