In a flash, Reyes goes from first to third
Speedster out of leadoff spot for first time since 2005
NEW YORK -- Jose Reyes, his hamstring no longer an issue, went from first to third on Friday night.
After more than a year of weighing his options, manager Jerry Manuel finally acted on one of them and inserted the player some still consider the most dynamic leadoff hitter in the National League into the third position in the batting order.
The change, hastened by the lack of production from the middle of the order, coincided with a shift of David Wright from the third spot -- where he had batted in each of the Mets' first 16 games -- to fifth in the order and the use of Angel Pagan as the leadoff man for the fourth time.
The specific objective of the changes is to "get Jason Bay going" Manuel said.
Hoping to force opposing pitchers to throw more fastballs with Bay in the batter's box, Manuel put a bona fide basestealer in front of him. Wright batting fifth is to afford Bay greater protection.
Bay, who has batted fourth in 14 games, including the Mets' game against the Braves on Friday, was batting .224 with a .293 slugging percentage and 23 strikeouts -- a league high -- in 58 at-bats.
The moves paid off in the sixth inning. Reyes and Bay hit back-to-back triples. Wright then sent Bay home with a sacrifice fly.
Reyes expressed no reservations about the change, despite the unfamiliarity of his new assignment. He has batted leadoff in the most recent 591 games he had started before Friday. Among active players, only Albert Pujols (1,023 starts as the No. 3 hitter for the Cardinals) and Ichiro Suzuki (896 starts as the Mariners' leadoff man) have had more successive appearances in a particular spot in a batting order.
The longest streaks of successive starts in batting-order positions by Mets are 787 by Keith Hernandez (No. 3 position), the 591 by Reyes (leadoff) and 446 by Felix Millan (second).
Wright last batted fifth on June 11, 2009. He has been the No. 5 hitter 279 times and the No. 3 hitter 351 times, more than any other.
Ike must dress to impress
NEW YORK -- Ike Davis got the word that he had been summoned to the big leagues rather late on Monday. He had little more than an hour to leave the park, return to his living quarters, grab a few things -- six shirts and a book -- and catch his Buffalo-to-LaGuardia flight. His car and most of his belongings were left behind.
The Mets dress for travel, so a suit will be necessary after the homestand ends on Wednesday. Davis made arrangements to have some of his belonging brought to Queens on Friday, and the purchase of a suit may be in the offing.
Seaver has backward cap in his past
NEW YORK -- During his time as a color analyst for Mets telecasts, Tom Seaver has occasionally railed against players who wear their caps backwards on the field. But the club located a photo of him doing so, enlarged it, framed it and hung it in the corridor of the newly minted "Seaver entrance" by third base.
The Mets icon was called on that this week and expertly sidestepped the tempest-in-a-teaspoon issue.
"I have no idea when that picture was taken," Seaver said, smirking. "But I probably was demonstrating what I didn't like. Yeah, that must be it."
Citi Field bullpens get Cox's approval
NEW YORK -- Braves manager Bobby Cox gets to the ballpark early, very early. So with extra time on Friday afternoon, he strolled across the outfield at Citi Field and visited the repositioned bullpens. The 'pens ran parallel to the outfield fence -- one behind the other -- last year. But after complaints from many parties, the Mets had them turned so that they are perpendicular to the fence.
"From worst to best," was Cox's assessment.
This date in Mets history -- April 23
Even a broken clock is accurate twice a day; so it was the Mets gained the first victory in the history of the franchise on this date in 1962 -- in the team's 10th game. They scored six runs in the first two innings against Tom Sturdivant, a Yankees refugee who would become one of them two years later, and won, 9-1, at Forbes Field. Jay Hook pitched a complete game for the Mets, who would win 11 of the subsequent 21 games before they would define themselves with a 17-game losing streak.
Six years later, Jerry Koosman pitched his third complete game of the season in his third start and, for the first time, allowed a run in the Mets' 3-1 win over the Astros at Shea Stadium. Koosman pitched another shutout, one of 14 he would throw in his first 77 big league starts, a year later, when he beat the Pirates and Jim Bunning, 2-0, at Shea. He would pitch 19 more shutouts in his last 450 starts, including one a year in his last five seasons.
There was no questioning the call when Darryl Boston was hit by a pitch in 1992. The Mets beat the Cardinals, 1-0, in 13 innings at Shea when Juan Agosto hit Boston with the bases loaded. The ball went inside his uniform shirt. ... Raul Gonzalez hit a home run for one of three isolated runs the Mets scored against Roy Oswalt in the first three innings of what became a 4-2 Mets victory against the Astros at Shea in 2003. ... Two years later, Victor Diaz had four hits and drove in three runs in the Mets' 10-5 victory against the Nationals at Shea.
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.