24 Apr

With Carlos Beltran stuck on the recliner, Jerry Manuel’s greatest challenge coming into the weekend was how to squeeze some offense out of this dried up sponge of a line-up.

Manuel moved Jose Reyes to the third spot, followed by Bay, Wright, Davis and Francoeur batting seventh.

Angel Pagan moved to the leadoff spot with Castillo batting second.

This move makes the line-up longer but it only works if Reyes can be Reyes batting third.

Already hitting a double and triple, Reyes came up with runners on first and second. With a 3-1 count, Reyes swung for the fences but he ended up popping the pitch in the infield. The Braves defense bailed him out, but Reyes showed us how this line-up switch can be a bad thing.

Reyes needs to be focused enough to drive the ball, looking to use the spacious gaps in the outfield as he did earlier in the game. With his speed, and the speed of Pagan and Castillo, the Mets can run themselves into opportunities.

Reyes is not Hanley Ramirez. It isn’t his role to be a 30 home run player. He needs to make contact and play smart, using his speed to create chaos on the base paths.

For a Friday night in Queens, the line-up showed us what it could do. Triples from Reyes and Bay. A long home run from Davis and a sacrifice fly from Wright helped the Mets win the series opener.

The tweak in the line-up worked for one night. Manuel needs it to continue to produce if the skipper hopes to keep his job this summer and for the Mets to have a chance with their multi-million dollar center fielder away with no return in sight.


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