Franco chasing down a fly ball in an earlier game this year, last night wasn't too good
We take really good baseball for granted sometimes, we see a player react in a certain way, the way that tells you he's a really good professional baseball player, and then it's very easy to see how the Phillies are lacking at this sometimes. The game is built on a premise called, fundamentals. It's taught in the minors and players have years to learn the proper way to play the game.
Manager Pete Mackanin has said he always teaches the fundamentals in Spring Training, the things that baseball players do. Bunt, catch balls, throw to the correct bases. All the things that add up to make a team play very clean baseball.
Like a parent though, we know that sometimes things that you preach to your kids can get lost in translation. The same can be true for baseball players and coaches, you can talk and tell people things, but it doesn't mean that they will always listen.
In yesterday's post, I talked about the major league pop-up, at Citi Field it has played a part in now two games when the pop-up happened in the infield. Last night, it was very similar to the play that Jose Reyes and the Mets had the other night, a ball was hit a mile high. Hesitation and confusion took over in the infield, as Phils pitcher, Vince Velasquez looked over at third baseman Maikel Franco for what seemed to be forever, practically begging him to come in and get this ball like he is supposed to do. Franco seemed to be in never-never land then he woke up and charged in to get the ball and smashed into Velasquez and dropped the ball.
The damage had been done to the Phillies by the time this play had occurred. Vince failed to properly locate a pitch to Jay Bruce, and Bruce made him pay with a long homerun that the Mets took the lead with.
After the pop-up play the Mets announcer, former Met, Ron Darling, said that at times "Maybe because I am sitting up here, but occasionally this game is almost unrecognizable" - meaning that there is an awful lot of plays where fundamentals are just not there. (He was blaming Velasquez for just not getting out of the way of the play, but Franco didn't act like he was going to come in and get the ball in my opinion or didn't say anything to Velasquez). Darling's broadcast partner, Gary Cohen, chimed it that it was 'karma' the fact that Jose Reyes had made a gaff in chasing down a fly ball the night before.
A quick note about Velasquez, what has happened to him, he is 0-7 in his last 12 games with the Phillies.