NEW YORK -- Baseball has a way of inflicting growing pains on its young players, no matter how highly touted they may be. That much was apparent for Amed Rosario during the Mets' 6-4 loss to the Marlins on Sunday at Citi Field.
Rosario has played a solid shortstop, as expected, since being called up on Aug. 1 as the No. 2 overall prospect, according to MLBPipeline.com. But in the seventh inning, the 21-year-old's inexperience surfaced. With a runner on second and one out, Dee Gordon rolled a grounder toward short. Rosario fielded the ball, then pounded it into his glove before throwing to first, allowing the speedy Gordon to reach.
"I'd say the moment that I saw him running and the moment that I took that second step, I realized that maybe it was a little bit too late to throw," Rosario said after the game through an interpreter.
Mets starter Jacob deGrom looked at Rosario and threw his hands up after Gordon crossed first base safely. The right-hander then had to deal with Giancarlo Stanton with two runners on instead of having first base open. After a mound visit, Stanton crushed deGrom's first pitch to give the Marlins a healthy 5-1 lead.
"It's definitely different," deGrom said when asked how the play affected his plan to attack Stanton. "You've got two outs [with a] runner on third. [Instead], you try and get him to chase, probably."
deGrom also said he needed to apologize to Rosario for showing that kind of negative emotion.
"It's frustrating, but you gotta be able to make pitches," said deGrom, who allowed five earned runs on 10 hits over 6 1/3 innings. "Everybody's trying. When Rosario didn't make that play, I put my hands up; I probably shouldn't have done that. I'll have to talk to him. That's my bad. Can't show emotion out there like that, especially when it has to do with your other players. … That one's on me."
Rosario claimed to have not seen deGrom's reaction. deGrom saw the play as a valuable learning experience, despite its immediate and negative consequences in the heat of the game.
"He plays hard, so I don't think that will happen again," deGrom said.
Added Rosario: "I'm learning from all of these small mistakes."
In Rosario's defense, it was not the only play the Mets flubbed on the day. Yoenis Cespedes allowed a Gordon line drive to drop in front of him in the third inning (76-percent catch probability, per Statcast™) and dropped a routine fly ball down the line off the bat of Christian Yelich (99-percent catch probability) in the seventh, which resulted in an unearned run.
The double-pump Rosario employed on the Gordon play is a habit the Mets are trying to break with him, manager Terry Collins said.
"He'll be reminded to get out of that," Collins said, "especially when there's guys like Dee Gordon running down the bases. You gotta get it and throw it. You don't have a lot of time to do anything else.
"He was told. He knew after it happened. He was upset, certainly, with himself."
Of course, this only becomes a positive and true learning experience if similar mistakes don't occur in the future.
"He learned a lesson," Collins said. "I'm sure it won't happen again."