The New York Mets produced one of the craziest box scores you’ll see on Wednesday night, and not because of any statistical prowess or lack thereof.
No, it was the positioning utilized by manager Terry Collins that produced this absolutely bonkers scorecard, in which infielder Asdrubal Cabrera and Travis d’Arnaud, usually a catcher, swapped positions at second base and third base all night, a total of 22 times.
I can’t stop looking at this. pic.twitter.com/xFJt951qUB
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) August 17, 2017
Mets infielders Wilmer Flores and Jose Reyes were late scratches due to somehow simultaneous strained left rib cage muscles in advance of their tilt with the New York Yankees. So Collins got creative, starting d’Arnaud at third base for the first time in his career.
But Collins strategically flipped d’Arnaud with Cabrera a ton, usually to get the natural infielder in Cabrera on the pull side with a right-handed batter at the plate.
It sounds crazy, but it kind of worked. Cabrera made nifty plays at each position that might not have been made by a catcher, and d’Arnaud avoided the ball until he caught a pop-up in the ninth inning.
Still, the Mets fell 5-3.
“I was fired up,” d’Arnaud said after the game. “Doing whatever I can to help the team win, whatever they feel was necessary. It was fun. I wish we would have won, though. … I wanted to make a diving play. I wanted to make a diving play down the line or rob someone of a base hit, like people do to me.”
Opposing manager Joe Girardi commended Collins for his cunning.
“I thought it was really smart on Terry’s part,” Girardi said. “d’Arnaud has never played the infield. I think they were trying to give him the least amount of chances as possible. He got one and he made it, but I thought it was really pretty brilliant.”
Before the game, d’Arnaud texted injured third baseman David Wright to see if he could use the Mets star’s glove.
“Use it well,” Wright replied. “Dive for everything.”
But it seems d’Arnaud’s foray into the infield has gone to his head.
“My fielding percentage in the infield has got to be better than his—1-for-1,” d’Arnaud said of his brother Chase, an infielder who’s spent the last seven years bouncing between Triple-A and the majors. “So I’ll be sure to talk to him.”