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Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Collins focusing on Parnell, Beato to close

By Forrest Lee

Now that Jason Isringhausen has closed the deal on 300 saves, Terry Collins said the club can focus on relievers Bobby Parnell and Pedro Beato getting groomed for that role.

“I might use Izzy when it’s time in the eighth inning to set it up for somebody else so we can get a better idea of what the other guys can do,” Collins said. “Those are the two main guys.”

Parnell probably will get the first look.

“When you throw as hard as he does and you can get that fastball over on both sides of the plate, it can be very, very, very effective,” Collins said. “You pitch inside with Bobby Parnell’s fastball, I don’t know very many hitters who can keep that ball fair. It’s truly a good weapon for him. As the process moves forward, I think that’s one of the things he certainly needs to work on.”

A little arrogance and anger -- attributes common among closers -- wouldn’t hurt either, Collins said.

“There’s no question you have to have both,” Collins said. “You have to have some great confidence in yourself, too, and don’t let the blown saves get to you. It’s easy to say that that’s the approach, but it’s hard to do. That’s why we’ve got to give (Parnell) a look and see what he can do. Bobby’s got a lot of people in his corner.”

Though Collins said Beato also will be given an opportunity to close, he reiterated that he believes Beato might have a future as a starter.

“He’s got four quality pitches, but he’s really gotten away from his change,” Collins said. “Earlier in the year it was one of his best pitches. But I think his name has to be thrown out there. He’s got a good arm and good movement on his fastball and commands his offspeed stuff. When you’ve got four pitches that are average or above, I think you’ve got to consider it (starting).”

Duda Stays Hot

First baseman Lucas Duda, who homered for the second consecutive game with a booming solo shot into the right-field seats Monday night, continued his sizzling hitting. Duda, who went 3-for-4 in a 5-4, 10-inning victory in the opener, is batting .394 in his latest 10 games with two homers and seven RBIs.

Since the All-Star break, Duda leads the Mets in home runs with five and a .354 batting average. His 17 RBIs since the break are second only to David Wright.

Duda said lately he’s found a comfort zone.

“As you play more, you get more comfortable with the battles,” Duda said. “But I think it’s just one of those things right now that I’m playing well. There are always peaks and valleys.”

Duda has been particularly rough on the Padres, hitting safely in all five games in the season series and batting .500 (10-for-20).

“I don’t know what it is, luck or what,” Duda said of his good fortunes against San Diego. “I wish I knew because then I could apply it every time. The Padres are a very good team and they’ve got some really good pitching.”

A trip to San Diego also means Duda’s hometown fans in Riverside, about 80 miles northeast, have a chance to watch him play again. He says it doesn’t compare to playing in L.A., which is closer to Riverside, where he’s forced to invest in extra tickets.

“L.A. was much worst than this,” Duda said. “I think I only had to spring for only 15 or so tickets. In L.A., there was like 30 tickets each day.”