NEW YORK -- Manager Terry Collins put catcher Anthony Recker in the starting lineup against the Phillies on Saturday, giving John Buck a rest after he cramped up during Friday night's game.
During his at-bat in the eighth inning, Buck felt a cramp after a swing-and-miss. Collins and a trainer went out to check on Buck, who stayed in. Buck said after the game that he felt fine, and that he would try to convince Collins to put him in Saturday's lineup, but knew that likely wouldn't happen.
He was right.
"I'm a little leery sometimes, when the cramping starts. I make sure they have 24 hours, get some fluids in," Collins said. "That's why I decided to catch Recker. I'll catch John again tomorrow."
Buck did feel the cramping slightly when he tried to block a ball behind the plate in the top of the ninth inning but said that the pain was "slight."
After struggling for such a long stretch after beginning the season with a torrid April, Buck started to heat up during the Mets' final road trip before the All-Star break. He's hit in his last seven games, going 11-for-30 over that stretch. He's also driven in nine runs over that span.
Collins said that Buck is letting pitches get a little deeper in the strike zone, which allows him to keep his head on the ball and drive it to all fields.
Buck said that much of his recent success comes down to just laying off bad pitches.
"I'm having good at-bats, swinging at good pitches," he said. "I think the main thing is, I'm hitting pitches that are hittable rather than trying to do too much with something that isn't a hittable pitch."
Chris Iseman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.