Juan Lagares believes he needs to defend his Gold Glove. Plays that seemed easy for the centerfielder last year, when he won the award, aren't coming with the same regularity this season.
In the fifth inning of Sunday's game against the Pirates, Gregory Polanco hit a high fly to right-centerfield, onto the warning track but just short of the fence. It broke off Lagares' glove and Polanco got a triple. It was the kind of ball Lagares would have caught last season. "He hit that ball hard," he said. "I tried to get it, but I can't."
Lagares has an injured right elbow, but he says that is not an issue. "I feel the same, man," he said, adding: " Right now, I feel 100 percent."
On the road
The Mets have been a very good home team (42-21), the sweep by Pittsburgh notwithstanding. They have not been a very good road team (21-34).
And now they enter a stretch with 19 of 25 games away from Citi Field, beginning Tuesday night in Baltimore. Of course, they have reinforcements who should make them better on the road.
"I'd like to think we'll play better and get more results on the road," Michael Cuddyer said. "But the one thing we focus on is not home, road. It's more just going out and playing good baseball. If you play good baseball, you're going to have success. Hopefully, we can get back to playing good baseball."
Duda hopes to play
Lucas Duda (lumbar strain) did not play but said he is "fine" and expects to play Tuesday in Baltimore. Terry Collins hedged slightly. "We're hoping Tuesday," he said. "If he's able to play, he's going to play."
Collins said it is his preference not to use Duda as a DH. He did not say whom he is considering for the DH.
Wright still working
Collins said David Wright will play consecutive nine-inning games as he continues his rehab in Florida, "He's feeling good. He's starting to get all the stiffness out," Collins said. No return date to the Mets has been specified.
With Brian Heyman