With Jerry Manuel donning his mad scientist lab coat in trying to devise a lineup that actually works for his slumping Mets, how about this one for tonight's game vs. Braves starter Kenshin Kawakami.

Angel Pagan ...... CF

David Wright ....... 3B

Jose Reyes ........ SS

Jason Bay .......... LF

Ike Davis ............ 1B

Jeff Francoeur .... RF

Rod Barajas ....... C

Luis Castillo ....... 2B

John Maine ......... SP

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Here's the rationale: If you're going to shake up the lineup, then really shake up the lineup. In this configuration, Manuel gets both speed guys in front of his slumping fastball hitters, and even a little L-R-L-R-L-R protection with the switch-hitters. It gets a little dicey toward the bottom, but putting Castillo in the No. 8 spot gives you a high OBP guy to bunt over later in the game.

Just a thought. Who knows? It can't do any worse than what the Mets have been trotting out there lately.