HOUSTON -- The Mets' pitching staff issued eight walks in a 6-3 loss on Tuesday, the second most it has allowed in a game this year. Over the last five games, Mets pitchers have allowed 22 walks.
New York ranks seventh in the Majors with 82 walks and has issued four bases-loaded free passes this season, including one during Tuesday's game. That and the home runs given up by Mets pitching, including two on Tuesday, are a concern to manager Terry Collins.
"You just can't put people on and expect to win a Major League baseball game," Collins said. "It's just going to come back to burn you."
Collins added that execution is the big cause for the 25 long balls the staff has yielded so far this season.
"One of the reasons is that we're leaving a lot of balls in the middle of the plate," Collins said. "We're not making pitches we need to make."
Mets catcher Josh Thole said that despite six walks issued by the bullpen on Tuesday, the trio of relievers threw the ball well in combining for five innings of work. Miguel Batista worked 2 2/3 innings and Ramon Ramirez tossed 1 1/3 before Jon Rauch pitched the final frame.
Thole said Ramirez, in particular, had excellent movement on his pitches.
"[On Tuesday], I thought he came in and did a good job," Thole said. "Some guys didn't bite at the pitches like they do a lot of times."
He said both Ramirez and Batista had good stuff.
"When you're pitching with that much action on the ball, both of those guys, their pitches take off in any direction," Thole said. "When you have that kind of movement, it makes it tough. And that's why they miss a lot of barrels."