While all the talk after the opening few games of the season surrounded the struggles of high-profile teams like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, the New York Mets were on the other end of the spectrum. Not expected by many to contend this season, the Mets posted four straight victories to open the season at home, but now must find a way to gain that momentum back.
The Mets lost their final two games against Washington — the other team tied with them very early atop the NL East — after David Wright went down with a fractured right pinky finger. The Mets could know more about Wright’s status today or tomorrow but it’s pretty clear they need him in the lineup, and when he’s there they can win some games.
Mets manager Terry Collins joined WFAN in New York with Mike Francesa to discuss the early slumps of Jason Bay and Ike Davis, Johan Santana’s first start, the attitude in the clubhouse after the up and down start, the play of shortstop Ruben Tejada and the injury to David Wright.
How tough of a situation is it becoming for Jason Bay, who is struggling to start the year?:
“We’ve got to figure it out. One of the things I don’t try to do right away is go after guys as soon as the game’s over. … But we’ve got a bus ride to go to Philadelphia and I’m going to spend some time with Jason and talk about some possible scenarios that we may have to try to think about doing as we move forward.”
Ike Davis also started with a slump. Do you feel he’s coming out of it at all?:
“The one thing I talked to both Ike and Lucas [Duda] and they’ve got to get out of trying to hit home runs. They’ve got to just put good swings on the ball. They’ve got the strength. If they put better swings on the ball, the home runs are going to come. But right now I have this sense that they’re trying to hit the ball out of the ballpark.”
How about the performance from Johan Santana?:
“Very good one. Another big step forward for him. We wanted to get him to 100 pitches, plus. I just think he’s going to continue to get better. He looks good. It’d be nice if we got him some runs so he could relax a little bit and pitch the way he can. Moving forward, I think we’re going to see a real good year out of Johan.”
The team started off red hot and now a couple of tough games. What’s the attitude of the team right now?:
“That’s human nature [to hang your head if you’ve had a tough individual start]. We had a little talk with everybody this morning about doing a little bit better job of getting some balls to hit. The one thing I saw after I got ejected [Wednesday] was the fact that we’re taking pitches we can hit. I understand the patience side and having a little plate discipline, but when you face these good pitchers, Friday night if we’re going to let Cliff Lee get ahead of us, we’re not going to get any hits. We’ve got to start hunting some fastballs in the strike zone and when we get them we’ve got to put good swings on them.”
You have to like the start that shortstop Ruben Tejada has put together:
“He’s playing great. He’s doing a tremendous job leading off. He’s a good player. He’s doing a lot of things right. It’s one of the things that shows you, we’ve got to get David Wright in our lineup. The last two days, without David Wright in there, he was red hot and there was a great flow to everything. Now it’s been disrupted and we’ve got to somehow get it back.”
Do you think Wright stays off the DL?:
“I think he’s going to play. From the explanation I got, the swelling’s down, David says he feels a lot better and another two days, knowing this guy, I think he’ll be in there.”