New York Mets: David Wright

Morning Briefing: Trade talk or hot air?

July, 26, 2014
Jul 26
5:18
AM ET
FIRST PITCH: The Mets continue their series against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday at Miller Park at 7:10 p.m. ET.

Jonathon Niese (5-5, 3.13 ERA) opposes right-hander Wily Peralta (11-6, 3.58).

Saturday’s news reports:

• Team insiders told ESPNNewYork.com that the Mets have engaged in limited dialogue involving Bartolo Colon and Daniel Murphy with other clubs, but there has not been anything substantive. That does not preclude a trade materializing before Thursday’s 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline.

Regarding a big-ticket item such as Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzalez, a team insider severely tempered the suddenly rampant fan enthusiasm. The source said the Mets worked hard over a few years to build up their young pitching and are unlikely to part with multiple high-level pitching prospects in one deal.

David Wright nonetheless told Mike Puma in the Post: “It’s going to be a tough call when we do get to the point, which I think is very soon, of what are you willing to give, because [the Rockies] are not going to be giving these guys away. What are you willing to give to obtain that? And that is kind of an open-ended question.”

Read more in Newsday.

• After being blanked through eight innings, the Amazin’s scored three runs in the final frame against ex-Met Francisco Rodriguez, highlighted by Lucas Duda's go-ahead two-run homer, en route to a 3-2 win against the Brewers. Duda has accounted for all three second-half homers by the Mets.

Murphy produced three hits, but also had two errors, including a costly grounder through his legs in the sixth, when Milwaukee broke a scoreless tie against Zack Wheeler. Wheeler ultimately was charged with two runs (one earned) in 6 2/3 innings. It marked Wheeler’s fifth straight start allowing one earned run while completing at least six innings.

The Mets last overcame a ninth-inning deficit of at least two runs on May 11, against the Philadelphia Phillies. That day, the Mets scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth en route to a 5-4, 11-inning victory.

With 59 games remaining, the Mets (49-54) trail the first-place Washington Nationals by 8½ games. The Amazin’s are six games back in the wild card, with four non-playoff teams -- St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Miami -- ahead of them.

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

Daisuke Matsuzaka, who looked uncomfortable after leaving his appearance Thursday in Milwaukee, is due to have an MRI of his right elbow on Saturday in New York. He remains active … for now. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Record, Daily News and at MLB.com.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis had three hits, including a go-ahead three-run homer in the seventh, as Las Vegas rallied to beat Salt Lake, 11-6. Greg Peavey limited Trenton to one run in eight innings as the B-Mets won, 6-1. Matt Bowman originally was due to start for Binghamton, but ended up getting summoned to Las Vegas after Darin Gorski fractured a foot. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes about Matt Garza's performance against the Mets in the series opener:

On Thursday, Matt Garza threw eight innings after lasting just one-third of an inning in his previous start in Washington. He became the first pitcher since the Mets' Bobby Jones in 1997 to pitch one-third of an inning or less and then eight innings or more in consecutive starts. Jones didn't retire a batter in a loss at Atlanta on Sept. 17, 1997, and then threw eight innings in a victory at Florida on Sept. 22, 1997.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear reflects on how the Mets fan mindset can adjust when the Mets finally begin to win consistently.

BIRTHDAYS: No one to ever play for the Mets was born on this date, but Mick Jagger, Sandra Bullock and Kevin Spacey all celebrate birthdays on July 26.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Did you prematurely write off Zack Wheeler?

Morning Briefing: Who'll stop the swoon?

July, 22, 2014
Jul 22
5:27
AM ET
SEATTLE

FIRST PITCH: The Mets have stumbled out of the gate since the All-Star break, and now have lost three straight. They are back in fourth place and nine games behind the division-leading Washington Nationals.

Rookie Jacob deGrom (3-5, 3.18 ERA) looks to right the ship Tuesday. He opposes right-hander Erasmo Ramirez (1-4, 4.58) at 10:10 p.m. ET at Safeco Field.

Bobby Abreu is due to DH the final two games of the series.

Tuesday’s news reports:

Jonathon Niese's streak of 21 straight starts allowing three earned runs or fewer was snapped in his return from the disabled list as the Mets lost to the Mariners, 5-2, Monday.


Adam RubinMariners hitting coach Howard Johnson watches Seattle's early batting practice Monday.


Travis d'Arnaud was robbed of a solo homer by left fielder Dustin Ackley, a converted infielder. D’Arnaud said he immediately thought about his brother Chase d'Arnaud taking away a homer Sunday while playing a Triple-A game for the Indianapolis Indians.

The Mariners, meanwhile, maintained a 2½-game wild-card lead over the Yankees and Blue Jays, although starter Roenis Elias was forced to leave the game in the sixth inning with left forearm cramping.

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

• Left fielder Chris Young departed the game in the eighth inning with a left calf cramp. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

David Wright went 2-for-5 and drove in the Mets’ opening run on the 10th anniversary of his major league debut. Wright’s teammates surprised him by taking him to dinner on Sunday night in Seattle to celebrate the occasion. Read more in the Times, Journal, Post, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and at MLB.com.

Wilmer Flores extended his hitting streak to 22 games and rehabbing Taylor Teagarden homered, but Las Vegas lost at Tacoma, 11-8. Zach Mathieu had a walk-off two-run homer and drove in all three runs as Kingsport beat Princeton, 3-1. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Teagarden is not expected to join the Mets when his rehab assignment ends.

• The Mariners adjusted their rotation. Prospect Taijuan Walker may start against the Mets in Wednesday’s series finale. Hisashi Iwakuma, originally listed for that day, instead will get an extra day of rest and miss the Amazin’s.

• Seattle optioned first baseman Justin Smoak to Triple-A after Monday’s game to clear the roster spot for Ramirez’s promotion to start against the Mets on Tuesday. Read more in the Seattle Times and at MLB.com.

Daisuke Matsuzaka in the Daily News weighs in on Masahiro Tanaka's injury.

From the bloggers …Faith and Fear thinks about the strange ways the Mets have lost ballgames in recent years.

BIRTHDAYS: Former Mets catcher Rob Johnson, who also has a franchise-record 0.00 ERA, turns 32.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Do you bereave?

Rapid Reaction: Mariners 5, Mets 2

July, 22, 2014
Jul 22
1:03
AM ET
SEATTLE -- The Mets’ first game in the Pacific Northwest in nine years felt as pleasant as a space needle to the gut.

Jonathon Niese had the longest active streak in the majors of starts allowing three earned runs or fewer snapped and the Mets lost to the Seattle Mariners, 5-2, in Monday’s series opener at Safeco Field.

The Mets (46-53) have lost three of four since play resumed following the All-Star break. They have dropped back into fourth place and now trail the first-place Washington Nationals by nine games in the National League East.

The Amazin's have scored four runs in their last 33 innings.

In his first action since returning from the disabled list, Niese allowed four earned runs on 11 hits and two walks in six innings. That snapped a string of 21 straight starts allowing three earned runs or fewer, which matched the second-longest streak in franchise history. Dwight Gooden holds the franchise record with 29 straight starts of three earned runs or fewer, spanning 1984 and ’85.

Niese last had pitched July 4 -- and that was only a dozen pitches, because he was struck in the lower back with a line drive and departed. Niese officially was on the DL with a left shoulder strain.

He threw 93 pitches and flashed his normal velocity on Monday.

Happy anniversary: David Wright went 2-for-5 on the 10th anniversary of his July 21, 2004 major league debut. Wright’s two-out RBI single in the third pulled the Mets even at 1.

Robbed: After singling in his first two at-bats, Travis d'Arnaud appeared poised to pull the Mets within 4-2 in the sixth. However, left fielder Dustin Ackley reached over the wall and pulled back a would-be solo homer from d’Arnaud against reliever Dominic Leone.

Ouch: Mariners starter Roenis Elias limited the Mets to one run in 5 1/3 innings. He then departed with an escort from the trainer with what was announced as left forearm cramping.

Relief worker: Daisuke Matsuzaka, bounced from the rotation with Niese’s return, made his first relief appearance since June 17. Matsuzaka entered with two outs and a runner on second base in the seventh and retired Stefen Romero on a foul pop-out. Matsuzaka then surrendered an RBI double to Ackley in the eighth as Seattle upped its lead to 5-2.

What’s next: Jacob deGrom (3-5, 3.18 ERA) makes his opening start of the second half. DeGrom opposes right-hander Erasmo Ramirez (1-4, 4.58) at 10:10 p.m. ET.

On 10th anniversary, Wright reminisces

July, 21, 2014
Jul 21
9:30
PM ET
SEATTLE -- The celebration of the 10th anniversary of David Wright's major league debut began with a surprise party of sorts thrown by teammates late Sunday night.

Actually, Wright said, it more resembled a roast.

Wright estimated 30 to 40 people in the Mets traveling party joined him for dinner after the team landed in Seattle from San Diego.

Monday marks the 10th anniversary of Wright’s debut -- an 0-for-4 performance against the Montreal Expos at Shea Stadium on July 21, 2004.

“They all said, ‘Let’s go out to dinner,’” Wright said before Monday’s series opener against the Mariners at Safeco Field. “I had no idea that it was going to be everybody until we started walking over. I kind of looked behind and there were more people coming. And we sat down and more people started coming. So it was pretty cool.


Adam RubinDavid Wright and "baseball father" Howard Johnson reunite during batting practice Monday at Safeco Field.


“The way they show that they like me is by giving me a hard time,” the captain continued. “It was more of a roast than saying nice things. There were some nice things said, but kind of tongue in cheek.”

Wright said he was surprised by the volume of text messages he received from former teammates, coaches and GMs on Monday recognizing the anniversary.

He suggested the time really has gone by quickly.

“It flies by. It really does fly by,” Wright said. “… It seems like it was very recent running out at Shea Stadium for the first time, first at-bat, those butterflies.”

Two of the early influential people in Wright’s baseball career were quite coincidentally with him on Monday. Howard Johnson, whom Wright used to refer to as his “baseball father,” is now the Mariners hitting coach. HoJo coached Wright at multiple levels in the minors. Jim Duquette, the GM when Wright was promoted in 2004, happens to be on the trip filling in for vacationing Howie Rose on the WOR broadcast team this week.

“He fits on any team in baseball, but he’s really good with the Mets,” HoJo said. “He should be there probably his whole career. He’s been the same guy. He’s always been very humble, understanding the game and the role that he plays in the game. When he was young, he never thought of himself as any better than anybody else. He just went about his business and he wanted to play hard. That’s why he is what he is today, because he understands success can be off and on and it’s not a guarantee.”

Duquette said there had been recommendations from baseball people to jump Wright from Double-A Binghamton to the majors a month earlier in 2004. The Mets chose to have Wright play 31 games at Triple-A Norfolk -- in the backyard of where he grew up in Virginia -- before elevating him to the majors.

“You never know, really, when the right time is,” Duquette said. “We were getting reports from pretty much everybody that he could jump from Binghamton to the major leagues. Then you’re like, ‘OK, he’s close. Let’s just take a little bit more conservative route and send him to Norfolk,’ because obviously his family was there, too. Once he handled that well, it was like the final test. And that kind of pitching, too. You just want to make sure.”

Wright said it is particularly meaningful to have spent the 10 years with one team. He noted the importance to fan bases of having players such as Cal Ripken Jr., Tony Gwynn, Derek Jeter and Chipper Jones wearing only one uniform in the majors.

“It means a lot to me,” Wright said. “Growing up, my dad used to try to take us to Camden Yards when it first opened. Growing up watching Cal Ripken Jr., I always thought how cool it was for him to wear that one uniform and just the bond that he had with Baltimore and that area. That was always something I never thought I’d get the chance to do, to play in the big leagues. But I always remembered how I thought about that and how cool I thought that was as a kid.

“You look at Tony Gwynn, having come from San Diego. And you look at obviously Derek and Chipper. That’s cool. That’s very cool.”

Of course, physically, Wright’s body at age 31 is not quite the same as at age 21. He is dealing with a nagging left rotator cuff injury that forced him to miss a week and resulted in receiving a cortisone injection entering the All-Star break.

“It’s definitely different,” Wright said. “There are different things I have to do now to prepare. When you’re 21 you can more or less just roll out of bed and get ready for a game. Now, there’s a little more time involved. It’s a little more routine-oriented, where you have to take better care of yourself physically because there are injuries out there that occur. And because of those injuries or preventative things I have to do things differently than I did 10 years ago.”

As for Sunday’s dinner, Wright noted, for once he did not need to pick up the check.

“I tried to help, and I think a lot of these guys split it,” Wright said. “It was nice. Usually it’s the other way around, with me paying.”

Morning Briefing: Wright's 10th anniversary

July, 21, 2014
Jul 21
5:01
AM ET

Keith Torrie/Getty ImagesDavid Wright made his major league debut in this July 21, 2004 game against the Montreal Expos at Shea Stadium. He went 0-for-4.
SAN DIEGO

FIRST PITCH: The captain celebrates an anniversary on Monday.

David Wright made his major league debut on July 21, 2004 against the Montreal Expos at Shea Stadium, ending a revolving door at third base for the franchise.

The Mets’ lineup that day?

Jose Reyes, 2b
Kazuo Matsui, ss
Ty Wigginton, 1b
Cliff Floyd, lf
Richard Hidalgo, rf
Mike Cameron, cf
Wright, 3b
Vance Wilson, c
Jae Weong Seo, rhp

Wright had been drafted by the organization three years earlier with a compensatory pick (38th overall) for losing Mike Hampton as a free agent to the Colorado Rockies.

The Mets open an interleague series on Monday in Seattle at 10:10 p.m. ET. Jonathon Niese (5-4, 2.96 ERA) returns from the disabled list to face Cuban rookie left-hander Roenis Elias (7-8, 4.54).

The Amazin’s lone other trip to Safeco Field came in 2005.

The Mariners staff includes ex-Mets Howard Johnson, Chris Woodward and Jason Phillips.

Read the Mets-Mariners series preview here.

Monday’s news reports:

Odrisamer Despaigne held the Mets hitless until Daniel Murphy produced a two-out double in the eighth. The Mets tied the score that inning on Wright’s RBI single. However, the Amazin’s lost, 2-1, in walk-off fashion when Josh Edgin stumbled on a chopper off the bat of Seth Smith and could not complete the out at first base in time. Zack Wheeler limited his opponent to one run and logged at least six innings for the fourth straight start. The Mets dropped eight games back in the NL East.

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

• Read more on Wheeler in the Post.

• With Niese (shoulder strain) coming off the disabled list, Daisuke Matsuzaka is relocating to the bullpen and Buddy Carlyle was designated for assignment. Read more at MLB.com and in the Daily News.

• Although the Mets are receptive to trading Bartolo Colon, the buzz in San Diego was that no scouts were specifically there to see the veteran righty on Friday, signaling limited interest. Writes Mike Puma in the Post:

According to a source, as of Sunday the Mets had not yet received even a nibble on the 41-year-old right-hander, who is expendable because of the club’s starting-pitching depth. Over his last four starts, Colon is 0-3 with a 5.88 ERA. That comes after a strong June in which Colon helped carry the Mets rotation by going 4-1 with a 2.57 ERA.

• Columnist Michael Powell in the Times takes the Mets’ temperature.

Wilmer Flores extended his hitting streak to 21 games and Rafael Montero allowed one run in four innings in his return to Triple-A following a left oblique strain, but Las Vegas lost to Salt Lake, 3-0. Brian Burgamy had two homers and Dustin Lawley also went deep in Binghamton’s 5-2 win against Trenton. John Gant took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning and Savannah ultimately swept Lexington in a doubleheader. Corey Oswalt tossed seven scoreless innings as Brooklyn blanked Williamsport, 6-0. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• There are no plans to promote Flores to the majors anytime soon, Terry Collins said. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Newsday.

Bobby Abreu is expected to serve as the designated hitter for the final two games in Seattle.

BIRTHDAYS: Former Mets player and manager Mike Cubbage turns 64. He currently is a scout for the Tampa Bay Rays ... Mike Bordick is 49.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Have the Mets eroded your optimism with their performance in San Diego?

Rapid Reaction: Padres 2, Mets 1

July, 20, 2014
Jul 20
7:19
PM ET
SAN DIEGO -- At least they weren’t no-hit!

The Mets, who stormed into the All-Star break by winning eight of 10 games on their homestand, got tripped up in San Diego to open the second half. In his fifth major league start, eephus-throwing Cuban defector Odrisamer Despaigne held the Mets hitless until Daniel Murphy's two-out double in the eighth and the Padres ultimately won, 2-1, in Sunday’s rubber game at Petco Park.

David Wright followed Murphy’s double with a game-tying RBI single on Despaigne’s 123rd and final pitch, snapping an 0-for-11 drought to begin the second half.

However, Seth Smith produced a walk-off win for San Diego with a two-out run-scoring infield single against Josh Edgin in the bottom of the ninth. Edgin stumbled trying to field the trickler and could not get the ball to first base in time.

Edgin had inherited the winning run on third base with two outs from Vic Black, who hurt himself. Black had issued a leadoff walk to Carlos Quentin, then had a fielding error on Alexi Amarista's sac-bunt attempt to place two on with none out.

The Mets (46-52), who fancy themselves part of the NL East race, fell eight games back of the victorious Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves.


Jack Roth/USA TODAY SportsOdrisamer Despaigne held the Mets hitless until Daniel Murphy's two-out double in the eighth.


The Padres, who have played 7,264 games in franchise history, remain the only MLB team without a no-hitter. They had a chance to win the game in the eighth after a leadoff triple by Will Venable against Jeurys Familia, but Chris Denorfia struck out and Chris Nelson followed an intentional walk by grounding into an inning-ending double play.

The Mets last were no-hit by Houston’s Darryl Kile in 1993. They have been no-hit six times in franchise history. The other pitchers to accomplish the feat against the Amazin’s: Sandy Koufax (1962), Jim Bunning (1964), Bob Moose (1969), Bill Stoneman (1972) and Ed Halicki (1975).

The Mets had loaded the bases on a hit batter and two walks in the seventh, but Ruben Tejada hit a comebacker to Despaigne as the right-hander wriggled free.

Zack Wheeler departed after Tejada’s groundout with the Mets trailing 1-0. Wheeler has now completed six innings and allowed one run in four straight starts. He has sliced his ERA to 3.78.

Yasmani Grandal reached for a low-and-away pitch and hooked it over the right-center wall to lead off the bottom of the fourth against Wheeler for the lone damage against him. It was Grandal’s second straight game with a solo shot to open the scoring.

The Mets also were held hitless two outs into the eighth inning on April 18 against the Braves. After seven no-hit innings by Aaron Harang, Wright produced a two-out single in the eighth against reliever Luis Avilan that day for the lone hit in a 6-0 loss at Citi Field.

The Mets had been held hitless into the fifth inning Saturday against Tyson Ross.

Despaigne had allowed four runs on five hits and five walks in four innings against Las Vegas in his Triple-A debut on May 27.

What’s next: The Mets visit Seattle for the first time since 2005. Jonathon Niese (5-4, 2.96 ERA) returns from the disabled list to start the series opener opposite left-hander Roenis Elias (7-8, 4.54) at 10:10 pm. ET.

Monday marks the 10-year anniversary of Wright’s July 21, 2004 major league debut -- an 0-for-4 performance against the Montreal Expos at Shea Stadium.

Wright prefers Seattle catch to S.D.

July, 19, 2014
Jul 19
11:47
AM ET
SAN DIEGO -- In 2005, David Wright had a pair of dazzling catches: one a barehanded grab while retreating into left field in San Diego, the other a diving grab in the stands in Seattle.

The Mets' current trip takes them to both locales. So which catch is Wright's favorite?

"I like the Seattle one, personally," said Wright, who celebrates the 10-year anniversary of his major league debut on Monday.

Here's San Diego:



And here's Seattle:

Wright anniversary: now 10 years a Met

July, 16, 2014
Jul 16
7:54
AM ET

Chris Trotman/Getty ImagesDavid Wright's major league debut came on July 21, 2004.
NEW YORK -- David Wright has a $138 million contract that takes him through 2020. He is the captain of the New York Mets. And the 31-year-old Wright is no longer a bachelor, having married model Molly Beers in December.

Ten years ago, though, Wright was a rookie with mismatched clothes, seeking to halt the franchise’s revolving door at third base after being selected with a compensation pick for the Mets losing Mike Hampton as a free agent to Colorado.

Monday’s game at Seattle will mark the 10-year anniversary of Wright’s July 21, 2004 major league debut, an 0-for-4 performance against the Montreal Expos at Shea Stadium.

That day remains vivid for him. Getting a glimpse of the stadium while flying into LaGuardia Airport after being promoted from the Norfolk Tides, the Triple-A team he cheered as a youngster in Virginia. Seeing his home white No. 5 jersey hanging in his locker. Stepping onto the field and being cheered by the crowd in a pre-Twitter era in which some mystery still shrouded prospects.

“It wasn’t like it is now with the social media, where you know so much about these guys before they come up,” Wright reminisced. “I didn’t know what to expect. I ran out there for the first time, and to hear the fans’ reaction was very, very cool. To see your name and picture on the scoreboard at Shea Stadium for the first time, hearing your name announced for your first at-bat, it’s all crystal clear to me. But I would say the biggest thing was after the flight from Norfolk here, walking into the clubhouse and seeing ‘WRIGHT’ and the ‘5’ hanging in your locker, it hits home.”

His favorite memories are reserved for the 2006 season, when the Mets halted the Braves’ run of 14 straight division crowns and ultimately reached within a game of the World Series. After three straight days failing to clinch in Pittsburgh, the Mets returned home and blanked the Marlins, 4-0, behind Jose Valentin’s two homers and 6 1/3 scoreless innings from Steve Trachsel. After the game, the party spilled onto the field, with a goggle-wearing Jose Reyes and cigar-chewing Wright arm in arm, getting doused with champagne.


Elsa/Getty ImagesWright maintains his faith in the Mets will be rewarded, with Matt Harvey and prospects leading a revival.


“From that year there are just so many things,” Wright said. “Obviously you have the clinching game where we broke the Braves’ streak. The celebration on the field. The flight from L.A. after we swept L.A. (in the NLDS). And even the next series against the Cardinals, when we fell short. And, as much as it sucks in 2007 and 2008, being right in the thick of things down to the wire, it’s just tough to explain the feeling of coming to the ballpark every day knowing the importance of the game.”

Five straight losing seasons later -- with principal owner Fred Wilpon having said he is “not a superstar” in a magazine article, for good measure -- Wright has experienced his share of heartache. Yet he committed to an eight-year, $138 million extension that was officially announced during the winter meetings in Nashville in December 2012. It should allow him to finish his career as a Met.

The deal was consummated with a year remaining on an existing contract, so Wright never did shop his services. He suggested he would have been prepared to test free agency the following winter had the Mets not committed to a contract that keeps him under the organization’s control through 2020, with full no-trade protection.

“I’m not going to lie and say the contract wasn’t a big part of the decision. Of course it was,” Wright said. “But so was the loyalty factor. So was the direction where I think we’re headed. So was having friends not only as players, but within the organization. When I sat down -- and I talked to my parents about it, I talked to my brothers about it -- the pros far outweighed the cons.

“Could I have jumped ship when things weren’t going so good and maybe have gone to a situation that was more conducive to winning now? Yeah, I probably could have. I don’t know, because it never played out. Would that have meant nearly as much to me as putting in the time and the work and the effort that I’ve put in here to get this going in the direction I think we’re headed? That far outweighed jumping ship and being something that I don’t think I am.”

His agents, Sam and Seth Levinson, undoubtedly could have gotten him a bigger deal had Wright allowed the existing contract to play out. Last offseason, when Wright would have been eligible for free agency, Robinson Cano signed a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Mariners. How much would the Yankees -- who inked Masahiro Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran for a combined $438 million -- have paid to have Wright succeed Alex Rodriguez?

The Levinsons did not try to push, though, once they knew Wright wanted to remain and the Mets were willing to negotiate.

“If they had it their way, I would have probably tested the market, no question, because their job is obviously the financial terms,” Wright said.

Wright now should be a lifelong Met, something no other superstar (or whatever he is) can claim. Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry and Mike Piazza all played elsewhere.

Wright can foresee being a club ambassador after his playing career. He cannot, though, envision a full-time commitment, as 1986 Mets such as Tim Teufel and Wally Backman have done through coaching and Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez have done via the broadcast booth.

“This is far, far down the road, but I enjoy baseball. So I’d like to be around,” Wright said. “Not necessarily being paid or coaching or doing any of that. But I think I’d like to make an annual visit down to spring training and hang out and come watch some games here, be able to sit in the stands and have a beer and enjoy a baseball game.

“First of all, I wouldn’t have the patience to coach somebody like me or [Daniel] Murphy or some of these guys. Secondly, if anything, hopefully I’ll be a Little League coach or something like that. I’d still like to be involved, because this is important to me, but as of this second not where it’s daily or even monthly.”

Will Wright’s faith in the Mets ultimately be rewarded? The Mets won eight of 10 games on their final homestand as young players such as Jacob deGrom, Travis d'Arnaud, Juan Lagares, Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia and Eric Campbell integrate. Still, the Amazin’s are 45-50 and seven games out of first place with 67 to go.

“We’ve dug ourselves this hole, and now it’s up to us to kind of get out of it,” Wright said. “But there’s a lot of promising things going on, and we’ve shown that this last homestand. When I signed here, I knew there’s no quick fix, there’s no snap your fingers and all of a sudden you’re playing for a World Series. That’s not realistic. It’s not being pessimistic. It’s just part of the process is getting these young players up, seeing what they’re capable of doing.

“When you get to the point you feel like you’re close, which I think we’re very close, then you go out and you add a piece here, you add a piece there, whether it’s through free agency, whether it’s through trades. And I think we are at the point.”

Morning Briefing: Halftime nears end

July, 16, 2014
Jul 16
7:25
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: And now the rest of the story …

With the All-Star Game in the books, the Mets prepare to open the second half Friday at San Diego. Bartolo Colon (8-8, 3.99 ERA) will oppose right-hander Ian Kennedy (7-9, 3.47) in the series opener at Petco Park.

The Amazin’s, who won eight of 10 on their first-half-closing homestand, nonetheless are 45-50 and trail division co-leaders Washington and Atlanta by seven games.

Wednesday’s news reports:

• In his lone at-bat, Daniel Murphy struck out against Seattle’s Fernando Rodney to strand two runners in the eighth and the NL lost to the AL, 5-3, in Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Minneapolis.


Elsa/Getty ImagesDaniel Murphy bats during the eighth inninng of Tuesday's All-Star Game.


"I had a blast," Murphy told MLB.com. "I had a lot of fun. I felt like I was able to take a step back and soak it in as much as I could. It was really a lot of fun. And David [Wright] was right. It went by quick. I feel like the two days have flown by, but I had a lot of fun. I would love to do this again sometime."

Murphy’s brother Jonathan is an outfielder in the Twins system, who had an off-day Tuesday and was only a four-hour drive away from Minneapolis. But Murphy told his younger brother not to come to the All-Star Game.

“I talked him out of it,” Murphy told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “I know how precious off-days can be in the minor leagues. They really jam that 140-game season into five months. I told him, ‘Just stay there with your wife. Enjoy the off day.’”

Read more on Murphy at SI.com.

• Don Burke in the Post reminisces with David Wright and former teammates about the captain’s rookie season. Monday is the 10-year anniversary of Wright’s major league debut.

“I had no idea what the dress code was,” Wright told Burke. “I knew that I had to have a sports coat. I had suit pants, but I had a coat that didn’t match the suit pants. So I always carried the coat so no one would notice.But once I got to Montreal you had to wear nice shoes, nice jeans and a collared shirt. I had the collared shirts, but I was wearing flip-flops. I went to the first game and everyone looked at me.”

Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post wonders if the Mets have wasted the 31-year-old Wright’s best years. “But by no means am I in decline,” Wright said. “I feel like I am going to produce at a high level. I have plenty of belief that I have plenty left.”

• Michael Salfino in the Journal charts other rookie pitchers who historically have had the type of first-half success that Jacob deGrom enjoyed. The impressive list includes Jose Fernandez, Dwight Gooden and Kerry Wood.

• Matt Ehalt in the Record asks five questions for the second half and gives his midseason report card.

• Rob Whalen tossed four scoreless innings as the GCL Mets won a rain-shortened game against the GCL Marlins, 1-0. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• The Triple-A and Eastern League All-Star Games will be played on Wednesday night. Allan Dykstra, who won Monday’s Home Run Derby, will represent Las Vegas and the Pacific Coast League as the DH in Durham, N.C. Infielder Brian Burgamy, outfielder Kyle Johnson and right-handers Cody Satterwhite and Jon Velasquez represent Binghamton at Altoona, Pa.

Lynn Worthy in the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin profiles the B-Mets’ selections.

• The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals saluted Citi Field as vegetarian-friendly.

• A potential LIRR strike next week would make the 7 Line stop at Citi Field pretty crowded, Sonja Sharp writes in the Journal.

BIRTHDAYS: Left-hander Shawn Teufel, a former minor-league pitcher with the Mets and son of Tim Teufel, turns 28. ... Norm Sherry, a catcher for the '63 Mets, was born on this date in 1931.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: How many wins will the Mets finish with this season?

Morning Briefing: And now we pause

July, 14, 2014
Jul 14
5:40
AM ET

Getty ImagesThe Mets open the second half with Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee and Zack Wheeler facing the Padres.
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: The Mets headed into the All-Star break with an Amazin’ finish to the first half.

They completed their homestand with eight wins in 10 games. It marked the second-most wins on a homestand in Citi Field history. The Amazin’s went 9-1 from April 18-28, 2010.

“We came off the road and, actually, I was talking to the coaches the first day,” Terry Collins said. “I said, ‘If we go 7-3, that’s going to be a tremendous homestand for us.’ These guys just stepped it up -- got the offense and pitching going at the same time. And that’s how you put streaks together.”

The Mets are still 45-50 on the season and seven games behind the co-division-leading Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves.

Those teams are on pace for 89 wins. So it may require that magical 90 wins for the Mets to capture the division. And that would mean a 45-22 record the rest of the way.

The Mets reconvene Friday in San Diego. Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee and Zack Wheeler face the Padres that series.

“What we’ve shown the last 10 days is, yes, we can compete,” Collins said. “Now, we’ve got 67 more games. We’ve got to go out and do it. We can’t just talk about it. We’ve got to go do it. If we continue to play like this, September is going to be a fun month.”

Monday’s news reports:

• The Mets closed the first half with a 9-1 win against the Marlins as Jacob deGrom limited Miami to one run in seven innings and also drove in the tiebreaking run for his first career RBI.

The Mets leapfrogged Miami and moved into sole possession of third place for the first time since May 4.

After the victory, David Wright suggested the Nationals and Braves are within striking distance of the Mets.

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

• Wright still is playing through shoulder discomfort. He planned to receive a cortisone injection after Sunday’s game to try to address swelling and his bruised left rotator cuff. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger and Newsday.

• Despite Collins floating Saturday that deGrom may have to open the second half in the bullpen for a week or two to conserve innings, the manager confirmed postgame Sunday that deGrom would remain uninterrupted in the rotation. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Newsday.

Jonathon Niese returned to the mound for a bullpen session Sunday and declared himself fit to return from the disabled list next Monday in Seattle. With deGrom remaining in the rotation, that signals Daisuke Matsuzaka is reverting to relief work. Read more in the Post.

• Noah Syndergaard, sporting a Mohawk, produced the save for the U.S. team and Kevin Plawecki started at catcher and drove in the opening run as the Mets prospects were on the winning side of a 3-2 victory in the Futures Game on Sunday in Minneapolis.


Jeff Roberson/Associated PressNoah Syndergaard confessed he was affected by lofty expectations while struggling in Triple-A.


Syndergaard told the Daily News’ John Haper afterward about closing: “It’s a different mentality. My heart is still racing. I’ll leave that to someone else.”

He said about a 5.31 Triple-A ERA in 16 starts with Las Vegas this season: “I feel like the expectations got to me a little bit.” On rearing back and firing fastballs with men on base, he added: “I have to become more of a pitcher than a thrower.”

Read more in the Post, Daily News and Newsday.

• Collins offered no indication Wilmer Flores is returning to the majors soon, despite a 17-game hitting streak with Las Vegas. The manager expects the Mets to remain with an outfield-heavy bench at the major league level.

• Dilson Herrera had a go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh and Binghamton overcame four errors from third baseman Dustin Lawley in a 5-4 win against Erie. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Tim Rohan in the Times addresses Jenrry Mejia’s demonstrative post-save antics. Writes Rohan:

As Mejia progressed, so did the celebrations. For weeks he appeared to tinker with that dance, and finally, against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday, he executed it smoothly and confidently. Tommy La Stella, the batter Mejia struck out to end the game, and Jason Heyward, a young Braves star, said they hardly noticed it.

“It doesn’t bother me,” Braves Manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “If stuff like that bothered you, you’d be fighting every day. Whatever he’s got to do. I’m glad that my closer and my team, when we win games, we just walk off the field. Like we’ve done it.”

The Mets did not appear to have a clear opinion, either. Manager Terry Collins said that times had changed and that closers’ celebrations were more acceptable than they once were. He cited a conversation he once had with the former manager Jim Leyland, who put up with Jose Valverde's antics for years in Detroit. If Leyland could do it, Collins could, too.

Travis d'Arnaud says amateur lip readers on Twitter are incorrect if they think he was cursing the Marlins postgame Saturday. Read more in Newsday.

• Columnist George Willis in the Post lists reasons to be bullish about the Mets.

• Jared Diamond in the Journal labels All-Star Daniel Murphy the Mets’ MVP, Chris Young the biggest letdown and Lucas Duda the biggest surprise.

BIRTHDAYS: Former Mets third baseman Robin Ventura turns 47. ... Minor-league flamethrower Jack Leathersich, who is averaging 15.3 strikeouts per nine innings in his pro career, turns 24.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Do you believe?

David Wright: Ya gotta believe

July, 13, 2014
Jul 13
7:17
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Twelve pitches into the homestand, the Mets had lost Jonathon Niese to a line drive that struck him in the lower back. Fortunately for the Amazin’s, though, that did not prove a harbinger of what was to transpire the remainder of the first half.

The Mets soared into the All-Star break with a 9-1 win against the Miami Marlins, having won eight of 10 games on the homestand. And captain David Wright was suggesting the Mets could make a run at the co-division-leading Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals in the remaining 67 games.

The Mets, at 45-50, still trail both clubs by seven games. They’re actually now closer in the wild-card standings, trailing by 6½ games.

“I think that Braves series gave us a lot of confidence,” Wright said, referring to the middle series of the homestand, when the Mets took three of four from Atlanta. “And we know that they’re both very talented teams and teams that have a lot of household names. We might not be there yet, but we’re playing very, very good baseball. And we plan on giving them a run for their money.”

The Mets have had similar optimism fizzle out of the All-Star break before. They were 46-40 in 2012 at the All-Star break, then proceeded to lose 11 of 12 to open the season half. The year before, in Terry Collins’ inaugural season, they were 46-45 at the break and ended up losing 23 of the next 37.

“We’re not happy,” Collins said. “We’re not happy with the record. Not by any sense of the imagination. But I told the guys today: We’ve got -- what? -- 36 games or 35 games left in our division? That’s a lot of games. That’s a lot of games to play. Now what we have to do is go out and play like we did this homestand. And you’re not going to do it every night. I understand that. But, for the most part, play consistent, play smart, play fundamental baseball and we’ll get back in the hunt.”

Wright, believe it or not, is drawing inspiration -- or at least his analogies -- from the Mets’ collapses of 2007 and 2008. Those years, the feisty Marlins knocked out the veteran-laden Mets during the season’s final series.

“When you have a room full of younger guys, sometimes they can get a little cocky in a good way, where they feel like they can’t lose or they can’t get out, or the opposing team can’t hit them. That can be dangerous,” Wright said. “When I was on the veteran teams as a younger player, the teams like the Marlins gave us trouble because they had a bunch of younger players with this certain swagger to them -- like they didn’t care who was on the other side, that they were going to beat you. And those teams gave us problems.

“So, hopefully, we can be that team that not necessarily sneaks up on people but can go compete with those big guys.”

Rookie deGrom will stick with starting

July, 13, 2014
Jul 13
6:47
PM ET

Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesJacob deGrom closed the first half by limiting the Marlins to one run in seven innings.
NEW YORK -- Terry Collins’ recent suggestion that Jacob deGrom temporarily might find himself in the bullpen to open the second half to conserve innings was a false alarm.

After the Mets entered the All-Star break with a 9-1 win against the Miami Marlins that included seven strong innings from the 26-year-old rookie, Collins confirmed deGrom would remain in the rotation as Jonathon Niese returns from the disabled list.

DeGrom will start in Seattle during the second series of the second half, meaning Daisuke Matsuzaka is headed to a bullpen role.

DeGrom is 3-1 with a 1.65 ERA over his past five starts. And although the Mets typically are conservative with innings counts for their young pitchers, deGrom logged 147 2/3 last season in the minors. So Sandy Alderson has said he is comfortable with deGrom reaching 185 innings this season.

DeGrom is at 112 innings right now between the majors and minors. He would have 13 more starts during the regular season if he took the ball every five games.

“We’re not going to take Jacob deGrom out of the rotation,” Collins said postgame Sunday, after deGrom limited Miami to one run on five hits and two walks in seven innings. “I say that now, but we might look up in a month where he is starting to run out of gas a little bit, where we have to make a decision. He’s pitched very, very well. He didn’t even have his best stuff today. He did a great job.”

No pitcher feels perfect at this point in the season, but deGrom indicated he has plenty of petrol remaining.


Adam RubinDavid Wright cut a lock of Jacob deGrom's hair and affixed it to a clubhouse poster featuring the rookie after deGrom nearly smoked Wright with a foul ball during batting practice.


“I feel really good,” he said. “I think working on my mechanics and getting back to where I wanted to be with [pitching coach] Dan [Warthen] has helped my arm recover. I haven’t really been sore this year.”

DeGrom certainly has earned the respect of teammates. He initially was scripted to have a bullpen role. But Dillon Gee’s side-muscle injury lingered for two months and deGrom outperformed Rafael Montero to solidify a spot in the rotation for the long haul.

“He’s one of guys that was a little under the radar,” captain David Wright said. “You heard about the Syndergaards. You heard about the Wheelers. [Steven] Matz has been getting a lot of attention. And Montero. But you never really hard too much about deGrom. And he was actually slated to be in the bullpen when he first got called up and something happened and he got a start and really has seized that opportunity. He’s got a live arm and throws strikes. It’s fun to play defense behind those guys.”

Wright had some fun with deGrom in recent days. After deGrom nearly smoked a stretching Wright with a foul ball while the pitcher was taking batting practice, Wright cut a lock of deGrom’s floppy hair and affixed it to a poster hanging in the clubhouse between their adjacent lockers. The poster had been created by the Mets’ social media team, with a silhouette of the rookie’s mane and the hashtag “#HAIRWEGO.”

“I let him do it,” deGrom said about Wright playing barber. “That’s the second one I almost hit him with, too. I guess I kind of deserved it.”

DeGrom said he has matured as a pitcher since arriving in the big leagues. An effective sinkerballer, he has learned to elevate four-seam fastballs to get batters to chase upstairs for strikeouts.

“And if they don’t swing at it then maybe go to the curveball in the dirt. Just raise their eye level and then try to get them out with something down,” deGrom said.

Overall, he is now 3-5 with a 3.18 ERA. The floppy hair he has not cut in six months and his hitting are giving him notoriety, too.

DeGrom broke a 1-all tie Sunday with an RBI single after a two-out intentional walk to No. 8 hitter Ruben Tejada in the fourth inning. DeGrom has seven hits in his first 12 major league games. That is tied with Matt Harvey for second-most in franchise history. Rick Aguilera had eight.

After the 1-for-3 performance that included his first career RBI, deGrom was asked if he could sustain his current .280 batting average if he were an everyday player.

“I have no clue,” deGrom said. “That’s a tough question.”

Rapid Reaction: Mets 5, Marlins 4

July, 12, 2014
Jul 12
7:05
PM ET
NEW YORK -- The undercard to the Huey Lewis and the News concert did not disappoint.

Eric Campbell produced a two-out, pinch-hit single in the eighth against Mike Dunn that plated Travis d'Arnaud and the Mets beat the Miami Marlins, 5-4, on Saturday at Citi Field.

The Mets (44-50) twice overcame two-run deficits en route to their seventh win in nine games on the homestand. They climbed to six games under .500 for the first time since June 25.

In a pinch: Chris Young delivered a pinch-hit two-run homer in the seventh on the first pitch of reliever Bryan Morris' appearance as the Mets evened the score at 4. Morris had just inherited a two-run lead and a baserunner from starter Tom Koehler.

It was Young’s second career pinch-hit homer. The other came June 27, 2012 with Arizona at Atlanta against Jonny Venters.

The Mets’ last pinch-hit homer this season was produced by Lucas Duda on June 25 against Oakland.

All-Star leap: Daniel Murphy preserved a 4-all score in the eighth. The second baseman leaped and snared Adeiny Hechavarria's two-out liner against Vic Black to strand the potential go-ahead run in scoring position.

Pen-ultimately: Assuming Jonathon Niese successfully returns from the disabled list for the series opener in Seattle on July 21, which is the plan, this likely was Daisuke Matsuzaka's final start for a while.

In a 120-pitch effort, Matsuzaka had a better outing than his final line indicated (6 IP, 4 H, 4 ER). He had a career-high-matching 10 strikeouts -- a total he last had achieved three times in 2007 with Boston, back in his inaugural major league season.

Garrett Jones and Marcell Ozuna produced consecutive RBI doubles in the sixth against Matsuzaka as Miami took a 4-2 lead. Ozuna’s double was a line drive misread by Curtis Granderson, which resulted in it traveling over the right fielder’s head.

Déjà vu: The Mets pulled off their second suicide squeeze of the season … and second against the Marlins in three weeks. Ruben Tejada delivered a one-out bunt that plated hard-charging Kirk Nieuwenhuis and evened the score at 2 in the fifth.

The Mets also had successfully pulled off a suicide squeeze on June 22 at Miami, with Niese’s bunt plating Nieuwenhuis to open the scoring in the second inning of an eventual 11-5 win.

T.K. Oh! Koehler, a Stony Brook University product, held the Mets hitless until d’Arnaud’s leadoff single in the fifth. He ultimately allowed two runs that inning. He received a hard-luck no-decision despite limiting the Mets to two hits and departing with a 4-2 lead in the seventh.

Christian Yelich, who had raced to the wall to corral David Wright's fly ball in the fourth, had a misadventure on Nieuwenhuis’ fifth-inning fly ball to left field that carried well. Yelich drifted back, but the ball eluded him on the warning track.

After the catchable ball dropped for a double, the Mets had two in scoring position and none out. Juan Lagares followed with a run-scoring groundout. Tejada’s suicide squeeze then evened the score at 2.

Koehler departed after a one-out walk to Tejada in the seventh and Morris gave up the two-run lead.

What’s next: Jacob deGrom (2-5, 3.38 ERA) opposes left-hander Brad Hand (0-1, 5.09) at 1:10 p.m. Sunday in the final game before the All-Star break. Murphy is due for a day off, with Campbell playing second base.

Inside the numbers: Wright's hot streak

July, 12, 2014
Jul 12
10:47
AM ET
The Mets have had myriad phrases over the years to describe hitters on good streaks, ranging from “The monster is out of the cage” (then-coach John Stearns on Mike Piazza) to “stupid hot,” which has been a favorite term in the past for David Wright to use on teammates.

They might want to come up with one for this Wright run.

Dating back to June 17, a game in which Wright homered and doubled against St. Louis Cardinals starter Michael Wacha, he’s hitting .393 with 24 hits in 16 games (in which the Mets are 10-6). The run that started prior to aggravating a shoulder injury that forced him out a week has continued since his return.

Perhaps the most amazing stat from this stretch is this: In the past 16 games (spanning 61 at-bats), Wright has four home runs and only three strikeouts. He’s gone from missing at a rate of one out of every five swings prior to this hot streak to one out of every seven swings since it began.

Wright’s hard-hit rate (how often he hits a ball hard, according to those who do video review for major league teams), which lingered at 15 percent, is nearly 23 percent during this stretch.

The pull power that was missing earlier this season seems to have returned. Our batted ball estimates had him averaging 268 feet per pulled fly ball prior to the streak and 293 since (including the 425-foot home run Friday).

This streak is one characterized by aggressiveness at the right time. His chase rate (how often he swings at a pitch out of the zone), which was 25 percent entering this streak, is 20 percent during it, and he’s been swinging at three-quarters of the pitches in the strike zone over these games compared to 63 percent prior.

We’ll see if the Marlins treat Wright any differently today. He’s now 19-for-42 (.452) with nine RBIs in 11 games against them this season.

Morning Briefing: Mets big-game hunters?

July, 12, 2014
Jul 12
5:38
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: The Mets have been giant slayers during their current 6-2 homestand, roughing up Yu Darvish, Julio Teheran and now Henderson Alvarez during that stretch.

That trio of pitchers continues to be ranked in the top 10 in ERA in their respective leagues despite allowing a combined 15 runs in 13 1/3 innings against the Mets.

“We go out every night and try to compete,” Terry Collins said. “No matter who is on the mound, we try to make sure that [the batters] do what we want, and that’s get a good ball to hit and try not to chase.”

The Mets look to keep rolling when they send Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-3, 3.32 ERA) to the mound opposite Miami Marlins right-hander Tom Koehler (6-7, 3.98) on Saturday at 4:10 p.m.

Huey Lewis and The News perform a postgame concert at Citi Field.

Saturday’s news reports:

Zack Wheeler allowed one run in 6 2/3 innings, David Wright finished 4-for-4 with a two-run homer and Lucas Duda also had a two-run shot as the Mets won Friday’s series opener, 7-1, against the Marlins. Wheeler improved to 2-0 with a 1.04 ERA in five career starts against Miami. He has allowed one run and pitched into the seventh inning in each of his past three starts to head into the All-Star break on a high note.


Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY SportsZack Wheeler limited the Marlins to one run in 6 2/3 innings on Friday.


Alvarez, who had a 1.04 ERA over his previous nine starts and had dominated the Mets this season, allowed six runs in five innings.

“We’ve seen him really, really sharp,” Collins said. “He wasn’t quite as sharp tonight. That’s what you’ve got to do when you get a guy who is not on his best game -- hopefully take advantage of it.”

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

• Read more on Wheeler in the Post.

• Read more on Wright in the Star-Ledger.

• Scott Boras appears to favor a more conservative rehab plan for Matt Harvey than even Sandy Alderson and the Mets. The agent said the optimal rehab time following Tommy John surgery before entering a game is 14 to 16 months. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Daily News.

• First-round pick Michael Conforto officially was introduced at Citi Field on Friday. He is due to begin his pro career with the Brooklyn Cyclones, although he will be eased into games and actually will travel to Los Angeles next week because he is one of three finalists for the Golden Spikes Award. Read more in the Times, Newsday and at MLB.com.

Jeremy Hefner is due to pitch an inning in the Gulf Coast League on Saturday, less than 11 months after undergoing Tommy John surgery on Aug. 28, 2013.

• Left-hander Scott Rice has a bone spur in his left elbow that may require surgery to remove, a source told ESPNNewYork.com.

• Matt Bowman earned his first Triple-A win and Allan Dykstra had a three-run triple as Las Vegas beat Albuquerque, 8-1, in Game 1 of a doubleheader Friday. Kingsport routed Elizabethton, 12-0, behind a combined shutout from Yoryi Nuez and Martires Arias. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Michael Salfino in the Journal writes that the Mets have the worst winning percentage in the National League in games in which they score first.

• John DeMarzo in the Post profiles former second-round pick Matt Reynolds, who has been on a tear this season with Binghamton and now Las Vegas as a middle infielder.

From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear soaks up some Polo Grounds memories on a very nice Citi Field night.

BIRTHDAYS: Former Mets left-hander Dick Rusteck was born on this date in 1941.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: What is your favorite Huey Lewis song?

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
9 4.03 100 134
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 17
RBIL. Duda 53
RD. Murphy 58
OPSL. Duda .855
ERAJ. Niese 3.13
SOZ. Wheeler 121