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NEW YORK -- Eleven games into his New York Mets tenure, after his team had lost for the sixth time in seven games, manager Terry Collins addressed his players on Wednesday night.
His message: Don't get dispirited the moment adversity happens in a game, such as the deflation that occurred after Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki's three-run homer in the fifth inning Wednesday, which turned the Mets' two-run lead into a deficit en route to a 5-4 loss.
"I've been on teams where you go through a stretch like this, and it's easy to slough off, it's easy to say, 'Woe is me. Here we go again. We'll just get ready for tomorrow,'" Collins said about his motivation for addressing the players. "We can't. We've got to press forward. We've got to come back and make tonight be the night.
|Jon Niese's body language said it all after Troy Tulowitzki's homer.|
"I just want to make sure that everybody still realizes that this is a nine-inning, 27-out [game], or however many innings you've got to play -- if the team comes back in the sixth inning and takes the lead that we've still got innings to play."
Said third baseman David Wright about Collins' postgame powwow: "It lasted two minutes. Everybody knows that we've got to play better. The record speaks for itself. But it's important not necessarily to come in here and talk about winning. It's more of our reactions after pivotal plays. We've got to make sure nobody is hanging their head. We're still talking about 10, 11 games into the season. So we've just got to make sure we keep it positive, keep our heads up."
Collins hoped to get off to a good start to win over the fans. Now, the Mets are 4-7 and sitting in last place in the National League East heading into Thursday's matinee doubleheader against the Rockies.
"I just got done telling them, as I've told you guys, we're one pitch away, and we're one swing away, from being 9-2. And we're not," Collins said. "But the next 11 we need to be 9-2. We need to get it going and do the things we haven't done thus far.
"We're a better team. As I said, we're in every game. We've just got to take the next step. There's a lot of guys playing hard. I'm watching guys run balls out, diving for stuff, running hard. But when the other team comes back, we need to recharge ourselves and do the things that we were doing when we had the lead.
"We've played 11 games. I just want them to know, 'Hey, we're still behind you. We're all in this. It's a group thing.' And I'll take the responsibility. Maybe I'm not getting them ready good enough. Maybe we're not doing a good enough job in our pregame meetings where we talk about what we've got to do."
Collins continues to note that aside from an 11-0 whitewashing by Roy Halladay and the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday, the Mets essentially have been in every game.
"It's time to start making pitches. It's time to start getting a big two-out hit," Collins said. "We're pulling for each other. Everybody's behind each other. We've got to quit worrying about the negatives and start thinking about what the execution side is going to need. Now's the time. We've been in every game. We've got to start winning them."