When it rains, it pours, and Robinson Canó seems to be caught in a Category-5 Storm.
Two days after catching flak for not running out a double play — and blaming it on the scoreboard operator — Canó did it again.
Facing Miami Marlins rookie Sandy Alcantara in the top of the fourth inning, he tapped the ball just foul and watched it roll fair without leaving the batter’s box. Catcher Chad Wallach was all over the ball and fired it to second to start the club’s easiest double play of the year.
The timing of the play makes the gaffe look all the worst for the New York Mets newest second baseman. In defending himself on Friday, Canó said, “The whole year, I’ve been running every ground ball.”
There’s certainly been a bit of bad luck for Canó, and it’s easy to see why he may not have run out a ball that was hit foul right in front of a defender in a vacuum. Still, just two days after facing criticism for a lack of focus, this is probably a day to hustle out of the box on a play with a chance of being a double play.
“Things are piling up on Robbie right now,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said after the game. “I mean, come on, let’s face it. He hit into a double play. The ball lands foul and spins into fair territory. He hit it, hit looked down, he saw it hit foul, and by the time he looked back up, the ball had spun into fair territory, and the play was over. The realized he has to run. It’s not like he’s doing that on purpose. Anybody in their right mind knows that nobody would do that. It’s just piling up on him, and it’s tough. Stuff happens like that when it’s going bad.”
Will this stretch earn Canó a trip to the bench?
The tough stretch coincides with the worst part of Canó’s poor debut season in Queens; the 36-year-old is hitting just .245/.293/.374 on the season, including a ghastly .206/.242/.286 in May. Even his defense is suffering, where his -4 Defensive Runs Saved are worst among NL second basemen.
So between the hitting and lack of hustle, might Canó get a day or two off? He’s played in all but three of the Mets games — starting all but two of those — but the Mets have shown faith in him at every turn.
“I’m not defending not running down the line, but you’ve got to have a little common sense when something that doesn’t happen very often happens,” Callaway said. “I didn’t feel that that was enough to warrant taking him out of the game at that point.”
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