New York Mets: New York Mets

Matt Harvey, Rangers cheerleader

April, 18, 2014
Apr 18
4:32
PM ET
Matt Harvey attended Game 1 of the New York Rangers playoff series against the Philadelphia Flyers. Here, Harvey is caught on video by the Jets' Mo Wilkerson cheering on the Rangers.

Morning Briefing: Home sweet home?

April, 18, 2014
Apr 18
8:38
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: The New York Mets are back at Citi Field on Friday night, after going 6-3 on their opening road trip of the season and enjoying an off day on Thursday.

They are above .500 for the first time since last April 24 (8-7), but must improve their play at home in order to remain relevant. The Mets were 41-40 on the road last season, but just 33-48 in Queens.

Jonathon Niese (0-1, 3.46) will make his third start of the season for New York. Aaron Harang (2-1, 0.96) is the scheduled starter for Atlanta. Harang had a brief stint with the Mets last September, going 0-1 with a 3.52 ERA in four starts.

The first-place Braves (10-5) have only lost one series this season -- to the Mets, who took two of three in Atlanta to begin that impressive road trip.

Friday's news reports:

Chris Young is expected to be activated and return to the Mets lineup on Friday. Young has played just one inning for the Mets this year, in the second game of the season, before landing on the disabled list with a quadriceps injury.

Curtis Granderson could also return to the lineup after suffering forearm, ribcage and knee bruises in a collision with the outfield wall in Arizona. And the Mets will have to make a corresponding roster move in order to activate Young, with Kirk Nieuwenhuis or Andrew Brown the two most likely candidates to be demoted.

Read more about Young's expected return in the Daily News.

• Granderson is batting just .167 this season, with one home run and four RBIs. But he is not worried about his slow start -- read more in the Record.

Eric Young Jr., on the other hand, is off to a rather good start. He is batting .255 overall, and went 6-for-12 with two walks in the series against the Diamondbacks. Better yet, he is second in the National League in both runs scored (12) and stolen bases (nine). Read more about Young Jr. in the Post and Newsday.

Josh Satin has gotten just 12 at-bats in the first 15 games of the season. He has just two hits (.167 average) and six strikeouts. Satin is one of the Mets' most confounding hitters, says the Star-Ledger.

• The Secret Service threatened to kill Mr. Met? Read more in the Daily News, Post and Star-Ledger.

From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear takes its time machine to the day Shea Stadium opened. ... Rising Apple suggests if the Mets want to contend, they have to make upgrades at shortstop and closer. ... Mark Berman at Blogging Mets uses baseball cards to chart the evolution of Mets uniforms.

BIRTHDAYS: Rico Brogna turns 44 today. ... Brady Clark is 41. ... Infielder Doug Flynn was born on this date in 1951.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU'RE UP: Who do you think the Mets should send down to Triple-A, in order to activate Chris Young?

Minors 4.17.14: Bowman, Matz dominate

April, 17, 2014
Apr 17
11:27
PM ET
LAS VEGAS 6, RENO 0: Dana Eveland, stepping to the rotation spot vacated by promoted Daisuke Matsuzaka, tossed five scoreless innings. He allowed three hits and two walks while striking out six. Fellow MLB veteran Buddy Carlyle made his season debut with the 51s in relief of Eveland and contributed two scoreless innings, allowing two walks and a hit. He coaxed an inning-ending double play to escape a bases-loaded jam in the seventh. Allan Dykstra continued his tear with a two-run homer in a five-run fourth inning. Wilmer Flores went 2-for-5 and drove in three runs. Las Vegas has won six straight to improve to 12-3. Box

BINGHAMTON 4, NEW HAMPSHIRE 1: Matt Bowman matched a career-high with 11 strikeouts while limiting New Hampshire to four singles and a walk over seven scoreless

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innings. He retired 15 straight at one point to earn his second win in two Double-starts. Darrell Ceciliani extended his season-opening hitting streak to eight games with an infield single in the first. Matt Clark eventually plated him on a broken-bat groundout. Binghamton scored twice more in the second. With Matt Reynolds on first, Fisher Cats catcher Yusuf Carter failed to handle Scott Copeland’s first pitch to Travis Taijeron. The ball skipped to the backstop, allowing Reynolds to go from first to third. Carter’s throw to third then sailed into left field, allowing the B-Met to scamper home. Taijeron walked, took third on a single and came home on another wild pitch. It was plenty of support for Bowman. After a one-out single by Gabe Jacobo in the second, the Princeton product tossed four perfect innings. Bowman's lone jam came in the seventh. He walked Brad Glenn and surrendered a single to Andy Burns. With two aboard and two outs, Carter rolled a grounder to shortstop Wilfredo Tovar’s extreme right. Tovar got the tip of his glove on the roller, but could not fully stop it. As the ball dribbled into left field, Glenn turned third and raced for home. Tovar pounced on the baseball and fired a one-hopper to the plate in plenty of time to nab Glenn, preserving Binghamton’s 3-0 lead. The B-Mets plated their final run in the eighth against Casey Lawrence, who logged 5 2/3 relief innings. Ceciliani doubled and scored on Clark's sacrifice fly. John Church struck out two in a perfect eighth. Chasen Bradford surrendered a run on a pair of two-out doubles before securing the final out in the ninth. Bowman (2-0) fanned a B-Mets season-high 11. He threw 80 pitches (55 strikes). Box

ST. LUCIE 6, FORT MYERS 1: Left-hander Steven Matz took a no-hit bid two outs into the

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sixth inning before surrendering a bunt single to Levi Michael. Matz ultimately limited the Miracle to two hits and one walk in seven scoreless innings. He struck out six. Jake Kuebler allowed one run in two innings in relief. Cam Maron got the Mets on the board with a two-out, two-run single in the sixth. Dilson Herrera, T.J. Rivera and Aderlin Rodriguez also produced RBIs as St. Lucie eventually opened a 6-0 lead. Brandon Nimmo went 0-for-4 to lose a nine-game hitting streak. Nimmo, still hitting .370, did walk and has now reached base in all 14 games this season. MLB veteran Brandon Allen, who injured a calf in big-league camp with the Mets, played first base and went 1-for-4 with a walk. Box

GREENVILLE 4, SAVANNAH 0: Starter Robert Gsellman suffered the loss despite allowing one run in five innings with five strikeouts. The Drive scored the opening run when Kevin Mager singled home Jimmy Rider. After that 37-pitch frame, Gsellman steadied himself and retired the side in order in the fourth and fifth innings on a combined 25 pitches. Drive starter Teddy Stankiewicz, who was drafted by the Mets in the second round in 2012 but did not sign, blanked Savannah through six innings, striking out three without issuing a walk. Of the four hits the Gnats collected Thursday -- all singles -- only one left the infield. Jeff McNeil bunted for a hit twice. The Drive added three runs (two unearned) in the eighth against reliever Dawrin Frias. Shortstop Gavin Cecchini and second baseman L.J. Mazzilli committed errors in that inning. Box

Compiled with team reports

Series preview: Mets vs. Braves

April, 17, 2014
Apr 17
7:17
PM ET

Associated Press/USA TODAY SportsIdentical to the series at Turner Field, the Mets face Aaron Harang, Ervin Santana and David Hale this weekend in Queens.
METS (8-7, third place/NL East) vs. ATLANTA BRAVES (10-5, first place/NL East)

Friday: LHP Jonathon Niese (0-1, 3.46) vs. RHP Aaron Harang (2-1, 0.96), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Bartolo Colon (1-2, 6.00) vs. RHP Ervin Santana (1-0, 0.64), 7:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Zack Wheeler (1-2, 4.76) vs. RHP David Hale (0-0, 2.89), 1:10 p.m. ET

Braves short hops

Jason Heyward faces Jonathon Niese for the first time since the Mets southpaw drilled the right fielder and fractured his jaw with a 90 mph fastball last Aug. 21 at Citi Field. Heyward now wears a protective flap attached to his helmet.


Brad Penner/USA TODAY SportsJason Heyward's last visit to Citi Field resulted in a broken jaw via an errant fastball from Jon Niese.


This season, Heyward is only 1-for-18 against left-handed pitching. The hit came on April 13 with a double against Washington’s Gio Gonzalez.

Heyward remains in the leadoff spot despite hitting .136 overall after an 0-for-4 performance Thursday at Philadelphia that included a pair of line-drive outs. Three of his eight hits on the season came against Zack Wheeler on April 9.

• Closer Craig Kimbrel experienced shoulder soreness during an appearance Saturday and has not appeared in a game since. He threw a 15-pitch bullpen session Wednesday and “felt great,” manager Fredi Gonzalez told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Right-hander David Carpenter converted Monday’s save in Philadelphia. Carpenter had a 1.78 ERA in 2013.

• Shortstop Andrelton Simmons struck out for the first time this season Thursday. The strikeout, against Philadelphia’s A.J. Burnett, came in Simmons’ 48th plate appearance this season. With Simmons no longer K-less, St. Louis’ Shane Robinson has the most plate appearances this season of any MLB player with no strikeouts -- a measly 10.

Evan Gattis is hitting .588 (10-for-17) with three homers, six RBIs and a 1.765 OPS in his past four games. With Brian McCann’s defection to the Yankees, Gattis exclusively has caught this season. Gattis started 47 games in left field and four games at first base in 2013.

• Left fielder Justin Upton is the reigning NL Player of the Week. He had four homers during that period, including a two-homer game against Jenrry Mejia.

• Braves starting pitchers have an MLB-best 1.58 ERA this season. Oakland starters rank second at 2.48.

Ervin Santana threw 20 straight strikes to open his Braves debut, against the Mets at Turner Field. He then limited the Phillies to one run on four hits while matching a career high with 11 strikeouts on Monday. Santana’s 0.64 ERA ranks second in the National League.

Santana signed for one year, $14.1 million on March 12 after Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy both suffered spring-training elbow injuries and ultimately required Tommy John surgery.

Aaron Harang, who finished last season with the Mets, has the third-best ERA in the NL, at 0.96. The Braves unexpectedly dumped Freddy Garcia on March 24 and signed the 35-year-old Harang for a rotation spot. Harang took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning in Milwaukee in his Braves debut. Harang had been released by the Cleveland Indians late in spring training.

• Ex-Mets reliever Pedro Beato, claimed off waivers by the Braves on April 2, was demoted to Triple-A Gwinnett six days later, during the series the Mets took two of three at Turner Field.

• Left-hander Mike Minor, on the DL with shoulder tendinitis, should be activated next week, after one more rehab start. Right-hander Gavin Floyd, signed by the Braves in December after spending seven seasons with the Chicago White Sox, also is on a rehab assignment as he nears a return from Tommy John surgery.

• First baseman Freddie Freeman ranks fourth in the NL with a .389 batting average.

Mets invent, implement 'Bases Per Out' stat

April, 17, 2014
Apr 17
2:02
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Terry Collins defines the Mets' hitting philosophy as: “It’s not about when you swing, it’s about the damage you do when you swing. It’s not early in the count necessarily. It’s not deep in counts. It’s when you get a ball that you can hit, you hit it on the barrel of the bat and do damage with it."

The organization, though, has some key statistical metrics it is touting to its players to try to improve their selectivity at the plate.

Writes Anthony DiComo at MLB.com:

Mets players received statistical breakdowns of their 2013 performances centered upon Bases Per Out, an internally developed metric that seeks to measure a player's overall offensive production. Players with less than three years of service time were told that their BPOs would determine bonuses tacked onto future salary offers. Each base -- one for a walk or single, two for a double -- would earn them $200 more than what they would otherwise receive. Each out would slice off $100. ...

When Alderson first became GM, he and his staff made their views on hitting known, but did not enforce them to any great extent. That changed quickly. By last summer, coaches at each Minor League level were actually keeping score of their players through a point system, which had no correlation with traditional statistics. A hitter who worked a favorable count, for example, earned one point. A hitter who swung at a pitch out of the zone, regardless of the result, lost one. ...

The only problem is that to date, the club's offensive approach has not resulted in actual success. The Mets have scored dramatically fewer runs each year under [Sandy] Alderson, [Paul] DePodesta and [Dave] Hudgens, going from 718 in 2011 to 650 in '12, down to 619 last season.

Morning Briefing: Mets above .500

April, 17, 2014
Apr 17
5:30
AM ET
PHOENIX

FIRST PITCH: After going 6-3 on their three-city trip and moving above .500 for the first time this season, the Mets take a day off before opening a 10-game homestand.

The Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins are due to visit Citi Field.

“I almost wish we didn’t have [Thursday] off because we’re playing really well,” Anthony Recker said.

Jonathon Niese (0-1, 3.46 ERA) opposes ex-Met Aaron Harang (2-1, 0.96) in Friday’s 7:10 p.m. series opener against the Braves.

The Mets (8-7) actually are above .500 for the first time since last April 24, when they were 10-9.

“We’ve got to pitch,” Terry Collins said. “It starts there. We’ve got to pitch.”

Thursday’s news reports:

• The Mets completed a sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 5-2 victory in Wednesday’s series finale. Dillon Gee required only 72 pitches for seven scoreless innings. Recker homered and doubled and may see increased playing time at Travis d’Arnaud’s expense. Jose Valverde allowed two homers in the ninth, but Collins insisted he remains the closer.

As for moving about .500, Gee said: “We’re concentrating on winning. I didn’t even know what our record was, to be honest, going into this game.”

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


Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesDaisuke Matsuzaka gestures in the visitors' dugout at Chase Field on Wednesday after rejoining the Mets.


• The Mets promoted Daisuke Matsuzaka from Triple-A to serve as a longer reliever and dropped John Lannan. Lannan had 72 hours from Wednesday’s decision to accept a demotion or declare free agency. With Lannan’s departure, Scott Rice is the lone lefty in the bullpen, but Collins said he won’t burn out the southpaw. Read more on Dice-K’s return in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Record, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.

Chris Young joined the Mets on Wednesday in Phoenix after three rehab games with Las Vegas. Young (quadriceps) is due to be activated from the disabled list Friday. Curtis Granderson, officially day to day with bruises to his left wrist, rib cage and knee, is expected to reenter the starting lineup Friday, too. Granderson pinch hit in the eighth inning Wednesday.

Andrew Brown could be demoted when Young is activated from the DL on Friday, but none of the first basemen should be in jeopardy, according to Sandy Alderson. Brown, though, had a strong game Wednesday, going 2-for-5 and making a stellar catch in right field. So maybe Kirk Nieuwenhuis will be returned to Vegas instead.

• Trainers told Juan Lagares, who underwent an MRI on Tuesday, that they do not believe his right hamstring pull is severe. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Collins believes Bartolo Colon, who has been dealing with back spasms, will be able to make Saturday’s start against the Braves. Jenrry Mejia, who left Tuesday’s start with a blister issue, is due to throw a bullpen session Friday at Citi Field, but expects to make his next start, too. Read more in the Post and Star-Ledger.

• The Mets plan to scout free-agent reliever Joel Hanrahan’s showcase for teams Thursday. Hanrahan underwent Tommy John surgery on May 16, 2013.

• The Brooklyn Cyclones will host “Seinfeld Night” on July 5 at MCU Park. Read more in the Post.

• Rob Whalen won in his first start of the season as Savannah beat Augusta, 4-1. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Gary Cohen lightheartedly blamed broadcast partner Keith Hernandez for jinxing Gee’s perfect game. Hernandez had mentioned the no-no after Gee retired the game’s first 14 batters. It ended immediately afterward. Read more in the Post.

From the bloggers … NY Mets Life examines how social media has changed the way fans interact with the game.

BIRTHDAYS: Rico Brogna turns 44. ... Brady Clark is 41. ... Infielder Doug Flynn was born on this date in 1951.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Will the Mets’ winning ways continue during their upcoming homestand against the Braves, Cardinals and Marlins?

Minors 4.16.14: Whalen wins 1st '14 start

April, 17, 2014
Apr 17
12:20
AM ET
LAS VEGAS 4, RENO 2: Allan Dykstra went 2-for-3 and drove in three runs. His fifth-inning RBI double staked the 51s to a 4-2 lead. Starter Logan Verrett allowed two runs in five innings. Miguel Socolovich tossed two scoreless relief innings. Jeff Walters notched his fourth save with a perfect ninth. Box

BINGHAMTON at PORTLAND (ppd.): The game was postponed due to unplayable field conditions. It will be made up as part of a May 19 doubleheader.

JUPITER 8, ST. LUCIE 6 (10 innings): The Mets rallied from a 6-5 deficit in the ninth to send the game to extra innings, but Viosergy Rosa belted Randy Fontanez’s first pitch of the 10th over the right-field wall for a go-ahead homer. The Hammerheads added an insurance run on Ross Wilson's double. The Mets had a chance to win the game in the ninth. Brandon Nimmo singled home Maikis De La Cruz to tie the score at 6 with one out. With runners on the corners, Hammerheads manager Brian Schneider then opted to intentionally walk red-hot T.J. Rivera to load the bases. The move paid off. Joseph O’Gara struck out Aderlin Rodriguez and Cam Maron flied out on a 3-1 pitch. The Mets had scored four runs in the first inning before making an out. Rodriguez laced a two-run triple and Maron singled him home to make it 4-0. Trailing by one run in the third, Rosa blasted a two-run homer against Gabriel Ynoa to put Jupiter up 5-4. The Hammerheads added another run later in the frame. Dilson Herrera cut the Jupiter lead to one in the fourth. He singled off starter Jake Esch and stole second. Herrera took third on a wild pitch and scored on a bad throw from catcher Austin Barnes. St. Lucie's Paul Sewald, Julian Hilario and Bret Mitchell combined to no-hit the Hammerheads over 6 1/3 relief innings. Nimmo went 2-for-4 and extended his hitting streak to nine games. He has six multi-hit games in his last seven. He has hit safely in 12 of 13 games this season. Herrera went 3-for-5 from the leadoff spot. He has an eight-game hitting streak. Box

SAVANNAH 4, AUGUSTA 1: Rob Whalen earned the win in his first start of the season. He limited Augusta to one unearned run on two hits and no walks in five innings. Miller Diaz allowed three hits over four scoreless relief innings to earn his first save. Savannah (9-4) jumped on Augusta with a leadoff double in the first by Gavin Cecchini against left-hander Luis Ysla. Cecchini scored on Jared King's groundout. Cecchini is now hitting .375 over his last five games. Patrick Biondi led off the third inning with a walk and stole second and third bases. He scored on Jeff McNeil's sacrifice fly. The Gnats opened a 4-0 lead later that frame on Stefan Sabol's two-run single. Whalen induced seven groundouts and struck out six over five innings. The GreenJackets were able to push one runner across the plate, when Shawn Payne scampered home on a throwing error to second base by catcher Colton Plaia in the fourth. Whalen’s ERA plummeted to 1.00. Diaz, in relief of Whalen, struck out five in four scoreless innings. Gnats pitchers are now 4-2 with a 1.86 ERA against the GreenJackets this season, striking out 60 Augusta batters. The Gnats finished their road trip 6-1 and now hold sole possession of first place in their South Atlantic League division. Box

Compiled with team reports

TC says he won't burn Rice

April, 16, 2014
Apr 16
8:50
PM ET
PHOENIX -- With John Lannan's dismissal, Scott Rice is the lone left-hander in the Mets' bullpen.

And Terry Collins maintained he will be conscious not to overuse Rice, after inserting him in 73 games through Sept. 3 last season. Rice then required dual sports-hernia surgeries.

Collins has outings in mind like Wednesday. Rice inherited two runners from Kyle Farnsworth with two outs in the eighth and coaxed an inning-ending groundout to second base from lefty-hitting Gerardo Parra.

In the upcoming series, Collins said he will hold back Rice for a late matchup with No. 3 hitter Freddie Freeman.

At most, Rice would face lefty-hitting leadoff man Jason Heyward, No. 2 hitter B.J. Upton (a righty batter), then Freeman before departing.

“You’ve got to save him for that certain guy,” Collins said. “We’ve got the Braves coming in, so it’s going to be Freddie Freeman. There are certain times where you’ve got Heyward, and Freeman’s hitting third, he maybe is going to get Heyward and the second hitter and Freeman. It’s got to be a certain situation. Otherwise you kill him by just getting up and down.”

Before Wednesday, Rice had struggled this season. He has a 12.00 ERA in seven appearances spanning three innings.

“Very, very big for him,” Collins said about Wednesday's one-batter appearance. “That’s what we saw him do a lot of times last summer -- come in and get that big left-handed hitter out. He’s gotten off to a little bit of a slow start, but this is I thought a big out for him.”
PHOENIX -- Dillon Gee did not fault Terry Collins for pulling him from a three-hit shutout after seven innings Wednesday, with his pitch count only at 72.

“I tried to stay in,” Gee said. “There’s only one person to blame for me coming out there, and that’s myself. That’s one of those things where I’m going to have to go out there and gain the confidence and the trust of the staff to let me keep going in the game. Terry did what he had to do. I respect it, but I definitely want to keep going.”

Gee earned his first 2014 victory in the Mets’ eventual 5-2 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks.


Ross D. Franklin/Associated PressDillon Gee required only 72 pitches for seven scoreless innings Wednesday.


On Opening Day against the Washington Nationals, Gee had taken a 4-2 lead into the seventh when he ended up getting charged with two additional runs in a no-decision. In his next start, Gee took a 2-1 lead into the eighth inning against the Cincinnati Reds before getting charged with two additional runs.

“It’s been pretty frustrating lately -- even though in the first couple of games I thought I threw pretty well -- with ending on a sour note,” Gee said.

Asked if there has been one thing to bite him late in games, Gee said: “No. It’s just making that one mistake late in the game and them taking advantage of it. … It’s definitely not fatigue. I feel fine out there. We make mistakes. It’s just they really capitalized on those mistakes the past couple of games.”

Conscious of Gee losing leads late in his past two starts, Collins lifted Gee with a 3-0 lead after seven innings Wednesday despite the low pitch count.

The D-backs had started hitting balls hard against Gee in the seventh, including a monster double off the center-field wall by Paul Goldschmidt. Andrew Brown then needed to make a stellar catch at the right-field wall to retire Miguel Montero.

“He fell behind [Aaron] Hill. I think the ball was up. He got him out, but then two other balls were hit good,” Collins said. “I just said, ‘You know what? I want this guy to leave feeling good instead of feeling disgusted.’ So I took him out.”

Gee helped his own cause with an alert play at second base.

In the sixth, Gerardo Parra attempted a double on a sinking liner that dropped in front of Kirk Nieuwenhuis. The center fielder recovered the baseball and delivered it to Ruben Tejada, who in turn threw to Gee manning second, where he applied the tag.

Gee received a jolt to his left knee on the modest collision at second base. He discovered after his departure from the game a cleat mark just below his right knee from Parra’s spikes, too.

“A little banged up, but I’m good,” Gee said.

Series review: Starting pitching carries Mets

April, 16, 2014
Apr 16
8:18
PM ET
The Mets have won five straight road games against the Diamondbacks. It is their second longest winning streak in Arizona, trailing only a run of 13 straight wins there from 2004 to 2007.

What else was of note from this series?

Start with the Starting
The Mets starting pitching was terrific in the series, with Jenrry Mejia and Dillon Gee throwing 12 scoreless innings in the last two games and Zack Wheeler yielding two runs in 6 1/3 innings in the series opener.

Mets starting pitchers had allowed at least six runs in each series this season prior to this one.

The last time the Mets got consecutive starts in which their starting pitchers allowed no runs was last July 21 and 22, when Matt Harvey and Gee each pitched seven scoreless against the Phillies and Braves respectively.

Gee won in a way he doesn’t usually do so, with high fastballs.

The Diamondbacks went 0-for-9 when Gee threw a fastball to the upper-third of the strike zone or higher, with a couple of those outs being long fly balls.

Gee had allowed seven hits and netted only nine with that pitch in that location all season prior to Wednesday.

Thievery pays
Eric Young Jr. had two more stolen bases in Wednesday’s win to give him nine on the road trip. Young has stolen a base in five different games this season. The Mets have won all five.

Young is now 12-for-36 on the road this season after his 2-for-19 start at Citi Field.

“I talked to Eric about it in spring training,” Terry Collins said. “I said, ‘If you have a .350 on-base, you’re going to score 120 runs on this team.’ Coming out of this road trip I think his on-base is .360 or something right now, and he’s scored a lot of runs. That’s exactly how valuable he is.

“He tried some things early to try to make better contact, eliminate some strikeouts. He just felt very uncomfortable. He finally got back to his regular swing and he’s done a good job.”

Outfield (issues), what outfield (issues)?
The Mets lost both Juan Lagares and Curtis Granderson to injury in the first two games of the series, but that was of little consequence, thanks to the efforts of Young, Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Andrew Brown. The Mets outfield was 10 for 27 with eight RBIs in the last two games of this series.

Closer in waiting?
Reliever Gonzalez Germen is off to a fantastic start this season. Germen threw three scoreless innings in the middle game of this series and has allowed only one run, three hits and two walks in 10 1/3 innings this season.

Opponents are 3-for-34 against Germen this season and 7-for-62 with 21 strikeouts and four walks dating back to last Sept. 9.

Opponents have missed on 41 percent of their swings against Germen over that span and have missed on 24 of their last 41 swings against Germen’s changeup.

Ballpark Recker
Anthony Recker hit his second home run of the season, giving the Mets a 1-0 lead on Wednesday. Recker has now hit eight home runs in two seasons with the Mets and if it seems like his home runs have been important, it’s because they have.

The last seven have either tied a game or given the Mets a lead.

Mets plan to scout Hanrahan on Thursday

April, 16, 2014
Apr 16
8:10
PM ET
PHOENIX -- Mets personnel will be in attendance when free-agent closer Joel Hanrahan has

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a showcase for interested teams Thursday.

"We'll be there," a team official said.

Hanrahan, 32, is removed 11 months from Tommy John surgery. He made nine appearances last season with the Boston Red Sox before undergoing the May 16, 2013 elbow procedure.

The Mets have lost Bobby Parnell for the season, while Jose Valverde has surrendered three homers in his past two appearances.

Lagares believes hammy injury not severe

April, 16, 2014
Apr 16
8:03
PM ET
PHOENIX -- Juan Lagares, who underwent an MRI on Tuesday for his pulled right hamstring, believes the injury is not severe.

Lagares told the Star-Ledger that team trainers, briefed on the MRI results, believe it is only a one- to tw0-week injury.

Lagares is on the 15-day DL, so he will not be eligible to return until April 30. He departed Monday's game in the seventh inning.

Recker likely to see increased playing time

April, 16, 2014
Apr 16
7:58
PM ET
PHOENIX -- After Anthony Recker homered and doubled in the Mets’ 5-2 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday, Terry Collins suggested he likely would begin giving the backup catcher more playing time.

Recker lifted his average to .286 (4-for-14) with two walks. He has homered in two of his three starts behind the plate.

Meanwhile, Travis d’Arnaud is hitting .154 (6-for-39) with one homer and two RBIs.

“I’m certainly going to consider getting Reck in there a little bit more,” Collins said.

Said Recker: “I feel really good at the plate. I’ve been fortunate, I think, so far this year that even if I don’t play every other day or whatever, I’ve had a couple of opportunities where I’ve come in late in a game and have gotten an at-bat. Or I’ve been able to do some catching. So it’s really kept me more sharp than some of the other times where I’ve sat for a week at a time or whatever.”

TC says he'll stick with Valverde as closer

April, 16, 2014
Apr 16
7:30
PM ET
PHOENIX -- Jose Valverde has now surrendered homers to three of the last eight batters he has faced.

Still, Terry Collins unequivocally said after Valverde's lackluster showing Wednesday that if there is a one-run lead Friday against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field, Valverde will be inserted for that save situation.

Valverde, working with a five-run lead in the ninth, surrendered inning-opening homers to Aaron Hill and Paul Goldschmidt, forcing Collins to have Carlos Torres and Daisuke Matsuzaka up in the bullpen.

Valverde allowed two runs and three hits in the inning, but finally recorded the third out as the Mets swept the D-backs with a 5-2 victory.

Wednesday's performance came on the heels of Valverde allowing a game-tying three-run homer to Raul Ibanez with two outs in the ninth inning Saturday in Anaheim.

Collins tried to excuse Wednesday's performance as it being difficult for a closer to build up his adrenaline when the Mets tacked on two runs in the top of the ninth to open a 5-0 lead.

"I wish you could tell you how many times I've seen that edge go off those guys when you add on like that," Collins said.

Valverde also shrugged off the two-homer appearance that lifted his ERA to 6.14.

"The only concern is if my team wins, I'm happy," Valverde said. "That's it."

Grandy gives thumbs up after pinch-hitting

April, 16, 2014
Apr 16
7:21
PM ET
PHOENIX -- Curtis Granderson literally offered a thumbs up in the clubhouse when asked how his first action since being forced from Monday's game went.

Granderson, pinch-hitting for Dillon Gee in the eighth, grounded out to second base in the Mets' eventual 5-2 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday.

He had departed Monday's game in the sixth inning with bruises to his left wrist, ribs and knee after colliding with the outfield wall earlier in that game.

Terry Collins expects Granderson will return to the starting lineup Friday, when the Mets open a series at Citi Field against the Atlanta Braves.

"Hopefully," Granderson said. "We'll see how things feel with one more off-day."

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Carlos Torres
WINS ERA SO IP
2 2.08 11 8
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Lagares .314
HRL. Duda 3
RBIL. Duda 8
RE. Young Jr. 12
OPSJ. Lagares .816
ERAJ. Mejia 2.81
SOJ. Mejia 18

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