PITTSBURGH -- One byproduct of Ike Davis' season-long slump is that it has masked Andres Torres' struggles at the plate. The Mets center fielder received a day off Tuesday, largely because he is batting .053 over his last 11 games, a span of 49 plate appearances.
"To be honest, I haven't done what I'm supposed to do," Torres said. "This game, you have to get it done. I feel bad that I haven't performed like I've wanted. But I'm here, and I have to find a way to get on base."
"A little bit of over-swinging," was how Collins classified the slump. "He's done a good job of getting himself deep in some good counts. He's just not getting the results."
For Torres, that means little more than simply relaxing at the plate. Neither Torres nor his manager believes he is doing anything wrong mechanically, even if the results have not come.
"I'm here," Torres said. "I just have to stay positive and try to figure out something."
With Torres on the bench, Kirk Nieuwenhuis started in center field Tuesday. But it was Mike Baxter who led off, doing so for the first time since his Minor League days in 2010.
"I'll take it," said Baxter, who has started in the outfield three times over the Mets' last four games. "I'll take whatever I can get."
Part of Collins' reasoning centered around a desire to play Baxter the night after he committed a critical miscue on defense, nearly colliding with Nieuwenhuis on a play that led to a game-changing three-base error. Rather than shun Baxter the day after his mistake, Collins chose to embrace him.
"You've got to get past that," the manager said. "That's what you have to do at this level. You can't let it linger. You've got to go out and learn from your mistakes."