Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said the Braves did not water down the infield any more than usual to make it more difficult for Mets speedy leadoff man Jose Reyes to get traction on the basepaths Tuesday night.
Reyes repeatedly slipped during Tuesday’s game and said afterward it was the wettest he’d ever seen the infield at Turner Field. After he slipped diving back to first base on a pickoff play in the first inning, umpires called out the Braves grounds crew to put down a drying agent. He slipped at shortstop too, fielding an Alex Gonzalez ground ball in the seventh inning and throwing wildly for what became an infield hit.
When asked if the Braves intentionally over-watered the infield, Gonzalez said, “Absolutely not. There’s a whole infield. Usually if you’re going to do that, you’ll do it right there at first base. There was absolutely no gamesmanship being played.”
Reyes, who has worn plastic spikes instead of metal since 2003, which have less traction, never accused the Braves of over-watering on purpose. On Wednesday Mets manager Terry Collins downplayed it.
“You alter the field according to your team,” Collins told reporters. “These [Braves] guys do not steal bases…[Jordan] Schafer is about the only guy. They’re a fly-ball hitting team. They’re not a groundball hitting team. So the field was overly wet. I don’t know what to say, except I’d like to move the fences back when we play against [Florida slugger Mike] Stanton, but we can’t.”