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Saturday, May 3, 2014
Duda 1st -- of maybe many -- starts vs. LHs

By Adam Rubin

DENVER -- Lucas Duda starts Saturday against a left-handed pitcher for the first time this season, in the Mets' seventh game against a southpaw.

And Terry Collins indicated pregame he intends to increase the frequency of Duda starting against left-handers, at the expense of Josh Satin.

Duda is a career .219 hitter versus left-handed pitching, versus .257 versus right-handers.

He has homered once every 45.6 at-bats versus left-handers and once every 21.1 at-bats versus right-handers in his career.

"If he's going to be the everyday first baseman, he's got to start getting in against lefties," Collins said. "Two years ago, three years ago, when he was playing every day, he faced lefties. He hit them as well as anybody.

"Cripes, a couple of years ago I think he was hitting .275 against lefties (actually, .274 in 62 at-bats in 2011) because he was hitting the ball to left-center field and right-center field. He wasn't worried about pulling. That's what we've been stressing the last few days since he's taken over as the first baseman -- that if you're going to play against lefties, you have to go back and be that same guy that you were before, and don't worry about hitting the ball in the seats necessarily unless you get the pitch to do it."