Into the minds of Mets pitchers including Jeremy Hefner and R.A. Dickey

We are always quick to judge a pitcher on his work performance. If he does not perform up to our standards, then we have no problem calling for management to give him his walking papers. Yet how often do we really think about what is going on in the mind of a pitcher? When was the last time you cared about what the mindset of a pitcher was? I’m not talking about just one of those, “What-the-hell-was-he-thinking-throwing-that-pitch” type of questions. I’m talking about a genuine “is-he-okay” type of question.

This week we saw Jeremy Hefner come up from the minors and just be in awe of New York City, Dillon Gee pitch erratic yet got the job done and R.A. Dickey being R.A. Dickey. Here’s a look into their minds. Somebody may want to tell Hefner that his weight had nothing to do with him possibly getting hurt. He should’ve been worried about the Mets training staff.

I thought I could overcome it but I left balls up. . . . I wasn’t sharp. I’m real disappointed. . . . I have to be able to keep us in the game regardless of rain delays and circumstances.

Hefner, on coming back into Thursday’s game after a 68-minute rain delay, as reported by Roger Rubin in the New York Daily News.

Even if I just had that one day, and I never got called up again, that would have been fine. You know what I mean? Just the opportunity to see how I could do.

Hefner as reported by Adam Rubin, ESPNNewYork.com

If I would have signed I probably would have got hurt.

Hefner on why he didn’t’ sign the first two times the Mets drafted him as reported by Andy McCullough, the Star Ledger

I made the comment before, when I signed my contract, that it was my hope to be the best bargain around. It looks like it’s kind of come true the last couple of years.

Dickey as reported by Mike Puma, New York Post

I just wanted to concentrate on fixing what I needed to fix. I did a lot more preparation this go-around. I still had to trust my stuff. And I still had to have confidence in it. I didn’t want to go away from my strengths.

Jonathon Niese as reported by Metsblog

[Rob Johnson] does a great job of reading hitters and what they’re trying to do based on that. I do pay attention to it, but sometimes I get so focused on executing a pitch that it’s kind of tough. But it’s something I’m definitely working on and something that definitely works.

Niese as reported by Anthony Rieber, Newsday

I still feel that I have some work to do with my command, and especially with my fastball.

Johan Santana as reported on SNY

I kept the ball low in the zone and thank God I didn’t make any mistakes.

Frank Francisco as reported by Mike Puma, New York Post

To go out there and have a quality start and give us a chance to win, that was big for me, especially after the past rough ones I’ve had. I was all over the place today. Last game I felt great and I gave up seven runs. Today I felt terrible, can’t throw a strike, and I give up three. Maybe I was effectively wild.

Gee as reported by Michael Baron, Metsblog

I used to just let it ‘eat.’ I’ve kind of dialed back and tried to work on location more than anything. There are certain situations where I’ll let it go. But I’ve learned the other way — going from throwing 98 mph to 94-95 mph.

Bobby Parnell on his fastball as reported by Adam Rubin, ESPNNewYork.com

1 comment for “Into the minds of Mets pitchers including Jeremy Hefner and R.A. Dickey

  1. Metsense
    May 25, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Great compilation of quotes and very revealing. Their words speak of who they are. Santana the perfectionist, not satisfied, even with the good results. Dickey the need “to belong” as also stated in his excellent biography that is so much more than a baseball book. Niese being “lazy” and a little stubborn and not realizing that his work ethic and motivation may be holding him back. Fransisco is more worried about mistakes than visualizing his successes, a poor approach for a closer. Heffner arriving and feeling he doesn’t belong. Come on Jeremy, seize the moment, you were pitching very good in AAA but with that mental approach it will be near impossible to succeed in the majors. The most encouraging quote from the thrower who is learning to pitch, Parnell. I hope the Mets employ a good sports psychologist (I am being serious about this) because with a little “therapy” they could alter some of this negative thinking.

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