Karpin: Lesson Learned From A Pair of Mets’ Teammates

Pitcher Jacob deGrom is in his fourth major league season. Shortstop Amed Rosario is in his fourth major league week. The “vet” and “the rook” both learned a lesson as a result of an incident that took place in the seventh inning of their 6-4 loss to the Miami Marlins.

Miami led 2-1 and had a runner on second and one out when Dee Gordon hit a routine ground ball to shortstop. Rosario fielded it and had plenty of time to throw out the speedy runner, but, inexplicably, he pounded his glove and took too much time and that allowed Gordon to be safe at first.

After the safe call, deGrom looked at Rosario and threw up his arms in frustration. Not a nice gesture and he knew it. “Probably shouldn’t have done that,” deGrom said after the game. “I’ll have to talk to him, that’s my bad.”

The play turned out to be pivotal as the red hot Giancarlo Stanton blew the game open by driving the very next pitch over the left center field wall for his major league leading 45th homerun and a 5-1 Marlins’ lead. “That changes the whole dynamic of my at-bat,” Stanton said, even though its first pitch, it changed the whole dynamic of my at-bat for sure.”

Sure did.

If Rosario makes the routine play, it’s a runner on third with two out and I’m sure the Mets would’ve walked Stanton and brought in Josh Smoker to pitch to Christian Yelich. (deGrom was yanked after the homerun)

When he left the mound, deGrom headed towards the clubhouse but he came back out to the dugout a few moments later and sat down. Mgr. Terry Collins walked over to deGrom and put his hands on his hips, leaned over and began a conversation with his right hander. I’m sure some of that discussion was about how deGrom had shown up his young teammate on the field. “He (deGrom) might’ve been a little frustrated that we didn’t make some plays,” Collins said. The brutally honest manager may have offered some insight to what was said to deGrom in the dugout. “When you’re pitching, you gotta pitch,” Collins said. You can’t worry about what’s going on behind you, you gotta pitch. If there’s not plays made, you gotta pitch around ‘em once in a while.”

Miami went on to plate four runs in the inning to essentially put the game away. To his credit, Rosario faced the music (through a translator) after the game when he held himself accountable for not completing the play on Gordon. “I got a little overconfident,” he said.

The series of events in this little drama bode well for the future, even if one of the participants may not be here next season. From deGrom throwing his arms up, to the


manager (who may not be back in 2018) going over to tell him he was wrong, to both players owning up to their mistakes is something that bodes well for the camaraderie of this team in the future.

Rosario is a work in progress and this experience is going to pay off in the long run. He admitted that he learned a valuable lesson. “Yes, this helps me prevent this from happening again in the future,” he said.

deGrom learned something also. The 29-year old realized he made a mistake and worked to rectify it.

“I can’t show emotion out there like that,” the Mets right hander said, “especially when it has to do with your other players when you know they’re out there trying to play defense so that one’s on me.”

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