Consider it a minor miracle that despite the 10 runs between them, neither the Mets nor D-backs homered in Monday's series opener.
The teams entered this week having given up the first- and second-most home runs of any club in the Majors. With 21 homers against the Mets and 20 against the D-backs, their pitchers had served up more homers than the bottom six teams in the league combined. So despite Monday's drought, expect a firework or two when the Mets and D-backs meet again for Tuesday night's game at Chase Field on Jackie Robinson Day.
"What's hurt us is walks and homers," D-backs general manager Kevin Towers said, adding of his rotation's struggles in general: "We certainly didn't see this coming."
Neither did the Mets, whose 4.95 rotation ERA entering the week ranked 26th in baseball -- but was still four spots better and more than two runs lower than Arizona's mark. Control has not been a significant issue for the Mets, but command has. The Mets have been throwing too many strikes over the heart of the plate, resulting in all those homers against them.
"It's easy to say, hard to do," Collins said of fixing the problem. "The greatest of the greats make mistakes. We've just got to keep the ball out of the middle of the plate, that nitro zone. When we throw it there, it's loud. I think it comes with repetition and more innings and more pitches where the command gets better. You can emphasize it, but it's hard to do."
Tuesday's starters, right-handers Bronson Arroyo and Jenrry Mejia, have given up a combined five home runs in 20 1/3 innings this season.
Arroyo will be looking to build upon his last outing, in which he held the Giants to three runs over five innings while on a pitch count of 90. Arroyo should be free from limits against the Mets for the first time this season.
Mejia's biggest issue has been control, with nine walks -- nearly half the Mets' total as a rotation -- in 11 innings. He gave up four runs in five innings last time out in Atlanta.
Mets: Outfield injuries piling up
The Mets lost two outfielders during Monday's win over the D-backs.
First it was Curtis Granderson, who bruised the left side of his body crashing into the wall in the first inning. Granderson stuck around until the sixth, but ultimately left the game for X-rays and was wincing as he tied his shoes after the game. Though all tests came back negative, Granderson is unlikely to play Tuesday.
Minutes after Granderson left the game, Juan Lagares pulled up lame with a strained right hamstring. The Mets plan to see how Lagares feels on Tuesday before determining whether a disabled-list stint will be necessary.
The Mets may need to make a roster move prior to Tuesday's game, calling up either Kirk Nieuwenhuis or Bobby Abreu from Triple-A Las Vegas. They finished Monday's game with Lucas Duda, Eric Young and Andrew Brown in their outfield.
"We look at the big picture -- it's tough for us," Collins said. "Somebody's got to step up. Somebody else will need to be the guy."
D-backs: Bolsinger last to know about promotion
Mike Bolsinger went out to dinner Sunday night with about 14 of his Triple-A Reno teammates, and before they left to go, Reno manager Phil Nevin told them that Bolsinger was going to be promoted to the big leagues.
Throughout the dinner the teammates made subtle comments to him and finally Nevin called on the speakerphone to tell him he was headed to Phoenix.
"Obviously, it was a dream come true," he said. "I'm just happy to be here."
• Lagares has hit safely in nine straight games, extending his streak with a double in the second inning Monday. The injured outfielder, who has seven RBIs in 13 games, did not pick up his seventh RBI last season until his 36th game.
• The D-backs did not start one of their hottest players in Monday's series opener against the Mets. Cliff Pennington, who was 5-for-9 in his previous two games, sat while Chris Owings started at shortstop. Pennington grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth.
• David Wright extended his hitting streak to six with an RBI single in the eighth inning Monday. Wright is batting only .269 over his streak, but also has four RBIs and three walks in the six games.