Minors 8.30.14: St. Lucie loss playoff blow

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
RICHMOND 7, BINGHAMTON 6: Randy Fontanez surrendered three runs in the ninth inning as the B-Mets blew their third save in their past three chances. Blake Miller’s walk-off single capped a furious Squirrels rally. After producing five runs in the eighth, Binghamton ultimately handed a 6-4 lead to Fontanez for the ninth. They righty walked pinch hitter Mario Lisson and allowed a single to Kelby Tomlinson. In an attempt to advance the runners, Elliott Blair bunted to the mound. Fontanez pounced on the roller, but his throw to third base ticked off Dustin Lawley’s glove and rolled into left field, allowing Lisson to score. With two runners in scoring position, Fontanez bounced a wild pitch, plating the tying run. Miller then capped the comeback by lining a 3-1 pitch into the left-field corner. Richmond’s comeback spoiled a monster inning by the B-Mets in the eighth. The B-Mets greeted reliever Ryan Bradley with three consecutive singles to load the bases. The southpaw ended his night and forced in a run by plunking pinch hitter Darrell Ceciliani. Travis Taijeron followed with a two-run single against reliever Jose Casilla. Lawley drove in Ceciliani with the go-ahead run. Juan Centeno capped the five-run frame with a run-producing double play. T.J. Rivera extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single in the eighth. Taijeron went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Box

PALM BEACH 11, ST. LUCIE 5 (12 innings): T.J. Chism and Robby Coles combined to allow six runs in the top of the 12th to deal a serious blow to the Mets' Florida State League postseason chances. In order to qualify, St. Lucie (75-62) needs to win on the final day of the regular season Sunday to overtake Palm Beach (76-62) in the overall standings. The Mets also need Charlotte to sweep Bradenton (76-61) in a doubleheader. And they need to get first-half-champion Fort Myers (40-29) to win Sunday against Jupiter to finish even with Bradenton (41-27). Box

ROME 4, SAVANNAH 3: John Mincone tossed a wild pitch that plated Jacob Schrader in the bottom of the eighth, a half-inning after the Gnats had pulled even on an error by right fielder Connor Oliver that allowed two runs to score. Box

TRI-CITY 3, BROOKLYN 2: The Cyclones dropped into a tie with Connecticut for the New York-Penn League's wild-card berth with two games remaining in the season. Connecticut owns the tiebreaker. Marcos Molina allowed three runs in seven innings. Michael Conforto's leadoff homer in the bottom of the ninth pulled Brooklyn within a run. Jhoan Urena then doubled, but he ultimately was stranded at third base after Adrian Abreu struck out, Pedro Perez grounded out, Michael Bernal walked and Tucker Tharp grounded into a fielder's choice. Box

Compiled with team reports

Collins gives Colon pass because of travel

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
NEW YORK -- Terry Collins said he thought Bartolo Colon deserved a pass for surrendering six runs in 5 1/3 innings because of the veteran right-hander's emotional turmoil and the physical toll of travel from the past week. Colon twice traveled to the Dominican Republic, most recently for Thursday's funeral for his mother.

"I'm going to cut him a little slack this time," Collins said after the Mets lost to the Phillies, 7-2, at Citi Field on Saturday. "That's some long trips he had in the last 10 days back and forth like that. Dan [Warthen] came out of the bullpen and said it's like he hasn't missed any time at all. He said he warmed up great. We saw it at the beginning. I don't know if he just ran out of gas. Obviously he was getting way too much plate. He's usually down, down, down and goes up when he wants to. And those balls were pretty much thigh-high."

Colon said through an interpreter the travel wasn't a big factor in his performance.

"I feel a little tired, but it didn't really affect how I performed in the game," he said.

Rapid Reaction: Phillies 7, Mets 2

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
NEW YORK -- The 90-win dream is dead.

Bartolo Colon surrendered six runs in 5 1/3 innings, and the Mets suffered a 7-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday at Citi Field in the 1,500th major league game managed by Terry Collins.

The Mets dropped to 63-73, which makes it mathematically impossible to reach the win total Sandy Alderson ambitiously articulated to team personnel during an internal spring training meeting.

The last-place Phillies (62-73) returned to within a half-game of the Mets, which sets up a battle for fourth place in Sunday’s final 2014 meeting between the clubs.

Colon had limited the Phillies to one hit until ex-Met Marlon Byrd, on his 37th birthday, opened the fifth with a homer that broke a scoreless tie. Byrd notched his career-high 25th homer and surpassed last year’s previous high, which he produced while with the Mets (21) and Pittsburgh Pirates (three).

An inning later, Philadelphia took a 6-0 lead. Colon surrendered singles to six of the first seven batters -- including a two-run single to Ryan Howard -- and departed. Buddy Carlyle entered and immediately surrendered an RBI single to Cody Asche for the sixth and final run charged to Colon.

The Mets, who had been limited to one hit through six innings, finally mounted a threat in the seventh. Wilmer Flores delivered an RBI single, and Juan Lagares walked with the bases loaded to force in a run. However, left-hander Antonio Bastardo entered and struck out Curtis Granderson to leave the bases loaded and preserve a 6-2 lead.

It’s a hit! Dilson Herrera notched his first major league hit with a seventh-inning single that loaded the bases with one out and chased Phillies starter Jerome Williams. Herrera finished 1-for-3 with a walk in his second major league game.

What’s next: Dillon Gee (5-6, 3.77 ERA) opposes A.J. Burnett (7-14, 4.30) on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. in the final meeting between the clubs this season. The Mets, who are 12-6 against Philadelphia in 2014, can match their most wins ever against the Phillies in a single season. The Amazin’s went 13-5 against Philadelphia in 1970, ’71, ’72 and ’87.

Saturday's Mets-Phillies lineups

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
NEW YORK -- Here are the lineups for Saturday's 7:10 p.m. game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field.

Juan Lagares, cf
Curtis Granderson, rf
David Wright, 3b
Lucas Duda, 1b
Travis d'Arnaud, c
Matt den Dekker, lf
Dilson Herrera, 2b
Wilmer Flores, ss
Bartolo Colon, rhp

Ben Revere, cf
Jimmy Rollins, ss
Chase Utley, 2b
Ryan Howard, 1b
Marlon Byrd, rf
Domonic Brown, lf
Carlos Ruiz, c
Cody Asche, 3b
Jerome Williams, rhp

Morning Briefing: LOL Phils

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30

FIRST PITCH: The Mets certainly have the number of their rivals from the City of Brotherly Love. The Amazin’s are 12-5 against the Philadelphia Phillies this season -- their most wins in a season series against Philadelphia since 1989.

With a win with Bartolo Colon on the mound Saturday at 7:10 p.m. opposite right-hander Jerome Williams, the Mets can match their most wins ever in a single season against Philadelphia. The Mets won 13 games in the season series in 1970, ’71 and ’72 and ’87.

Meanwhile, the Mets (63-72) must run the table to win 90 games -- not that it was a goal articulated by Sandy Alderson or anything.

Saturday’s news reports:

• Left fielder Grady Sizemore's two-out drop of a routine fly ball with the bases loaded led to three unearned runs in the seventh as the Mets beat the Phillies, 4-1, in Friday’s series opener at Citi Field. The Mets produced three runs in the seventh without a hit -- their first time posting that many runs in a hitless inning since 1999. Jacob deGrom allowed one unearned run in seven innings to rekindle his NL Rookie of the Year chances. Dilson Herrera went 0-for-3 and had a fielding error in his major league debut. Jenrry Mejia became the second-youngest closer in franchise history to reach 20 saves. Eric Campbell swiped home on a double-steal.

The Mets won for the sixth time this season while producing four hits or fewer. That is one shy of matching the franchise record set in 1972, according to statistician Eric Hornick. The Amazin’s opened a 1-game lead on Philadelphia for fourth place.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Times, Journal and at MLB.com.

• In a pregame interview, Herrera said he was “in complete shock” upon learning of the promotion late Thursday. He replaced Daniel Murphy, who may miss most of the remainder of the season with a strained right calf. The Mets only view Herrera as a second baseman and do not intend to expose him to shortstop in the majors. Read more on Herrera in the Post, Journal, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.

• Las Vegas manager Wally Backman was named Pacific Coast League manager of the year. The 51s are headed to the postseason for the second straight year. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Alderson told the Post’s Mike Puma that moving Travis d'Arnaud to left field has not been discussed. Asked if it was possible in the future, Alderson added: “No, not really.” (Twitter link)

• Read more on Alderson’s 90-wins spin in the Daily News.

• Columnist Michael Powell in the Times discusses the lament of being a Mets fan entering September. Writes Powell:

There is a metronomic regularity to this annual Mets ruination. The team shows glimmers of hope in the spring, goes on a nice little run in June or July, and elicits hopeful nouns, verbs and adjectives from the news media.

At which point, the Mets collapse, totally, thoroughly and profoundly. The joint goes somnolent. Scalpers despair -- how do you maintain line discipline when there are more sellers than fans stepping off the 7 train? And tickets get really cheap, like this official Mets “deGrom package” (named after one of the Mets’ better young pitchers, Jacob deGrom), which arrived in my email Thursday: four field-level seats for $48.

Gonzalez Germen surrendered five runs in the eighth as Las Vegas lost to Albuquerque, 9-6. Steven Matz matched a career high with 10 strikeouts, but Richmond topped Herrera-less Binghamton, 2-1. Seth Lugo allowed one run in seven innings and struck out a season-high 10 to lead St. Lucie past Palm Beach, 3-1. Colton Plaia and Jorge Rivero homered as Savannah held off Rome, 6-5. Kingsport completed its season with a 5-2 win against Elizabethton. Read the full minor-league recap here.

From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear examines just how youthful the Mets have become.

BIRTHDAYS: The late Tug McGraw was born on this date in 1944. ... Former reliever Jon Adkins turns 37.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Who is more deserving of NL Rookie of the Year -- Jacob deGrom, Jeurys Familia or Cincinnati’s Billy Hamilton?

Minors 8.29.14: Lugo keeps FSL hopes alive

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
ALBUQUERQUE 9, LAS VEGAS 6: The Isotopes homered twice and plated five runs in the eighth against Gonzalez Germen in the come-from-behind win. Andrew Brown homered twice and Cesar Puello also went deep in the defeat. Starter Cory Mazzoni allowed three runs in six innings while striking out 10. After producing a 7.39 ERA in six starts with the 51s, John Lannan moved to a relief role. He allowed one run in one inning. Box

RICHMOND 2, BINGHAMTON 1: The B-Mets collected five hits in their first eight at-bats, but mustered only two hits over the final seven innings. Steven Matz matched a career

high with 10 strikeouts. The loss, coupled with Portland's win, secured a second-place finish for the B-Mets in the Eastern Division. The B-Mets will host Game Nos. 1 and 2 of the Eastern Division Championship Series, beginning Wednesday. Binghamton scored in the first against Adalberto Mejia. After Kyle Johnson doubled and T.J. Rivera singled, Brian Burgamy snapped a nine-game RBI drought with a single. The Squirrels struck back against Matz in the bottom half. Skyler Stromsmoe led off with a single, swiped second and scored when Mario Lisson doubled. Lisson struck again to give the Squirrels the lead in the third. He yanked a 2-2 pitch with two outs inside the third-base bag and down the left-field line, plating Stromsmoe from second with the go-ahead run. Mejia nearly coughed up the lead in the fourth. After surrendering a leadoff single to Jayce Boyd, the southpaw issued consecutive two-out walks to load the bases. Matz shot a line drive, but was robbed of a hit by first baseman Angel Villalona, who leaped and snared the shot. Matz (6-5) surrendered two runs on five hits over five innings. He also struck out 10 batters with Savannah on June 14, 2013, against Greenville. Box

ST. LUCIE 3, PALM BEACH 1: Seth Lugo allowed one run in seven innings while striking

out a season-high 10 batters. Lugo fanned Dante Rosenberg on his 100th pitch to finish the seventh inning. Jake Kuebler retired the side in order in the eighth and ninth innings to earn his second save. He struck out three. Lugo and Kuebler combined to retire the final 14 Palm Beach hitters. The Cardinals had taken a 1-0 lead in the second on an RBI groundout by Anthony Garcia. The Mets tied the score in the fourth on a single by Jared King that plated L.J. Mazzilli. Jairo Perez broke the tie with a long homer to left field against Cardinals starter Jimmy Reed with two outs in the sixth. Gavin Cecchini provided the final run when he tripled to score Cam Maron in the seventh. The Mets (75-61 overall) need major help to make the postseason. They need to win at least one of their remaining two games to stay in front of Palm Beach (75-62) in the overall standings. They need to finish with one more win than Bradenton (75-61). And they need to get first-half-champion Fort Myers (38-29) to surpass Bradenton (40-27) and win the second half in the division. Box

SAVANNAH 6, ROME 5: Colton Plaia and Jorge Rivero homered and starter John Gant (11-5) allowed one run in five innings as the Gnats built a 6-2 lead. The Braves produced five straight singles and scored three runs in the eighth against Ricky Knapp to close within a run. Dawrin Frias entered and recorded the final two outs of the eighth to strand two inherited runners. Frias then tossed a perfect ninth for his fourth save. Box

KINGSPORT 5, ELIZABETHTON 2: The K-Mets completed their season with a 34-34 record after winning the finale. Persio Reyes allowed one run in seven innings and Alex Palsha recorded his first save. Oswald Caraballo drove in two runs. Box

TRI-CITY 3, BROOKLYN 2: Starter Corey Oswalt allowed three runs in six innings. Anthony Chavez's one-out RBI single in the ninth pulled the Cyclones within a run. But Adrian Abreu grounded out. And with two in scoring position, Amed Rosario struck out for the game's final out. Chavez was thrown out at the plate in the seventh -- the second Cyclone in the game to be retired there. Box

Compiled with team reports

Five things we learned Friday

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
video 1. Another Friday, another no-hit bid against the Cincinnati Reds

Last week Atlanta Braves starter Mike Minor tossed 7 2/3 innings before the Reds put a hit on the board. Friday, it was Pittsburgh Pirates right-hander Edinson Volquez who kept Cincinnati hitless for the first six frames. Volquez, a former 17-game winner with the Reds, was picked up off the scrap heap by Pittsburgh this winter and has been a pleasant surprise. Although his peripheral statistics don't necessarily support his 3.45 ERA, he is unlikely to turn into a pumpkin down the stretch after nearly 160 innings of work this season.

Volquez tied a season high with 114 pitches Friday. He was charged with one earned run on three hits and three walks. He struck out six. He pounded the ground with 10 ground-ball outs. Although he has done a lot of work close to the earth, it is his work in the air that has been the big key in 2014. Last year, opposing batters had a .310 average on fly balls against Volquez. This season, that mark sits at .172. Advanced metrics place the Pirates' outfield in a negative light, but someone is converting those fly balls into outs on a consistent basis.

Despite the lack of knocks, the Reds were able to keep both games close, losing in the 12th inning last Friday and briefly taking a 1-0 lead in the eighth inning Friday before conceding the lead and the game soon after. The wins were important to Atlanta and Pittsburgh as both are still chasing the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals in the National League wild-card race. In fact, the Pirates' three-game winning streak has them sneaking back into contention in the NL Central as well.

For those interested, the Reds host the New York Mets next Friday at the Great American Ballpark.

2. DeGrom continues strong season

The Mets are in the midst of another lost season, but once again a trio of young arms gives the organization and its fans some hope. They lack the cool nickname of "Generation K," but Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom may be the foundation of a rotation that gets New York's other baseball team back to the postseason. DeGrom, the only active member of the trio, was on the bump Friday against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Without the hype of Harvey or Syndergaard, deGrom has snuck up on most people this season. The lanky right-hander tossed seven strong innings against the Phillies, allowing just one unearned run. Of his 18 starts, deGrom has gone at least six innings in 14 of them. He has allowed three runs or fewer in 13 of those contests.

The rookie boasts a full arsenal of pitches, but Friday night's game plan centered around a mid-90s fastball that he commanded well. It accounted for nearly 75 percent of his pitches thrown Friday, as deGrom honed in on the lower half of the zone to his arm side. The heater was the weapon of choice on 16 of the 22 outs he recorded.

It's been said before, but "maybe next year" for the Mets.

3. Orioles continue to pound away

After taking three of four from the Tampa Bay Rays, the American League East-leading Baltimore Orioles were back at it Friday night, blowing out the Minnesota Twins 9-1. Baltimore's pitching staff has been largely mediocre this season, but its offense packs a powerful enough punch to push the O's past the opposition on most nights. The club's .163 ISO -- isolated power measures the ability to hit for extra bases by stripping singles from slugging percentage -- is tops in the AL, trailing only the Colorado Rockies in the majors.

Chris Davis is having a disappointing season after his breakout 2013 campaign, but he hit another home run -- this one a grand slam -- on Friday that gives him seven in August and 24 on the season. While that is a far cry from last year's pace, Davis appears to be getting a bit more into the swing of things even if his average sits below .200.

In Davis' void, Nelson Cruz and Steve Pearce have picked up the offensive slack. Cruz signed a one-year deal with Baltimore after a difficult time finding work on the open market. His 34 home runs lead the majors. Pearce was once a top prospect in the Pirates' system, but has spent most of his career shuttling between the majors and minors. This season, he has broken out in a big way with an OPS approaching .900 and 16 homers in limited action. He left Friday's game with an abdominal strain. Considering Manny Machado's injury, the team can ill afford to lose Pearce, as crazy as that may sound.

4. Verlander better versus White Sox

The Detroit Tigers have one of the game's top pitchers (Max Scherzer) and traded for another one (David Price) on July 31. Meanwhile, the team's former top hurler was on the mound Friday night, looking to close the gap in the highly contested AL Central race.

Justin Verlander has been off his game for most of this season. His ERA is approaching 5.00 and he has allowed more hits than innings pitched for the first time since 2006. Friday's effort was not vintage Verlander; however, it was still encouraging since he is no longer considered the team's top gun.

Facing the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field, Verlander worked seven innings, allowing one run on nine hits and two walks. He struck out seven batters, throwing 77 strikes in 116 pitches. It was the first time since April 17 that he allowed one run or none in a start.

Despite a recent run of inconsistency, the Tigers are within arm's reach of the division lead. With Anibal Sanchez's future in doubt, Verlander once again becomes a key figure in Detroit's rotation. If he can be just part of what he once was, it may go a long way in the club's quest for a fourth straight division title.

5. Young Cubs on the prowl

The Houston Astros have been painted by some as the poster boys of "process." Meanwhile, the Chicago Cubs have also been in rebuild mode and, unlike Houston, which may have some sour grapes among its bunch, their organizational tree is starting to bear fruit at the highest level.

Javier Baez was first to capture the nation's attention this summer with his risk-versus-reward approach at the plate. His big swings have left nearly an equal amount of oohs and ughs depending on whether he made contact or not. This week, the club promoted Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler to the big leagues. That decision is already paying dividends.

Though he is just three games into his major league career, the 22-year-old Soler has seven hits in his first 12 plate appearances. On Friday, he recorded his first multi-home run game, belting a pair of homers against the St. Louis Cardinals. Soler's first homer was a solo shot in the seventh inning that tied the game at 2-2. Baez put the Cubs ahead 4-2 with an RBI double the next inning, but the big blast came once again from Soler, who smacked a two-run homer to left field. Two innings, two at-bats and two home runs that covered 858 feet. Not bad for the third night on the job.

As exciting as the win was for the Cubs, it was equally devastating for a Cardinals team that is clinging to an NL wild-card spot by the slimmest of margins.

Tommy Rancel blogs about the Tampa Bay Rays at the SweetSpot network affiliate The Process Report. You can follow him on Twitter at @TRancel.

Campbell swipes home to cap scoring

August, 29, 2014
Aug 29
NEW YORK -- For the first time in more than three years, the Mets swiped home Friday.

Eric Campbell did the honors after Carlos Ruiz threw through to second base on a double-steal in the seventh inning. Jimmy Rollins cut the ball off as Juan Lagares slid into second. The return throw to the plate wasn’t in time. The run capped the scoring in the Mets’ 4-1 win against Philadelphia.

“We just thought we’d take a shot at it and it paid off for us,” Terry Collins said. “He had a pretty good lead in that situation. To be honest, Juan went too far. He can’t get tagged out there. But it worked. That extra run, we needed it badly.”

Said Campbell: “It’s really a timing thing. I started running home right when [Ruiz's] arm was in motion. And once I saw that he released it, that’s when I broke hard.”

The last steal of home by the Mets came from Jason Pridie on May 15, 2011 at Houston.

Campbell said the primary thing going through his mind was “really just trying to pick out a spot to slide -- whether you’re going to ‘truck’ the catcher if he’s blocking the plate or trying to sneak your hand in there.”

Added Campbell: “I did the latter.”

deGrom back on Rookie of Year track

August, 29, 2014
Aug 29
NEW YORK -- After a stint on the disabled list with rotator cuff tendinitis and then a stumble at Dodger Stadium, Jacob deGrom got his NL Rookie of the Year campaign back on track Friday against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesJacob deGrom allowed one unearned run in seven innings Friday.

DeGrom did not surrender a hit until the fifth inning. He took a scoreless effort into the seventh, when Lucas Duda had a throwing error that led to an unearned run.

DeGrom’s final line: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K.

He appeared in danger of suffering a no-decision, but Grady Sizemore’s drop in left field led to three unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh en route to a 4-1 Mets win.

“The location was really good all night with all of my pitches,” deGrom said.

A quick review of the NL Rookie of the Year competition has deGrom at least a viable consideration at 7-6 with a 2.94 ERA.

Other contenders in a weak field:

Jeurys Familia: 2-3, 1.90 ERA, four saves

• Cincinnati’s Billy Hamilton: .268, 6 HR, 46 RBIs, 53 steals

• St. Louis’ Kolten Wong: .248, 9 HR, 43 RBIs

• Atlanta’s Tommy La Stella: .268, 1 HR, 30 RBIs

• Arizona’s Chase Anderson: 7-6, 3.90 ERA

• Arizona's David Peralta: .289, 7 HR, 32 RBIs

DeGrom was coming off an outing against the Dodgers in which he was charged with five runs in six innings. The big blow that day was a three-run homer by Adrian Gonzalez in the fifth that gave L.A. a two-run lead.

This time, deGrom worked around a jam in the fifth when he walked Marlon Byrd to open the inning and surrendered a single to Sizemore that placed runners at first and second with none out. DeGrom struck out Carlos Ruiz and Cody Asche and retired opposing pitcher David Buchanan on a fielder’s choice.

“Like I said in L.A., I didn’t make the pitches in that game,” deGrom said. “And then in this one I made some big pitches to get out of those innings with runners on.”

Herrera hitless in major league debut

August, 29, 2014
Aug 29
NEW YORK -- Dilson Herrera kept his nerves mostly in check during an 0-for-3 major league debut that included a ninth-inning fielding error.

“To be honest, it was a little bit of nerves going into the first inning, but after that it was fine,” Herrera said through an interpreter after Friday's 4-1 win against the Phillies at Citi Field. “I felt good the rest of the game.”

Herrera noted he had played in a big stadium once before -- at the 2013 Futures Game, which happened to be at Citi Field while he was a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. Edgardo Alfonzo managed that World Team.

“It’s fine,” he said, downplaying the venue after a jump from Double-A. “I really don’t concentrate on that. I focus on the game.”

First-pitch swinging, Herrera grounded into a double play in his first at-bat, against Phillies right-hander David Buchanan. He struck out in the fifth. In his third and final at-bat, he lined out to second baseman Chase Utley in the seventh while facing left-hander Jake Diekman.

“I was just happy that I had good contact,” Herrera said. “After that, I can’t control the rest.”

As for the error, when he booted Grady Sizemore's routine one-out grounder in the ninth, Herrera said his hands were too rigid fielding the ball.

“Just normal stuff,” Herrera said. “It’s part of the game.”

Concluded Terry Collins: “I’m sure he was a little nervous. Of course, the one ball he hit to Chase, the ball was hit very, very good. It’ll be fun to keep watching him play.”

Sizemore: No excuses for decisive drop

August, 29, 2014
Aug 29
NEW YORK -- Philadelphia Phillies left fielder Grady Sizemore offered no excuses for dropping a bases-loaded fly ball off the bat of Juan Lagares with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, which led to three unearned runs in what became a 4-1 loss to the Mets on Friday at Citi Field.

“I just missed it,” Sizemore said. “There's nothing to it other than just a routine pop-up and I couldn't come up with it.”

Sizemore said he saw the baseball the entire way. Two runs scored on the play as the Mets took a 3-1 lead. Eric Campbell then swiped home on a double-steal for a third unearned run in the inning.

It marked the first time since July 25, 1999 against the Cubs that the Mets scored three or more runs in an inning without producing a hit.

“Routine play,” Sizemore reiterated. “Like I said, had it the whole way, saw it fine, was under it. Just missed it. ... It doesn't get much worse than that. The guys played hard and I just happened to be a guy that let the team down, you know? That's all there really is to it.”

Terry Collins called Sizemore a solid outfielder, but added: “We were pretty pumped up in the dugout. There’s no question, because we haven’t been scoring. You take every gift you can get right now.”

Mejia becomes 2nd-youngest to 20 saves

August, 29, 2014
Aug 29
NEW YORK -- Jenrry Mejia recorded his 20th save of the season in Friday’s 4-1 win against the Philadelphia Phillies by working around a one-out error by second baseman Dilson Herrera.

Mejia, at 24 years, 322 days, became the second-youngest pitcher in franchise history to reach the 20-save plateau. Neil Allen had 22 saves as a 22-year-old in 1980.

Since a rough stretch, Mejia has settled down with three straight scoreless appearances.

Terry Collins believes less frequent use, such as not asking Mejia to pitch three days in a row, has led to the closer bouncing back despite pitching with a hernia that will require offseason surgery.

“The breaking ball is distinctly better now than it was. It was tumbling when we were in Philly the last time,” Collins said, referring to Mejia’s blown save at Citizens Bank Park on Aug. 10. “And now it’s got some snap to it. I think the rest has helped.”

Rapid Reaction: Mets 4, Phillies 1

August, 29, 2014
Aug 29
NEW YORK -- Who’s the team to beat now?

Phillies left fielder Grady Sizemore dropped the would-be final out of the bottom of the seventh inning with the bases loaded, leading to three unearned runs as the Mets beat Philadelphia, 4-1, in Friday’s series opener at Citi Field.

The Mets held onto fourth place and kept their 90-win goal -- uhhh, “reminder” -- mathematically alive. Jacob deGrom (7-6) earned a win thanks to Sizemore’s miscue.

Dilson Herrera went 0-for-3 and also committed a fielding error in the ninth inning in his major league debut.

Philadelphia (61-73) would have overtaken the Mets (63-72) for fourth place with a win.

Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesJacob deGrom was credited with the win once Philadelphia melted down in the seventh on Grady Sizemore's drop in left field.

Instead, after Justin De Fratus entered with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the seventh and the score tied at 1, the Phillies imploded.

Juan Lagares hit a routine fly ball to left field that Sizemore simply dropped. Two runs scored on the play. With runners on the corners, the Mets then pulled off a double-steal. Eric Campbell was credited with the first steal of home by a Met since Jason Pridie at Houston on May 15, 2011.

The Mets scored three runs in the inning without producing a hit.

The Amazin's improved to 12-5 against the Phillies this season. That's their most wins in a season series versus Philadelphia since going 12-6 in 1989.

Debutant: Herrera became the youngest active player in the majors at 20 years, 179 days when he debuted Friday.

Facing Phillies right-hander David Buchanan, Herrera swung at the first major league pitch he saw and grounded into an inning-ending double play in the second. He then struck out to lead off the fifth. Batting against left-handed reliever Jake Diekman with one out and a runner on first in the seventh with the score tied at 1, Herrera lined out to second base.

deLightful: A day after receiving his NL Rookie of the Month Award for July in a pregame ceremony, deGrom limited the Phillies to an unearned run in the seventh inning. He earned the win thanks to Philadelphia’s collapse in the bottom of the frame.

DeGrom retired the first seven Phillies batters, until walking Cody Asche in the third. DeGrom also walked Marlon Byrd to lead off the fifth. He then surrendered his first hit when Sizemore followed with a single that advanced Byrd to second. However, deGrom preserved a 1-0 lead by striking out Carlos Ruiz and Asche and coaxing a fielder’s choice from Buchanan.

With that score still intact in the seventh, Byrd had a leadoff single. Sizemore then sent a grounder to first base. Lucas Duda opted to attempt the out at second. His throw to Wilmer Flores was high and Byrd slid in safely ahead of Flores landing on the bag after a leaping catch. With one out, Asche delivered a game-tying RBI single.

DeGrom departed after the half-inning with his pitch count at 103. His line: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. He shaved his ERA to 2.94.

Travis d'Arnaud had staked the Mets to a 1-0 lead with a two-out RBI single in the fourth.

What’s next: Bartolo Colon has returned from the Dominican Republic, where he attended his mother’s funeral Thursday. Colon (12-10, 3.82 ERA) opposes right-hander Jerome Williams (2-5, 6.71) on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. The Mets have offered no indication Colon will be traded before Sunday’s deadline that would make him eligible for another team’s postseason roster.

Saturday is Curtis Granderson bobblehead day. Granderson went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in the series opener, dropping his average to .152 (16-for-105) with two extra-base hits in August.

Herrera completely shocked by promotion

August, 29, 2014
Aug 29

Adam RubinDilson Herrera throws with teammates before his major league debut Friday at Citi Field.
NEW YORK -- Dilson Herrera already had his belongings on the Binghamton Mets’ Richmond, Va.-bound bus on Thursday night when Double-A manager Pedro Lopez gave him an alternate itinerary.

With Daniel Murphy landing on the DL with a right-calf strain, and with the Mets needing to add the 20-year-old Herrera to the 40-man roster after the season anyway, Herrera instead received a ride from upstate New York to Queens on Friday.

He will start at second base and bat seventh in the series opener against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field.

Herrera will become the first position player in Mets history to start a season in Class A and make his major league debut the same season. He also will become the first Colombia-born player to appear for the Mets, and the 14th overall for any ballclub in major league history.

Adam RubinHerrera

The promotion comes a year and two days after he was acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates with Vic Black for Marlon Byrd and John Buck.

“The manager told me after last night’s game. We had lost, and he pulled me aside and told me and I was just in complete shock,” Herrera said through an interpreter. “I couldn’t believe it.”

Said Sandy Alderson: “He’s come sort of out of nowhere, but he’s done everything we could have asked from him.”

Herrera hit .340 with 10 homers and 48 RBIs in 241 at-bats after a midseason promotion to Double-A.

He has been exposed to both middle-infield positions this season, but Alderson confirmed Herrera will only be called upon to play second base at the major league level.

“He’s very young, but he has to be on the roster, he has to be protected this year -- otherwise exposed to the Rule 5 draft,” Alderson said. “So there was no question in our minds he would be on the roster. With the opportunity for actual playing time given the injury to Daniel, we felt this was an opportunity for us to see him and give him some time in the big leagues and let him play some second base. I’m sure he was very surprised last night.”

Herrera has never played at any level with any of the current Mets. He was not in big league camp during spring training.

Terry Collins said he did not know much about him, but heard: “He can hit.”

Said Herrera: “I think I’m good with line drives. I wouldn’t say I always bat with a lot of power, but I think I’m very consistent and good at the plate.”

Murph may miss most of remaining games

August, 29, 2014
Aug 29
NEW YORK -- Daniel Murphy may miss a good portion of the remaining 28 games of the season with a right-calf strain that sent him to the disabled list late Thursday night.

That will cost the first-time All-Star a chance for the NL hits crown. Murphy enters the weekend with a league-leading 159 hits, three ahead of runner-up Hunter Pence.

Murphy underwent an MRI on Thursday evening.

Terry Collins subsequently informed Murphy of the DL decision and advised him it is important not to rush back and risk further injuring the calf.

Dilson Herrera was promoted from Double-A Binghamton to play second base.

“I’ll tell you, Murph’s down,” Collins said. “It’s not about who is playing second base. He had some pretty big goals set, and rightfully so, that he was chasing. Big goals. And now we’re looking at quite a lengthy DL stint to where how much is going to be left at the end of the year?

“Daniel Murphy had an absolutely outstanding year, a brilliant year. He deserved to make the All-Star team. So he should be down about the injury, not about anything else that’s taken place.”

Said Sandy Alderson: “We did the MRI. It did show a significant issue, one that we thought was going to take more than a couple of days. It could end up taking more than the minimum time on the disabled list. We don’t know, but clearly we needed to put him on the DL.”

Collins pledged Murphy would play when he returns, not watch Herrera in late-September games.

“As we all know, when Dan Murphy gets back, his name will be in the lineup,” Collins said.



Daniel Murphy
.301 9 53 73
HRL. Duda 26
RBIL. Duda 76
RD. Murphy 73
OPSL. Duda .834
WB. Colon 12
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.44
SOZ. Wheeler 155