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Sunday, July 28, 2013
Collins dissects series after drubbing

By Adam Rubin

WASHINGTON -- After the Mets were drubbed, 14-1, by the Washington Nationals on Sunday afternoon and lost three of four in the series, Terry Collins pointed back to Friday.

The Mets had waxed Washington, 11-0, in the matinee of a split doubleheader. They then had a slim lead in the nightcap, but Daniel Murphy's error and a walk-off homer against LaTroy Hawkins resulted in a 2-1 loss in a wasted Matt Harvey start.

"We'll go right back to the first night. That second game, that was a game -- we had every reason to win that game," Collins said. "Having them come back and win the ballgame probably took the starch out of this whole series. But we've got to pick it up and get into Miami and play better, certainly pitch better than we did today."

In the series finale, Carlos Torres surrendered eight runs in three innings. Bryce Harper had a two-run single in a three-run second and Wilson Ramos added a grand slam an inning later.

Torres' issue was no secret: poor command.

"One of the biggest examples is the pitch to Harper," Collins said. "He wanted the ball in and missed up and a lot over the plate -- I mean, way over the plate. It's just his command was off."

Torres had entered the outing with a 0.94 ERA, after enjoying similar dominance with Triple-A Las Vegas.

"And they also have been struggling over there," Collins added about the Nats, who fired hitting coach Rick Eckstein last week. "You know, they've got a good club, but when they bounce back like that, it's obvious we made just some bad pitches."

The Mets mustered only three runs in the final three games of the series.

"It's kind of a constant thing that we've fought for a lot of the year is the lack of run production," Collins said. "But we've been winning games because we've pitched, and it's allowed us to get chances. But when you get way behind, you can't be very aggressive on the bases. It kind of changes the way you play."

Asked if it felt like a missed opportunity given the poor recent showings from other NL East teams, Collins said: "It's only a missed opportunity because we came in playing good."