43° Good Afternoon
43° Good Afternoon

Jason Bay, Jason Isringhausen, Chase Utley and the Angels' bullpen

Greetings from chilly Philadelphia. I'll confess, even if I sound like a wimp, to being grateful that Citizens Bank Park has a press box with windows that close. Yankee Stadium's press box is open-air, so those folks in the Bronx had best bundle up tonight.

This is a meaningful game, and series, for the Mets, for the same reason that the opening series in Miami was. More than most teams, they can use a fast start for the morale of both their fan base and their own players. It's an uphill climb tonight, with Chris Young going against Cole Hamels, but hey, anything's possible in an individual game.

--What isn't possible, however - let's call it "extremely unlikely" - is Jason Bay returning to Mets action on Saturday, the first day he's eligible to come off the disabled list.

"He's still sore," Sandy Alderson said today of Bay and his strained left rib cage. Bay has only played catch so far. His return timetable is uncertain.

In the meantime...Scott Hairston is starting in leftfield tonight against the lefty Hamels - check out Hairston's career numbers against Hamels - but Terry Collins made it clear that he wants to see more of the red-hot Willie Harris out there. Even if it costs him development at-bats for the youngster Lucas Duda. 

--Alderson told reporters on Sunday that Jason Isringhausen - throwing in Port St. Lucie - had been slowed down by a stiff back. Today, Alderson backed off that proclamation and said that Isringhausen was proceeding on his 15-day schedule. At the end of that period, both Isringhausen and the Mets will decide what to do.

--Chase Utley is not yet close to jogging, Phillies GM Ruben Amarao, Jr. told reporters.

--The Angels are off to such a terrible start that they've already changed closers. Out is Fernando Rodney, and in is Jordan Walden. The Angels are one of those teams which you used to trust to figure things out, but after last year's results and their brual winter, all bets are off.

The Angels might change closers, but I'm not changing my primary source of information. That would be Twitter.

--In the Red Sox's fourth game, Carl Crawford has his third spot in Boston's batting order. For Terry Francona to hit Crawford seventh on Sunday, the manager must have seen something dramatic.

--Have a great night, and remember, we'll have a giveaway contest tomorrow afternoon. We just might have one on Thursday, as well.

--UPDATE, 6:35 p.m.: Sorry, just wanted to include a Barry Bonds update: The prosectution rested after Judge Susan Illston wouldn't allow the admission of the purportedly taped conversation between Bonds' former friend Steve Hoswkins and Bonds' doctor Arthur Ting.


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