MIAMI -- Brad Emaus could not immediately be certain whether his first Major League hit was indeed a hit. He snagged the ball nonetheless.

Afterward -- after Emaus was sure that Saturday's official scorer had ruled his ground ball a hit and not an error -- Emaus presented the ball to his father, who plans to display it at the family's home in Georgia.

"He liked it," Emaus said. "He's happy."

Facing Ricky Nolasco in the fifth inning Saturday, Emaus hit a hard bouncer to shortstop, where it skipped sharply off Hanley Ramirez's glove and into left field. With the single, Emaus is now 1-for-7 with a walk over his first two Major League games.

He was out of the lineup for the first time Sunday, paving the way for Daniel Murphy to make his first career start at second base.

"It really had to do with getting Murphy a start and getting him some at-bats," manager Terry Collins said. "He's a big piece coming off the bench."

Harris hitting his stride early on with Mets

MIAMI -- In three games, Willie Harris has found his niche -- one he claims has nothing to do with timing or comfort or familiarity.

"Hitting behind Jose [Reyes] and in front of David [Wright] -- who do you think they want to deal with?" Harris quipped.

Perhaps opposing pitchers may start avoiding Harris as well. Adding a two-run homer and a walk to his early resume, Harris is now 4-for-10 with a homer, two doubles and four RBIs over the season's first three games, starting twice in left field and cracking open Saturday's game with a pinch-hit double.

Batting second between Reyes and Wright certainly has its benefits -- though once Jason Bay returns from the disabled list, Harris may no longer frequent that perch in the lineup. Still, the Mets did not sign Harris away from a half-dozen other interested teams thinking he might jolt their offense.

"If you can play well in New York, you can play well anywhere," Harris said. "If you can play well for New York, you can play well for anybody."

Collins prefers short commute over big city

MIAMI -- One of the first warnings came from Ike Davis, who spooked his new manager with a story of a three-hour commute to Citi Field one day last season. So don't expect Terry Collins to indulge in the glamour of Manhattan on a regular basis. Rather than rent a penthouse somewhere in the city, Collins plans to spend his off-day Monday moving into his new apartment in Queens.

"I wanted to make it easy, accessible," Collins said. "I wanted to have no issue because I go to the ballpark early. I go home late."

Consider it a trend. Many of the Mets' younger players have gravitated toward Long Island City in recent years, preferring the easy access to Citi Field over the glitz of Manhattan. Among those living in Queens this season is rookie reliever Pedro Beato, who plans to move back home with his aunt and sister in Ozone Park.

Worth noting

Reliever Jason Isringhausen felt a twinge in his back during a Minor League game Saturday at Port St. Lucie, Fla., exiting after 10 pitches. Isringhausen has been pitching at the team's Spring Training complex in an effort to strengthen his elbow and improve his durability. ... Jason Bay (strained left intercostal muscle) has not yet begun baseball activities, which does not necessarily preclude him from returning from the disabled list when he is eligible on April 9. ... Catcher Josh Thole played Sunday's day game following a night game in large part due to his proficiency catching knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. ... Outfielder Carlos Beltran sat out his first game of the season to rest his knees Sunday, but was available off the bench as a pinch-hitter if needed.