The Mets' offense has struggled in two games without David Wright. Even if the third baseman can return to action as soon as tonight, facing the Phillies' Cliff Lee could keep New York's bats silent once again.
The Mets hit the road for the first time in 2012 as they visit Philadelphia for the opener of a three-game series between National League East rivals.
Wright hit .583 with a homer and four RBI in New York's 4-0 start, but suffered a broken right pinkie diving back to the base in Monday's win over Washington. Wright sat out the final two games of that series and the Mets were held to just two runs and 10 hits in back-to-back losses.
New York failed to plate a run in Wednesday's finale, dropping a 4-0 decision. The Mets struck out 15 times in the loss and wasted five-plus solid innings from Johan Santana, who gave up one run on five hits with eight strikeouts.
"The one thing I want is to score more runs," said Collins. "We need to do a better job of that."
Getting Wright back could help. He saw a hand specialist for a second straight day and the Mets released a statement saying their third baseman can resume baseball activities as tolerated. His status will be reviewed again before this game.
New York could use any help it can get against Lee, who takes the hill for the Phillies after an excellent season debut last weekend that did not net the left-hander a win.
Lee, who won 17 games last season with a 2.40 earned run average in 32 starts, gave up one run, two hits and two walks with four strikeouts over six innings on Saturday versus the Pirates in a game that his club eventually lost in extra innings. Lee got a no-decision and gave up his run on a wild pitch.
"I felt good the whole time, but they fouled off a lot of pitches," said Lee. "They made me throw a lot of pitches -- a lot of foul balls, a lot of deep counts."
The 33-year-old Lee has never lost to the Mets, going 2-0 with a 0.43 ERA in three starts. New York has touched him for just one earned run in 21 innings with 17 strikeouts.
R.A. Dickey got his season off on a winning start for the Mets on Sunday and he hopes the run support will keep coming tonight with or without Wright.
New York failed to support its hurler at times last season, but backed his first outing versus the Braves with three homers en route to a 4-2 win. Dickey allowed two runs on five hits and four walks over six innings as a windy environment plagued his knuckleball. Still, the righty logged his 13th straight quality start dating back to last season.
"I'm hoping this is going to be the norm for us," said Dickey, who has a 3.08 ERA in his two-plus seasons with the Mets but only a 20-22 record.
The 37-year-old has faced the Phillies six times, going 2-3 with a 2.61 ERA. He has lost both of his career starts in Philadelphia, giving up four homers in the nine innings.
The Phillies got a pair of home runs in yesterday's 3-1 victory over the Marlins that evened their season record at 3-3. Shane Victorino and Ty Wigginton hit leadoff homers three innings apart and Joe Blanton hurled seven innings of one-run ball in his first start of the season.
Manager Charlie Manuel was happy with the start and said it bodes well for the team's talent-rich rotation.
"It means that our five-hole's better," said Manuel.
The Phils won the last two games of their series with the Marlins after dropping three in a row overall.
Philadelphia won 11 of its 18 games against New York a season ago, taking six of nine at home.