John Buck strolled into the Mets clubhouse on Friday night wearing a pack of ice over his left elbow. "Standard catcher's stuff," Buck said, shortly after catching a Juan Pierre foul tip with his elbow.
Saturday's game against the Marlins gives Buck five starts in his first games. Indeed, with Buck hitting .412 out of the gate, it would have been difficult for manager Terry Collins to pull his bat out of the lineup.
Nevertheless, Buck's streak will end on Sunday, when backup Anthony Recker is scheduled to catch lefty Aaron Laffey.
"He can use a blow like everybody else," Collins said of Buck, who has earned rave reviews for his work behind the plate.
Still, it sounds as if the Mets have put a high priority on paring Buck with the team's young starting pitchers such as Matt Harvey, leaving Recker to work with the veteran Laffey.