This Mets Team Can’t Afford Mental Mistakes

Daniel MurphyI cringed as Domonic Brown’s three-run home run in the bottom of the first inning disappeared deep into the stands at Citizens Bank Park last night.

Phillies 5, Mets 0 before we even blinked.

But then I realized that Citizens Bank Park is band box, and one or two big swings would get the Mets right back in the game.

Sure enough, homers from the red-hot John Buck and Lucas Duda made it a 5-2 game heading into the fifth.

With one out and runners on second and third in the fifth, Ike Davis lifted a ball to shallow center that it looked like Ben Revere might not get to. Revere made the catch on the run, but there was no way he’d be able to set himself and throw out Jordany Valdespin trying to tag up from third.

OK, we got ourselves a 5-3 game. We’re right back in this.

Hold on just a second.

I again cringed as I saw Daniel Murphy had been doubled off second base on a play that was right in front of him. That’s inexcusable.

Unfortunately, the Mets are not a talented enough team to have mental mistakes. Physical errors of course are part of the game, but the mental mistakes are the ones that can cost games.

Now, even if that run counted and the game was 5-3, that does not automatically mean the Mets would have come all the way back to tie the game or even take the lead. But again, in that type of ballpark, anything can happen.

It’s impossible to think that any team – even the best teams in the league – will play perfect all-around baseball. It just doesn’t happen. But the teams that limit the mental mistakes always put themselves in a better position to win games.

Had the Mets lost the game on a Murphy error at second base in the bottom of the ninth inning, it would still leave Mets fans with a bad feeling, but at least we could say that errors happen and it was just terrible timing.

But the mental mistake in the fifth inning was a huge rally killer for a team that struggled putting together any sort of rally in the final two games of the Philadelphia series.

If the Mets goes out there each night and makes a bunch of errors and loses, so be it. But the losses will sting even more if the team beats itself by making mental mistakes.

Murphy at least seems like the type of player that will learn from that mistake to ensure it never happens again.

About Jim Mancari 255 Articles
Jim Mancari hails from Massapequa, N.Y. He earned a Master's degree in journalism from Hofstra University. He is a devout Mets fan and takes pride in his team, despite their lack of success over the last few years. Like all Mets fans, Jim has plenty of hope. He also writes as the sports reporter for the Brooklyn Tablet newspaper and the senior editor of metroBASEBALL Magazine. Be sure to visit