In his talk with reporters after the game, Terry Collins said he needs his veteran hitters to rise to the challenge and begin playing better.
"To be honest, that's why some of those big guys are out there," Collins said. "This is when they need to step up. This is when the Michael Cuddyers and the Daniel Murphys need to step up. ... We’re very, very young right now. These guys are struggling a little bit. One of the things you’ll see in a situation like this is these guys think they’re hurting the club and we can’t have that."
Michael Cuddyer was just 2-for-15 during the series sweep by the Cubs. He does not have an extra-base hit since May 1.
"It starts with me," he said after the game. "You've got to perform, there's no question about that. And quite frankly, for my part, I haven't gotten the job done up to this point."
Similarly, Daniel Murphy, though he has 10 hits in the last seven games, is batting just .250 with 10 extra base hits. Curtis Granderson, who has drawn an impressive 22 walks, has just a .362 slugging percentage. And, David Wright has not been in the lineup since April 14.
Matthew Cerrone: Collins was pretty irritated after the game, from what I was told by people there. He looked miffed during his talk with reporters, but was more visibly angry after the cameras stopped rolling. He didn't give a big clubhouse rant, but people in the know say he was clearly frustrated with the team's overall sloppy play Thursday. And, he had several one-on-one talks with key players on the team. Frankly, I don't blame him seeming a bit distraught. He finally had the makings of a nice mix of young players and veterans and a team playing well in April. They were finally confident and moving forward. Then, all of sudden, he's got a 2013-2014 roster all over again. I don't know what he can do to get his veterans to start hitting better, or get Wright and Travis d'Arnaud back faster, or get his young players to make better decisions in the field, but it better happen fast. Because, with every day that these guys drift closer and closer to .500, the pressure to be better will only become louder and more intense - at which point being 'frustrated' will be an understatement.