New York Mets: Jenrry Mejia
Recker, barring a demotion, would finish at 2 years, 128 days.
One NL executive projected the cutoff would be 2 years and between 120 and 125 days. In April, Ryan Galla of the agency CAA Baseball projected the deadline at 2 years, 128 days.
Matt Harvey (2.072) and Jeurys Familia (2.030) easily will miss the cutoff, so they will have a salary close to the major league minimum again in 2015.
Super 2 status does not expedite free-agency status, which occurs after a player accumulates six years of major league service. It merely means the players get four years of arbitration eligibility rather than three years, so salaries start to climb earlier.
With uninterrupted major league service, Mejia, Recker, Harvey and Familia all would be eligible for free agency after the 2018 season.
The 22 percent of players with the most service time between two and three years become Super 2s.
Associated PressBartolo Colon makes his final start before the non-waiver trade deadline on Monday.
FIRST PITCH: Bartolo Colon makes his final start before Thursday’s 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline when the Mets return home to face the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday.
Colon (9-8, 4.03 ERA) enters the start off an outing in Seattle in which he retired the game’s first 20 batters. Robinson Cano broke up the perfect-game bid in the seventh with a line single.
Colon opposes right-hander A.J. Burnett (6-9, 3.86) in the 7:10 p.m. series opener.
The Mets took four of five games in Philly when the teams last met, May 29-June 2.
Of course, the Mets won eight of 10 games on their last homestand and now have a 25-23 record at Citi Field this season. The Mets have not finished a season with a winning home record since 2010.
Colon, incidentally, likely will be eligible to be traded in August, too -- either by clearing waivers or via the Mets dealing with a team that puts in a claim. That is because he is owed $11 million in 2015, during a season in which he will turn 42 years old.
Monday’s news reports:
• After giving an interview to Willie Weinbaum at ESPN.com in which he advocated Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire getting voted into the Hall of Fame with asterisks, Tony La Russa went further during an interview published in the Daily News.
“I knew our programs in Oakland were 100 percent clean,” La Russa told the Daily News. “But we had our suspicions -- guys hitting stronger but not working out. I went to Sandy and ownership about this. And they told me flat off, ‘Right of privacy. It’s a collective bargaining issue.’”
Alderson told the newspaper: “I’m not going to comment on that until at least Monday” -- presumably so any comments would not detract from induction weekend.
• Jacob deGrom tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings in his latest dominating performance and Lucas Duda slugged his fourth homer in six games as the Mets beat the Brewers, 2-0, Sunday at Miller Park to earn a split of the four-game series.
The Mets went 5-5 on their second-half-opening trip to San Diego, Seattle and Milwaukee. With 57 games remaining, the Mets trail the first-place Washington Nationals by 8½ games and are seven games out in the wild card.
Duda had four of the Mets’ five homers on the entire 10-game trip, with Curtis Granderson producing the other. Duda entered Sunday with an NL-leading 24.3 percent of his at-bats this season ending with a ball deemed “hard hit,” according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Jenrry Mejia wriggled free despite allowing two baserunners in the ninth. He has now recorded a save in each of his last seven appearances. That’s the longest string of appearances with a save by a Mets reliever since Billy Wagner had a save in nine straight appearances in 2007.
The Mets posted a 5-5 trip despite failing to exceed three runs in any of the final nine games. If the Mets fail to reach four runs on Monday against the Phillies, it will become the longest streak of games producing three or fewer runs since 1981 (11 straight).
In the second half, the Mets are hitting .186 (60-for-322) and averaging 2.2 runs per game. Only the Cincinnati Reds are worse in those categories in the National League.
Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Journal, Times and at MLB.com.
• Read more on Duda in the Post and Newsday.
• Tom Glavine made multiple references to the Mets during his 17-minute induction speech in Cooperstown on Sunday.
Glavine singled out former Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson and trainer Mike Herbst for gratitude.
“Rick, you helped me to reinvent myself, make the changes I needed to make for the latter part of my career -- which, trust me, when you were doing something for 16, 17 years, it's not an easy thing to change,” Glavine said. “But you talked me into it, you convinced me of it, and you gave me confidence to do it.”
Joe Torre also paid homage to the Mets early in his induction speech.
Torre lauded Hall of Famer Tom Seaver, who was in attendance in Cooperstown, then said during in speech: “I was with the Mets a couple of years before I became manager. And then once I became manager on May 31, 1977, my first bit of duty was to trade Tom Seaver two weeks later, which wasn’t a whole lot of fun. And the last time he pitched for me -- I don’t know if you remember, Tommy -- he pitched in Houston. And when I went out to take him out of the game, he patted me on the rear end.
“I did have one accomplishment with the Mets as a player. And, again, you can’t go through life alone. Certainly in baseball, you need all the help you can get. Well, on July 21, I hit into four double plays in one game. And I just want to make sure I share the credit, because I could not have done it unless Felix Millan had hit four singles right in front of me.
“In 1977 I became manager. I want to thank the New York Mets, at the age of 36, for trusting me with their ballclub -- M. Donald Grant, chairman of the board. It was a great opportunity for me. You talk about learning. As I said, we had to make some trades a couple of weeks after I took the job. And there was a lot of learning -- young players -- but [it was] a great experience. A great experience.”
Read more on Mets references in Glavine’s speech in Newsday.
• Matt Reynolds launched a go-ahead three-run homer in the seventh as Las Vegas beat Salt Lake, 6-5. Noah Syndergaard allowed two runs (one earned) in five innings. Jeremy Hefner allowed three runs in three innings in his fourth minor-league start since returning from Tommy John surgery as Daytona beat St. Lucie, 4-3, in Game 1 en route to a doubleheader sweep. St. Lucie has lost eight straight. Michael Bernal went 4-for-4 with four RBIs off the bench as Brooklyn beat Lowell, 9-3. Read the full minor-league recap here.
• Troy Tulowitzki may love New York, but it looks like the Bronx would be his strong preference. Tulowitzki, on the DL with the Colorado Rockies and in the Northeast to visit a doctor in Philly, swung by Yankee Stadium on Sunday to watch Derek Jeter play.
“It’s a short drive from Philly,” Tulowitzki told The Denver Post. “I’m with my family. I wanted to see Jeter play one more time.”
• Terry Collins dismissed any apparent friction with Jonathon Niese, who was displeased with getting pulled after five innings Saturday.
“I love Jon and support everything he says,” Collins said. “I know he doesn’t want to come out. … Sandy Koufax told me many years ago, ‘Pitchers and managers never get along.’”
• Why did Juan Lagares slide headfirst into first base Sunday, against what his manager would prefer? “I was just trying to do something to get a hit because I don’t remember the last time I did,” Lagares told Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger.
• From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear isn't so nervous during ninth innings these days.
BIRTHDAYS: No one to appear in a game for the Mets was born on this date, but Soulja Boy and Manu Ginobili celebrate birthdays on July 28.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: Did Tony La Russa throw Sandy Alderson under the bus?
#Mets are 50-55 with 57 games remaining. They must go 31-26 to finish .500. Not easy, but doable. That is my goal for them to build on in 15— Russ O'Brien (@russelltob) July 28, 2014
The much-improved back end of the Mets bullpen got the last five outs in Wednesday’s win.
Familia benefited from a replay review on Willie Bloomquist's grounder to short to get through the eighth. Mejia skated through a ninth inning that got a tad dicey, but earned another save.
Familia has allowed one earned run in 19 1/3 innings over 19 games dating back to June 12. He has three holds and a win over a stretch of seven straight scoreless appearances.
Mejia has allowed one earned run over 13 innings with six saves in seven chances in a 12-game span dating back to June 21. Three of his last four save conversions have come in one-run wins.
What has been the biggest key for each of them?
Familia’s miss-rate and hard-hit contact rate don’t necessarily suggest that he’s pitching better. But the results have been good.
One thing Familia has done a better job of is keeping the ball down, resulting in more groundballs. And of the last 37 hitters to hit a groundball against Familia, the Mets have gotten at least one out on 30 of them.
Mejia is succeeding on the strength of a nasty breaking ball, one he struck James Jones and Logan Morrison out in the ninth inning on Wednesday.
In this dozen-appearance run, Mejia has thrown 21 two-strike curves and sliders. They’ve resulted in 12 outs, 11 of which were strikeouts, and no baserunners.
That’s in contrast to the first 31 breaking balls Mejia threw as a reliever, which netted five strikeouts, but also three hits, including a double and home run.
This run of Mejia's success coincided with an overall run of bullpen success. Since June 12, the Mets bullpen has a 2.40 ERA, third-best in the major leagues.
Colon retired the first 20 batters he faced, until Robinson Cano delivered a two-out line-drive single into left field in the seventh. The Mets ultimately held on for a 3-2 rubber-game win against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
Jenrry Mejia recorded the save despite allowing two baserunners in the ninth.
It marked the longest perfection bid by a Met since Matt Harvey also retired the first 20 batters on May 7, 2013 against the Chicago White Sox.
The ex-Yankee Cano had been a quiet 1-for-10 in the series before the opposite-field single.
With two in scoring position and one out, Terry Collins inserted Jeurys Familia, and he got Willie Bloomquist to bounce into a run-scoring groundout (after a replay review reversed the on-field call). Familia then struck out ex-Met Endy Chavez to strand the potential tying run at third base.
Colon’s final line in a 101-pitch effort: 7 1/3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K.
The Mets are now 3-3 through stops in San Diego and Seattle on their second-half-opening trip. They moved back within eight games of first-place Washington, which lost against Colorado.
The 41-year-old Colon was bidding to become the second-oldest pitcher ever to throw a no-hitter and the oldest to throw a perfect game. Nolan Ryan had two at an older age, at 43 and 44 with the Texas Rangers. Neither was a perfect game. Randy Johnson had a perfect game at age 40 and is the oldest ever with such a distinction.
The last perfect game in the majors came on Aug. 15, 2012 by Seattle’s Felix Hernandez against Tampa Bay.
Of course, Johan Santana tossed the only no-hitter in Mets history. It came on June 1, 2012 against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Mets have made Colon available in trade talks, although there did not seem to be much in the way of scouts at Safeco Field who came to evaluate him Wednesday.
The Mets gave Colon a run to work with before he took the mound on Daniel Murphy's RBI double against Taijuan Walker in the first inning. After the Mets loaded the bases against Walker in the sixth with none out, reliever Dominic Leone entered and limited the Mets to a sacrifice fly by Juan Lagares, which staked the Amazin’s to a 2-0 lead. David Wright added an RBI single the following inning.
Beaned: Ruben Tejada took a 94 mph fastball from Walker directly to the front of the helmet in the fifth inning. Tejada went straight to the ground, but ultimately walked off under his own power. Eric Campbell replaced him.
If Tejada lands on the concussion disabled list, the Mets could summon Wilmer Flores, who is playing nearby with Triple-A Las Vegas in Tacoma, Washington.
The Mets do not have a bona fide backup shortstop on the major league roster. Campbell’s action Wednesday marked only his second major league game and fourth professional game at shortstop.
What’s next: The Mets travel to NL Central-leading Milwaukee for a four-game series. Dillon Gee (4-2, 2.92 ERA) opposes right-hander Matt Garza (6-7, 4.04) in Thursday’s 8:10 p.m. series opener.
Fueled by the latest dominating performance from Jacob deGrom and a fortuitous fielding play by Long Island University product James Jones, the Mets snapped a three-game losing streak with a 3-1 win against the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night at Safeco Field.
With the Washington Nationals beating the Colorado Rockies, the Mets (47-53) remained nine games out of first place in the NL East.
The Mets have scored only seven runs in their past 42 innings, but a two-run second inning was enough to get the job done this time.
After a leadoff single by Bobby Abreu against Erasmo Ramirez, Travis d'Arnaud hit a sinking line drive to center field. Jones tried to make the catch, but the ball scooted by him for what was ruled a run-scoring triple. Ruben Tejada eventually drove in d’Arnaud with a single as the Mets took a 2-0 lead.
DeGrom’s banner rookie season continued. He retired 11 straight batters at one point and limited Seattle to one run on five hits in seven innings. After the 107-pitch effort, deGrom now has posted a 1.59 ERA (7 ER in 39.2 IP) in his last six starts.
The lone run against deGrom (4-5) came on an RBI double by Dustin Ackley in the fifth. Ackley advanced to third base on the play on a throwing error by Daniel Murphy on a relay attempt to the plate. But deGrom stranded Ackley and maintained a 2-1 lead by coaxing a flyout from Mike Zunino and by retiring ex-Met Endy Chavez on a groundout.
Lucas Duda added a 444-foot solo homer in the eighth against reliever Tom Wilhelmsen.
Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia each contributed a scoreless relief inning.
Ouch: Tejada was struck on the left hand by a pitch from Ramirez in the fifth inning. He remained in the game after a visit from trainer Ray Ramirez.
What’s next: Bartolo Colon (8-8, 4.12 ERA) opposes Mariners top prospect Taijuan Walker, who will be called up from Triple-A Tacoma, in the 3:40 p.m. ET rubber game Wednesday.
FIRST PITCH: The Mets did not cool off during the break.
Now winners of nine of their past 11, they have climbed to four games under .500.
They try to keep the momentum going Saturday, with Dillon Gee (4-1, 2.56 ERA) opposing right-hander Tyson Ross (7-10, 2.85) at 8:40 p.m. ET.
Saturday’s news reports:
• Travis d'Arnaud continued his solid production since returning from Las Vegas. Playing at the site of his major league debut last August, the rookie catcher finished 3-for-5 and drove in the tiebreaking run against Joaquin Benoit in the ninth as the Mets beat the Padres, 5-4, Friday at Petco Park. The Mets gained a game on the Washington Nationals, but remained seven games behind the first-place Atlanta Braves.
Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and at MLB.com.
• Sandy Alderson said pregame that not much had transpired so far in terms of trade conversations with other teams. The GM also indicated that he did not intend to rent a player who would be a free agent at season’s end. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger, Record and Newsday.
• Jenrry Mejia pulled a Mark Messier and guaranteed to SNY the Mets are making the playoffs … or something like that.
“We’re gonna make it because we believe in ourselves,” Mejia told the network, via the Post. “We’ll be ready, and we’re gonna make the playoffs. We’re gonna be there.”
• Daisuke Matsuaka is headed to the bullpen, although the Mets do not intend to use him there Saturday or Sunday. They first want to be 100 percent sure Jonathon Niese will be able to come off the disabled list on Monday to face the Seattle Mariners. Niese threw a bullpen session Friday at Petco Park and pronounced himself ready for that assignment in Seattle. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Newsday, Record and Daily News.
• Top prospect Noah Syndergaard returned from a save in the All-Star Game and proceeded to allow seven runs in five innings on Thursday for Las Vegas at Salt Lake. Syndergaard now has a 5.74 ERA in 17 Pacific Coast League starts.
He told Jared Diamond in the Journal that most of his issues have been mental, including paying too much attention to the Super 2 deadline. "I was thinking about that almost constantly," Syndergaard said.
Pitch selection, and an overreliance on fastballs, also has been an issue. "I've had a hard time knowing what to throw in certain situations," said Syndergaard, whose fastball comfortably hit 98 mph Thursday.
• Jay Schreiber in the Times notes that the last time the Mets finished with a winning record and the Yankees with a losing record was back in 1990. Could it happen again?
• Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger lists six surprising stats for the Mets, including Ruben Tejada possessing the third-highest OBP among major league shortstops and the Mets leading the NL in home runs since June 17.
• Anthony Seratelli had a three-run homer and Cory Mazzoni earned the win in his Triple-A debut as Las Vegas held on against Salt Lake, 7-6. Robert Gsellman had a 10-strikeout game on his 21st birthday as Savannah beat Lexington, 5-1. Taylor Teagarden’s rehab assignment shifted to St. Lucie, which lost to Brevard County, 4-3. 2012 first-round pick Gavin Cecchini was pulled from that game for an apparent disciplinary reason. Read the full minor-league recap here.
• First-round pick Michael Conforto is due to make his professional debut Saturday for the Cyclones as the designated hitter. Brooklyn hosts Williamsport at 6 p.m.
• Closer Huston Street was traded by the Padres to the Los Angeles Angels. Read more in the San Diego Union-Tribune.
• Benjamin Hoffman in the Times writes that San Diego may end up with the worst offense in major league history.
• Dan Uggla was released by the Braves despite $18 million remaining on his contract through 2015. Read more in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
• Nick Forrester in the Daily News profiles Cyclones GM Steve Cohen.
• From the bloggers …Faith and Fear made it through the All-Star break, but just barely.
BIRTHDAYS: Rick Ankiel turns 35. ... Preston Wilson is 40. ... David Segui turns 48.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
Getty ImagesThe Mets open the second half with Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee and Zack Wheeler facing the Padres.
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.
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:
In a GIF that made the rounds on Twitter, a fired-up Travis d'Arnaud appeared to be unsympathetic to the Marlins objecting to Jenrry Mejia's demonstrative save antics.
The only issue?
D'Arnaud insists the lip readers were way off. He was not, in fact, saying something unsuitable for children.
The catcher told Newsday's Marc Carig that he was actually just calling out to Saturday's plate umpire Alfonso Marquez to get his attention.
“I was talking to the umpire,” d’Arnaud told Carig. “Make sure to write that.”
Jeurys Familia will fill that role Tuesday, if necessary, Mets manager Terry Collins revealed before the game.
"We're gonna back off Jenrry [Mejia] a little bit," Collins said. "He's had two fairly long outings, so we're gonna back him down today, and we'll go with Jeurys at the end."
Mejia has pitched the past two days, and went 1 1/3 innings on Monday -- he blew his second save of the season, but the Mets went on to win 4-3 in 11 innings.
Since being moved to the bullpen in mid-May, Mejia is 2-3 with a 2.52 ERA in 24 appearances (25 innings), with 24 strikeouts and a 1.35 WHIP.
Familia is tied for sixth in the National League with 42 appearances (45 1/3 innings). He is 1-3 with a 2.18 ERA, with 39 strikeouts and a 1.24 WHIP.
Collins rested Familia on Monday because of a drop in velocity during his appearance on Sunday. But after a day off, he is ready to go.
The New York Mets, who aim to use this series against the Atlanta Braves to catapult themselves back into relevance, squandered a late lead but ultimately rallied for a 4-3 walk-off win in 11 innings on Monday at Citi Field.
Curtis Granderson produced a game-tying, two-out, solo home run in the eighth inning, and the Mets scored the winning run three innings later on Ruben Tejada's two-out RBI single off Anthony Varvaro.
Tejada also had the Mets' last walk-off hit, on May 11 against Philadelphia (also in the 11th inning).
The Mets (40-49) pulled to within nine games of the first-place Braves (49-40) in the NL East.
Wacky ninth: Eric Young Jr. ended up grounding into a fielder’s choice against Shae Simmons to strand the bases loaded and end the ninth inning, but how the Mets got there left Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez ejected and Mets manager Terry Collins perhaps worthy of admittance to the bar.
With the score tied at 3, Eric Campbell singled to open the frame. Juan Lagares then bunted, and umpire Sean Barber ruled Campbell out at second base, though a throw to first base for a double-play bid was too late.
However, Collins complained that Andrelton Simmons pulled his foot off second base before accepting the throw (which television replays supported).
"Neighborhood plays” are excluded from replay review, but Collins convinced the umps to confer and then go to video anyway. The ruling from the home office came back safe, which placed runners at first and second with no outs.
Gonzalez again argued and was ejected. He clearly believed the play was not reviewable.
In order for it to be considered a “neighborhood play,” the fielder must have acted to avoid a collision, which arguably wasn't the case, with Simmons pulling his foot off the bag to accept the throw at second. Perhaps that was Collins' winning argument.
Crazy eighth: Vic Black, Josh Edgin and Jenrry Mejia combined to allow three eighth-inning runs, as the Mets failed to hold a 2-0 lead after receiving seven scoreless innings from starter Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Black turned the two-run lead over to Edgin with Freddie Freeman on third base and two outs. Things quickly unraveled.
Edgin fired a wild pitch that sailed above Jason Heyward’s head and allowed Freeman to scamper home, which pulled the Braves within a run.
Given the series’ importance, Collins then turned to Mejia for a four-out save. Instead, the closer surrendered a game-tying RBI double to Chris Johnson off the top of the center-field wall. After an intentional walk to New Jersey native Tommy La Stella, rookie Christian Bethancourt served a go-ahead RBI single into right field.
Mejia suffered his second blown save in 10 chances. The other was June 7 at San Francisco.
Edgin had retired the first batter he faced in each of his previous 23 appearances -- a franchise record to begin a season.
Made the most: The Mets mustered only four hits through eight innings but made them count. Travis d'Arnaud had a second-inning double that plated Eric Campbell, who had reached via walk. David Wright homered the following inning against left-hander Mike Minor. Then, trailing 3-2 with two outs in the eighth, Granderson homered against Luis Avilan to even the score. Daniel Murphy followed Granderson’s homer with a single that chased Avilan.
The Braves had retired 15 straight batters between Wright’s and Granderson’s long balls, with Minor retiring 13 straight to close his seven-inning outing.
d'Arnaud has reached base in all 11 games since returning from Triple-A. Wright is hitting .395 (32-for-81) against southpaws this season.
No Dice: Matsuzaka tossed seven scoreless innings in his longest start of the season but was deprived of his first win since June 10.
Matsuzaka allowed two baserunners in each of the first three innings but repeatedly escaped unscathed. His final line: 7 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K. He threw 100 pitches and departed with a 2-0 lead.
With Dillon Gee ready to return from the disabled list, Matsuzaka might have been reassigned to the bullpen this week had Jonathon Niese not landed on the disabled list. Matsuzaka had surrendered five runs in each of his previous two starts. His previous season high had been six innings, which he had accomplished in three starts.
Struck: Carlos Torres was struck on the bare hand with a liner in the 11th but remained in the game after a visit from the trainer.
What’s next: Jacob deGrom (1-5, 3.77 ERA) opposes right-hander Julio Teheran (8-5, 2.29 ERA) at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday.
Travis d'Arnaud delivered a tiebreaking, two-run double in the eighth against Jason Frasor and the Mets snapped a four-game losing streak with a 6-5 win against the Texas Rangers on Friday night at Citi Field.
Eric Campbell had greeted Frasor with a one-out single after the right-hander inherited Bobby Abreu on first base from left-hander Aaron Poreda. Both scored on d’Arnaud’s double. Campbell finished 3-for-3 with a walk and RBI.
The Rangers, who scored a run in the ninth against Jenrry Mejia, have lost 14 of their past 16.
The game was the 11th in the majors this season to take at least four hours without extra innings, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. It lasted 4 hours, 8 minutes -- falling one minute shy of the longest nine-inning game in Mets history.
The Mets are now 11-20 in one-run games this season.
Texas had plated an unearned run in the seventh against Jeurys Familia to even the score at 4. Elvis Andrus hit a sharp grounder that Daniel Murphy fielded on the backhand. However, Murphy bounced the throw to Lucas Duda, who could not scoop it. Murphy was charged with an error. Andrus eventually scored when Chris Gimenez sent a grounder to Campbell at third base. He could not field the ball cleanly and had to settle for the out at first base rather than pursue Andrus at the plate.
Yu who? Originally scheduled to pitch Thursday at Camden Yards, Yu Darvish was held back until Friday because of the threat that the series finale against at Baltimore would be interrupted by rain. What looked like bad news for the Mets turned out to be OK.
Darvish surrendered three first-inning runs, including a two-run, opposite-field homer by Duda. In his previous 15 starts this season, Darvish had allowed only three first-inning runs (two earned).
Darvish entered the night with the third-ranked ERA in the American League. He allowed four runs on five hits and two walks in five innings and had his ERA rise from 2.42 to 2.63. The four earned runs matched his season high.
Ouch! Jonathon Niese departed with one out in the first inning after throwing only 12 pitches. Niese was struck in the lower back by a line drive from Alex Rios. X-rays were negative, and Niese was diagnosed with a bruise.
What a relief: Carlos Torres entered for Niese and managed to pitch through the fifth inning. Torres threw a season-high 81 pitches in his 4 2/3 innings of work and departed with the Mets leading 4-3.
Torres’ workload marked the most pitches thrown by a Met in relief since Shaun Marcum handled the final eight innings of a 20-inning game against the Miami Marlins on June 8, 2013. Marcum tossed 105 pitches in that game.
Odds and ends: Adrian Beltre had a solo homer against Torres in the fifth to pull the Rangers within 4-3. Beltre has now homered in 40 major league ballparks, the most of any active player, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. ... Former All-Star closer Neftali Feliz made his season debut with the Rangers. He walked the first two batters he faced. However, d’Arnaud bunted, the lead runner was forced out and Feliz ultimately tossed a scoreless sixth. Feliz then also logged a scoreless seventh.
What’s next: Bartolo Colon (8-6, 3.88 ERA) opposes right-hander Colby Lewis (5-5, 5.71) on Saturday at 7:15 p.m.
FIRST PITCH: The fan base may be calling for blood, but they are unlikely to receive it before the Mets reconvene this weekend.
Although the Mets enter Thursday’s team off-day 11 games under .500 and 10 games out of first place -- both season worsts -- no firings or releases are imminently expected, a team insider told ESPNNewYork.com.
That means Terry Collins, the coaching staff and even Chris Young should be able to exhale for a day.
After completing a stretch in which they played 25 of 33 games on the road, the Mets will host the injury-decimated Texas Rangers this weekend. Jonathon Niese (5-4, 2.88 ERA) opposes right-hander Nick Tepesch (3-3, 3.65) in the Fourth of July series opener.
Collins reiterated postgame Wednesday that he expects David Wright to reenter the lineup Friday. That would come a full week after the captain was scratched from a game in Pittsburgh with what subsequently was diagnosed as a bruised left rotator cuff.
Incidentally, online voting for the All-Star Game concludes at 11:59 p.m. Thursday. In the final intermediate tally released Tuesday, Wright trailed Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez by 235,060 votes for the starting nod for the National League at the hot corner. Daniel Murphy was nowhere to be found among the second-base leaders.
Thursday’s news reports:
• Chris Johnson delivered a three-run double past third baseman Eric Campbell’s backhand with two outs in the first inning and the Braves completed a three-game sweep with a 3-1 victory Wednesday. Collins said postgame that the Mets sorely missed Wright for the past week.
The Amazin’s went 1-6 on a trip to Pittsburgh and Atlanta. Only a six-game losing streak by the Philadelphia Phillies has kept the Mets out of last place.
Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Journal and at MLB.com.
• Citing the team’s run differential being close to even, Sandy Alderson suggested the Mets are better than their record indicates. Alderson added that he is uninterested in trading Jonathon Niese. Overall, the direction the Mets take at the trade deadline will be dictated by how the team plays in the next 10 to 12 days, the GM added. Read more at CBSSports.com and in the Star-Ledger and Newsday.
• Beginning Friday, the Mets will wear a patch for the remainder of the season honoring Cashen on their right sleeves, below a patch recognizing Ralph Kiner. Cashen died Monday at age 88.
• Will the Mets trade Murphy before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline?
Asked about the optics of trading Murphy, Ricco added to the newspaper: “It depends what the return is.”
• The Mets signed 11 players on the day international 16-year-olds are eligible to ink contracts: shortstops Yoel Romero and Edgardo Fermin, outfielder Yordin Araujo, right-handers Jhoander Chourio and Jurgen Jimenez and left-hander Daniel Guzman from Venezuela and right-handers Agustin Casilla and Jose Moreno, outfielder Claudio Geraldo, shortstop Hansel Moreno and catcher Luis Lebron from the Dominican Republic.
None ranked in the top 30 in Baseball America’s rankings.
On Romero, who turned 16 in April and received a reported $300,000 signing bonus, Paul DePodesta told ESPNNewYork.com: “He’s a very solid defender at shortstop -- definitely stays at the position.”
Baseball America also forecasts the Mets will sign Venezuelan shortstop Kenny Hernandez, who is not eligible to sign until turning 16 on Aug. 13. The magazine ranks Hernandez the 13th-best international prospect and writes:
He fits better at third base or possibly second than he does at shortstop, but he stands out most at the plate with one of the sweetest swings in the class. Two of the Mets’ top signings last year -- Dominican outfielder Ricardo Cespedes and Venezuelan shortstop Luis Carpios -- were also two of the youngest players in their class. It looks like they’re ready to go that route again.
• Although the Mets have agreed to the financial terms with first-round pick Michael Conforto at the recommended $2,970,800 slot figure, the Oregon State outfielder is not yet officially on board. A source familiar with the negotiations recently told ESPNNewYork.com that no snags are expected and Conforto just wants some time to relax after the college baseball season.
Alderson told Jon Heyman at CBSSports.com about Conforto: “There are three or four [mostly] non-financial clauses that we are talking about. … I certainly expect this deal to get done.”
• Left-hander Scott Rice, on the Triple-A disabled list with an elbow injury, is traveling to New York for an MRI. He has been dealing with a nerve issue, SNY correspondent Robert Brender tweeted.
• St. Lucie rallied in the ninth to beat Charlotte, 7-6, as Gilbert Gomez doubled and scored the go-ahead run on a passed ball. Jon Leroux doubled and scored the tiebreaking run as Savannah beat Charleston, 7-4. Read the full minor-league recap here.
• The bullpen has become sturdy with Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia at the back end, Jared Diamond writes in the Journal.
• Collins said he did not believe Julio Teheran’s pickoff move, which caught Eric Young Jr. on Wednesday, is legal. Read more in the Star-Ledger.
BIRTHDAYS: Moises Alou turns 48. ... Frank Tanana is 61.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: Who should represent the Mets at the All-Star Game?
I swear I feel bad for David Wright! He's being penalized for displaying loyalty...bc let's face it my #Mets are awful!!!!!!— Justin (@IAmGoalDigger) July 3, 2014
FIRST PITCH: Terry Collins did not sugarcoat where the Mets stand precisely halfway through their schedule.
After the Mets beat the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday to improve to 37-44 at the midpoint, the club is on pace for the same 74-win total as the previous two seasons. (Not quite 90.)
The Mets are six games behind the co-division-leading Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves (43-38 apiece), although the Philadelphia Phillies (36-45) now occupy the division basement.
“We’re not going to make any excuses,” Collins said. “We’re not happy about it.”
Gee is due to make a rehab start Sunday for the Brooklyn Cyclones.
Pitching coach Dan Warthen estimated Gee will throw 55 in-game pitches. Gee, on the disabled list with a strained lat muscle on his right side, likely will need one additional minor-league start before presumably displacing Daisuke Matsuzaka in the rotation.
Meanwhile, the Mets send Bartolo Colon to the mound Sunday at PNC Park looking to split the four-game series. Colon (8-5, 3.67) opposes right-hander Edinson Volquez (5-6, 4.35).
The 41-year-old Colon is 6-0 with a 1.58 ERA in his last seven starts.
Sunday’s news reports:
Read more in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record and at MLB.com.
• Jonathon Niese lost his control in the fourth inning and issued consecutive bases-loaded walks, but the southpaw overall limited Pittsburgh to three runs in six innings. And after Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia combined to retire all nine batters they faced, the Mets had completed a 5-3 win against the Pirates on Saturday to snap a three-game losing streak.
The Mets wore Negro Leagues-era uniforms from the Brooklyn Royal Giants during the victory.
Read game recaps in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Times and at MLB.com.
• Backup catcher Anthony Recker required a postgame X-ray of his right hand, but minimized the issue.
• Long Island native Steven Matz tossed six scoreless innings to earn his first Double-A win and Dilson Herrera homered and had five RBIs as Binghamton held off Altoona, 8-7. Eudy Pina slugged a disputed walk-off homer as St. Lucie beat Bradenton, 4-3. Jorge Rivero delivered a walk-off RBI as Savannah beat Rome, 4-3. Eighth-round pick Dash Winningham produced his first professional homer as the Gulf Coast League Mets won, 7-2. Read the full minor-league recap here.
• Scott Rice has an elbow injury at Triple-A Las Vegas.
• Columnist Bill Madden in the Daily News suggests the Mets and Yankees are in the same boat as the July 31 trade deadline nears -- rightfully sellers with an eye toward 2015, but unlikely to strip down this year’s team.
Columnist David Lennon in Newsday suggests Colon, Gee and Daniel Murphy could be on the block.
• Chris Young has taken over the role of clubhouse D.J., which formerly was held by Justin Turner, Tim Rohan reports in the Times. Writes Rohan:
He actively seeks out requests. After wins, he plays what he called “Lil Jon-style music.” Before day games, he plays something lighter. He has noticed that everyone seems to enjoy hip-hop like Notorious B.I.G. and Outkast. Michael Jackson Sundays have been a big hit, too.
• Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger asks Pirates GM Neal Huntington why the Mets and his club have been compatible in trades. The Mets have sent Marlon Byrd, John Buck and Ike Davis to Pittsburgh in a pair of deals since last August.
• Jim Baumbach in Newsday examines Colon’s success, even with a fastball that is averaging a career-low 89.1 mph. That’s down from 89.9 mph last season with the Oakland Athletics and down from 93.2 mph a dozen years ago.
“Everybody says he throws one pitch -- a fastball -- just like everyone always said Mariano Rivera threw one pitch with the cutter,” A’s first baseman/outfielder Brandon Moss told Baumbach. “But because they can throw that one pitch to all four quadrants of the strike zone, they really become four pitches.”
• The Daily News gives a plug to partner SNY’s debuting game show, which pitted the Mets TV and radio broadcast crews. It was hosted by Kevin Burkhardt.
BIRTHDAYS: 1960s-era Met Larry Stahl was born on this date in 1941.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
“What we’ve got to do is get them the lead and let those two guys go out there and finish it off, because they’ve been really, really impressive,” Terry Collins said.
Mejia, of course, began the season in the rotation.
As for Familia, who has an upper-90s fastball with heavy sink, Collins confessed that he wondered early this season whether the setup man would end up in the minors because of his inability to throw strikes. Familia issued six walks and had a .391 opponent on-base percentage in 9 2/3 innings in April. This month, he has issued only one walk in 13 innings, has a 0.69 ERA and has a .156 opponent batting average.
“I’m going to tell you, I have been around a lot of young pitchers. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that big a step forward,” Collins said. “... There was a time in April you wanted to know if he was going to be able to stick here. All he’s done now is put himself in a position where every close game he’s got to be in the game. He’s got to pitch seven, eight or nine in those close games.”
Familia said he always had confidence. He said he particularly was helped pitching in winter ball, when he got veteran tutelage from Antonio Bastardo of the Philadelphia Phillies and Joel Peralta of the Tampa Bay Rays.
“This is my second time in the bullpen. Last year I was hurt,” Familia said. “This year I started pitching in winter ball early in the Dominican and I was around some veteran guys. I came to spring training and had some veteran guys talk to me, too. Right now, Ricky Bones and Dan [Warthen] and T.C., they trust me. And every time I go in there I just try to do the best I can.”
The Mets grabbed an early five-run lead against Gerrit Cole in his return from the disabled list and held on to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-3 Saturday at PNC Park. Wearing throwback uniforms from the Brooklyn Royal Giants of the Negro Leagues, the Amazin’s snapped a three-game losing streak.
Halfway through their regular-season schedule, the Mets own a 37-44 record.
The southpaw issued three straight walks, including consecutive bases-loaded free passes to Pedro Alvarez and Chris Stewart to force in runs, as Pittsburgh clawed within 5-2. Niese then rallied. He consecutively struck out Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco to strand three Pirates on base.
Niese’s line in a 98-pitch effort: 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K.
He has now gone 20 straight starts allowing three earned runs or fewer, the longest active streak in the majors and tied for the third-longest streak in franchise history. Dwight Gooden had a club-record 29 straight starts allowing three earned runs or fewer in 1985. Johan Santana had 21 straight spanning 2008-09. Tom Seaver had 20 straight in 1974 and ’75.
Bob Waterman of the Elias Sports Bureau notes that Gooden had a 1.48 ERA and averaged eight innings per start during his streak, whereas Niese has a 2.92 ERA during his streak and is averaging 6 ½ innings per start.
Jeurys Familia followed with two perfect relief innings, during which he required only 12 pitches, before handing the ball to Jenrry Mejia for the ninth. Mejia, also perfect, earned his first save since June 15 and eighth of the season.
Running wild: The Mets stole five bases, two shy of matching the franchise record (May 14, 2009 at San Francisco, which included four by David Wright). Eric Young Jr. had three of Saturday’s steals. Eric Campbell added his first in MLB.
Curtis Granderson netted the other, on a double steal with E.Y. Jr. in the second inning. Daniel Murphy then plated both with a single as the Mets’ lead swelled to 5-0 against Cole.
David who? Subbing for Wright, Campbell went 3-for-4 with two doubles to lift his average to .307. His first-inning double plated Ruben Tejada with the opening run in a three-run frame.
What’s next: Bartolo Colon (8-5, 3.67 ERA) opposes right-hander Edinson Volquez in Sunday’s 1:35 p.m. finale. Colon is 6-0 with a 1.58 ERA and .191 opponent batting average in his last seven starts.