It was a night Asdrubal Cabrera likely would remember. He would finish with four hits, including his fourth homer, two runs scored and two RBIs.
And yet one act of attempted aggression made it a night to forget for the Mets veteran.
With the Mets down two runs, Cabrera smacked a one-out double in the ninth. Mets fans put hats on inside-out and backwards for the supposed rally. Washington reliever Ryan Madson, searching for his second save, bounced a pitch that scooted away from catcher Pedro Severino. Cabrera took off for third.
“He’s got to make it. If he goes, he’s got to make it,” manager Mickey Callaway said.
Well, he didn’t make it. Third baseman Wilmer Difo was waiting for Cabrera, who slid into the tag. The Mets challenged the call — what the heck, they had a challenge.. The ruling was upheld and Cabrera knew he had been aggressive to a fault after the Mets settled in with a stinging 8-6 loss to the Nationals at Citi Field Monday.
“Yeah, that was bad running right there. We were down by two. It was not necessary to do that,” Cabrera said, adding the bad judgement this time is not going to affect his aggression next time.
“No, not really. I saw the ball was [away] but like I said that was bad running,” Cabrera said. “I have to make sure I’m going to be safe. I’ve got to keep doing what I’ve been doing and be aggressive.”
Callaway said he was not bummed. He has preached a more aggressive approach on the bases, and most of the time, the Mets have succeeded in taking the extra base. But this time, well, as Cabrera said: “bad running.”
“He knows. But I like his aggressiveness,” Callaway said. “It’s paid dividends for us more than it’s hurt us. He knows it [was a bad play].”
And so Cabrera’s silver lining night settled behind the dark cloud. After losing an 11-game hit streak Saturday — and flying out in a pinch-hit appearance Sunday — Cabrera was back at what he has done best, hitting. From the No. 2 spot in the order, he singled and scored, singled, homered to drive in two runs and doubled after an initial ground out. He ended the night with a .356 average.
And the acknowledgement of one bad base running play.