There is nothing more demoralizing for a hitter than being slotted behind a pitcher in the batting order.
Eric Young Jr. of the New York Mets was activated off the disabled list on Monday, and when he went to look at the lineup card and saw his name in the nine-hole behind starting pitcher Jacob deGrom, he probably wished he was still on the DL.
Mets manager Terry Collins pulled a Tony LaRussa by putting his pitcher in the nine-spot hoping that a speedster hitting before three run-producing threats would give his team an offensive boost.
The plan didn’t exactly work out, as deGrom and four others combined to go 0-for-3 in the eight hole, while Young Jr. was just 1-for-4 in a 6-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Mets offense has been stagnant as of late. They had lost nine of their last 12 games coming into Monday’s game against the Cardinals and generated two or fewer runs in five of those games.
Perhaps Collins hoped that using LaRussa’s strategy against the legendary manager’s old team would help get the ball rolling again for the struggling Mets. Maybe next time.