Why is Ike Davis starting in the No. 8 slot in the lineup for the first time in his major league career?
New York Mets
Collins said that's just the way things fell after he resolved to have Marlon Byrd face Hiroki Kuroda, coupled with the desire to separate lefty batters so Yankees reliever Boone Logan couldn't be brought in without seeing a rigthy batter in between.
"All of a sudden, the way Ike's been swinging -- you hope he breaks out at any minute -- but he was the guy to go eighth," Collins said. "I don't want him to change anything except keep his head in there and hopefully get a good pitch to hit."
• Lucas Duda is expected to DH in one game in the Bronx.
• Collins doubted Bobby Parnell would be available to close Tuesday night. The manager said Brandon Lyon, Scott Rice and/or LaTroy Hawkins could handle the ninth. Parnell has worked the past two days, recording consecutive saves. "He hasn't thrown yet today, but after the game last night he thought he might need a day," Collins said. "I'll see how he is today, but as of right now it would be iffy at best."
• Scott Atchison (elbow) should pitch today or tomorrow for Class A St. Lucie, then be activated from the disabled list after a day off, according to Collins.
• Collins continued to be complimentary of Jordany Valdespin's plate discipline in a walk ahead of Daniel Murphy's game-deciding single Monday. "Chris Stewart's statement in the paper this morning, we cut it out and put it in Jordany's locker," the manager said. "They thought they made a good pitch because he's been chasing them [pitches out of the strike zone] for two weeks. And they're absolutely right. And the fact he laid off it shows maybe he's getting it."
• On the forecast, Collins said: "It looks like we're going to be sitting here for a while -- that hopefully maybe by 8 it lightens up. But I know one thing: They're not going to start this game -- it's too big a game for both teams with the guys we've got going -- to think, 'Hey, let's see if we can get three or four innings in and maybe five.' I don't think that'll be the case."