After an 8-1 blowout loss to the San Francisco Giants on Friday night, manager Terry Collins said he plans to give his struggling slugger Jay Bruce the game off on Saturday.
“He’s really pressing,” Collins told reporters. “He wants so much to help this team because he’s a star and it’s really getting to him.”
Even with Yoenis Cespedes returning to the lineup and batting behind Bruce, the former Reds All Star was hitless in four at-bats and grounded into a rally-killing double play in the eighth with the tying runs on base.
After that double play, you could visibly see the frustration and stress on Bruce’s face. He slowly walked back to the dugout and then started screaming into his helmet as his teammates and Collins turned and looked on.
Since joining the Mets, Bruce has gone 12-for-68 (.176) with two doubles, two home runs and six RBI in 17 games.
He has not homered since August 6 at Detroit, a span of 12 games. That is his longest stretch without a home run this season, surpassing a 10-game streak from April 21 to May 4.
“I expect a high level of execution and to be an impact player and to contribute. I haven’t done that a whole lot since I’ve been here.”
Meanwhile, the Mets fell to 5 1/2 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the second wild-card spot as this road trip spirals into new depths. The Mets are now two games under .500 for the first time since the opening week of the season.