PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Terry Collins had planned to give David Wright a "breather" after Monday's Grapefruit League debut for the third baseman. But Wright had a different idea when he showed up Tuesday morning and talked himself into the lineup for that afternoon's game against the Braves at Digital Domain Park.
Wright went 0-for-2 with a sacrifice fly in the Mets' 7-5 loss and exited after five innings. He is expected to get Wednesday off, but Wright reserves the right to change his mind as he tries to get up to speed for the April 5 opener.
"You can't schedule how you're going to feel the next day until the next day comes," said Wright, who is rebounding from a torn abdominal muscle. "I felt good. The back-to-back [games] are always big for me."
The next hurdle to clear is tomorrow's night game and Friday's matinee. "I feel good considering I've had five at-bats," he said. "But I've never had this injury before, so I don't know how it's supposed to be."
Collins said he plans to announce the rotation by the end of the week. Johan Santana is to pitch the opener, followed by R.A. Dickey, Jonathon Niese, Mike Pelfrey and Dillon Gee. Though Niese should be solid at No. 3, Pelfrey is pitching Thursday and Gee on Friday, so Collins could use those outings as a reason to swap them if Pelfrey continues to struggle.
Duda goes deep
Lucas Duda hit his fourth home run and again went opposite field, an encouraging sign, especially with the closer leftfield wall at Citi Field. "I think Lucas Duda is going to be a dynamic talent," Collins said. "Obviously, he has power supreme, I just believe he's getting very, very comfortable with the fact that he's a major-league player and that he belongs here and that he can hit here."
That's the ticket
Bob and Jane Kolb, formerly of Woodmere and now of Boca Raton, are the proud owners of what is believed to be the only remaining ticket from the Mets' first Opening Day game in 1962. Bob, who attended that game at the Polo Grounds, threw the ceremonial first pitch Tuesday as the two were guests of the Mets.
"It's been the only thing I've been able to keep track of for 50 years," said Bob, now 65.
Kolb recalled riding his bike by the stadium back in 1962 when a policeman offered him a ticket to the game.
The couple is donating the ticket to the Mets' Hall of Fame, where it will be displayed this season at Citi Field. Beyond that, however, they may be willing to sell it. Said Jane, "If we get the right price for it, yeah."
Scott Hairston (oblique) went 1-for-2 with a walk and hit by pitch in yesterday's minor-league intrasquad game and Collins said he'll make his Grapefruit debut Wednesday.