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Collins laments lack of scoring

Mets are hitting .192 in last seven games, with 22 runs
Special to MLB.com

NEW YORK -- The names and the faces were different, because the Mets have had a run of injuries that cost them nearly half their everyday lineup. They had a pitcher pinch-hitting and a pitcher pinch-running, and they had bench players given bigger roles.

Friday's lineup had no Yoenis Cespedes, no Asdrubal Cabrera, no Lucas Duda, no Travis d'Arnaud. But the result Friday night -- a 4-3, 11-inning loss to the Nationals -- didn't look that much different from recent games when all those guys played.

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NEW YORK -- The names and the faces were different, because the Mets have had a run of injuries that cost them nearly half their everyday lineup. They had a pitcher pinch-hitting and a pitcher pinch-running, and they had bench players given bigger roles.

Friday's lineup had no Yoenis Cespedes, no Asdrubal Cabrera, no Lucas Duda, no Travis d'Arnaud. But the result Friday night -- a 4-3, 11-inning loss to the Nationals -- didn't look that much different from recent games when all those guys played.

View Full Game Coverage

Once again, the Mets struggled to score runs. Once again, a starting pitcher kept them in the game, but the Mets couldn't win it.

Video: WSH@NYM: Harvey goes seven innings vs. Nationals

"We've got to win some of these games," Mets manager Terry Collins lamented. "The last nine games, we've had a chance to win seven of them, and we didn't."

They've actually lost six of the last seven, scoring just 17 runs combined in the six losses.

After he listed the Mets' many injuries Friday afternoon, Collins had called on two of the remaining players to help fill the gap.

"Jose and Grandy," he said, referring to Jose Reyes and Curtis Granderson. "Those two guys have been struggling. We need those guys to step up."

Granderson did, with a walk, a run-scoring single and the home run that tied the game at 3 in the sixth. Reyes did not, going 0-for-5 to drop his batting average back under .100, at .097.

Video: WSH@NYM: Granderson plates Bruce with single to right

Through 17 games, the Mets are hitting just .218 as a team, with a .298 on-base percentage and a .395 slugging percentage. And it's getting worse -- their team batting average over the last seven games is just .192.

They still have chances to win games, because their starting pitching continues to be good. Matt Harvey didn't have close to his best stuff Friday, but he made it through seven innings, allowing just three runs on four hits. Harvey was disappointed to give up a fifth-inning home run to Jose Lobaton -- "If I don't give up that last home run, we win the game 3-2," he said -- but the Lobaton home run was the Nationals' only hit in a 31-batter span between the second inning and the 11th.

There will be plenty of focus on closer Jeurys Familia, who walked Anthony Rendon on a 3-2 pitch to load the bases, and then walked Trea Turner on four pitches to force in the winning run. That gave the Mets bullpen their fifth loss in the last eight days.

But it's the lack of scoring that has put more pressure on the relievers and has pushed Collins to use his top relievers more often than he'd like. Collins decided on Familia with two on and one out in the 11th because he felt he was fresher than his other options, even though Familia threw 30 pitches Thursday.

Familia didn't get the job done, but Collins was still thinking about the lack of offense.

"We had chances," he said. "We had the bases loaded, too."

They did have the bases loaded with two out in the seventh, with the help of a pinch-hit double by pitcher Zack Wheeler. But Jay Bruce flied out to right field.

Video: WSH@NYM: Perez gets fly out to right to escape jam

The Mets hope to have at least one of their injured players back in the lineup Saturday. Collins said he expects Cabrera to be able to return.

The others will take longer.

"We're not down or anything," said Michael Conforto, who took advantage of his chance to play by hitting a leadoff home run in the first inning. "We know those guys will be back and we'll be healthy again."

For now, though, they need the fill-ins and the remaining healthy starters to do what the Mets have struggled to do for more than a week now.

They need to score enough runs to win some games.

Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com based in New York.

New York Mets, Michael Conforto, Curtis Granderson