ATLANTA - After a rough week in the field, Mets manager Terry Collins benched starting shortstop Wilmer Flores Saturday night, though he's expected to play in Sunday's series finale against the Braves.
"What I'm concerned with a little bit right now is I just want to let his mind have a day," Collins said. "Because the last time we did this, he came out swinging that bat really well after he had a day to kind of get his thoughts together."
Indeed, a similar move worked well earlier in the season after Flores endured a spate of errors. Until recently, he had settled into a groove both with the bat and with the glove. But on Thursday, Flores flubbed a knuckling liner that led to a big inning in a loss to the Blue Jays. On Friday, his delayed throw on a grounder opened the door for the Braves, who rallied from a 1-0 deficit in the eighth inning to win, 2-1.
The mistakes have been amplified by the Mets' recent run-scoring drought.
"He's really done a nice job and all of a sudden the last couple of games, he's made an error that's hurt us," Collins said. "And now it's big news."
Flores singled in the ninth inning Saturday night after entering the game on a double switch.
Closer Jeurys Familia likely won't be available to pitch again until Tuesday, when the Mets begin a three-game series against the Brewers.
Familia, who felt tightness in his left groin while pitching in the eighth inning Friday, has been icing and taking anti-inflammatory medication, but the injury hasn't required any additional tests. "I'll just have to wait and see," he said.
"The doctors have said it's not a major thing, that he's still got great strength," Collins said. "But he came in today and he still felt it a little bit. We'll probably give him tonight."
Bobby Parnell will close in Familia's absence.
The Mets participated in baseball's Heritage Night celebration to honor the Negro Leagues by wearing the uniforms of the Brooklyn Royal Giants, who fielded teams from 1905 to 1942.
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