Already severely depleted because of a rash of injuries, the Mets' lineup took another hit last night.
Ryan Church's name was penciled in the original lineup; he was supposed to bat fifth and play rightfield in the Subway Series finale. But Church felt nauseated before the game and couldn't go, so Fernando Tatis was inserted into the lineup roughly midway through batting practice.
Church, who declined to speak with reporters before the game, might be coming down with the flu-like bug that's making the rounds with the Yankees. He spent most of his time before the game seated at his locker in obvious discomfort. He was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and remained bundled up the whole time, tightening the hood's drawstrings and keeping both hands tucked inside the pouch for warmth.
Murphy leads off
Daniel Murphy found himself in the leadoff spot for the fourth time this season. He spent time at the top of the batting order during the three-game series against the Red Sox in Boston last month, and Jerry Manuel went with Murphy over Luis Castillo or Alex Cora, preferring to have Murphy's bat at the top because of the current construction of the roster.
"With the way that we are set up now, it's not so much a matter of whether or not we have speed or not at the top of the lineup," Manuel said. "It's a matter of whether we think we can get good at-bats. Murphy, historically, has given us that, and even [Saturday], I thought he had some good ABs. So that went into that decision."
Martinez breaks through
Fernando Martinez started in centerfield and snapped an 0-for-16 funk with a one-out RBI double off the leftfield wall in the fourth. Manuel thought things were set up for the rookie to have success against sinkerballer Chien-Ming Wang. "I think this is a good matchup for him tonight," he said, "in the sense that normally lefthanders, with a sinkerball pitcher, can have some success because of the swing path."