ATLANTA - With the Mets trying to finish off the Nationals in the NL East, manager Terry Collins has leaned heavily upon his back-end bullpen tandem of Tyler Clippard and Jeurys Familia.
But after Clippard showed signs of fatigue in Saturday night's 6-4 victory over the Braves, Collins said he intends to rest the setup man. Clippard will be off for Sunday's series finale, one day after allowing a tying three-run homer in the eighth to Adonis Garcia.
"He's tired, that's what I'm seeing," Collins said. "I actually think he needs a couple of days. Hopefully we'll get it for him."
Clippard has pitched in six of the Mets' last nine games and four of the last five. Familia nailed down his 40th save.
"I mean, I felt good tonight," Clippard said. "So no excuses. But yeah, I've pitched a lot every year. I'm used to it."
Clippard said he would accept some rest. The righthander hasn't entered an appearance with at least two days off since Sept. 2.
"It's later in the year. We're hopefully going to be playing in October," he said. "We've got to think about that. I'll take a day. But I feel fine."
The Mets also have scheduled days off for David Wright, Travis d'Arnaud and Yoenis Cespedes, who previously had lobbied to stay in the lineup.
Cespedes asked Collins for a rest after Saturday night's game. The centerfielder has played nearly every inning since arriving at the trade deadline.
While Michael Conforto's bat has drawn raves, his glove has proved to be nearly as steady. The rookie enjoyed a stellar defensive game in leftfield Saturday night.
He made a diving stab in the second inning to take a hit away from Michael Bourn. In the fifth, his strong throw from near the leftfield line nabbed Jace Peterson as he tried to stretch a single into a double.
"Great catch, great throw, he's going to be a good player," Collins said. "As I've said before, he's better than what I've read about him."
Around the bases
With the Marlins slated to start a lefty, Michael Cuddyer will start Monday. Cuddyer pinch hit Friday, his first appearance after missing nine games with a wrist injury . . . Collins did not start Lucas Duda Saturday night, giving him some rest.
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