I can take struggling at the plate, to a certain extent, but pure stupidity I cannot. If you do not know what I am talking about, in a 2-2 tie in the top of the 8th inning with 2 outs, Tejada on 1st base, and Mets starting pitcher Jonathan Niese at the plate, in a 2 strike count, Tejada decided to unbelievably steal 2nd base and even though he would beat the throw, Tejada would over slide 2nd base and get tagged out to end the inning.
So what is the big deal you ask?
Well at that time, Niese’s pitch count was only in the 80s, and with yesterday’s game going into extra innings, and with multiple games in this series against the Phillies going into extra innings, the Mets bullpen obviously has been overworked and in need of a rest. With Niese’s low pitch count, you would figure he could squeeze out a couple more innings and possibly be the 1st Mets starting pitcher to pitch 10 innings in a game since Bobby Jones in 1995. However, because of Tejada’s poor decision making, Niese was pinch-hit for leading off in the top of the 9th inning, with only 91 pitches thrown in 8 innings of work.
Niese is one of the worst hitting pitchers on the Mets staff, batting below .100, so even if you steal 2nd base, the chances of Niese getting a hit to drive Tejada in was probably 1 out of a billion. Now the Mets would go on to win the game in 11 innings by a 4-3 score, but if this game was to go much longer and/or the Mets would have lost this game, you could point to Tajeda’s poor decision making.
It is not just Tejada struggling at the plate, but his failure to realize simple situations throughout the course of the game really grinds my gears. When is enough enough with Ruben Tejada?