Mets botch popup in 13th, Giants wind up with 2-1 win
NEW YORK (AP) — Mets left fielder Dominic Smith readily took the blame for plowing into shortstop Amed Rosario on the potential inning-ending play in the 13th inning that ended up costing his team the game.
Smith, a highly touted prospect who has been envisioned as the Mets’ first-baseman of the future, was positioned in deep left field after a double-switch an inning earlier when San Francisco’s Brandon Crawford lifted a lazy popup with runners on first and third and two outs.
Rosario, who earlier in the game had dropped a routine foul ball, ranged into shallow left field, waved off Smith and was in position for a routine catch when Smith came charging in and barged into him.
The ball ticked off Rosario’s glove and fell to the ground, and Andrew McCutchen scored on the botched play that resulted in an error for Smith and gave the Giants the tiebreaking run in a 2-1 win over New York.
“It was hit high and I was playing deep. So you don’t want to call it too early,” said Smith, who’s logged 59 1/3 innings in left field - all this season. “So when I finally noticed that he was there I tried to call it late, I called it way too late. That’s definitely on me.”
McCutchen was already prepared to head back out for defense when he saw the ball drop and made sure to step on home plate quickly.
“Laughed all the way to the dugout,” he said. “Everybody’s eyes were about as big as that big-eyed emoji. It was pretty crazy. Everyone was pretty stunned, but everyone was going to be stunned when something like that happens.”
The Giants ended their four-game losing streak. Derek Law (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings for the win.
Tyler Bashlor (0-2) gave up a leadoff single in the 13th to Chase d’Arnaud, who advanced to third after an errant pickoff throw and a wild pitch. After McCutchen walked, Joe Panik fouled out and d’Arnaud was thrown out at the plate on a grounder. Crawford followed with the high pop.
Mets starter Zack Wheeler struck out 10 in seven innings, allowing one run and five hits. The Giants took Wheeler with the sixth overall pick in the 2009 draft and later traded him to New York for Carlos Beltran.
Wheeler is 6-0 with a 1.93 ERA since July 14. This was his first double-digit strikeout game since 2014 — he missed the 2015 and 2016 seasons after Tommy John surgery.
The Mets righty had a 1-0 lead heading into the sixth when Alen Hanson’s blooper to shallow left field beat a shifted Rosario, who was playing more toward second base.
“When a ball gets hit and you don’t get an out from it, it’s kind of frustrating,” Wheeler said.
Giants starter Derek Holland gave up one run and four hits in five innings.
Giants: Law was recalled from Triple-A Sacramento before the game. ... RHP Dereck Rodriguez (right hamstring) is scheduled to be activated Friday and start the opener of a three-game set against Texas. The 25-year-old rookie is 5-0 in his last 11 starts. Rodriguez injured himself during the bench-clearing brawl between the Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers last week. ... RHP Jeff Samardzija (right shoulder tightness) is slated to begin a rehab assignment Wednesday.
Mets: OF Brandon Nimmo was placed on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to Aug. 17. Nimmo missed his last three games after injuring his left index finger while swinging the bat in a game at Philadelphia.
Mets are still taking it day-by-day with David Wright’s attempt to play in the majors for the first time since May 27, 2016.
The New York captain, who’s gone through various surgeries to alleviate his spinal stenosis condition, has been playing in minor league rehabilitation games with Class A St. Lucie.
Wright, who returned to action Aug. 12, is 2 for 17 in six minor league games, with both hits coming Sunday.
“He’s been out for quite a long time, so seeing almost on a daily basis how his body reacts and each game presents different challenges whether he has to dive, how many plays how much time he spends running the bases,” Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said.
Defensively, Wright has been held to five innings in each of the games.
A player on a rehab assignment can only be assigned to a minor league team for 20 days. Wright’s window will be up Aug. 31. St. Lucie’s season ends Sept. 2, and if Wright is still not ready to return to the Mets, he could agree to perhaps join the organization’s Double-A or Triple-A affiliate.
“We’ll see how he looks in a couple weeks when we’re at the end of this time period,” Ricco said. “Right now, we’re kind of taking it day to day.”
Giants: RHP Chris Stratton (8-5, 5.52 ERA) will be recalled from Triple-A Sacramento to start the second game of the series. Stratton lasted just three innings in his last start, Aug. 3 at Arizona, in which he gave up six runs and 10 hits.
Mets: LHP Steven Matz (5-10, 4.60) makes his second career start against San Francisco. He was on the mound for just two innings in a loss last Thursday at Philadelphia. Matz gave up six runs, four earned, and five hits.