When the Mets were officially eliminated from the playoff race Wednesday, manager Terry Collins insisted that he expected the team to keep playing as hard as they have all season long.
What he got a day later was a team falling apart before his eyes.
It wasn't simply another loss, it was a 10-1 dismantling by the Nationals that was the sixth straight defeat to finish off a homestand with a 1-8 record, all against teams with losing records.
It was how the Mets did it.
"I'm the manager, and I'm responsible for what this team does and doesn't do," Collins said. "This is awful. We didn't manage, we didn't coach, we didn't play. Our fans should be upset. They have every right to be, because it looks like we've folded up. That's not the way I play this game and I will not stand for that.
"I don't care what the situation is or what the standings say, we have to play this game right. You want to see intensity and believe me you guys are going to see it. I don't want to hear excuses that the players are tired. Hey you know what, the Nationals are tired, too, and they are playing for the same thing we are, pride.
"If we are going to fold up like this now, how are we going to react when we are actually fighting for something? Things are going to change. I don't know what the new formula will be, but I got a long plane ride to figure it out."
The Mets headed out after the game for a six-game trip, their last of the season, through Atlanta and St. Louis.
"Perception is reality in this game and the perception I have is that we folded up," Collins said. "And I won't stand for that. I'm disgusted over how we played on this homestand."
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