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Game 140: The Citi sleeps

Mets manager Terry Collins sends in a sign.

Mets manager Terry Collins sends in a sign. (Aug. 23, 2012) Credit: David Pokress

At the start of the homestand on Friday, Mets manager Terry Collins heaped praise upon the reconfiguration at Citi Field. Moving in the fences, he said, has turned his team's home field into a fair ballpark. As colleague David Lennon noted in the paper this morning, other teams may follow suit.

But lately, the Mets haven't taken advantage of their news digs.

"We've got to make this a place where we're dangerous," Collins said.

But this weekend, the only danger involved so far is actually watching the Mets hit on their own home field. Or not hit. In nine straight games at Citi Field, the Mets have failed to score more than three runs. Only two more punchless games separates these Mets from equalling the franchise record.

Collins hardly has any easy answers on hand. But he's starting Justin Turner at shortstop over Ruben Tejada in hopes jolting the offense. He admits that the sample size is small -- Turner is 3-for-4 lifetime with a pair of homers against Braves starter Tommy Hanson (12-8, 4.40) -- but he believes it's worth a shot.

"It seems like when he's in the lineup, some things happen," Collins said. "He keeps it moving, he gets hit with a pitch, draws a walk, or gets a hit."

Besides, Collins believes Tejada is still showing signs of fatigue after playing almost all of the Mets' games since late June.

A few more notes: Shutdown day comes a day early for right-hander Matt Harvey, whose final start will come on Sept. 18, which would give him five full days' rest. Harvey starts against the Nationals on Wednesday before making his final appearance... With the Mets in audition mode for pitchers, Collins said moving Harvey up a day will make it easier to get more looks at some of the arms on the roster. It's a group that includes right-hander Jeremy Hefner and prospects Jenrry Mejia and Jeurys Familia... Mejia will start on Sept. 19 but Collins intends to use him for a few multi-inning stints until then. "If we can get him a couple a couple of innings, I think it keeps him sharper as we get near the chance for him to start," Collins said. "I want to make sure he stays good and strong. I think one inning at a time is not going to do it." ... Chipper Jones' cranky knee kept him out of the Braves' starting lineup in his final game in Queens. Jones may have owned Shea Stadium, but even if he hits a grand slam as a pinch-hitter this afternoon, he probably won't be naming any of his kids Citi. In 24 career games, he's hitting just .190 with three homers here.

If you're so inclined, follow along on Twitter (@MarcCarig). If you correctly predict the Met who knocks in his team's fourth run of the game, you get an automatic retweet.*

The lineups:

Braves (80-60)

Michael Bourn CF

Martin Prado SS

Jayson Heyward RF

Freddie Freeman 1B

Dan Uggla 2B

Brian McCann C

Juan Francisco 3B

Jose Costanza LF

Tommy Hanson RHP

Mets (65-74)

Mike Baxter RF

Daniel Murphy 2B

David Wright 3B

Ike Davis 1B

Lucas Duda LF

Justin Turner SS

Andres Torres CF

Josh Thole C

Chris Young RHP

* Yes, you can guess "none." No, you will not get a retweet.

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