MILWAUKEE -- The New York Mets failed to produce a hit after the third inning Tuesday at Miller Park en route to their sixth straight defeat. Afterward, manager Terry Collins indicated that he intends to meet with his team when it reconvenes Wednesday.
With the series-opening 3-2 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, the Mets' depleted lineup has mustered only eight runs during its six-game losing streak. The Mets also dropped to .500 for the first time since a week into the season. Each of the first five hitters in the Mets' lineup had two strikeouts Tuesday.
"We're going to have a little get-together tomorrow," Collins said. "But who do you want me to yell at -- the nine rookies? Huh? The veterans that play as hard as any veteran in this league, that play the game the right way? There's nobody to yell at. It's about going out there and getting the job done. They're major league players. Have some confidence. If there was a lack of hustle, lack of preparation, then there's something to yell about. But that's not out there. We're just not executing the way we should be. We should be able to at this level.
"You've got to get them to refocus. You've got to get them to understand that this is one pitch by one pitch. You can't worry about what just happened. You have to worry about what's going to happen next. You can't take your bat to the field. And you can't take your error to home plate and think you can make a difference. You've got to just go play the game the right way. ... All I know is we're not executing s---."
On the lack of hitting, Collins added: "We've tried a lot of things. We hit early today. We hit in the cages. We hit before the games. We hit after the games. We've got scouting reports that won't quit. We've got to go execute. ... You just hope you start to see a better application of what they're being told -- what [hitting coach] Kevin [Long] bring up. You start seeing balls out of the zone that are swung at, that's the part that gets to be tough. In this league, you've got to make pitchers throw strikes, because if you don't, they aren't going to throw any. They're just going to continue to throw stuff off the plate. And if you're going to keep swinging at it, they're going to keep throwing it there. ...
"This team is pretty much built on some power. We've got to get out of our heads the home run right now. We've got to get contact inside and start applying that a little bit more -- using the field to hit. A lot of our fly balls are routine fly balls. We're not driving anything. We're not using the field. We're getting ourselves out."
Top-notch starting pitching has been wasted because of anemic hitting and lackluster fielding. Jonathon Niese became the latest victim. He shook off a bruise to his right hamstring, which he suffered getting struck by a line drive, and limited the Brewers to two runs in six innings in a no-decision Tuesday.
"It's becoming a common theme right now," Collins said. "Our starting pitching is keeping us in games, giving us chances, and we can't mount an attack. So it gets a little frustrating for everybody, including the pitchers. But the one thing we've got going for us is we're in games. So if we ever break out and start getting some hits, we'll win some games."
Fielding miscues have been particularly glaring because the Mets have no margin for error. Left fielder Michael Cuddyer had a ball carom off the side wall and through his legs for an error, allowing Carlos Gomez to score all the way from first base in the seventh inning with the decisive run.
"I've got to get right on the wall, and you hope for a good hop," Cuddyer said. "Unfortunately ... it took a bad hop. Nothing is going our way right now. You compound that with trying to do everything right and trying so hard to come through in certain situations, it's not a good recipe, and hasn't been a good recipe -- especially on this road trip."