There was no small portion of ugliness to go around in last night’s Mets/Reds encounter. I’m more inclined to try and find nice things to say about Karl Rove than Tom Glavine on most days, but the NY starter was seriously fucked over by home plate umpire Chuck Merriweather at least 3 times in his brief stint. But that’s gonna happen sometimes. What hopefully won’t be happening too often is Mike DeJean’s body being consumed by the spirit of David Weathers.
Confusion reigned before the bottom of the eighth inning last night when Willie Randolph tried to make the first double-switch of his managerial career and home-plate umpire Chuck Meriwether disallowed it.
The Mets manager tried to replace first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz with Chris Woodward at the same time he brought reliever Mike DeJean into the game. It was Randolph’s intention to have Woodward bat in the No. 9 spot and DeJean hit in Mientkiewicz’s spot because the first baseman struck out earlier in the inning.
But according to Meriwether, Randolph didn’t inform him of the double switch until DeJean was already in the game, so the changes had to be made straight up. In fact, Mientkiewcz was already at first base when Woodward tapped him on the shoulder and told him he was out of the game.
It was Cincinnati manager Dave Miley who brought the snafu to Meriwether’s attention. Randolph chalked up the disagreement to differing interpretations of the rule, but crew chief Tim McClelland said the Mets manager was simply late informing Meriwether.
“Willie has to announce to the umpire that there’s a double switch before the pitcher enters the game,” McClelland told a pool reporter. “DeJean was on the mound and had took warm-ups before Willie had announced to Chuck that he (DeJean) was part of a double switch.
“The guy (DeJean) got on the mound, so he is now in the game. He has to take the slot the other pitcher had because Willie did not say he was going to double-switch.”
The mistake had no bearing on the outcome of the game, but it did have at least one Met scratching his head afterward.
“I have no idea (what happened),” said Mientkiewicz. “I know one thing: I’m dumber for having gone through that. I thought I knew the game. I’ll get a rule book tonight and see what’s going on.”
What Bob Murphy would’ve called “a nifty mound duel” is taking place in Cincy today, the Mets’ Kaz Ishii and Aaron Harang each working on one-hitters thru 6 innings. Ishii has been flawless since giving up a 2nd inning solo HR to Wily Mo Pena ; Harang, just plain flawless. But thank goodness Fran Healy isn’t a manager. Carlos Beltran led off against Harang in the top of the 7th, and with a 3-1 count, Ted Robinson wondered aloud if New York’s prize acquisition would be given the greenlight to swing away. Fran replied “I’d have had him swing on 3-0”. Note that the Mets were trailing 3-0 at the time and in dire need of baserunners. (Beltran walked and would later be doubled up on Doug Mientkiewicz’ infield grounder. Of course, had he taken Healy’s advice, Carlos might’ve hit one of those rare grand slams with no one onboard).
(UPDATE : The duel is done. Harang was relieved in the 7th, as was Ishii, the latter on the hook for all of the Reds’ 6 runs. Ishii has lived up to advance billing, equally capable of loading the bases on walks as he is of striking out the side.)