New York Mets: David Wright

Morning Briefing: See you in St. Lucie!

September, 29, 2014
Sep 29
7:34
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: That’s all folks!

The Mets completed their season with a 79-83 record, tied with the Atlanta Braves for second place in the NL East.

Heck, the Mets won the season series from Atlanta, 10-9, if you want to crow about actually topping the Braves.

Now, the work belongs to Sandy Alderson and the front office, trying to upgrade the offense.

Alderson suggested the Mets were not that far off, though. According to the GM, the Amazin’s merely need to move from a middle-of-the-pack offense to top five in order to pick up 10-12 wins.

The Mets finished exactly in the middle in the NL in runs scored -- eighth -- and averaged 3.9 runs a game. They tied for 13th in batting average (.238), ranked ninth in on-base percentage (.308) and tied for ninth in home runs (125).

“I think it seems that a lot of individual guys, and us as a team, have finished on such a strong note that we have some momentum going into the offseason,” captain David Wright said. “Hopefully that carries over into spring training. Lucas Duda hitting his 30th home run, the way Wilmer Flores has swung the bat as of late, our pitching staff, a lot of good things happened. Although we didn’t accomplish what we set out to accomplish, there’s a lot of solid and some great individual performances by some of the guys in this clubhouse.

“We’re close. We’re close. And that’s a good feeling going into an offseason.”

What’s next?

The Mets will announce “limited” coaching changes in the next couple of days, with the turnover expected to center on the hitting-coach positions and no room for Wally Backman on the major league staff.

Jonathon Niese is due to be examined on Monday after a recurrence of a rapid heartbeat this weekend.

Travis d'Arnaud (bone chips) on Wednesday Jenrry Mejia (sports hernia) on Thursday are due to undergo surgery.

And hopefully Kirk Nieuwenhuis gets released soon after spending the past two nights in the hospital with an infection.

Monday’s news reports:

• Duda slugged his 30th homer and finished with 92 RBIs and Bartolo Colon crossed 200 innings and notched his 15th win as the Mets closed the season with an 8-3 win against the Astros.

Retiring Bobby Abreu singled in the fifth inning and received a resounding sendoff as he was pulled from the game. Abreu plans to play a couple of games in winter ball with Caracas to have a farewell in his native Venezuela, too. He aspires to serve as a hitting coach, although he’s not sure he will begin that phase of his career in 2015.

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

• Alderson confirmed the dimensions in center and right-center at Citi Field are “likely” to be trimmed to assist Curtis Granderson and Wright. Read more from Alderson, including his thoughts on what the team needs to upgrade, in the Post and Star-Ledger.

• Read more on Abreu’s sendoff in the Record and Newsday.

• Houston second baseman Jose Altuve, initially out of the lineup, was inserted after social-media uproar and secured the AL batting title at Citi Field. Read more in the Times and Post.

Daisuke Matsuzaka said he wants to be a starting pitcher next season. Presumably, that may mean pitching in Japan in 2015.

Josh Satin finished the season unavailable with a fracture in his right hand. The injury will not require surgery.

• Columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post offers a suggestion for how the Mets can stop “being such a laughingstock.” Writes Davidoff:

If the Mets can just climb into the $100-$110 million range, then they can trade their assets only for baseball reasons and not for financial ones. They can build on this year’s step forward with confidence. There’s little indication from Alderson this will actually happen.

• Mike Puma in the Post reported the Mets asked Daniel Murphy about playing some left field next season, but Murphy balked and the club won’t “press the issue.” Frankly, Murphy may not even be a Met in 2015.

• Puma in the Post asks five questions for 2015.

• Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger lists four ways the Mets’ offense can improve.

• Long Islander Nick Tropeano allowed four runs in five innings at Citi Field on Sunday before a large contingent of family and friends. "Warming up, you could hear them screaming, 'Trope!' and that kind of stuff," Tropeano said postgame, according to Colin Stephenson in Newsday. "You know, good, bad, win, lose, it's kind of a celebration for me just being here, and making it up here, playing the New York Mets -- it's surreal. It's good."

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear delivers its Closing Day soliloquy. … Blogging Mets has its annual Mets report card for the season.

BIRTHDAYS: Heath Bell turns 37. ... Minor-league outfielder Enmanuel Zabala is 20.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: What should Sandy Alderson do to improve the offense?

Note: This is the final “Morning Briefing” for 2014. Thanks for reading!

Morning Briefing: Double dip

September, 25, 2014
Sep 25
7:33
AM ET
WASHINGTON

FIRST PITCH: Let’s play two!

After a rainout Wednesday at Nationals Park, the Mets complete the road portion of their 2014 schedule with a split doubleheader.

Dillon Gee (7-8, 3.88 ERA) opposes right-hander Blake Treinen (2-3, 1.94) at 1:05 p.m.

Zack Wheeler (11-10, 3.49) opposes left-hander Gio Gonzalez (9-10, 3.74) at 7:05 p.m.

The Mets are 38-41 on the road this season.

Overall, the Amazin’s are 76-81. That means they need to run the table in their final five games in order to avoid their sixth straight losing season.

The Mets also slipped back into third place, a half-game behind Atlanta, with the Braves’ win on Wednesday.

If Washington swept Thursday’s doubleheader, the Nats would match the most wins ever by a team against the Mets in a single season. The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1962 and the Dodgers again in ’63 went 16-2 against the Mets. The Nats are 14-3 against the Mets this season.

Thursday also will mark Kevin Burkhardt’s final day as SNY’s Mets field reporter before moving on to Fox full time.

Thursday’s news reports:

David Wright first told ESPNNewYork.com on Wednesday that his left shoulder issue is more involved than just persistent rotator cuff tendinitis. Wright said ligaments holding the shoulder in place are “weak” and “stretched out.” He hopes a six-week program stabilizes the shoulder. Otherwise, surgery may be needed. That would require a three to 3˝-month rehab process.

Travis d'Arnaud may be out for a few days, although neither he nor Terry Collins would disclose the precise issue. D’Arnaud was due to be examined by a team doctor.

• Tim Dierkes at MLBTradeRumors.com reviews the pros and cons of slugging Cuban outfielder Yasmany Tomas and predicts he will receive a seven-year, $105 million contract. Tomas turns 24 in November. Writes Dierkes:

Tomas’ best attribute is his power, a trait that is in short supply in today’s game. Only 14 players hit 30 or more home runs in 2013, and fewer might reach that threshold this year. Tomas has 70 raw power on the 20-80 scale, wrote Baseball America’s Ben Badler in June, so he profiles as one of those rare 30+ home run bats. “He’s got a ton of power,” countryman Rusney Castillo told WEEI’s Rob Bradford through a translator this month. Tomas has produced a .290/.345/.504 throughout his career in Cuba, although those numbers include a pair of seasons in which he slugged just .385 (2009-10) when he was still a teenager.

Though Tomas checks in at 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds, he’s “agile for his size,” according to MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez. Sanchez also says Tomas has a strong arm, so he fits the typical right-field profile. (Some teams may prefer him in left, of course.)

• Mike Puma in the Post writes that despite a quiet September, Lucas Duda is the first baseman in 2015.

• Columnist Denis Hamill in the Daily News writes that even Mets fans admire Derek Jeter.

BIRTHDAYS: David Weathers turns 45. ... Argenis Reyes is 32. ... Minor-league catcher Colton Plaia is 24.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Do you have any confidence the Mets will sign Cuban slugger Yasmany Tomas?

David Wright explains shoulder issue

September, 24, 2014
Sep 24
5:43
PM ET
WASHINGTON -- David Wright is one week into a six-week program designed to strengthen his left shoulder. The captain sounded fairly confident he can avoid surgery, but there are no guarantees.

Wright, whose season ended after a Sept. 8 appearance due to persistent rotator-cuff inflammation, explained the full issue to ESPNNewYork.com.

Wright indicated he has "weak" and "stretched-out" ligaments that are failing to hold the non-throwing shoulder in place. The hope is that the six-week program that will take Wright into late October will correct the issue and allow the shoulder stability to return. Otherwise, Wright would consider surgery, which would require as much as a three-and-half month recovery time. He expects to test the shoulder around Nov. 1 by hitting.

Asked if he did further harm to the shoulder stability by trying to play through the injury during the second half, Wright acknowledged: "I mean, it probably didn't help things." Still, Wright offered no regrets.

Morning Briefing: .500 or bust?

September, 24, 2014
Sep 24
8:25
AM ET
WASHINGTON

FIRST PITCH: With five games remaining, the Mets still share second place with the freefalling Atlanta Braves. Both teams are 76-81.

So how long has it been since the second-place team in the NL East finished with a sub-.500 record?

Nineteen years ago.

In 1995, the Braves won the division at 90-64, then went on to win the World Series. The Mets and Philadelphia Phillies tied for second in the division in the strike-shortened season at 69-75.

Of course, the Mets are not resigned to their sixth straight losing season just yet. They can avoid such a fate by winning their final five games.

That pursuit begins Wednesday at Nationals Park, when Dillon Gee makes his final 2014 start. Gee (7-8, 3.88 ERA) opposes left-hander Gio Gonzalez (9-10, 3.74) at 7:05 p.m.

Wednesday’s news reports:

• Chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon on Tuesday formally announced an extension for general manager Sandy Alderson that guarantees his contract through 2017. Alderson then announced Terry Collins would return as manager for next season. The Mets hold an option on Collins for 2016, but are not picking it up at this point.

Alderson indicated the coaching staff would be addressed shortly after the season, but confirmed Tim Teufel will remain the third-base coach. Minimal turnover is expected. The exception is hitting coach, which could preclude Wally Backman from getting onto the staff. If the Mets stayed internal for a hitting coach, perhaps a list of candidates would include Las Vegas hitting coach George Greer, Savannah hitting coach Valentino Pascucci, current player Bobby Abreu and roving instructor Jack Voigt.

Read a transcript of Wilpon and Alderson’s remarks here.

Read more on the retention of Alderson and Collins in the Post, Daily News, Times, Journal, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and at MLB.com.

Jacob deGrom's Rookie of the Year-caliber season is in the books. Finding no upside in deGrom making a final start Saturday against the Houston Astros, the Mets opted to shut down the right-hander. DeGrom logged 178 2/3 innings between the majors and minors, an increase of 31 innings over his 2013 workload. Ex-Met Collin McHugh, who was lined up to face deGrom on Saturday, also has been shut down. Rafael Montero instead starts against Houston.

ESPN’s Mark Simon statistically breaks down just how good deGrom’s season was here.

Read more in the Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and at MLB.com.

Bartolo Colon failed to cover first base at a critical point, then surrendered a tiebreaking three-run homer to Adam LaRoche and the Nationals beat the Mets, 4-2, Tuesday. Washington is 14-3 against the Mets this season. LaRoche is batting .327 (16-for-49) with six homers and 18 RBIs against the Mets in 2014. He also has been walked 15 times.

Read game recaps in the Post, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.

• Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post examines the size of the gap between the Mets and Nats.

Jenrry Mejia will undergo surgery on Oct. 2 in Philadelphia to repair a sports hernia. Dr. Bill Meyers, who operated on Scott Rice last September, will perform the procedure. Meanwhile, Juan Lagares (elbow) will not require surgery. Lagares, Dilson Herrera (quadriceps) and Vic Black (shoulder) are all done for the season.

• Sophia Rosenbaum and Jonathan Lehman in the Post have fun checking out responses to the Mets asking fans on Twitter to say why they’re a fan of the team, while using the hashtag #ImAMetsFanBecause …

From @MitchNYM: #ImAMetsFanBecause they were all out of Yankees gear

From @FrankDonato1: #imametsfanbecause it’s marginally less painful than smashing your hand with a hammer

From @BorrisQ: #ImAMetsFanBecause my parents didn’t love me as a child

From @AndrewGould4: #ImAMetsFanBecause I don’t feel like I deserve true happiness.

David Wright is bullish on the Mets in 2015. “We’ve gotten ourselves to the point where I think we’re going to be a very good team next year," Wright told reporters pregame, as reported in the Star-Ledger. "We finally have gone through some of these rough years where the expectations we have on ourselves should be pretty high."

• Columnist John Harper in the Daily News constructs one team by combining the Mets and Yankees.

• Lloyd Carroll at NY Sports Day reviews retiring commissioner Bud Selig’s visit to Citi Field.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear offers a historical guide to the Mets and their second-place finishes.

BIRTHDAYS: Hubie Brooks turns 58. … Bernard Gilkey is 48.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Does second place matter?

Rapid Reaction: Marlins 4, Mets 3

September, 17, 2014
Sep 17
10:18
PM ET

NEW YORK -- Kevin Burkhardt’s final home game ended in a Mets loss.

Amid salutes to the outgoing field reporter, the Miami Marlins produced three early runs against Dillon Gee and held on for a 4-3 win Wednesday at Citi Field.

The Mets dropped to 73-80. They must win eight of their final nine games to avoid their sixth straight losing season. Otherwise, they will match the Houston Astros for the longest active streak in the majors of sub-.500 seasons.

Lucas Duda's two-out, two-run single against Henderson Alvarez with the bases loaded in the fifth pulled the Mets within 3-2. Wilmer Flores then bid for a three-run homer, but Marcell Ozuna ran down the shot at the base of the left-center wall.

Gee (7-8) departed with two outs and a runner on second base in the seventh. Josh Edgin entered and surrendered a run-scoring double to Christian Yelich that closed the book on Gee.

Gee’s final line: 6.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K.

Gee did produce his first hit of the season with a fifth-inning single against Alvarez. Gee had been 0-for-35 in 2014 and hitless in 41 straight at-bats dating to last season.

The Mets pulled within 4-3 in the eighth on Curtis Granderson's RBI groundout.

What’s next: The Mets spend Thursday’s off-day in Atlanta, then open a weekend series against the freefalling Braves on Friday. Zack Wheeler (10-10, 3.61 ERA) opposes right-hander Julio Teheran (13-12, 2.89) in the opener at Turner Field.

David Wright, despite being done for the season, will accompany the team on the final road trip of the season, which also includes a stop in D.C. Matt Harvey, whose throwing program is complete, will not join the team on the road.

Morning Briefing: Happy Burkhardt Day!

September, 17, 2014
Sep 17
8:11
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: It’s Kevin Burkhardt Day at Citi Field.

Burkhardt, SNY’s field reporter for the past eight seasons, will participate in his final home telecast with Wednesday’s series finale against the Miami Marlins. Burkhardt’s SNY duties will wrap up on the road next Thursday at Washington.


Adam RubinKevin Burkhardt celebrates his final home game as an SNY field reporter on Wednesday.


He is headed to Fox full time.

The Mets send Dillon Gee to the mound for Burkhardt’s home sendoff. Gee (7-7, 3.80 ERA) opposes right-hander Henderson Alvarez (10-6, 2.81) at 7:10 p.m.

Wednesday’s news reports:

Wilmer Flores had a big day at the plate. Using Kevin Plawecki’s bat, Flores homered twice and for the second time this season had six RBIs as the Mets beat the Marlins, 9-1, Tuesday. Bartolo Colon limited Miami to one run despite surrendering 12 hits in 7 2/3 innings.

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

Juan Lagares departed Tuesday’s game after four innings with what initially has been diagnosed as a hyperextended right elbow. He is due to undergo an MRI on Wednesday morning. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post asserts that the Mets should tank the rest of the season to finish with one of the worst 10 records in baseball. That would give them a protected first-round pick and make it easier to pursue a free agent who figures to get a qualifying offer, such as Melky Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, J.J. Hardy and Hanley Ramirez. The Mets currently have MLB’s 12th-worst record, which would mean forfeiting their first-round pick if they sign a premium free agent.

Of course, Sherman doesn’t expect the Mets will land any of those aforementioned free agents. He writes:

They will express concerns about Cabrera and Cruz’s Biogenesis pasts (though they were very interested in Jhonny Peralta last year) or whisper that their outfield will be too big for the defensively suspect Cruz (though it would not be too big for him to hit a bunch of homers) or they will express belief that Wilmer Flores and/or Matt Reynolds are dollar-for-dollar worth in the same win range as Hardy or Ramirez.

In other words, Mets fans should brace once more for excuses why they will not be getting players this offseason. But by losing big the rest of the way, at least one alibi would vanish from the repertoire.

• Retiring MLB commissioner Bud Selig, making the 20th stop of his farewell tour, visited Citi Field on Tuesday. Selig continued his unwavering support of Mets ownership. He suggested the Mets are in full compliance with MLB’s economic regulations and said the build-from-within approach is more sound than spending like “drunken sailors.” Selig added that he would let fired senior VP Leigh Castergine’s civil lawsuit play out in federal court and not discipline anybody within the organization in the midst of a legal proceeding.

Columnist Kevin Davidoff in the Post says Selig’s legacy partly is tied to propping up Mets ownership. Writes Davidoff:

A master salesman -- he sold used cars, after all -- Selig tried to make his case that the Mets’ unwillingness to spend more does not equate to gross incompetence. He mentioned the Cardinals as a team that doesn’t “spend money like drunken sailors.” He passionately declared, “Unless I read the standings wrong on the way over here, it looks to me like the Baltimore Orioles might win the American League East this year. Anybody here predict that on April 1? I don’t think so. I rest my case.”

Well, the Cardinals’ payroll this season is about $141 million, as per Basebal-Reference.com. And the Orioles are paying about $114 million for their soon-to-be division-winning roster. Not quite the same as $83 million.

Read more in the Journal, Daily News, Record, Star-Ledger, Newsday and SB Nation.

• Despite a Twitter hullabaloo, the Mets say no change is coming to their skyline logo. They offered no official reason why the UN Headquarters in the skyline was replaced by the Citigroup Center in the logo used on social media this week, although the internally constructed image appeared to be more than a year old. Read more in the Times (which wonders about potential hacking) and Newsday.

• Dwight Gooden predicted Jacob deGrom will become the first Met to win the NL Rookie of the Year Award since he did 30 years ago. “Striking out eight guys in a row, that really put the stamp on it for me,” Gooden told Dan Martin in the Post, referring to deGrom’s record-setting game-opening feat Monday against the Marlins. “That’s the kind of thing you need to do to get people’s attention, especially as a starting pitcher.”

Gooden told Matt Harvey last week that Harvey and deGrom have a “similar mound presence.”

Said Gooden to Martin: “They both carry themselves like veterans out there. They’re two different pitchers, but nothing rattles them.”

• The Mets nominated David Wright for the Roberto Clemente Award, which honors “the player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement."

• ESPNNewYork.com reviews which players the Mets may protect in the Rule 5 draft, which annually takes place at the winter meetings in December.

• Marc Carig in Newsday assesses Lagares’ Gold Glove chances. The award is based on manager and coach voting (75 percent) and defensive statistical metrics (25 percent). Writes Carig:

With Lagares, prestige might be the problem.

[Carlos] Gomez won the award last year and has the advantage of being an offensive force while [Andrew] McCutchen reigns as the NL's Most Valuable Player. The veteran [Denard] Span plays for a contender and [Billy] Hamilton's stolen-base prowess in the minors made him a household name before he stepped on a big-league field.

"Major League Baseball and baseball fans knew who Billy Hamilton was before he got here," said [Reds manager Bryan] Price, who naturally backed his own player for the Gold Glove award.

Pedro Martinez praised the Mets’ collection of up-and-coming pitchers, Anthony McCarron writes in the Daily News. “The Mets have the best nucleus of young pitchers,” Martinez said.

• Harvey felt no ill effects the day after his final official throwing session of 2014. Read more in the Post.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear offers a view from an empty Promenade.

BIRTHDAYS: Former captain John Franco turns 54.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Do you think out-of-options Wilmer Flores will be the Mets’ Opening Day shortstop next season?

Wright nominated for Clemente Award

September, 16, 2014
Sep 16
2:48
PM ET
NEW YORK -- The Mets have nominated David Wright for MLB's annual Roberto Clemente Award.

The honor goes to the "player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement."

lastname
Wright
Carlos Delgado won the award while a Met in 2006.

The Mets wrote about Wright's charitable activity:

He launched the David Wright Foundation in 2005 to provide aid and assistance toward the health, emotional development and education for children in need in New York City and his hometown of Norfolk, Virginia.

Over the past five years, the foundation has expanded its scope and raised more than $600,000 for a variety of charitable organizations, including the United States Marine Corps’ Toys For Tots, the Ronald McDonald House, the Virginia Tech Memorial Scholarship Fund, the Police Athletic League and the Patrolman's Benevolent Association -- a tribute to his police-officer father -- as well as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, for whom David hosts children at Citi Field on a regular basis.

David has been a leader in his adopted hometown of New York City ever since putting on a Mets uniform. Every season, David visits a firehouse around the anniversary of Sept. 11 to recognize our fallen heroes and offer support to the hard-working members of the FDNY. He has spread good cheer to Sept. 11 families during Tuesday’s Children visits to Citi Field.

After Hurricane Sandy devastated New York, David donated $250,000 through his foundation to the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC to help the city recover and rebuild. He toured Staten Island communities that were hit hard by the storm and visited students at a local elementary school along with the New York City School Chancellor.

Inspired by the men and women working to rebuild their communities, David launched The Wright Thing in 2013 to honor and recognize volunteers who made an extraordinary impact on the lives of individuals and organizations impacted by Hurricane Sandy. Each month that season, David met with individuals who dedicated time and effort to help their fellow New Yorkers in need. The honorees received an autographed miniature third base and VIP tickets behind third base. They also had the chance to install third base with the grounds crew and had their story told through a video tribute on Citi Vision.

The Wright Thing has continued this year, with Wright saluting heroes from the New York City Police Department. The initiative underscores David’s admiration of law-enforcement personnel as his father, Rhon, served in the Norfolk Police Department for 30 years before retiring as assistant police chief in January.

Mets not expecting retaliation from Nats

September, 12, 2014
Sep 12
4:35
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Terry Collins said he does not expect any retaliatory plunkings on Friday after Bartolo Colon drilled two batters in the series opener, including Jayson Werth on the left side, which prompted Colon to get ejected.

Collins said the Mets routinely deal with aggressive inside pitching from the Washington Nationals. So, he insinuated, they’re not exactly an innocent party anyway.

“I don’t know why there would be,” Collins said about retaliation from the Nats. “We certainly can sit down and have a debate with them if they want, because we had an issue with them drilling [Juan] Lagares the last time. They knock David [Wright] down all the time. We just keep playing.

“It was one of those things. And I’ll bet if you ask Jayson Werth was he surprised, probably the answer is no. I think the deal was the ball got a little up. I think that’s probably what bothered everybody, because certainly after you saw what happened to the two guys last night (Giancarlo Stanton and Chase Headley), if you’re going to hit somebody, you certainly don’t want it to be up around the head.”

Stanton and Headley both were sent to the hospital after beanings.

Morning Briefing: Nats rule Citi Field

September, 11, 2014
Sep 11
5:25
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: Well, if the Mets have designs on reaching .500 and beyond, they will have to accomplish it against a tough nemesis.

Of the 16 games remaining for the Amazin’s this season, seven are against the Washington Nationals. That includes a four-game series at Citi Field that begins Thursday at 7:10 p.m., when Bartolo Colon (13-11, 3.96 ERA) opposes right-hander Tanner Roark (12-10, 2.97).

The Mets remain 5˝ games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates for the second wild-card spot. The Amazin’s are four games under .500, at 71-75, and have won a season-high-matching four straight.

The Nats have a 10-2 record and have outscored the Mets 62-34 this season.

Washington has won 11 straight games in Queens. That’s the longest-ever winning streak by a visiting team against the Mets. The Atlanta Braves won 10 straight games at Shea Stadium in 1991 and '92.

The Nats are 25-4 at Citi Field since September 2011.

“I’m very pleased,” Terry Collins said about the Mets’ recent play, which includes winning seven of their last eight games and four straight series wins. “We’ve still got a tough road ahead here. We’ve got the Nats coming in, who we have not played very well, [and] who play absolutely great here. We’ve got our work cut out for us. We’re aware of that.”

Thursday’s news reports:

• A civil lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn alleges chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon “humiliated” the club’s senior vice president overseeing ticket sales because she was pregnant and unmarried. The Mets responded that former employee Leigh Castergine’s lawsuit is “without merit.”

Read more in the Post, Daily News, Journal, Times, Newsday and at MLB.com.

• Read columnist Mike Vaccaro’s take on the Mets’ wild-card pursuit and the lawsuit in the Post and columnist David Lennon’s take in Newsday. Jeff Passan has a scathing critique of the latter topic at Yahoo!, as does Bob Klapisch in the Record.

• Despite a high pitch count, Rafael Montero tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings and earned his first major league win as the Mets swept the Rockies with a 2-0 win Wednesday. Eric Young Jr. went 3-for-3 with an RBI triple and Jenrry Mejia became the youngest player in franchise history to notch 25 saves in a season. Mets pitchers have logged 19 straight scoreless innings, two shy of matching the season high (April 20-22), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

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

Daniel Murphy was shifted to third base Wednesday with David Wright done for the season because of persistent left-shoulder woes. Murphy received no fielding chances in his first start at the position since July 21, 2011. The move allows rookie Dilson Herrera to get continued playing time at second base. Read more in the Times and Star-Ledger.

• ESPN’s Buster Olney suggests it could be a quiet offseason for the Mets, at least spending-wise. Writes Olney:

The reality appears to be that the Mets' front office will be left with little money to improve the roster, perhaps bypassing pricey veterans who could represent pivotal upgrades, such as shortstop J.J. Hardy. It appears Alderson will instead pick through the bargain bin for short-term gambles, which is how Chris Young came to be a Met last winter; he was a bargain for a reason.

The Mets' ownership could choose to take a different path and look to spend money to make money. But once again, that does not appear to be the route this team will go, and it's bad for the sport when a New York City team pretends it must adhere to its budget the way the Tampa Bay Rays do.

ESPN Insiders can read Olney’s full analysis here.

Matt den Dekker remained sore and did not appear in Wednesday’s game a day after getting plunked on the back of his left hand with a pitch.

• Binghamton is one win from the Eastern League championship after a 5-1 victory at Richmond on Wednesday. Xorge Carrillo and Travis Taijeron homered and Greg Peavey limited the Squirrels to one run in seven innings as the B-Mets took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series. Binghamton will go for the sweep at home on Friday with Steven Matz on the mound. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Matz and Herrera were named the pitcher and player of the year in the Mets organization, the club announced. Sterling Award winners at individual levels of the organization were Matt Reynolds, Kevin Plawecki, Brandon Nimmo, Dario Alvarez, Akeel Morris, Vicente Lupo, Marcos Molina, John Mora, Ali Sanchez and Walter Rasquin.

• Wright and Dillon Gee visited FDNY Squad 288/Hazmat 1 in Maspeth, Queens, on Wednesday.

Chris Young homered and had two RBIs as the Yankees rallied to beat the Tampa Bay Rays. Young became the second player ever to homer for the Mets and Yankees in the same season, joining Dave Kingman in 1977, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

• Andrew Beaton in the Journal looks into the Mets being 16-2 this season in games started by Kirk Nieuwenhuis. That’s the best winning percentage for any player in the majors with a minimum of 15 starts.

From the bloggers … John Delcos at NY Mets Report doesn’t believe Wright’s injury and Herrera playing second base could pave the way for Murphy to be traded this offseason.

BIRTHDAYS: Former closer Frank Francisco turns 35.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Can the Mets reach .500? Can they reach the postseason?

View from Maspeth: Wright, Gee visit FDNY

September, 10, 2014
Sep 10
1:29
PM ET

Adam RubinDavid Wright and Dillon Gee visited FDNY Squad 288/Hazmat 1 in Maspeth, Queens, on Wednesday afternoon as part of the Mets' remembrance of 9/11. Gee's father Kevin is a retiring firefighter in Fort Worth, Texas. "It strikes close to home for me," Gee said.

Morning Briefing: Even with Yanks

September, 10, 2014
Sep 10
5:21
AM ET

Getty ImagesJacob deGrom added to his resume with eight scoreless innings, but David Wright (rotator cuff) is done for the season.
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: The Mets are even with the Yankees in one respect: Both teams are now 5˝ games out in their respective wild-card races.

Still, that seemingly speaks more to the Bombers being out of postseason contention than the Amazin’s being in it.

With 17 games remaining, the Mets have a 70-75 record.

The San Francisco Giants seemingly are firmly entrenched in the No. 1 wild-card spot at 79-65.

Pittsburgh currently occupies the second wild-card spot at 75-69. Atlanta (74-71), freefalling Milwaukee (74-71) and Miami (71-72) also are ahead of the Mets.

The Pirates and Brewers play three more times, meaning that’s at least two additional wins for one of those teams. And Pittsburgh and Atlanta play four times, meaning that’s a minimum of two wins for one of those teams.

So .500 seems like a more realistic goal for the Mets. If the Mets fall short of breakeven, they would finish with their sixth straight losing season, which would be tied with the Houston Astros for the longest active streak in the majors.


Bill Kostroun/Associated PressRafael Montero gets a spot start Wednesday against the Rockies.


Meanwhile, the Mets -- winners of six of their last seven games -- on Wednesday try to complete a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies for the second straight season at Citi Field.

Rafael Montero, who joined the Mets from Triple-A Las Vegas on Sunday, gets a spot start that allows the other members of the rotation to receive an extra day of rest. Montero (0-3, 5.23 ERA) opposes left-hander Tyler Matzek (5-9, 4.32), a fellow rookie.

Montero last pitched last Wednesday in Vegas’ Pacific Coast League playoff opener at Reno. He allowed three runs on seven hits and four walks in a 103-pitch effort spanning 4 1/3 innings.

Matzek is coming off a three-hit shutout against the San Diego Padres. He became the first Rockies pitcher to go the distance in a scoreless effort at Coors Field since Jhoulys Chacin on April 15, 2011 against the Chicago Cubs. Overall, Matzek has an active 21-inning scoreless streak.

Wednesday’s news reports:

David Wright has been shut down for the remainder of the season after undergoing an MRI and examination of his troublesome left shoulder at the Hospital for Special Surgery on Tuesday. The captain is not expected to require surgery to address what was labeled “persistent inflammation” in the rotator cuff.

Wright finishes the season with a .269 average, career-low eight homers and 63 RBIs in 535 at-bats. He went homerless in his final 189 at-bats, which is the longest drought of his career.

Wright had experienced discomfort since jamming the shoulder while sliding headfirst on a steal on June 12 on a muddy surface at Citi Field. He missed a week late in the first half and then received a cortisone shot heading into the All-Star break.

“David did what captains do -- he persevered, he kept going, he gutted it out,” Sandy Alderson said. “Numbers or no numbers, he did what we expected. He made a major contribution to the team by continuing to perform. And when a player is injured, all you can expect from him is honesty about the injury and willingness to go out there and make the effort. There’s no question David did that throughout the last two and half months.”

Alderson and Terry Collins said they would huddle to determine the best infield alignment in Wright’s absence. Dilson Herrera figured to see vastly diminished playing time with Daniel Murphy having returned from a calf injury on Tuesday. Now, though, one option is to use Murphy at third base and Herrera at second. Otherwise, the likely option is to use Eric Campbell at third base -- although Josh Satin and Wilmer Flores also are capable of manning the position, too.

Murphy last played third base, his natural position, in 2011 when Wright missed time with a stress fracture in his lower back.

Read more on Wright in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Times, Journal, Star-Ledger, Record and at MLB.com.

Jacob deGrom retired the final 14 batters he faced and was sitting at 100 pitches through eight scoreless innings when Collins pulled him three outs away from a complete game. Collins, under pressure from his bosses to keep his young hurlers’ pitch counts in check late in the season, went to Jenrry Mejia for the ninth. Mejia eventually was pulled with the bases loaded and one out. Josh Edgin and Jeurys Familia combined to bail the Mets out and preserve a 2-0 win against the Rockies on Tuesday.

Edgin had been dealing with elbow discomfort from bone spurs and had received a cortisone injection last Tuesday. He was making his first appearance since Aug. 23.

DeGrom improved to 8-6 and sliced his ERA to 2.62. He becomes the third pitcher in franchise history to have a sub-3.00 ERA through 20 starts in his debut season, joining Dwight Gooden (1984, 2.80) and Tom Seaver (1967, 2.92), according to the Elias Sports Bureau. DeGrom has not allowed an earned run in his past 22 innings.

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

• Alderson acknowledged the Mets are considering further revising the dimensions in right-center/right field at Citi Field. According to ESPN Stats & Information’s Mark Simon, who made a crude calculation using Inside Edge data that plots of fly balls:

The Mets have hit 16 balls to right-center this season that traveled more than 395 feet -- and seven have fallen short of being home runs. Opponents have hit 15 balls to right-center that traveled more than 395 feet -- and four have been short of being home runs.

So the Mets, very roughly, could have a pickup of seven long balls for a season potentially with such a wall adjustment.

The Mets’ analysis, according to Alderson, is that Curtis Granderson could have seven more homers with particular wall tweaking.

Read more in the Journal and Newsday.

Matt den Dekker was struck in the left hand by a pitch from Yohan Flande in the seventh inning and departed the game after the frame. X-rays were negative.

• Binghamton won Game 1 of its best-of-five Eastern League Championship series, 5-2 at Richmond. Starter Tyler Pill allowed two runs in six innings against the San Francisco Giants’ Double-A affiliate. Brandon Nimmo went 2-for-5 and drove in a pair of runs. Greg Peavey starts Game 2 for the B-Mets on Wednesday. Read the full recap here.

• Collins, Zack Wheeler and Travis d'Arnaud visited the 9/11 Memorial & Museum on Tuesday. Read more in the Daily News.

• Joe Torre has sent a memo to umpires dissuading them from calling runners safe when catchers are blocking the plate unless it’s a bang-bang play, writes Jayson Stark at ESPN.com. That should avoid clearly out runners being awarded home plate on a technicality.

• Jeff Passan at Yahoo! examines the trouble with WAR, and uses Juan Lagares as an example.

From the bloggers … John Delcos, who had been hospitalized for five months and remains in a wheelchair, is back blogging. Check out the explanation for his absence here. … Blogging Mets wonders if Collins deserves another year as Mets manager. ... Faith and Fear finds every deGrom start is a good hair day.

BIRTHDAYS: Outfielder Andrew Brown, who was passed over for a September call-up, turns 30. ... Minor-league infielder Phillip Evans is 22.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets move Daniel Murphy to third base for the remainder of the season in order to get Dilson Herrera in the lineup at second base?

So, who's on third?

September, 9, 2014
Sep 9
11:06
PM ET
NEW YORK -- The one thing that's certain is that David Wright won't be playing third base for the New York Mets for the rest of this season.

But who will be?

lastname
Wright
"Lots of discussions have to take place," Mets manager Terry Collins said, after the team announced Wright's shutdown at the end of a 2-0 Tuesday night win over the Colorado Rockies.

The Mets basically have two options: Eric Campbell played third base Tuesday, as he has for almost all the games Wright has missed this season. The Mets could simply opt to have him play there for the final 17 games, as well.

The other possibility would be to move Daniel Murphy to third base, and to give 20-year-old Dilson Herrera more starts at second base. Murphy was a third baseman in the minor leagues, but he hasn't played there since 2011, when he started 25 games at third.

On a roll: The Mets' win Tuesday night was their sixth in the past seven games, and pulled them to within five games of .500 for the first time since Aug. 11. The Mets are now 5½ games out of a playoff spot, which means they're as close to the playoffs as the New York Yankees.

Murphy returns to lineup, Wright out

September, 9, 2014
Sep 9
5:27
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Daniel Murphy returned to the New York Mets lineup Tuesday night, but now David Wright is out.

Wright felt more pain in the left shoulder that has bothered him for much of the season, and the Mets decided to send him to see the doctor to have the shoulder examined again.

"This guy plays with so much pain that when he says it's not right, there's a little concern," manager Terry Collins said.

Eric Campbell will play third base and bat third in Wright's place Tuesday against the Colorado Rockies.

Wright's shoulder has been a constant issue since June 12, when he first hurt it while sliding headfirst on a muddy field. While he has tried at times to claim that it wasn't a factor in his subpar season, it's been obvious to most who were watching that he hasn't been playing healthy.

"He's a shell of himself," said one scout who follows the National League East. "You even see him throwing different."

The Mets will have only 17 games remaining after Tuesday. If Tuesday's exam shows any more damage to the shoulder, it would be hard to see what Wright would accomplish by continuing to play.

Wright has actually hit a little better over the last week, but he's still batting just .238 since the All-Star break, with no home runs and only seven extra-base hits in 46 games.

Moving the fences: A day after general manager Sandy Alderson again raised the idea of moving the right-field fence in at Citi Field, Collins said he would favor a move.

"It'll help us, because we've got guys who hit the ball in that area," Collins said, citing Wright, Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda and even Travis d'Arnaud. "I think it's going to help us a little bit, confidence-wise.

"I think it would be great for us."

No room for Dilson: With Murphy back in the lineup after missing two weeks with a calf strain, 20-year-old Dilson Herrera was on the bench Tuesday. Alderson and Collins have both said that Murphy will get most of the playing time at second base the rest of the way, with Herrera limited to a few spot starts and pinch-hitting or pinch-running duty.

"We've seen a lot [from Herrera], and it's going to be fun to watch him grow," Collins said. "Obviously, I think he's going to be a real good offensive player. He's showed power. For a guy who's not real big, he's strong. And everybody said you're going to like this kid's enthusiasm, and we've seen that."

Black out: Collins said he wouldn't use Vic Black on Tuesday, and again expressed some concern about the way Black looked in his return from the disabled list Monday night. Black said he is healthy, although he admitted he may have lost some strength in his legs while he was out.

Tuesday's Mets-Rockies lineups

September, 9, 2014
Sep 9
4:12
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Here are the lineups for Tuesday's 7:10 p.m. game against the Colorado Rockies at Citi Field.

Daniel Murphy (calf) returns from the disabled list. David Wright (shoulder) is back out of the lineup and will be examined by doctors. Dilson Herrera goes to the bench with Murphy's return.

Mets
Juan Lagares, cf
Daniel Murphy, 2b
Eric Campbell, 3b
Lucas Duda, 1b
Travis d'Arnaud, c
Curtis Granderson, rf
Wilmer Flores, ss
Matt den Dekker, lf
Jacob deGrom, rhp

Rockies
Charlie Blackmon, cf
Michael Cuddyer, rf
Justin Morneau, 1b
Nolan Arenado, 3b
Corey Dickerson, lf
Wilin Rosario, c
Josh Rutledge, ss
DJ LeMahieu, 2b
Christian Bergman, rhp

Morning Briefing: Five homers!

September, 6, 2014
Sep 6
6:03
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: On a modest three-game winning streak (and with their run differential sliced to minus-four), the Mets try to keep things rolling in steamy Cincinnati on Saturday.

Dillon Gee (6-6, 3.61 ERA) opposes right-hander Johnny Cueto (16-8, 2.26) at 4:10 p.m.

Cueto’s 16 wins are one shy of matching the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw for the major league lead.

Saturday’s news reports:

Rafael Montero has been promoted to the major league club. Montero, who allowed three runs in 4 1/3 innings in the opener of the Pacific Coast League playoffs on Wednesday, should get at least one start down the stretch.

• The man charged with making threats on Twitter against the Mets and Citi Field was handed a 90-day suspended sentence in Milford (Connecticut) Superior Court after pleading no contest to disorderly conduct. He must refrain from contact with Mets personnel, Justin Turner and Turner’s girlfriend and is barred from Citi Field, but is otherwise free to use the Internet.

• The Mets produced five home runs and routed the Reds, 14-5, Friday at Great American Ball Park. It marked the most long balls in a game by the Mets since they also went deep five times on Sept. 30, 2006 at Washington (Ramon Castro, Endy Chavez, Julio Franco, David Wright and Shawn Green). This time, Travis d'Arnaud, Wilmer Flores, Curtis Granderson, Dilson Herrera and Lucas Duda did the honors. Granderson’s shot, which came on the day he was dropped to sixth in the order, snapped an 0-for-18 drought. Wright went 4-for-5 before departing the lopsided game.

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

• Jared Diamond in the Journal suggests Granderson looks like a worse signing than Chris Young.

Granderson downplayed the drop to No. 6. “I’ve batted in every spot in the lineup over the course of my career,” he told reporters. “To get moved up, down, middle, out is nothing new to me.” Read more in the Post.

Daisuke Matsuzaka and Josh Edgin rejoined the Mets after getting cortisone shots in their pitching elbows in New York during the Marlins series. Meanwhile, Vic Black (herniated disk) pledged to be ready to come off the disabled list on Monday when he is eligible to be activated. Daniel Murphy (calf) also is making progress toward a potential return early next week. Murphy is eligible to be activated on Tuesday. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Noah Syndergaard was charged with six runs in four-plus innings and Las Vegas is facing elimination after a 7-5 loss at Reno. The big blow came on a go-ahead three-run homer by ex-Met Mike Jacobs against Miguel Socolovich that allowed a couple of inherited runners to score. Portland moved within a game of ousting Binghamton with a 6-3 win. Facing elimination, Savannah’s game Friday was suspended in the eighth inning with the Gnats trailing Asheville, 2-1. Savannah will have the tying run on second base and one out when play resumes. Read the full minor-league recap here.

Matt Harvey will throw off a mound every five days like he is simulating starts this month, but is poised to be shut down within weeks, Marc Carig writes in Newsday. Harvey will have a winter throwing program like any other pitcher, which should include tossing a baseball beginning in early November. He will ramp up in February alongside other pitchers in spring training and face batters then.

• John DeMarzo in the Post names Herrera the standout performer in the minors for the Mets, with Syndergaard the biggest disappointment and Matt Reynolds making the biggest leap.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear salutes the unsung contributions of Buddy Carlyle and Dana Eveland.

BIRTHDAYS: Alex Escobar turns 36. ... Fran Healy is 68. ... Minor-leaguers Maikis De La Cruz and L.J. Mazzilli are 24.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets have left Rafael Montero in Triple-A for the duration of the playoffs?

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.289 9 57 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187