NEW YORK -- Mets manager Terry Collins was admittedly remorseful on Friday for how he criticized his players following New York's 16-1 loss to the Phillies the night before.
"I don't want to ever challenge anyone's integrity, that's wrong," Collins said. "My players are professionals, and they didn't get here without being guys that played their hearts out all the time."
The 16-1 drudging marked the Mets' ninth consecutive loss at Citi Field and 16th straight home game in which they've scored three or fewer runs -- a franchise record. After the game, Collins didn't comment on whether he thought his team had quit on the season, only saying, "You'd have to ask them."
On Friday, Collins said his emotions boiled over after the loss when he ripped into his team for what he, at the time, perceived as a lack of effort, stating that it was only meant to invoke some motivation. Even after this sluggish second half -- New York entered Friday's series opener against the Marlins with a 20-43 post All-Star break record -- the skipper said he wants to silence any notion that his players have given up.
"There's a lot of guys playing for a lot of things in there -- be it contracts, be it jobs or just pride alone," Collins said. "But everybody plays for something, and I know they are. We just need to continue to battle through one of the worst times any of us have ever been through in the game."
Collins wanted to let his team know that, and in turn spoke individually to every player on Friday, stressing things like manager accountability and apologizing for his harsh words the previous night.
"I'm very proud of this team, the way they played all year," Collins said. "The one thing I will never, ever talk about is their effort. Their effort has always been there. ... The issue has been, as a manager, you sit here and you try to fix it, you try and figure out how to fix it. And you pull out all of your stops. No matter what you've done in the past, you try and find an answer, and when you don't have any answers, it's frustrating."
The Mets silenced a lot of critics with their play in the first half, but the second-half showing is more than just poor play. New York has sustained more than a handful of injuries this season, and just two members of its Opening Day rotation are still pitching.
But despite all of it, Collins said there is nothing that can totally excuse how the Mets have played in the second half, especially in front of their home fans.
"I believe in accountability that starts with me, and I want them to know that I'll be the first guy to stand up and be held accountable for what's gone on here," Collins said. "But I want them to know that we set the bar high, we set our expectations high and we're not living up to them."
Edgin to use final outing in 2012 as motivation
NEW YORK -- Josh Edgin's rookie campaign may have ended on a sour note, but don't expect the left-hander to dwell on the negatives for too long.
Edgin entered with the bases loaded in the ninth inning of an 11-1 game on Thursday, hit the first man he faced to force in a run and served up a grand slam to Ryan Howard. And with that, his season came to a close.
Edgin won't pitch again in 2012 as manager Terry Collins and company have shut him down for the remainder of the season. He logged a career-high 69 innings between the Minors and Major Leagues, not including nights where he didn't record an out -- which happened three times with the Mets -- or nights where he warmed up but never entered.
"For a first-year guy in his first time in the big leagues, that's a lot of games for a season," Collins said. "And I need him healthy."
The concern is a good sign for Edgin, whose spot in the 2013 bullpen is anything but guaranteed. He finished with a 4.56 ERA in 34 appearances with the Mets, but was in a groove with 14 straight scoreless appearances from Aug. 21-Sept. 17.
"I had a decent year -- I'm not going to say bad and I'm not going to say good," Edgin said. "I'm giving myself a lot of room for improvement and I know I can pitch a lot better than I did some of those outings. But it basically boils down to the location of fastballs and pitches.
"I got to pitch in front of the New York Mets and for the New York Mets, and I feel like that's a plus. I'm going to go into next year with the same approach that nothing's going to be handed to you."
Edgin said his arm feels fine and he feels healthy, but admitted that the shutdown was a little frustrating. Teammate Matt Harvey expressed similar sentiments concerning the team's decision to shut him down as well, but Collins expressed that both are big pieces of the future.
"As a competitor in general, I want to be out there and help my team and help them win," Edgin said. "You understand it from the baseball point and you understand it from the business point, but I'm fine.
And that Howard thing? Consider it motivation.
"Any person who that happens to would prefer to end on a good note, but I'm going to use it as a 'make yourself better off of it,'" Edgin said.
The Mets allowed eight first-inning runs in Thursday's 16-1 loss to the Phillies, the most in franchise history. They also used a franchise-record 10 pitchers in the game.
David Wright enters Friday night's game against the Marlins just four hits shy (1,414) of tying Ed Kranepool's franchise record of 1,418.
The Mets announced that Jenrry Mejia, Collin McHugh, Jeremy Hefner and R.A. Dickey -- in that order -- will be the starters for the upcoming four-game series against the Pirates, the final home series of the season.
Adam Rosenbloom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.