PITTSBURGH -- Ike Davis’ funk gets plenty of attention, but Andres Torres is in quite a rut as well.
New York Mets
Torres went 0-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts Monday night, including leaving the go-ahead run at third base in the top of the eighth. A half-inning later, a costly dropped ball in left-center by Kirk Nieuwenhuis lifted the Pirates to a 5-4 victory.
Torres is 1-for-his-last-29 as his average has tumbled to .189.
Terry Collins said Torres will sit Tuesday, with Nieuwenhuis starting in center field and Mike Baxter in left field.
As for how he managed the late innings, Collins said that with so many players having issues at the plate, he cannot pinch hit for everybody.
With one out in the eighth and the potential go-ahead run at third base, Collins allowed Mike Nickeas to hit. He struck out.
Baxter then pinch-hit in the pitcher’s slot and was intentionally walked. Torres made the final out, with Daniel Murphy being held back for a ninth-inning pinch-hitting assignment off the bench.
Asked why he did not use Murphy and Baxter for, say, Nickeas and the pitcher, Collins said about the scenario: “I’m burning them all in the eighth inning in a tie game. You look up, Murph hits for Nickeas, Baxter hits in the ninth hole, you don’t score, you’re out of players in a tie game.”
Collins had pulled Scott Hairston from the game in the bottom of the sixth when he wanted to upgrade his defense at first base with Johan Santana trying to protect a 4-2 lead. Vinny Rottino started the game at first base, but moved to left field when Hairston was removed so Davis could take over at first.
Davis, incidentally, struck out in both plate appearances after being inserted.