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Manuel on the embarrassing play, Niese's meltdown and Perez in relief

On a day when the Mets inducted Strawberry, Gooden, Johnson and Cashen into the Met Hall of Fame today Jerry Manuel was "embarrassed" to see his team play so poorly.

"It definitely hurts your pride a little bit. We didn't pitch, we didn't hit, we didn't catch it. It's somewhat embarrassing in front of your home fans," Manuel said.

Despite bad pitching and erroneous defense, Manuel is optimistic heading into next week's series versus the Braves and Phillies. 

"It would [be concerning] if that has been the norm, but that has not been the norm ...  We have to be ready to play flawless baseball. And if we got it out, hopefully we got it out today."

Manuel will try to skip Jonathan Niese to keep him fresh in light of what he saw from the young righty today.

"It looked like he was flat today," Manuel said of Niese. "I didn't see a real good curveball, I didn't see a good sinker, I didn't see a good cutter. The cutter almost appeared slider-like. And when that's happening that's not a good indication of him having his best stuff. But for the most part he's pitched well so we've got to expect that he'll hit a bump in the road at some point. The question is we have to be sure that when we have a feeling it's coming to give him a break."

Manuel originally wanted to start Niese, Santana and Dickey and use Takahashi out of the bullpen against the Phillies next weekend, but he said he will have to rethink the rotation because of Niese's bad outing.

Oliver Perez let up four earned runs in two innings, but Manuel was happy to see he threw strikes. 


"He's in a tough spot," Manuel said. "He's not getting the reps that's needed to gain confidence or even compete, so he's in a tough spot right now. He did go out and throw strikes for the most part, but right now he's in a tough, tough situation."

New York Sports