By Ed Coleman
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As the Mets get set to play each other this weekend - intrasquad games are on the docket for Friday and Saturday, and possibly Sunday as well - manager Terry Collins is hoping that the inherent faith he has in his offense to produce runs will come to fruition again this season. Last year, the Mets led the National League in walks and were 2nd only to the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals in OBP. They ended up scoring the 6th-most runs in the N.L.
Collins attributes that to discipline at the plate, which both he and hitting instructor Dave Hudgens stress continuously.
The projected starting lineup will likely have Andres Torres and Daniel Murphy up top, and probably Josh Thole and Ruben Tejada at the bottom. That means 3 through 6 - David Wright, Ike Davis, Jason Bay and Lucas Duda - will project some power, and Collins expects those boppers to bop.
And that’s why the manager believes his offense can produce if healthy - it’s the other parts of the game coming together with the offense that will spell the difference and eventually determine the outcome.
What we have to wait to find out is this - does pretty good cut it in the very good National League East.
Dillon Gee and top prospect Matt Harvey were the starters in Friday’s intrasquad game. Saturday’s matchup will feature R.A. Dickey going against Chris Schwinden. Sunday’s game is tentative at the moment - if they do have a 3rd intrasquad tilt, Mike Pelfrey and Jon Niese will start it.
Monday night at Digital Domain Field is the exhibition opener. Gee will pitch two innings against the Washington Nationals, who are slated to start Long Island native John Lannan. Lannan is believed to be on the block because of the depth of starting pitching that the Nats possess. Tuesday is a split-squad day - Johan Santana in his much-anticipated initial outing will face Carlos Beltran and the Cardinals in Port St. Lucie, while Schwinden starts against the Houston Astros in Kissimmee. On Wednesday, the Mets travel to Jupiter to take on Jose Reyes and the Miami Marlins with Niese pitching. For now, Pelfrey is slated to go Thursday with Gee back up on Friday.
C U soon