Torres' struggles continue in defeat

Luis M. Alvarez/Associated Press

Bryce Harper celebrates a walk-off two-run homer against Carlos Torres on Thursday.WASHINGTON -- What’s happened to Carlos Torres?

Once one of the most dependable and versatile pitchers the Mets possessed, the 31-year-old Torres is now in a major rut.

Torres walked leadoff man Ian Desmond and surrendered a walk-off two-run homer to Bryce Harper on Thursday afternoon as the Washington Nationals beat the Mets, 5-3, in 13 innings.

Carlos Torres

Carlos Torres

#52 RP
New York Mets

2014 STATS

  • GM50
  • W5

  • L5

  • BB25

  • K71

  • ERA3.61

Torres did not record an out.

He has now surrendered eight earned runs -- and five homers -- in eight innings over his past seven appearances. He had produced a 2.88 ERA and has surrendered only four homers in 59 1/3 innings through July 12.

“He’s just having a tough time keeping it in the park,” Terry Collins said.

After starting Harper with a cutter in for a ball, Torres aimed to throw a two-seam fastball down and away.

“It just didn’t move that much, unfortunately,” Torres said.

Torres lamented a spike in his walks of late more than the recent hits he has surrendered. He has now issued four walks in three innings spanning his last four appearances.

“Realistically, I don’t think the hits are as much of a problem as the walks,” Torres said. “I think it was the Giants game I ended up walking the pitcher, [Madison] Bumgarner. My cutters were out of the zone. Today I walked Desmond. The Phillies game was a fluke. I walked three or four dudes in that game (actually, two). The time before I think I walked a guy also. I think that’s the bigger problem than the hits themselves.

“Nonetheless the hit cost us the game today.

"The team played extremely well. They did everything they could do for 12 innings. I didn’t give them a chance to make a play.”

Torres said the at-bat against Desmond got away from him because he tried to make Desmond miss out of the strike zone rather than pitch to contact after getting ahead in the count.

“I don’t usually walk people,” Torres added about his recent body of work. “That’s why I’m a little shocked by it, too.”

Of course, it’s entirely possible Torres’ heavy workload over the past two seasons is catching up with him. Torres' 67 1/3 relief innings lead the National League.

“I know he’s real frustrated about it,” Collins said about Torres’ struggles. “I know we all are, because he’s a huge part of our bullpen -- a very, very big part of our bullpen. Right now he’s struggling as bad as I’ve seen him.”

The rubber-game loss means the Mets are now nine games behind the first-place Nats.

“We need to beat this team,” Torres said. “So, for me personally, it’s frustrating, because I cost us the game.”