Friday night was a fun one for Mets fans. They saw the lineup set a franchise record for runs scored in an inning, and by the time that turn at bat was over the outcome was all but certain. With the Mets kicking off a stretch of games that doesn't include a day off until May 16, it was also a chance for manager Terry Collins to give a few players some rest. He used that chance for some, but kept captain David Wright in the game all nine frames.
The Mets' third baseman continues to play through spinal stenosis, and is only playing about two of every three games. He's sitting out Saturday's game against the Giants, but one would think he could have played today if he had been taken out early the night before. But in an article from the New York Post's Mike Puma, Collins said Wright was getting the middle game off this series either way. He says he's looking ahead to Sunday, and an opportunity for Wright to get some at-bats against left-handed pitching.
"I wanted him to play the whole night, I wanted him to face the lefty — he has got to face [Madison] Bumgarner on Sunday," Collins said. "We haven’t faced much left-handed pitching and I wanted to get him in there to face the left-hander."
Giants ace Madison Bumgarner will take the mound Sunday in a highly anticipated matchup against Noah Syndergaard. Wright is one of the Mets' best hitters against lefties. Over the last three seasons his wOBA has been nearly 100 points better against southpaws, and his splits for on-base percentage and slugging have been exceptional too.
In the long run, giving Wright as many at-bats as possible against lefties is probably a good idea. But that doesn't mean Collins had to keep him in the game during a 12-run blowout. And he very easily could have pulled Wright early Friday and sat him the next game anyway. It would have given him nearly three straight days of rest (the Mets didn't play Thursday). Those are the kinds of maneuvers Collins may have to make to keep Wright fresh the entire season.
Wilmer Flores will take Wright's spot at third base Saturday and will hit seventh in the lineup. Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera will slide up to the second spot in the batting order.