Mets manager Terry Collins said Frank Francisco was angry over being pulled in the ninth inning Saturday, but understood the reliever's feelings and still backs him as the team's closer. For his part, Francisco said he'll do whatever his manager asks, and believes he has found and fixed the mechanical flaw responsible for his struggles.

"I just told him that [Saturday] was one of those days, and that he's still the closer here and to be ready to pitch when we get him back out there,'' Collins said. "I just went to him and said, 'You've got to hang in there.' You know he's disappointed. He's mad at me because I took him out ... and I certainly don't blame him. If I were in his shoes, I'd be mad, too.''

Collins met with Francisco yesterday and the reliever assured the manager the knee woes that hobbled him late in spring training weren't hurting his performance. And despite allowing five runs in his last four outings, Collins said he won't flip-flop Francisco with eighth-inning man Jon Rauch.