Mets pitcher addresses costly mental error with clear message

Although the New York Mets earned a 6-2 victory over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday, the game included two moments that starting pitcher Luis Severino would like to take back.

Severino was on the mound with two outs and runners on first and second base in the fourth inning when Nationals first baseman Juan Yepez singled down the right-field line.

Every pitcher knows he has to back up the plate in this situation, in case the outfielder’s throw goes wide. But because Severino didn’t back up Tyrone Taylor’s wild throw down the baseline, both runners were able to score on the play and the Nationals took a 2-1 lead.

Severino repeated the error one batter later; with Yepez on second, Washington second baseman Ildemaro Vargas lined another single to left field. Once again, Severino stood on the mound doing nothing instead of stepping back to the plate.

Although Yepez did not score on that play, Severino escaped the inning without scoring a third run and the Mets came back to win, with both Severino and New York manager Carlos Mendoza addressing the former’s back-to-back mental lapses during postgame interviews.

“At first I thought (that pitch) was going to be caught and then after that I saw everything that happened, but of course that’s my fault,” Severino said of not backing down. “I should have done a better job tonight.”

Severino’s two earned runs in 6 1/3 innings pitched Wednesday indicate he still managed a strong performance to keep the team in the game. But his mental mishap could have been costly if his teammates hadn’t rallied and scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth.

When Mendoza was asked about Severino not lining up after the game, he said, “We’ll address it. He knows that,” according to SNY. “He knows he let the play play out and he didn’t get to where he needed to get to, so we’ll talk about that. We’ll show him a couple of videos and we’ll get it fixed.”

With Wednesday’s win, New York is within striking distance of the NL wild card. They are currently a half-game behind the San Diego Padres for the third wild-card spot with four games remaining before the All-Star break.