TC on bats: 'We're not doing any damage'

ATLANTA -- Terry Collins hoped his team producing three runs in the ninth carries over to Thursday, but it remains hard to sugarcoat the Mets' overall batting woes.

After Wednesday's 4-3 loss to Ervin Santana and the Atlanta Braves, the Mets are hitting .190 as a club and have struck out 79 times through eight games.

“The issue is, no matter what the count is, we’re not doing any damage with pitches,” Collins said. “We’re hitting groundballs to short. We’re hitting routine fly balls to center. We’ve got to start getting the ball squared up on the barrel of the bat.”

Santana, making his Braves debut, limited the Mets to three hits in eight scoreless innings. And Collins suggested the right-hander deserved credit, too.

“Last year in Kansas City he threw the ball great, too,” Collins said. “He pounds the zone. He pounds the zone with all his stuff. You can’t go up there looking for any one pitch. Tonight he used his changeup early in the count against our left-handed hitters and got them a little off-balance and made some good pitches.”

Asked if he had ever seen a pitcher throw 20 straight strikes, as Santana did to open Wednesday's game, Collins added: “[Roy] Halladay is about the only guy I’ve seen to do something like that."