In a closed-door postgame meeting, Mets manager Terry Collins used a measured tone to address the perception that his club has packed it in. Collins said it is only the third such meeting he has with his team, which is now nine games under .500, the most it has ever been under Collins.
"We have not packed it in," Collins said after the Mets' 6-2 loss to the Rockies, which made them losers of 12 of their past 14 home games. "But, as I told our guys, 'perception is reality.' And when you sit on the outside and you watch a game like tonight, perception is, 'they've packed it in.' And I won't stand for it. I believe in accountability. I believe in how you play the game right. I'm the manager here and you have a game like that, where it looks like they are not prepared, that's my fault. That's where I come in. Like I told them in the room, we will find the right pieces. Because my teams play the game the right way. They play with energy. They play with enthusiasm. They play with some discipline. They are fundamentally sound. They don't play like they did tonight, like we have been playing."
Collins said he did not scream during the meeting because he doesn't believe a manager needs to address major leaguers in that fashion. He does think his players are still trying.
"I'm not sure it is lack of effort," Collins said. "It is the lack of execution. It is lack of preparation. It is the lack of thought. On the plays we saw tonight, there is not a day goes by in the 45 days that we are in spring training that pitchers don't PFP (pitcher fielding practice). There is not a day that when they do PFP, they do rundown plays where they know where they are at. There is not a day when we do cutoffs and relays -- (which) we do numerous times-- that pitchers aren't backing up the right bases. I saw some things tonight where pitchers are standing in the middle of the infield where balls are being thrown around."
Collins was referring to Bobby Parnell, who in the ninth inning failed to cover home. It resulted in a Rockies run.
"When you are not there, you are either too tired, which means you have to come out of the lineup, or your head is not in the game," Collins said. "I certainly think it is the first. I would hope we are dealing with fatigue factors and not mental approach."
The Mets are 11-26 since the All-Star break.
"I don't think we are a bad team," David Wright said. "We are just playing very bad right now. If you watch our games, you can probably see from the outside what we are seeing; we are not executing. The coaching staff is getting us prepared. The players, we have to do a better job of executing."
Wright thought the players' effort is there, but there are too many "mental mistakes" and the players "need to clean up the game."
Starter Chris Young, who was perfect through five innings before losing the game, thought Collins' address was totally accurate.
"He was right in everything he said," Young said. "We have to play better. We are talented enough and we have to play better, myself included."
COLLINS TOSSED: Collins said that the overturned call in the fifth-inning rundown was accurate, but what set him off is that it was made after Rockies manager Jim Tracy asked the umpires to seek help. Collins said they never do that for him.
"We haven't got one of those yet," Collins said. "I'm getting a little tired of it. I got a little fed up with it. Again, the process, obviously, they got the call right. That's not the point. I've asked a couple of times for umpires to check with someone else and I get a no. I've kind of had enough."
YOUNG DIDN'T KNOW: Young said he didn't know he had a perfect game after five innings.
McHUGH ON TAXI SQUAD: Collin McHugh will be in town to start Thursday if Johan Santana can't, which seems likely.
CAN'T SCORE:The Mets are averaging 2.86 runs in their 14 post-break home games. That is the biggest reason they only have two wins at home since the season's intermission.