After Thursday’s debacle against the Washington Nationals in which the Mets were down 2-1 in the seventh inning, but lost the game 10-1 and thus completing a four game sweep for the Nationals, Mets’ manager Terry Collins had a few choice words for his ball club.
“Perception is reality in our game and the perception I have right now is we’ve folded it up,” Collins said on Thursday to reporters. “You want to see intenseness? You want to see me be intense? You guys are going to see it. I won’t play that game. You come and play the game right. I don’t care what the situation is. I don’t care about anything but playing the game correctly. That’s all I care about. Our fans should be upset. I don’t blame them one bit.”
Collins had every right to be furious.
The Mets have been going through the motions, playing the game lackadaisically with blatant disregard for fundamentals and hustle. From horrible pitching (mostly from the bullpen) to lazy, unmotivated fielding to inept hitting, the Mets hit a new low this week.
Perhaps Collins speech can motivate the Mets to finish out the season with some pride.
Well, if Friday night’s game vs. the Braves was any indication, the Mets’ players got the message loud and clear.
The Mets busted out the whooping stick and blasted the Braves 12-2. The Mets, who had scored all of five runs in the four game sweep, scored 12 runs on a season-high 20 hits and snapped their six-game winning streak.
Talk about a wake up call!
It shouldn’t have even gotten this far.
After sweeping changes last offseason in which the Mets made wholesale changes to the front office and management, the feeling around Queens was that there would be no more country club atmosphere in the Mets’ locker room.
And to Collins credit, that lazy and apathetic approach was vanquished for most of the season.
While besieged by injuries, distractions, trades depleting the team of major talent and general bad luck, Collins had the club always prepared to play to the final out. However, in September it seemed like the Mets gave up. The Mets were 6-10 for the month prior to visiting the Braves this weekend. With nothing to play for, the Mets rolled over looking like a team just trying to finish out the season.
Collins though, sees merit in finishing the season strong-with jobs possibly on the line-and is not afraid to let the players know it.
“We spent some time talking to a couple of guys about some things that have to change,” Collins reiterated to reporters on Friday.
This team, as I have stated before, has to start gaining an aggressive edge and winning down the stretch-despite not having much to play for-could do this team a lot of good.
Hopefully, the Mets respond to Collins impassioned plea and will get it in gear for these remaining 11 games and perhaps there could be some carryover next April.
Friday was a good start, but Collins-and deservedly so-wants more. Again, can you blame him?