The whole play and the ending of such a close competitive divisional matchup was a mess. But if you really think Michael Conforto entered that at bat wanting to get hit by a pitch, you’re wrong. He’s looking for a $200 million extension, and a walk off hit by pitch isn’t going to get him that, especially on the stretch he’s on right now.
Conforto is having a brutal start to the season at the plate, and it is really hurting the team so far with him hitting third in the lineup. It is still early and he should be able to turn it around, but he is currently lost at the plate and has not looked good at all. There is no way what he did was anything more than a last second reaction on a pitch that he was not expecting. He was not comfortable the entire at bat only swinging at one pitch that wasn’t even a strike.
Who’s to Blame?
If you want to be mad at anybody for the ending of this game the only person worthy of blame is the home plate umpire, Ron Kulpa. He didn’t know the rules on how if a pitch is a strike, it can’t be a hit by pitch. He even rung him up but before finishing the strikeout call, then switched up and gave him first base. Why did he not stick with his gut? It was the correct call and he messed up. Be mad at the MLB for having such strange rules on video review.
Players lean in to pitches often. Sticking the elbow out a little can make a pitch seem more inside than it really is. It’s an instinct. At least he didn’t fake getting hit by a pitch like a legendary player for the cross-town team whose fans are the most up in arms about this situation. But that was just considered “smart baseball” by the homers.
Be Happy, Mets Fans
There might be some retaliation from the Marlins on Saturday, but I doubt it. You do not want to get in a bean war with Jacob deGrom and his 102mph fastballs. It sucks that the game ended this way but a win is a win. There are many Mets fans upset about this and it’s just insane. For how many years have plays like this gone against the Mets? For once a break went their way and it won them a game. Take it and run, this division is going to be very close and any win could turn out to be the difference maker in first and third place.
There is nothing that can be done about the ending of the game. The Marlins chose to walk the bases loaded, giving nowhere for a potential batter who got hit by a pitch or walked to go. Worst case even if Michael Conforto was out, there was a red-hot Pete Alonso up next and I completely believe he hits a walk off grand slam if given the opportunity. Home opener with fans back for the first time in a year? Pete’s sending everyone home in style without a doubt in my mind. Move on, the games over. There are plenty of more games to come.