Split-second call turns out to be wrong for Wright
ATLANTA -- Given some fraction of a second to choose, Mets third baseman David Wright ran down his options. With the potential winning run sprinting toward third base and one out in a tie game Friday, Wright could try to field Andrelton Simmons' grounder, spin and tag Jace Peterson, thereby cutting down the lead runner. Or he could take the sure out at first base, giving Rafael Montero a chance to escape a jam with the game still tied.
"You have a split-second to make a decision," Wright said. "I made a decision. And it turned out to be the incorrect one."
Wright chose to try to tag Peterson, a speedy pinch-runner, who danced out of his way and reached third base untouched. So instead of working with two outs and a runner on first base -- or, at worst, two outs and a runner on third -- Montero had two men on base with only one out. Because Simmons reached second amidst the chaos, Montero intentionally walked the next batter, Alberto Callaspo. After Montero struck out Cameron Maybin, Phil Gosselin dropped the Mets to a 5-3 loss with a two-out, two-run single.
"Peterson did a good job of trying to avoid the tag," manager Terry Collins said. "David had him, but he was way out of the line by the time David could adjust. He was too close to the bag."
Though Montero came close to escaping the jam, he did not fool many Braves hitters, who fouled off 13 of his 39 pitches. All 39 of them were fastballs.
"At this level, you've got to tell hitters you're going to throw your breaking ball," Collins said. "He's got a good changeup and he's got a good breaking ball. I just think he got himself into a situation where he didn't want to get behind in the count. He's still got to use it."
In the loss, Montero's pitch selection served only to exacerbate Wright's gaffe.
"The right [decision] is whatever works out the best," Wright said. "If I can tag him out right there, it's a great play. But if what happened happens, it's not a good play. Right there, my thought process was late in the game, you want to try to keep the runners out of scoring position. I made a decision. Give the runner some credit, but just by not getting an out there, it turns out to be the incorrect decision."