Errors, walks plague D'backs in first playoff road game
Posted: Saturday October 09, 1999 01:45 AM
Buck Showalter was far from pleased with the Diamondbacks' performance on Friday night. AP
NEW YORK (AP) - This is not how the Arizona Diamondbacks won the National League West Division.
For a team so aware of fundamentals that the shortstop and second baseman back up the mound in case of overthrows back to the pitcher, the Diamondbacks came apart at the seams Friday night.
The result was a 9-2 blowout by the New York Mets that put Arizona one loss away from elimination in the NL playoffs.
There were three errors and eight walks as Arizona played like an expansion team, which, of course, is what the second-year team was supposed to be this season.
"We won 100 games, 101 now," manager Buck Showalter said on the eve of Game 3. "Nothing's going to happen to make me feel different about this club."
Then, plenty did.
Starter Omar Daal helped New York to its first run with a couple of walks in the second inning. Then shortstop Andy Fox's overthrow on an attempted double play allowed another Mets run in the third.
Daal kicked a ball into foul territory, helping create a bases-loaded jam for himself in the fourth. Then Tony Womack kicked a ball around in right field, compounding the damage in a six-run Mets sixth that included three more walks.
Daal and Womack were particularly disgusted with themselves.
"I got behind in the count so many times," the Arizona starter said. "I just didn't do my job."
"I'm not the happiest guy right now," Womack said. "It happened. Mistakes happen."
"They're good enough without giving them extra outs," Showalter said. "You do that, you're going to pay the price.
"That was not characteristic of the way we played this year."
All in all, not pretty.
"Tonight we struggled and we paid for it," Steve Finley said. "We've got a great defense. Tonight we didn't execute and make the plays."
By contrast, the Mets were perfect on defense including a sparkling play by shortstop Rey Ordonez on Matt Williams leading off the sixth.
When Showalter's team got in trouble in the sixth, he went to the bullpen for left-hander Dan Plesac to face the Mets left-handed hitters. The move made sense. Plesac has been poison on left-handed batters this season, limiting them to a .186 batting average.
So, of course, lefties John Olerud and Darryl Hamilton both reached him for two-run singles that broke the game wide open.
It was typical on a night when almost nothing went right for Showalter and the Diamondbacks.
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