There are minor changes in the Mets line-up tonight against Washington, beginning with Ike Davis sitting out with an 0-for-15 slump and replaced at first by Justin Turner.
Mike Nickeas will get the start at catcher with Josh Thole having the night off against left-hander Ross Detwiler.
Here’s the order:
Ruben Tejada, ss
Daniel Murphy, 2b
David Wright, 3b
Jason Bay, lf
Lucas Duda, rf
Justin Turner, 1b
Scott Hairston, cf
Mike Nickeas, c
Dillon Gee, rp
LINE-UP COMMENTS: Wondering how long Terry Collins will stay with Jason Bay in the clean-up spot. He’s not hitting and hasn’t done so for two years. And, there’s no sign of him breaking out of it.
ON DECK: Mets’ home grown talent.
Ike Davis will take his 0-for-15 to the bench tonight against Washington. The night off was planned, said manager Terry Collins, and it is presumed he’ll be back in the line-up Wednesday. Davis will be re-tested again today for Valley Fever, the ailment that shelved him for part of spring training.
DAVIS: To sit tonight
The rest coincides with the tests, and is a good move because Davis is a mess at the plate. When he first hit the Mets, Davis showed a propensity for patience and going to the opposite field. We’re seeing very little of that through the first four games of the season.
I don’t doubt Davis will eventually find himself, but giving him the night off to clear his head can only help. With the Mets off to a good start Davis should feel less pressure to carry the offense.
Davis said he’s not feeling any symptoms of the fever, nor is he complaining about his ankle. What’s ailing is his plate approach and swing.
ON DECK: Tonight’s batting order
One of baseball’s most popular cliches is pitching is contagious, both good and bad. Tonight against Washington, Mike Pelfrey, who struggled during spring training will attempt to follow up the Mets’ strong showing from its rotation in his first appearance of the season.
PELFREY: What's he thinking?
The Mets have been here before with Pelfrey, and your guess is as good as anybody as to how he’ll come of the game. Eventually, however, Pelfrey must confront his demeans and pitch like he’s supposed to.
For the second straight season I’ve listed Pelfrey as the one key Met, who if he turned it around could take the next step to stardom. We’ve waited for several years for Pelfrey to turn it around. It’s time for him.
NIESE: Flirts with no-hitter.
The Mets and Yankees were at opposite ends of the broom over the weekend, but it didn’t take much to guess where most of the newspaper attention went. Right – in Florida where the Rays were disposing of the Yankees.
Being a Mets fan, you’re used to that, but today you want it this way. Let the Mets fly in under the radar; let the Yankees deal with the pressure and panic.
The weekend was all about pitching, with Jon Niese flirting with the franchise’s first no-hitter. The string remains intact for 7,971 games. Who cares how long the streak goes as long as they keep playing well.
Out of the ashes of last season we might have uncovered some life, that being Lucas Duda’s power. The guy is frighteningly strong and homered twice yesterday to beat the Braves.
DUDA: In HR trot.
With last season a washout from the beginning, it was a matter of time before Carlos Beltran was traded and that opened the door for Duda. That, and Ike Davis’ freakish injury.
After the Beltran trade the Mets finally acknowledged Duda’s future was in right field and played him there at the end. When you have a losing team, you must always think ahead and that’s what the Mets were able to accomplish last year with Duda.
“Lucas benefited from last summer when he was in the lineup every day and he realized he belongs,” manager Terry Collins said. “He put good swings on mistakes, he’s got the strength to hit it out of anywhere. He’s got a chance to be some kind of power hitter.”
Duda took advantage on the shorter dimensions with one of his homers, but the ball was still crushed. Later, he admitted to a confidence burst.
“Any time you produce a little bit you get that confidence going, and its carried over,” Duda said. “I think everybody [has doubts]. I don’t think you’d be human if you don’t.”
With Duda, Davis and David Wright, the Mets have some potent power potential in the middle of the order. They’d have even more if Jason Bay would produce.