beckett_2014-05-20

Dodgers 9, Mets 4: RIP Dodger Infield

beckett_2014-05-20For five innings, Josh Beckett was making it work. Oh, sure, Curtis Granderson scored in the second after a leadoff double and a few “productive outs,” and the fifth inning was frightening when Beckett loaded the bases with one out — he got Daniel Murphy to strike out and David Wright to ground out — but after five innings, he’d allowed only one run. He even did his best to even that in the ledger, driving in Carl Crawford with a single in the second. The Dodgers offense, meanwhile, had battered Mets rookie Rafael Montero, knocking him out after 4.1 innings with an Adrian Gonzalez homer and a Carl Crawford RBI single in the fifth. After Jeurys Familia came on to allow Juan Uribe to knock in Crawford, it was 5-1. All seemed well.

Unfortunately, baseball games don’t end after five innings. (I mean that not only because of what’s to come, but because of how long all of these games take. Yes, I know Beckett is among the slowest pitchers in the majors, and that’s part of it, but this game also was over four hours long. According to the SNY broadcast, it was about 90 seconds short of being the longest nine-inning game in Mets history.) In the sixth, the wheels completely fell off. Beckett allowed a leadoff no-doubter to Granderson, then a long double to Chris Young, then a last to Lucas Duda, then a walk to Wilmer Flores, because Don Mattingly mercifully lifted him.

Josh, what was wrong with those pitches you threw?

Ah, yes. That’d do it. And I’m going to kind of blow past the rest of the game — Brian Wilson looked okay, but not great, Terry Collins made a billion switches just to get the matchup he wanted against Scott Van Slyke, Crawford made a nice slide in the ninth to put the seventh run on the board, Dee Gordon made a silly baserunning mistake, and Kenley Jansen (pitching for the first time in over a week) easily closed out the Mets despite the five-run lead — to get to what you all want to discuss:

THE INFIELD IS DEAD.

Well, not really. But barely 24 hours after I wondered how Alex Guerrero would fit into the roster, and barely six hours after Ned Colletti said he was open to exploring other positions for Guerrero, we’re suddenly looking at an infield that isn’t overstuffed, but understaffed. Uribe doubled in the ninth, but clearly slowed coming into second, looking for all the world like he’d aggravated the hamstring that bothered him earlier this month. He was immediately replaced by Justin Turner.

And Guerrero? In the aftermath of the fight with Miguel Olivo, there’s a report out there saying that Guerrero could miss five weeks. I would caution that this isn’t confirmed yet, and so we can’t say with certainty that it’s true. But that there’s even a suggestion of it out there is bad news, obviously. If Uribe’s injury is severe enough to send him to the DL this time, and if Gordon’s May slide continues… well, I don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, yet. It’s just incredible how quickly things can change. And as I said the other day, these things always, always work themselves out. Just didn’t expect it like this.


About

Mike wrote daily for over six long years (2007-13) about the Dodgers at Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness, which was named 2011′s “Best Sports Blog” by LA Weekly. He can currently be found writing multiple times per week at FanGraphs and ESPN, along with producing and editing for Sports On Earth. He lives in New York City and will probably be asleep or on vacation when awesome things happen.