One word from New York Mets manager Terry Collins explained their latest loss to the Colorado Rockies Tuesday night at Citi Field. “Inexcusable,” he said after his team dropped their second consecutive game to the Rockies, 6-2. Like the night before, when it looked like R.A. Dickey would get his 16th win, Chris young pitched perfect baseball for five innings before things imploded on the field.
Young retired the first 15 batters he faced before D.J. LeMahieu singled to start the sixth inning. And then the implosion of mistakes that caused Collins to meet with his team after the game, in what he described in a “professional tone.”
Young cased a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt by Rockies’ starter Jhoulys Chacin that led to a four-run sixth inning. New York could not surmount any type of threat against Chacin, (1-3) who made his first start since May 1st after going on the disabled list with inflammation to his right shoulder.
And to young, (3-7) who struck out his first four batters, the loss was just as frustrating to him.
“That bunt cost us the game,” he said. “It’s frustrating. “We’re here to win. “I’m certainly frustrated because I helped contribute to a loss.” It was the Mets third straight loss, losers in 13 of their last 16.
Collins’ team has the second worst record in baseball since the All-star break, and it is almost assured this will be the fourth consecutive year of a second half collapse for New York.
Before the Mets try to take one of four games in this series with the Rockies, they also await word Wednesday morning as to the result of an MRI that Johan Santana had Tuesday on his lower back. As of late Tuesday night, Santana was still scheduled to make his start in the series finale Thursday afternoon.
“He has an appointment in the morning, we will have an answer in the morning,” commented Collins.”
However there seems to be no answer as to what Collins is describing as inexcusable play. In the ninth the Rockies got another run on a ball that first baseman Ike Davis threw home. Andrew Brown retreated back to third and was chased by David Wright. But the run scored on a high toss, another botched play that Collins saw from his office after being tossed from the game on a disputed play in the fifth.
“When you talk about effort, I’m not sure it’s lack of effort. Its lack of execution, it’s lack of preparation, it’s lack of thought,” said Collins. “I saw some things tonight where pitchers were standing in the middle of the infield with the ball being thrown around. That’s inexcusable.”
He mentioned how pitchers are taught to make proper plays during rundowns in the infield. Collins says he will take the blame for the lack of preparation, as he did last season when the Mets had their second half adventures.
“We have not packed it,” said Collins when asked if his team has quit on him. “But, as I told the guys perception is a reality. And when you sit on the outside and watch a game like tonight perception is they packed it in and I won’t stand for it.”
“I believe in accountability. I believe in playing the game right. I’m the manager here and when you have a game like that it looks like they’re not prepared, that’s my fault. And that’s where I come in.”
He told his team the right pieces will be found. Collins said again, “My teams play the right way.”
“I don’t think we’re a bad team we just need to execute better,” claimed David Wright who has become the spokesperson for the coaching staff. He says they prepare the team well.
The Mets certainly played the right way for Collins in the first half. It is the dog days of August, and more so appearing more like players that need to be accountable for their miscues on the field. Playing for their jobs next season seems to be the case, with payroll tied up only with Santana and Jason Bay, who has become a platoon outfielder.
But accountability is one thing and inexcusable play is another. Two more games with the Rockies and Collins may have to start thinking about who returns next season.
Email Rich Mancuso; [email protected]