And Terry Collins maintained he will be conscious not to overuse Rice, after inserting him in 73 games through Sept. 3 last season. Rice then required dual sports-hernia surgeries.
New York Mets
Collins has outings in mind like Wednesday. Rice inherited two runners from Kyle Farnsworth with two outs in the eighth and coaxed an inning-ending groundout to second base from lefty-hitting Gerardo Parra.
In the upcoming series, Collins said he will hold back Rice for a late matchup with No. 3 hitter Freddie Freeman.
“You’ve got to save him for that certain guy,” Collins said. “We’ve got the Braves coming in, so it’s going to be Freddie Freeman. There are certain times where you’ve got Heyward, and Freeman’s hitting third, he maybe is going to get Heyward and the second hitter and Freeman. It’s got to be a certain situation. Otherwise you kill him by just getting up and down.”
Before Wednesday, Rice had struggled this season. He has a 12.00 ERA in seven appearances spanning three innings.
“Very, very big for him,” Collins said about Wednesday's one-batter appearance. “That’s what we saw him do a lot of times last summer -- come in and get that big left-handed hitter out. He’s gotten off to a little bit of a slow start, but this is I thought a big out for him.”