A man resigned to his fate, Mets catcher Rene Rivera skittered to a stop at the cutout just past third base and stood up tall, knees locked.
Luis Valbuena started the rundown half-heartedly by jogging toward Rivera. After a few strides, he shoveled the baseball to teammate Jefry Marte. Too early. Like a prisoner who found his shackles unlocked, Rivera sensed new life. He sprung back toward third.
There wasn’t enough time. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons sprinted in, but the play was rushed. He couldn’t catch the ball and apply the tag, and Rivera was safe at third.
It seemed an inconsequential play in the Angels’ 7-5 loss to the Mets on Saturday evening at Citi Field. The...