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Gameday Questions

First pitch of the 2010 Mets season is just hours away.  It's officially time to talk baseball.  Here are some gameday questions:

Why is Mike Jacobs batting fourth?

Listen to the sound of ball meeting glove.  Behold the sight of the greenest grass you will ever see.  Smell the aroma of ballpark hot dogs.  Pencil the name Mike Jacobs into the fourth spot in the lineup. 

One of these things should never be done on Opening Day, or any other day for that matter.  Yet Jacobs will bat cleanup on Day 1 of the 2010 Mets’ season as Carlos Beltran recovers from knee surgery. 

With Ike Davis, the organization’s best first baseman, getting additional seasoning in the minors despite a strong spring, and Daniel Murphy nursing a knee injury, Jacobs gets the starting nod.  But batting cleanup?  That’s like putting a punter at left tackle.

 Jacobs may have some pop, but when he isn’t hitting a home run he’s striking out (132 strikeouts in just 434 at-bats last season).  Obviously Jerry Manuel is putting the left-handed hitting Jacobs between righties David Wright and Jason Bay.  But a career .254 hitter (.313 OBP, .476 SLG) batting cleanup hardly evokes hope on the one day of the season that all stadiums should be filled with it.         

Why is Gary Matthews Jr. playing over Angel Pagan?

Match-up?  Both are switch hitters.  Numbers?  Pagan is 1-for-6 in his career against Marlins starter Josh Johnson and Matthews has never faced him. 

Perhaps Manuel flipped a coin or is going in alphabetical order.  He said both will get opportunities to play consistently in centerfield as the Mets evaluate their options during Beltran’s absence.  

On a side note, not sure how many pitches Jason Bay will see with Gary Matthews Jr. as his protection.

If the Mets have a lead in the eighth inning today, who pitches?

Help Wanted: Setup Man. 

Just as questions remain regarding the identity of the replacement centerfielder, the bridge to Francisco Rodriguez is yet to be built.  The guess here is that it will depend on match-ups and be a combination of either Pedro Feliciano, the lefty specialist who lobbied for the job in spring training, or Ryota Igarashi.  If only Jerry Manuel had a Gameday Questions blog post.    

Why exactly isn’t Jose Reyes playing?

David Lennon recently wondered if the Mets brass were being overcautious by giving Reyes an extended spring, thyroid notwithstanding.  Is it Reyes’ thyroid or the Mets’ recent history of medical treatment that is keeping him out of the Opening Day lineup?  If only Omar Minaya had a Gameday Questions blog post….



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