Mental lapses cause Mets losses

An article by posted on April 12, 2011

It wasn’t a “routine play,” but when Ryota Igarashi had the comebacker in the sixth inning, I thought to myself, ‘Yes! Throw home, step on the plate and then throw on to first base for the double play.’

Instead, Igarashi sailed a throw to Josh Thole, who then had to step on home plate for the force out but didn’t get the inning-ending double play. Instead, Carlos Gonzalez then hit a game-tying two-run single through the infield to tie the game at 7-7.

Earlier in the game, the Mets executed a wheel play — something they haven’t done in nearly five seasons — but blew the double-play opportunity when Jose Reyes threw wide of first base while Daniel Murphy was covering. Though it was the right idea with the pitcher running, perhaps Reyes could have held on to the ball and kept the runners on first and second and still have a double play opportunity. Instead, the runners advanced to second and third.

In the eighth inning, Bobby Parnell had a chance to get an out at home when Carlos Gonzalez sent a chopper back to him. Parnell threw home but riffled it way over the head of Thole, allowing Dexter Fowler to come home for the go-ahead run. And, in typical Mets fashion, Parnell then served up a two-run home run to Troy Tulowitzki to give the Rockies a 7-4 lead. Mind you, Tulowitzki kept the game tied in the bottom half of the seventh inning when he made a great play in the hole on Daniel Murphy with a runner in scoring position.

Sure, the Mets battled back in the eighth inning and cut the lead to 7-6, but with Ike Davis on first base and zero outs, the next three batters went down in order, ending the inning. The Mets went silent in the bottom of the ninth against Rockies closer Houston Street.

For me, it’s these mental lapses that have been so frustrating over the past four or five seasons. It seems to happen quite often—at least more often than I want them to. I don’t know how often it happens with other teams; I’m sure it does. But does it happen as much as it does with the Mets? I don’t know, that’s question for a fan of a team who watches their team every single night.

But the most annoying thing is I didn’t expect these players to make these silly and mental mistakes under Terry Collins. I expected them to be more focused. Those three mistakes cost the Mets the game last night. The offense provided six runs, which typically should be enough to get a victory.

The Mets have to limit these lapses on the field. If they can do that, I think they can turn things around. But they have to play smarter, more mentally focused baseball all nine innings, every night, if they want a chance to win games.

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