Flores error triggers Mets meltdown in 8-2 loss to Nats

By on May 1, 2015

The bobble was the sixth error of the season for Flores and ties him for the third most by a starting shortstop in the majors this season.

The Mets were under no illusions that Flores would be a great defensive shortstop. This winter they just basically decided he was the best option available to them, after finding no partners for trades and not seeing the value in available free agents. Their other internal options were Matt Reynolds, who is hitting .333 and playing shortstop in Triple-A, and Ruben Tejada, who is hitting .167 in seven games this season.

But like their converted second baseman Daniel Murphy, who has four errors of his own this season, the Mets felt that Flores’ bat would overcome his defensive lapses.

Terry Collins was not about to give up on his middle infielders just 23 games into the season.

“All we have ever asked of them is what we have seen,” the Mets manager said before Thursday night’s game. “The ball is hit to you, catch it and get an out. Neither guy is going to to be those quick, shortstop-second base guys with huge range.

“They are there because they are offensive guys,” Collins continued. “They handle their position well. And we need to put them in position where they can make those plays, and I think (infield coach Tim Teufel’s) done a very, very good job. You can’t have everybody play all over the place, for the most part, I think they have played well.”

Flores leads the team in home runs, he has three, and was hitting .254 with a single in the second inning. His errors have been costly, but so too has been his and Murphy’s inability to turn double plays. That is a huge Achilles Heel for a team built on pitching.

The defense was a big reason deGrom struggled Thursday night, but not the only reason.

He pitched a quick, clean fifth, but got hit hard in the sixth — the third time through the lineup. Escobar singled to lead off and scored on Zimmerman’s single. Ramos singled to center to score Harper, who had doubled with one out.

That was it for deGrom (2-3) who failed to get through the sixth inning for his second straight start. He allowed five runs, three earned runs, on five hits. He walked two and struck out four. It was his first loss at Citi Field since July of last season and his second loss to the Nationals this season.

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Baseball – NY Daily News

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