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Sunday, August 14, 2011
Collins: No bullpen shakeup

By Sarah Trotto

Amid a five-game losing streak and Ryota Igarashi's lackluster performance, the Mets want better pitching. But manager Terry Collins indicated the organization won’t look for it in the minors before rosters expand Sept. 1.

“I’m going to let them finish out the year” in the minors, Collins said after the Mets’ 5-3 loss to the Diamondbacks Sunday. “We’ve brought up about everybody there is in Buffalo, I think, at some time this summer. So we know what they’ve got.”

Mets relievers have allowed at least one run in 13 of the past 17 games. The relievers gave up four runs during the Diamondbacks’ three-game sweep this weekend. Making the bullpen struggles even costlier, all three games were close: a 4-3 loss Friday, a 6-4 loss Saturday and the 5-3 loss Sunday.

“It’s an issue, for sure,” Collins said. “We’ve got to throw strikes, and we’re not doing that.”

Igarashi, in the second season of a two-year, $3 million deal, allowed a run in the eighth after hitting a batter, issuing a walk, allowing a single and issuing another walk.

“Two days ago, he threw the ball good here,” Collins said. “I don’t know what happened today. No command.”

Igarashi said he was rushing his pitches and his mechanics were off.

“I’ve been working on throwing a better curveball,” he said through an interpreter.

• Sunday's starter, Chris Capuano (9-11, 4.58 ERA), allowed four runs. Collins said when Capuano makes a mistake, he gets hit.

Capuano had been making good pitches to Justin Upton, but in the fifth, Capuano left the ball down the middle, and Upton smacked a game-tying home run. And on the go-ahead double to ex-Met Henry Blanco in the sixth, Capuano left a breaking ball up.

“It seems like the first three innings a lot of times I’ve been making good pitches and getting hurt in those middle innings of the game,” Capuano said. “I’m just making a few too many mistakes there that I’m not making early in the game. I just need to take that intensity and focus and try to carry it through to the whole game.”

Capuano has allowed four or more runs in five of his past six starts.

• The Mets left the tying run on third in the seventh. Angel Pagan was stranded after doubling and advancing on a flyout.

“It’s frustrating, but the main thing is to keep fighting,” Pagan said. “We’ve been battling hard without much luck. We have to keep trying and see if that changes somehow.”

• Pagan’s comebacker in the third struck Jason Marquis, fracturing his right fibula. Marquis exited in the fourth, after falling off the mound when he hit Josh Thole with a pitch.

“You don’t want to hurt anybody,” Pagan said. “Hopefully, he’ll be all right."