Sunday, July 3, 2011
TC on missing Jose, Pagan batting leadoff
By Matt Ehalt
The Mets don’t know the extent of shortstop Jose Reyes' injury, as they are still awaiting the MRI results after he left Saturday’s game with tightness in his left hamstring, but they know they have a tough road ahead of them if Reyes misses any time. He already will miss the Subway Series finale.
“It’ll be a challenge. I think we are going to be up for it,” Mets manager Terry Collins said before the game Sunday. “Certainly we’ve dealt with some adversity so far this season. We’re resilient, we’ll bounce back and when we find out what the situation is going to be with him today, we’ll make sure our guys are ready to play.”
With Reyes playing at a MVP level and potentially now missing several games, Collins said he has talked to the team and he’s confident it will respond in a positive manner. He said that he is counting on his veteran players like right fielder Carlos Beltran and reliever Jason Isringhausen to provide the leadership needed in a time when a star goes down.
“One of the things I’ve tried to do this year is let these guys know no matter what we face, we can overcome it if we do it together,” Collins said. “If everybody pulls on the same end of the rope and if we can do that, yeah, this is a big one, there is a big weight at the end of that rope if he’s not on that side. Our guys have to go out and do what they can do.
ANGEL IN THE LEADOFF SPOT: With Reyes out, Angel Pagan will hit leadoff against the Yankees Sunday. Collins said he had considered Justin Turner and Ruben Tejada, but liked Pagan’s speed in the leadoff spot.
Collins said he talked with Pagan Saturday about being ready to hit leadoff.
“What you have been doing at the plate, don’t try to create more, just be on base, use your foot speed, he’s got the green light anyway, even hitting fifth. Pick your spots, get in scoring positions and score runs,” Collins said about his message to Pagan. “You’re in a little different role than when we have you in the fifth spot driving in runs, now we need you to be a little more disciplined and take some pitches and work the count like Jose has been doing when he has the most success. Angel has played very well in the last two weeks so I thought he would be the ideal guy to step in and try to pick up that end.”