As a baseball player, one of the biggest moments of your life is being called up to the majors. It’s the realization of a lifelong dream. And then you have to actually suit up and get on the field, and that’s when it stops being a dream and gets real.
Tomas Nido now knows what that feels like. Nido is a catching prospect for the New York Mets, and he was called up Tuesday from Double-A to provide more depth for the team. He made his debut on Wednesday, but it was in Thursday’s game against the Chicago Cubs that he experienced the true pleasure and pain of being a major league baseball player.
It all went down in the ninth inning. The Mets were losing 14-5, and down to their last three outs. Nido came in as a pinch hitter with one out and Juan Lagares on second base. And he came out swinging — he sent first pitch he saw into left field for his first ever major league hit. Juan Lagares crossed the plate on that hit, so with one swing of the bat he had his first RBI, too.
Nido was obviously feeling pretty great. Brandon Nimmo struck out for the second out, but Nido advanced to second base on defensive indifference and was looking for more. Mets infielder Phillip Evans came up next, and that’s when things got weird.
Evans hit a soft grounder that barely rolled up the third base line, and Cubs catcher Alex Avila managed to snag it. Avila stumbled and somehow didn’t fall on his butt, but he wasn’t able to get off a throw to first. Play over, right? Nope, apparently not. Nido, who had advanced to third, didn’t stop there. He kept going to try and score a run, which was really unwise. Avila tossed the ball to Felix Pena at home plate and Nido literally ran right into the tag — and the end of the game — a few feet short of the bag.
It’s not totally clear what Nido was thinking there. Maybe he thought that the ball had rolled all the way to the backstop, which could have potentially given him enough time to make it home. Or maybe he just thought he could make it.
Either way, it was an unwise baserunning decision at best. But the Mets were losing 14-6 and were one out away from ending the game. If a rookie is going to make a mistake, you want him to make it in a game like that instead of one that’s close. And really, you can’t blame the kid for trying.
Chin up, rookie. You’ll have another chance to score that run from third someday.
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