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The Mets Try Sitting Jason Bay

Jason Bay is currently in an 0-for-23 slump, or, to put it another way, he's still, as of today, 0-for-June. His batting average has dropped to .207, and his slash line is equally ugly: .207/.307/.279. (Via Fangraphs, he currently has a WAR value of -0.2.) He's crushing the ball in batting practice, apparently, but games are a different story: He has just two home runs and four doubles through his first 39 games. And so when the Mets bounced back from a tough loss Wednesday to beat Milwaukee last night — Jonathon Niese threw seven and two third innings of one-run, three-hit ball — Bay wasn't in the lineup, nor is he expected to be in the lineup tonight when the Mets visit Pittsburgh. It's not a punishment, exactly; it's Terry Collins's plan to try and get him back on track.

Says the Mets manager, who also gave Bay a day off on Sunday: "The only way I know to clear your mind is just to take a step back for a couple of days." Jason Pridie started in Bay's place last night — his sac fly drove in the second run in the Mets 4–1 win — though Collins says Bay is still his left-fielder, and that he has no plans for a platoon. (Bay, for the record, was emphatic that there wasn't a connection between the concussion that caused him to miss a large chunk of last season and his 2011 struggles.) Said Bay, on trying to regain his old form: "You're like, maybe I should just do what I've always done. But then it's like, man, I don't remember what it was. I've been working on so many things."

Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images