I’m not trying to be a nit-picker so soon after a much needed win for the Mets against the Rockies… especially at the dawn of a big three game series against the St. Louis Cardinals… but I wanted to say this a few days ago and I need to get it off my chest.
For much of spring training camp in late February and March, unless you spent that time under a rock, we were reminded constantly by Jerry Manuel, his coaches and even the Grand Poobah himself, Omar Minaya, that the Mets main focus in camp was working on fundamentals. What kind of fundamentals you ask? Well, all kinds according to Manuel, specifically citing fielding and baserunning as his main priorities.
Barely two weeks into the season, and I see too many discouraging signs as far as this renewed focus on fundamentals goes.
As recently as yesterday we saw a terrible display of baserunning faux pas’ by Luis Castillo and Jose Reyes that resulted in the Mets being shutout of what could have been a big inning.
The game before that we saw Jeff Francoeur make a tremendous throw to infield that held the opposing baserunner at third base and from scoring. But thanks to some terribly bad fielding decisions by Mike Jacobs and Jose Reyes (again), the runner scored anyway and the Mets eventually lost the game.
We’ve already seen Angel Pagan make two boneheaded plays; one on the basepaths and another in the field, while his counterpart Gary Matthews got himself picked off at first base. Lets not forget Fernando Tatis going all kamikaze and making an ill advised mad dash for home plate only to get get thrown out by a mile and snuffing out another potential rally for the Mets.
These things happen to all teams at one time or another throughout the grind of a long season, but not at this rate… Not so many mistakes already, so soon at the start of the season, and especially when you advertised a renewed Mets team with improved fundamentals.
I know all teams go into batting slumps and pitching slumps, and yes sometimes even fielding slumps although it’s rare unless you play for the Mets. But what we’ve seen so far in the way of fundamentals, is a far cry from what we were told to expect and looks all too similar to what we’ve seen in the last three seasons.
How can we put together any kind of a winning streak when we all too often beat ourselves?
That can’t be good… Can it?