TC's pregame change 'pretty minor'

Those expecting some monumental solution when Terry Collins pledged a change to the Mets' routine for Monday's game will come away disappointed.

Collins said the tinkering merely involves having starting players take batting practice closer to the game's first pitch.

The manager estimated the first group of starters to hit had been taking batting practice about two hours, 25 minutes before the first pitch -- giving them too much idle time before the game.

Teams hit closer to game time on the road, so Collins is pushing back the starters' hitting time as much as possible. The Mets still must be off the field by 5:30 p.m. to allow the visitors their allotted time.

"It's a minor thing," Collins said. "We're kind of grasping at straws to see if anything works. ... Does it make a difference? Probably not."

The Mets entered Monday's series opener against Washington having scored three runs or fewer in 10 straight home games -- one shy of matching the franchise record.