Mired in slide, Bay gets breather

Mired in slide, Bay gets breather

LOS ANGELES -- Mets manager Jerry Manuel is hoping an early batting practice session on Friday will restore the confidence of Jason Bay, who is in a 4-for-36 slump and has eight strikeouts in his last three games entering Thursday.

In a shakeup, Bay was out of the lineup along with Rod Barajas and Carlos Beltran on Thursday for the start of a four-game set in Los Angeles. The Mets have scored four runs or fewer in 12 straight games.

"[Bay is] wavering, confidence-wise -- we've got to do everything we can to get him to feel like, at least feel like, 'Hey, I can do it rather,' than 'I hope to do it,'" Manuel said. "Here's a guy with a different type of set up, a different type of swing that is almost more feel than mechanics. I think you can look at a swing and you can dissect it as far as the fundamentals and so forth. I just think that it's a feel for him and that's what we're going to try to find. Do this until we get it right."

Mets general manager Omar Minaya said the Mets knew that Bay could be a streaky player when they signed him this offseason.

"When he's hot, he's going to be hot; when he's cold, he's going to be cold," Minaya said. "I still feel Jason's going to be a contributor for us and he will continue to be."

Bay is batting .257 with six home runs, 44 RBIs and 10 steals.

"We really feel like we have a good offensive club, we haven't shown it," Manuel said.