Collins: .500 trip would be huge

MILWAUKEE -- Although it would not help the Mets gain any ground, winning Sunday to make it a .500 trip to open the second half would be "a huge step," Terry Collins said before the series finale against the Brewers.

“It’d be great coming out of the break," Collins said. "I know it’s been two weeks since the last game we played in Citi Field. So it’s been a long trip, long trip. So to finish it on a high note would be great for us.”

The Mets went 1-2 in San Diego and 2-1 in Seattle. They have lost two of three so far in Milwaukee.

No worries: Jonathon Niese, who took the loss Saturday night, said he could have gone longer than just five innings. But Collins downplayed any tension.

“I’ve known Jon Niese long enough,” Collins said. “He never wants to come out. I love that about him.”

Collins pinch hit for Niese in the top of the sixth with two outs, the Mets trailing 3-2 and Chris Young in scoring position.

“There’s a time when you got to get your team back in the game,” Collins said. “You’ve got a runner at third base in the sixth inning. You’re only down a run and Jon’s got basically one more inning to go anyway. You just can’t give away that opportunity to tie the game up.”

So, Collins took no exception to Niese’s opinion.

“I love Jon and support everything he says,” Collins said. “I know he doesn’t want to come out.”

Then Collins shared a little nugget of advice he got from a Hall of Fame pitcher.

“Sandy Koufax told me many years ago, pitchers and managers never get along," Collins said.