The Mets lost, 9-0, to the Diamondbacks on Thursday, and Terry Collins was livid as he held a brief but pointed postgame news conference.
The three-game sweep by the 48-66 Diamondbacks left the Mets at .500 and three games out of the second wild-card spot. They have lost 11 of 15, and after being buyers at the Aug. 1 trade deadline, they have only slightly better prospects for a postseason berth than the Yankees, who were sellers.
“Today’s game, it’s gonna happen again,’’ Collins said at the end of his nearly four-minute rant. “But I know one thing, starting [Friday night] we’re back fresh . . . And those who don’t want to get after it, I will find somebody who does, because in Las Vegas there’s a whole clubhouse filled with guys who want to sit in this room. That’s all I’ve got to say. I’m done.’’
So what happens in Vegas with Triple-A talent might not stay there if the losing continues in New York. After storming out of the news conference, Collins held a closed-door meeting with the players for about 20 minutes.
“No berating, nothing about that,’’ Neil Walker said of Collins’ message. “It’s about keeping it positive. You guys can dissect it however you want it, and that’s your job, but internally, that’s the way we see it.’’
Noah Syndergaard (9-7) gave up three runs in five innings. Chris Owings doubled to start a three-run rally in the fourth and scored on Socrates Brito’s ground-rule double. Tuffy Gosewisch tripled in the second run and Braden Shipley, who held the Mets to three hits in seven innings, singled to make it 3-0.
Jonathon Niese relieved Syndergaard in the sixth and gave up six runs, three hits and three walks in the inning. Gosewisch homered and Owings had a three-run triple.
“You know what, I write the lineup every day,’’ Collins said. “I get it. I totally get it. I’m the one who decides who comes in to pitch. Hey, look, that’s my job. I’ll stand up and be accountable. That’s what I do. But I know one thing, there’s got to be a passion to come and play. There’s got to be a sense of this is what I do for a living. The people that pay to see me play are going to see my best effort . . . ’’
Collins said injuries to key players are no excuse.
“In the past, we’ve relied heavily on our veteran presence in the clubhouse,’’ he said. “But you know, this is all our responsibilities. I’m the manager here. It starts with me, and as I’ve said many times, I don’t care who’s not here. There are no excuses here. These are major-league baseball players. I don’t care where they came from. I don’t care how they got here. The names on their back and the front of their uniforms say they are a major-league baseball player. It starts with them. But you need to pick yourself up and move on, and that’s what baseball players do.
“Neil Walker, what was he, 2-for-30, and he’s raised his batting average 30 points because he got back and got after it. Anybody see what he did today on a fly ball to leftfield, where he ended up? Past second base. That’s how you play the game. Not throw your hands up and stop at first at the 45-foot line. You play the game. And we’re all responsible. Every single one of us. The coaches, me, we’re all in this together.’’
Collins’ job is not in jeopardy, a source said.
“He’s the head of the ship, being the manager,’’ Curtis Granderson said. “He feels that pressure on himself from the outside in terms of us going out there to perform and be victorious in any situation possible. So of course he’s going to have some situations where he’s not going to be as happy as you would expect him to be, and after a loss like today, it doesn’t make the situation any easier.’’