On-Base Perception

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Mets pregame No. 2: Frigid temps may force adjustments

Mets third baseman David Wright hits a three-run

Mets third baseman David Wright hits a three-run home run during against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field. (Sept. 27, 2012) (Credit: AP)

According to accuweather.com, the expected game time temperature at Citi Field is 44 degrees, though that number will actually feel like 29 degrees thanks in part to a 19 mph wind. What does that mean for the Mets?

Aside from wearing long sleeves and multiple layers, manager Terry Collins will keep a close eye on David Wright and Daniel Murphy. Both players dealt with intercostal strains that cost them time during spring training.

"I know when they're out there, it's not just the cold, it's the wind that becomes their major issue," Collins said during his pregame media briefing on Wednesday. "And if they start to get stiffened up, we may need to make some adjustments during the game."

-- Here's a less-than-encouraging description of what is ailing pitcher Shaun Marcum.

"Obviously, we've got to wait for the doctors to tell us what it is," Collins said. "He has some real discomfort running from his shoulder up through his neck. What that it is, where it starts, what's causing it, I think we won't know until he sees the doctor tomorrow."

Although Collins listed Collin McHugh and Chris Schwinden as options to step in for Marcum on Sunday, the Mets as expected leaning toward leflthander Aaron Laffey, who was cut near the end of camp.

"We just thought in spring training, with what we saw from Aaron Laffey, that due to his experience, he's had some success at this level," Collins said. "That he would be our first option right now."

Collins believes Laffey should be on track to give the Mets about 90-95 pitches on Sunday against the Marlins.

-- Rightfielder Marlon Byrd felt encouraged about his Opening Day performance, when he finished with two hits and a pair of RBIs in an 11-2 victory over the Padres. It was an especially encouraging sign for Byrd, who was hitting just .210 when he was suspended for violating baseball's performance enhancing drug policy.

"I knew I wasn't ready physically," Byrd said about his rough start last season. "And just mentally, I hadn't caught up either. This is just a completely different feeling, getting my swing right in spring training... It's a lot better this year."

Byrd was back in the starting lineup on Wednesday -- essentially the same one Collins used for Opening Day:

Padres

Everth Cabrera SS

Will Venable RF

Carlos Quentin LF

Yonder Alonso 1B

Jedd Gyorko 3B

Nick Hundley C

Alexi Amarista 2B

Cameron Maybin CF

Clayton Richard LHP

Mets

Collin Cowgill CF

Daniel Murphy 2B

David Wright 3B

Ike Davis 1B

Marlon Byrd RF

Lucas Duda LF

John Buck C

Ruben Tejada SS

Matt Harvey RHP

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