Duda hopes to be 100 percent for finale

Duda hopes to be 100 percent for finale

NEW YORK -- Mets first baseman Lucas Duda sat out a second straight game against the Rockies on Wednesday because of continued back stiffness. But unlike Tuesday, when he was limited to cheerleading from the dugout, Duda hit in an indoor cage and proclaimed himself improved enough to pinch-hit.

"Probably better," was how Duda described his condition, which first began bothering him Tuesday morning. "It's just a little tightness, but it should be out of there pretty soon, and I'll be back in the lineup hopefully [Thursday]."

Duda is batting .247 with 21 home runs and an .822 OPS in 109 games. Because the Mets faced a second straight left-handed starter on Wednesday, manager Terry Collins was relatively unconcerned about proceeding without the 29-year-old.

The goal, both he and Duda said, is for him to be something close to 100 percent by Thursday's series finale.

"That's what I told him today: 'Look, we're OK today. Tomorrow, I need you,'" Collins said Wednesday afternoon. "I'm just hoping that an extra day, that second day to let him loosen it up more, maybe he's going to be fine."

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.