Lack of patience contributing to offensive woes

Lack of patience contributing to offensive woes

NEW YORK -- The root of the Mets' offensive struggles may lie in their approach. Known throughout the early season for their long, grinding at-bats, the Mets have shown precious little of that in recent games. Astros pitchers, for example, needed only 114 pitches to polish off the Mets in Friday's loss. Rockies hurlers needed just 108 pitches on Tuesday to record 27 outs.

It is becoming an out-of-character trend. The Mets drew rave reviews earlier this season for their ability to prolong at-bats, fouling off pitches and knocking out starters in the middle innings of games.

So perhaps it is no surprise that their sudden inability to do that has coincided with their worst offensive stretch of the season. Entering Saturday's play, the Mets had scored two or fewer runs in seven straight games for the first time in 30 years.

"We've still got the guys in the lineup to do it," manager Terry Collins said. "We've just got to -- when we get a ball to hit, we've got to put a swing on it and put it on the barrel and hit it where nobody's standing, and that's what we're not doing."

For evidence that his team still possesses that ability, Collins pointed to the 11-pitch walk that Justin Turner drew in Wednesday's game and the seven-pitch flyout that Ronny Cedeno grinded out to end the game.

"We've had some guys that have had good at-bats," Collins said. "We've seen them this week. Even though we've lost, we've seen some good at-bats this week."