Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I Know I'm a Broken Record But Mets Pitchers Are Acting Like Mental Misfits

In the past week I've already lauded the mental toughness of Matt Harvey and ridiculed Dan Warthen's ability to fortify the psyche of his pitchers, but here I am again talking about the total lack of any semblance of mental strength in the Mets pitching staff.

Yesterday's double dip in Colorado was all the proof you needed. Dillon Gee started off the day showing no idea how to get his pitches across. You could tell it was one of those days where he didn't have his stuff and who could blame him with the temperature looming around the freezing mark and snow having just been blown off the field.

But here's where you can blame Gee: he failed to realize he didn't have his stuff and proceeded to throw pitches as if he did. Gee didn't just give up runs. He gave up bombs. There are two guys in the entire Rockies lineup that you don't want to pitch to, Tulo & Gonzalez. Just don't pitch to them! But Gee proceeded to throw meatballs to CarGo and he paid the price.

Gee wasn't THINKING. He was completely unable to identify his situation and find a way to work through it. Gee is on his way to having a Steve Trachsel type of year. He'll lose 10 games in the first half of the year before finally getting his act together in the second half to win a couple games in a row and make you think he's still a reasonable asset.

Game number one was nothing compared to game number two. A 6 run lead should be enough to win, but in the second game the mental misfits extended from not just pitchers but also to fielders. Baxter misplayed a ball that led to two runs. Lyons couldn't pickup the easiest of balls played to him which opened the door to a big inning. Parnell couldn't hold a runner on. Tejada pulled a Chuck Knoblauch and can't seem to throw the ball to first base.

The blame will go to Tejada who could have closed the door on the Rockies had he not thrown that ball away which led to the game being tied up. But before that even happened the Mets BLOWpen did the team no favors. Josh Edgin couldn't throw a strike. Hawkins likes to be hit hard. Lyons has evidently never fielded a ball before. And the list could go on.

I'm telling you that physical talent wise this team has enough assets to make things interesting. I'm not foolish to think they're a title contender but if you look at Murphy, Buck, Wright and the potential of Davis you have enough assets to be a competitor. Marry that with Harvey every fifth day and a solid season from Niese and you're easily a .500 team.

It's the mental side of things that will be the Mets downfall. Stupid mistakes that make you lose games to teams you should easily beat.

It's become a part of the Mets culture. Look at how many different names have been in the Mets bullpen in the last 5 years, but yet the product is still relatively the same. Sure you can blame part of that on talent acquisition but when you see no growth or change regardless of personnel, you have to start wondering if it's the leaders who aren't guiding the ship in the right direction.

Mental toughness. I'm telling you that's what makes or breaks this Mets team.

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