The Mets are in limbo at the worst possible time.
One week before the trade deadline, the Mets are 47-49 and have lost 10-of-11 games. The Mets trail the Nationals by 9 1/2 games in the National League East and are 5 1/2 games back of wild card co-leaders Los Angeles and Pittsburgh.
The slide prompted general manager Sandy Alderson to tell reporters Monday that the Mets may not be buyers come July 31.
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Manager Terry Collins acknowledged the obvious during his pre-game press conference at Citi Field Tuesday afternoon.
“We want to start winning some games,” Collins said. “I think if we put some wins on the board [it becomes easier for Alderson to add players for a potential playoff run].”
But Collins warned against adding just for this season.
“I’ve just been there too many times before. The right guy’s not there and I don’t think you sell the farm to get a guy for two months when you’re eight-and-a-half games out,” Collins said. “I would have a tough time seeing that happening.”
With the demotion of Lucas Duda to Triple-A Buffalo, the Mets have a hole in right field.
At first glance, the two most obvious candidates to fill the void are Jordany Valdespin and Kirk Nieuwenhuis.
But for Collins, the determining factor will be offense.
“It’s going to be a combination of guys who are swinging the bat,” Collins said. “We have to go with the hot hand right now. We’re in a situation where if someone is swinging, we have to get him in the lineup.”
Coming up short
Ruben Tejada was not in the starting lineup Tuesday night after being spiked in the ankle by Nationals’ centerfielder Roger Bernadina in Monday night’s 8-2 loss. However, the Mets breathed a sigh of relief as the injury was not serious.
Collins reported that Tejada’s ankle was “sore.”
“He told me he thought he could play if I needed him. Fortunately he doesn’t have any stitches. With a day game [Wednesday], I gave him [the game] off,” said Collins, who absolved Bernadina of blame. “I watched the play over and over. I think he committed to break up the double play and when Ruben got the ball, he had his leg exposed.
“It all happened so fast. I don’t think Roger intentionally stuck his foot in [Tejada’s] shin. If you see it on the replay, Ruben was on the outside of the bag and that’s where [Bernadina] started his slide.”
Ronny Cedeno started at short.
Follow Mets beat writer Denis Gorman on Twitter @DenisGorman.