<
>

Tidbits from TC

The New York Mets currently sport the worst record in the majors, and that’s surprising to their first-year skipper.

“I signed up to make this team better,” Terry Collins said. “But if you don’t pitch and you don't hit, the game can be ugly.”

The Mets, who are 5-12 and 1-7 at Citi Field, rank 28th in ERA at 5.25 and have scored just 29 runs in losing eight of their last nine games.

New York will activate left fielder Jason Bay on Thursday, in hopes that he will be able to ignite the sputtering offense -- an offense that has produced six runs in its last four games.

“I gotta answer this politically correct because I wanted him four days ago,” Collins said of Bay. “But history, experience of people, the medical staff that have dealt with this injury in the past have said, this is the process that needs to take place, and that’s what we did. Hopefully it’ll keep it from recurring. One more day is one more day, so he’ll be activated Thursday.”

Collins, however, doesn’t want to put any extra pressure on Bay to carry the load by himself. Bay had a dismal first season with the Mets, batting .259 with six homers and a .749 OPS.

“He’s a big piece of the puzzle,” Collins said. “That’s why he’s here. He’s a fine offensive player. We need him in our lineup. But I don’t want him to think when he comes back here that he’s the guy. Jason Bay will certainly be a plus to our lineup, but the other guys around him gotta help too.”

Collins knows the Mets have to put a long winning streak together soon or the season could be over before it even begins.

“It’s a team thing, we gotta start getting clutch hits and making pitches,” Collins said.

Third baseman David Wright came into Wednesday night’s game hitless in his last 16 at-bats with four strikeouts.

“I feel bad for him because even in the last home stand, he hit about three or four balls to right-center field that were caught,” Collins said. “That’s just something about this ballpark for sure. If they’re hit in Atlanta, they fall someplace else -- either off the wall or over it. I think he’s swinging OK. He’s hit the ball hard.

“He’s just gotta keep getting it centered and they’re gonna start falling. He’s the one guy that is vocal, he’s in the game. I think at any time he’s gonna go back and do what he did those first four or five games.”