By Ed Coleman
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One turn through the Mets’ projected rotation for 2011 and the results are better than expected.
Granted it’s early, but the starters have more than held their own in the initial going. On Wednesday in Jupiter, knuckleballer R.A. Dickey went 3 innings, giving up 3 hits and 1 run, while striking out 4. Two of those four were against Albert Pujols, and the second time he got baseball’s premier slugger there were two on and two out in the third inning – a big spot even in March.
Last season, Dickey was the first pitcher sent to minor league camp during spring training. He had to prove to last year’s manager Jerry Manuel that he could handle the load and be a reliable starter every five days. For Dickey, this was the beginning of establishing the trust between himself and his current manager Terry Collins.
Mike Pelfrey allowed one earned run over three innings against Washington, and Jon Niese the next day threw three scoreless against the Nationals (2H, 2BB, 2 K). Chris Young retired all 6 Braves batters that he faced at Disney on Sunday, striking out two, while the same day, Chris Capuano hurled three scoreless facing the University of Michigan in Port St. Lucie.
The Chrises – Capuano and Young – will pitch over the next two days – Capuano against the Cardinals on Thursday at home, Young vs. the Marlins on Friday in Jupiter. So will Oliver Perez (Thurs) as he tries to stave off the inevitable – his release.
Collins singled out Jason Bay for his work at the plate this spring. Bay looks revitalized after cutting down his movements in the box. He had two more hits on Wednesday and is batting .429. Nick Evans and Ruben Tejada also continued their fine springs. Evans had two hits including a double and is hitting .364 – he’s also out of options – and Tejada went 2-3 and is hitting .500 on the spring.
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