For most of the season, the Mets have gotten by defensively with Dominic Smith, a natural first baseman, starting in left field. He had an adventurous night in the outfield in Wednesday's loss to San Diego, though.
With the Padres leading 2-1 in the third and Manny Machado on second, Hunter Renfroe singled to left. Smith was looking to come up throwing, but took his eye of the ball, which went underneath his glove and allowed Machado to score and Renfroe to coast into second.
Later in the inning, Franmil Reyes doubled down the line to score Renfroe. Smith's throw back into the infield was well wide of its target and allowed Reyes to hustle to third, though he'd be stranded there to end the inning. It was Smith's second error or the inning.
In the eighth, Smith came up short on a pop-up to shallow left after calling Amed Rosario off. The ball was ruled a hit, but it was another play that Smith could have made.
"You could see I was coming in hard and I made my best effort, laid out for it. Just tried to make the play," Smith said. "It was an inch away from my glove, but I mean watch he replay over, I was going hard for the ball, so all I can do is play hard."
Smith said that his confidence in the field is still high, but his misplays on Wednesday will eat at him.
"I don't want to say it alters your confidence, but it's very frustrating," he said. "We get here so early every day and put in so much to be prepared for the game, and then you get your one or two chance and stuff like that happens."
According to Mets skipper Mickey Callaway, the coaching staff will continue to work with Smith on improving his play in the outfield.
"He had to come in, he chopped his steps a little bit. I saw a little hesitation there," Callaway said. "So, things that go bad do affect you sometimes, but we'll keep on working on it and see if we can make him more comfortable on that play (coming in on the ball)."