Sunday, August 3, 2008
Mental Toughness is the Missing Ingredient
These are all things the Mets need, but I know the biggest thing the Mets are lacking is mental toughness. Tiger Woods has it. Michael Jordan had it. The Phillies are looking like they have it.
I just watched the end of the Philles/Cardinals game on ESPN. Down 2-1 in the 8th, the Phillies score 4 runs in the 8th to take the lead. Then with the score 5-2 in the 9th, Brad Lidge gives up a leadoff home run, gives up another run, and loads the bases with 1 out. But you know what? The Phillies got out of it and won 5-4.
Now let me ask you, what would have happened if that was Billy Wagner on the mound? I think we all know the answer to that. But it's not all Wagner's fault either. The Phillies took advantage of opportunities and made the most of them. How many times did we have the bases loaded on Sunday and didn't score a run? Twice. You can't get 9 or more hits in a game and not score a run without falling asleep mentally.
The Mets are a team without mental toughness. Try and name the most mentally tough player on the team? You can't. Honestly, it's probably Fernando Tatis or Carlos Delgado. But we've all seen Reyes, Beltran and Wright just look lost in tight situations. That won't get you anywhere in a pennant race.
Actually it will get you somewhere. It gets you 3 games back of first place (and counting) when just 5 days before you held sole possession of the top spot.