The ’08 New York Mets might be the only ballclub in recent memory that has a goat after each victory. A week ago last Sunday, Jose Reyes was castigated far and wide for an errant throw in the 8th inning of a 3-1 win over the Yankees, and caught even more heat for his petulant reaction to teammate Carlos Delgado’s inability to hang onto the ball. Last night in in the 9th inning in Philly, an ill-advised Carlos Beltran throw to David Wright failed to gun down Eric Bruntlett trying to advance from first to third on Pedro Feliz’ RBI single. Bruntlett would score on Beltran’s throwing error, while Pedro Feliz moved into scoring position with the potential tying run.
Billy Wagner would eventually retire Jayson Werth for the third and final out, and the Mets took their third straight from the division leading Phillies, 10-9 (after being up 8-0 earlier in the game). Regardless, Beltran was absolutely hammered this morning on WFAN’s Boomer & Carton program, the latter consumed with (mock?) outrage over the centerfielder’s implied criticism of Wright.
Not Beltran’s proudest moment to be sure. But at what point will someone acknowledge were it not for his bat, glove and right arm, a 2 1/2 game deficit in the NL East could well be 10 games or more? Based on his first half output, Beltran is on pace to score 115 runs, hit 26 HR’s, drive in 106 and steal 26 bases. He not only makes his pitching staff look awfully good by tracking down balls the vast majority of the game’s outfielders can’t haul in, he’s also habitually bailed out a succession of Mets leftfielders this season.
I’m certain there’s a reason why Beltran and Reyes continue to suffer such harsh treatment while Country Time manages to nab the club’s token NL All-Star selection. I’m just not certain the reason has anything to do with baseball.