Luis Rojas trying to keep Mets confident: 'These things can build up sometimes and can destroy a team'

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Luis Rojas side angle close shot of his face
Luis Rojas side angle close shot of his face

With Thursday’s 4-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Mets have now dropped six out of seven and 14 of their last 20 games overall, and the team’s unproductive offense was once again at the forefront of what went wrong.

On a night where the Dodgers used seven relievers to string together nine innings, the Mets mustered just six hits as a team, only one of which – J.D. Davis’ fourth-inning RBI double – went for extra bases. On top of that, the Mets failed to draw one walk against Dodgers pitching.

After the game, Luis Rojas spoke about his team’s approach.

“I thought we were late on fastballs. Not every one, but a lot of times we were late on fastballs. Foul balls or swinging through one, and then we were chasing the secondary pitch,” Rojas said. “So I think the timing is a big thing overall here. We’ve got to be ready to hit early. If you’re ready to hit early, you can recognize pitches, you can lay off. I’ve said that many, many times, and I think that was part of some of the things that happened tonight.

“They did a good job matching up, they did a good job attacking in the zone and mixing pitches against us, and I think we didn’t take advantage of some pitches that were actually hittable in the zone at times. No sequencing of hitting, no sequencing of creating situations for us to score. The result is one run in nine innings.”

Rojas also admitted that a dire stretch like this can kill a team’s season, so the key now is for the team’s leaders to make sure that frustration isn’t being carried over from one game to the next.

“We’re going through a stretch that we haven’t gone through in the entire season. We were finding ways to prevent some bad streaks from happening, but we’re struggling in one area especially more than others,” said the Mets skipper. “The guys have been frustrated after some loses that we’ve had, for sure. … Changing things is what we have to do right now, change some of the things that we’ve been doing lately so we can improve our approach and those things.

“These things can build up sometimes and can destroy a team. So that’s where leaders of the group, myself, have to come in and make sure that that doesn’t happen. This is a big challenge that we’re going through right now, and we’ve got to do this together. No one should be looking down or back or anything. Yeah, it’s a tough loss tonight and we can think of other tough loses that we had … but a lot of us have to have the ability to bring the guys up. That’s what we’re going to do and keep working on the things that we need to improve.”

The Mets had hoped that Wednesday’s 12-inning win over the San Francisco Giants could be a turning point and swing some momentum back in their favor, but that wasn’t the case on Thursday. Still, the Mets are trying to remain confident that things will eventually break their way.

“Yesterday’s win definitely was a confidence booster going out of there, and we’re still confident. We’re just right there,” said Davis. “There’s probably one, two, three plays that made the difference in this game once again. But we’ve just got to stay positive. We’ve got Walker [Buehler] tomorrow, it’s a four-game series, so all we can do is go out and stay positive and just try to get a win tomorrow.”