True to his word, manager Terry Collins is keeping a pat hand. Of course, why would you change anything after scoring 11 runs?
However, too often in recent seasons the Mets lineup seemed to change daily, with no regard of who was hot or slumping. Granted, there are times when a slump or bad pitching match-up will force a change, but I like Collins’ intent of keeping an even keel.
Collins wants consistency and stability. The bench players will play soon enough, but now it is time for the starters to develop continuity.
Here’s what he has going tonight against Padres left-hander Clayton Richard. My intent is to follow each name in the lineup with a pertinent stat or note. Everybody posts a lineup, but I want to give you something more and a reason to come back:
Collin Cowgill, CF: Was surprise winner of center field job because he’s the best combination of offense and defense. Hit first career grand slam in opener.
Daniel Murphy, 2B: Has shown no ill effects from strained muscle that kept him out of most of spring training. Murphy’s patience makes him an ideal No. 2 hitter.
David Wright, 3B: Named fourth captain in team history. Had a hit and two steals in the opener. Wright will not give a statistical goal, but we all know he’s a .300 hitter with power potential to reach 30 homers and drive in close to 110 runs.
Ike Davis, 1B: Struck out four times in the opener. His swing it too long now. Davis said he doesn’t worry about hitting homers, saying he’s a home-run hitter and knows he must produce to off-set the times he walks back to the bench.
Marlon Byrd, RF: Played well Monday, but wasn’t talking later. He’s a veteran presence with some pop to his bat.
Lucas Duda, LF: Another with high strikeout and power potential. Everybody wants to say he has the power to hit 35 homers. Let him hit 20 first.
Ruben Tejada, SS: Doubled in a run after rough spring training at the plate. Collins said Tejada told him he would be ready and he lived up to his word.
Matt Harvey, RHP: Gave up five runs in five innings in only career start against San Diego. Harvey said commanding his secondary pitches will be the key for him.