New York Mets right-hander Bobby Parnell (possible nerve issue in his right middle finger) will undergo further medical tests Wednesday, manager Terry Collins said after the Mets' 6-1 loss to the Astros on Tuesday night.
New York Mets
"I've been fighting it for about a week now," said Parnell, who balked and gave up a key two-run single in the eighth inning. "I've been trying to fight through it, but I can't be at 70-80 percent and I wasn't helping the team, so I went to talk to Terry about it."
Parnell, whose ERA is 6.14, said he doesn't think it's anything serious. He underwent preliminary tests after Tuesday's game. The doctors have ruled out carpal tunnel syndrome.
"I can't grip the baseball like I want to," said Parnell, who had trouble gripping his split-finger fastball.
For now, Parnell doesn't know how much time he'll miss -- if any -- although Collins sounded like placing Parnell on the DL and activating Jason Bay on Wednesday was a strong possibility.
"We need to investigate some things," Collins said. "He didn't have his good fastball tonight."
• Collins said the Mets may decide to call up Bay before Wednesday night's game after he went 4-for-4 with two home runs on Tuesday night for Class A St. Lucie. The Mets could certainly use Bay in the lineup to provide a jolt to their struggling offense, which mustered just four hits on Tuesday. The Mets, who have lost eight of nine overall, have now scored just six runs in their past four games.
"We're too aggressive at the plate," Collins said. "We need to be more selective."
The Mets were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position on Tuesday night, and left seven runners on base.
• Third baseman David Wright is hitless in his past 16 at-bats with seven strikeouts, which includes the entire weekend series in Atlanta. Center fielder Angel Pagan is 2-for-his-past-22. Pagan did double in his first plate appearance Tuesday, and said he's "seeing the ball better," but has yet to break out.
New York Mets
• Left-fielder Scott Hairston committed a crucial error when he dropped a fly ball with two outs in the seventh inning. His miscue led to the third Astros run.
"I have to catch that ball," Hairston said. "It hit my glove."
Hairston was near the warning track and hit both his back and head on the padded wall, but said he still should've made the play.
Hairston also struck out twice against Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez.
Collins said Hairston is trying to do too much and look to hit home runs instead of shortening up his swing and making solid contact.
"That's pretty accurate," said Hairston, whose average plummeted to .179.
• Left-hander Jon Niese never really had a feel on the mound.
New York Mets
"He went ball one on a lot of hitters," Collins said.
Pitching from behind all game, Niese managed to get through six innings, allowing just two runs. However, he walked a season-high five batters, and was in trouble from the start. Luckily, he was able to get two critical double plays, as well as a key outfield assist from Pagan, who threw out Bill Hall as he tried to score in the sixth.
"My defense was big for me tonight," said Niese, who fell to 0-3 with a 5.87 ERA. "I just didn't have a good feel out there. I just couldn't get a grip on the baseball and I couldn't adjust. I just didn't feel right. I didn't have my best stuff."
Niese, who hasn't won since Sept. 5, 2010, and has lost his past five decisions, said he needs to find his changeup. Collins said he relied too much on his cutter and curveball, and it came back to haunt him. Niese threw 67 of his 113 pitches for strikes.
"I don't want to dwell on any of my previous outings," Niese said. "I just want to continue to have good bullpens."
Although Niese felt discomfort on the bump, he said it wasn't anything serious.
• The Mets' bullpen gave up three earned runs on four hits over three innings of work. They have now allowed a total of 32 runs (30 earned) in 60 2/3 innings. The bullpen entered Tuesday's game with a 4.21 ERA, which ranked 23rd in the major leagues. They have now allowed 66 hits, 26 walks and one HBP (93 baserunners) this season.
"It's definitely a concern," said Collins, whose relievers are clearly overtaxed. "We gotta stop it. That's why we have eight guys up here now. Late in the game we continue to give up big numbers, and it's killing us."
It certainly killed any chance for the Mets to come back in this one.
• In the seventh, trailing 3-1, the Mets had runners on first and second with two outs. Collins chose to pinch-hit with rookie Chin-Lung Hu, but he struck out against Rodriguez, ending the threat. Collins was asked after the game if he regretted not putting up left-handed pinch-hit specialist Daniel Murphy instead.
"Not against the lefty," Collins said.
• Rodriguez wound up striking out a season-high seven over seven innings. He gave up just three hits, including Carlos Beltran's solo homer in the seventh, which ended his shutout bid. Rodriguez came in with an 0-2 record and a 7.31 ERA, but he shut the Mets down by getting ahead with strike one.
• The Mets' 5-12 start matched the third-worst start in team history. The 1962 and 1964 Mets started 3-14 after 17 games. The '74 squad was also 5-12.
The Mets have also lost six straight home games and are just 1-7 this season at Citi Field.
The Mets are 1-5 in the first game of a series this year, including 0-3 at home.
A stolen base by Michael Bourn in the first inning snapped Niese's streak of 37 consecutive starts without allowing a steal.
• Left-hander Chris Capuano and right-hander R.A. Dickey both pitched in relief in Sunday's 3-2 win at Atlanta after starting earlier in the week. The last time two Mets starters pitched in the same game in relief was April 9, 1997, when Rick Reed and Brian Bohanon relieved Dave Milicki in the Mets' 3-2, 14-inning road loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.