ATLANTA — Asdrubal Cabrera’s defensive slump hasn’t crushed the Mets yet, but the veteran shortstop certainly isn’t providing his pitchers any favors.
In Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Braves, Cabrera committed two first-inning fielding errors — on consecutive at-bats — but Robert Gsellman escaped the jam, after throwing 15 extra pitches in the inning.
“I was just staying in attack mode and making pitches like I did before and trying to pick up Cabby,” Gsellman said after the Mets’ 6-1 victory. “He didn’t make the plays, but he’s a teammate and you have got to pick him up sometimes.”
Cabrera, who was on the bench for the Mets’ 8-1 win in the nightcap, has 10 errors in 47 games.
“This guy, after watching him last year, was one of the sure-handed guys that I have ever seen on the field,” manager Terry Collins said. “If the ball was hit to him, you were out. It just seems right now he isn’t getting his feet in the position he wants them to be. Nobody is more baffled about it than he is or us, because we have seen how good he can be.”
T.J. Rivera’s reward for hitting a two-run homer in the Mets’ victory in the nightcap was a demotion to the minors. Rivera and Tyler Pill were optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas after the game, creating roster space for Yoenis Cespedes and Sunday’s starter, Seth Lugo — who will come off the disabled list to make his season debut. Cespedes had been added to the roster Saturday as the 26th player for a doubleheader.
Matt Reynolds was optioned to Las Vegas after Game 1 to create roster space for Steven Matz, who was activated from the DL and started Game 2. The juggling leaves the Mets with six starting pitchers, seven relievers and four bench players.
Jose Reyes snapped an 0-for-27 skid with a single in the fifth inning of the nightcap. In Game 1, Reyes committed a fielding error in the eighth inning that allowed the Braves to get the tying run to second base before Addison Reed escaped trouble.
Neil Walker returned to action after missing the previous two games with left-knee stiffness. Walker entered the first game as part of a double switch in the eighth inning and was hit by a pitch in the ninth in his only plate appearance. He started at second base in the nightcap and went 2-for-3 with two walks and a run scored.