As he's done so often during his tenure as manager of the Mets, Terry Collins watched his team fall short Saturday, this time in a 4-2 loss in 10 innings to the Brewers.
Nevertheless, Collins has shown enough to warrant the chance to stick around. The Mets are expected to announce a two-year contract extension for Collins Monday, according to a source. Such an extension, which includes a team option for the 2016 season, comes as no surprise.
"We have said all along, we'll address it when the season's over," said Collins, who refused to go into detail about contract talks.
Collins, 64, has led the Mets to a 224-261 mark since taking over in 2011. His tenure has been marked by a shortage of talent and constant transition. With one game left in the season, the Mets are 73-88, tied for third in the National League East and assured of a protected first-round draft pick for finishing with one of the bottom 10 records in the majors.
Team captain David Wright praised Collins' ability to relate to young players and motivate.
"He's done a nice job of kind of keeping everybody together, continuing to try to develop some of these younger players," Wright said before Saturday's loss to the Brewers. "It's well deserving if [the extension] happens. I believe that he has that fire and emotion that it does take."
The front office has long acknowledged that Collins has managed subpar talent throughout the team's efforts to rebuild. Despite three losing seasons, Collins has enjoyed the support of the front office.
With the emergence of front-line stars such as pitcher Matt Harvey, expectations have started to shift both inside and outside of the organization. The extension gives Collins the chance to manage what is expected to be a much-improved roster in 2014.
"I think I've been pretty open about my support of Terry," general manager Sandy Alderson said this past week.
That support has come despite the kind of losses the Mets absorbed in the penultimate game of the season.
Carlos Gomez's soft single to rightfield off Scott Atchison drove in the go-ahead run in the 10th. Yuniesky Betancourt's RBI single tacked on an insurance run. His sacrifice fly in the eighth had given the Brewers a 2-1 lead.
But the breakthrough came only after the Mets blew a pair of prime scoring chances. Trailing by one in the seventh, they loaded the bases with nobody out, only to come away empty-handed. The Mets tied the score in the ninth on Eric Young Jr.'s RBI single but failed to score again despite loading the bases with one out.
Veteran righthander Aaron Harang held the Brewers to one run in six innings to lower his ERA with the Mets to 3.52 in four starts.
Centerfielder Juan Lagares recorded his 14th outfield assist by throwing out Jonathan Lucroy at the plate.
None of it was enough to spare the Mets from falling to 32-48 at Citi Field, the third-worst home record in the majors. But it appears that Collins will have a chance to improve upon that mark next season.
"When you're my age, you walk in there and those guys, you hang around with them, it keeps you young,'' he said. "So it would be a blast [to return]. But again, we'll wait until the end of the year to smile about it.''