Jerry Manuel admitted it wasn’t the clear-cut correct decision to place Luis Castillo in the No. 2 spot Friday, but the manager liked how his latest reconfigured lineup worked out for one night at least as the Mets beat the Dodgers, 6-1.
Castillo had batted eighth of late, but Manuel acknowledged the second baseman may not be ideally suited for that. Case in point: Castillo, who is disciplined at the plate, took a two-out walk in the fifth inning Thursday as the No. 8 hitter, which loaded the bases for pitcher Hisanori Takahashi. The Japanese left-hander then hit an inning-ending grounder.
New York Mets
“In the eighth hole, you’ve got to really have a whole lot of other things clicking for him to be productive in that spot. I mean, we took a chance on that,” Manuel said about Castillo batting second. “We’ll see how it looks in the future. Hopefully we can score some runs.”
The revised lineup pushed Angel Pagan to third, David Wright to fourth and Jason Bay all the way to seventh.
Pagan, as the No. 3 hitter, ended up sacrifice bunting with two runners on and none out in the eighth, despite having a .391 average for the season with runners in scoring position.
Manuel did not mind.
“With this type of lineup we can do that, because you still have a fourth, fifth and a good sixth hitter,” Manuel said. “So you can play that kind of game with this type of lineup. That’s what they’re there for -- to set it up.”