PITTSBURGH -- Andres Torres was apologetic for his 1-for-33 slump, as Terry Collins started Kirk Nieuwenhuis in center field and Mike Baxter in left field and gave Torres a day off from the lineup Tuesday.
New York Mets
"To be honest, I haven't done what I'm supposed to do," said Torres, whose average has sagged to .189. "This game you have to make your job. You have to get it done. And I feel bad that I haven't performed like I wanted. But I'm here. I just have to find a way to get on base and get hits and things like that."
"A little bit of over-swinging, which can happen," Collins said about Torres' struggles. "He's done a good job of getting himself into some good counts. He's just not getting some results that he wants or that we need to have. ... He's all full of energy. Everything is max, max, max effort. So I just thought today we'll go with another route and give him a day off."
Asked if Torres was locked in to being a starter, the manager added: "Well, everything is going to be reevaluated as we go. But we know how we play when he gets on base. It's quite obvious, when he gets on, we score, and we play very good. He's played very good center field. But right now he's mired in a real tough slump, so I just thought I'd get somebody else in there to see if we can get this thing kick-started a little bit."
Baxter took over in Torres' leadoff spot. The reason?
"He's getting on base," Collins said. "That's the spot, if you get on, we've got a chance to score some runs. So I thought I'd lead him off."
As for Monday night's costly faux pas in which Baxter and Nieuwenhuis converged on a fly ball and it dropped, Collins added: "You've got to get past it. 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. I want them both in the lineup. It wasn't just because of last night. I just think right now, with Andres struggling the way he's struggling, that this is our best chance to score."