Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley has been suspended for Games Three and Four of the NLDS for his illegal ‘slide’ that broke Ruben Tejada’s leg in the seventh inning of Game Two.
That’s right. Major League Baseball has ruled the slide illegal. Had that been rightfully called on the field, a double play would be called, allowing the Mets to escape the seventh inning with a 2-1 lead. Instead, the Mets lost the Game Two 5-2, and now have their backs up against the wall, fighting for their lives at home.
They’ve got the right guy on the mound for it, though. Matt Harvey, who has drawn all sorts of attention, ranging from the innings limit fiasco to ditching a mandatory workout before the NLDS, will be on the hill to defend Ruben Tejada and the Mets tomorrow night.
Utley has chosen to appeal his suspension, by citing numerous other slides that he has performed that have gone undisciplined. If he’s suspended, great. If not, great: that gives Harvey a chance to retaliate if Game Three happens to be a blowout. I’m not one for retaliating, but this situation absolutely calls for it. However, it’s unfortunate that it comes during the postseason-a time where every baserunner has the potential to single handedly end a teams’ season. As long as Utley is suspended or beaned with a 98 mph Harvey heater, I’m satisfied.
As for Ruben, he’s had a great season. During a spring training where his role on the club was severely in question, Tejada has had what I can call a breakthrough season, and its a shame that it had to end this way. Wilmer Flores will take his spot in the starting lineup, and Matt Reynolds will be called up to replace Tejada on the roster, making his big league and postseason debut at the same time.
This situation is not ideal by any stretch of the imagination, but it is what the Mets make it. Adrenaline will be in no short supply Monday Night; it just depends on if the Mets use it immaturely or to reach down in the innards of their competitiveness and pull out a victory in front of their home crowd.