If Old MacDonald had a baseball team, it would have been the Mets Sunday night -- though the nursery rhyme would have to be tweaked ever-so-slightly to go E-E-E-E . . . Oh.
In addition to Jonathon Niese having far less than his best stuff, the Mets' fielding came back to bite him for the second time this season. They committed four errors in his five innings in a 6-4 loss to the Yankees in the rubber game of the Subway Series. Niese (2-1) gave up eight hits and six runs, only four earned.
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Things kicked off innocently enough when third baseman Eric Campbell mishandled a ball off the bat of Mark Teixeira, recovered and sailed an errant throw to Lucas Duda for his second error of the season.StoryA-Rod HR, two RBIs help Yanks take series from Mets
That didn't cost the Mets, but it set the stage for a series of bloopers so egregious, there might as well have been circus music playing in the infield . . .
. . . and the outfield . . .
. . . and on the basepaths.
"It was just a bad night, a bad night for us," manager Terry Collins said. "Until this point, we played very well . . . You're not going to win games if you give out that many outs.''
Leftfielder Michael Cuddyer committed his first error of the season and his first in the outfield since 2013 on a sharply hit double by Alex Rodriguez in the second. Attempting to get the ball back into the infield, Cuddyer realized the base he wanted to throw to wasn't covered, Collins said, and spiked the ball far short of the dirt, allowing Chris Young to score from first for the Yankees' fourth run of the inning.
The Mets had back-to-back errors in the fifth, when Daniel Murphy booted a possible double-play ball and Wilmer Flores threw away his relay on another as the Yankees scored another unearned run. Then, with the Mets down 6-4 with one out in the sixth, Campbell lost track of how many outs there were and was doubled off first base by Carlos Beltran on Flores' fly ball.
"It was just a bonehead play," Campbell said. "I just made a mistake and it cost us an out, which in a two-run game is important, so just move on from it."
Meanwhile, Niese's outing matched his shortest outing of the season, a 5-3 loss to Atlanta on April 10 in which he gave up three runs (one earned) and was hurt by a pair of errors by Flores.
If there was anything positive to be taken from the blunders and brain freezes, it was this: The gaffes were a gaffe in and of themselves. The Mets had been one of the better-fielding MLB teams with nine errors and a .986 fielding percentage. The National League average was 12 and the MLB average was 11.
"It's a good thing it's out of the ordinary," Campbell said. "Which means we can forget about it and move on to tomorrow and continue to play the way we've played since the beginning of the season."