Morning Briefing: Happy Thorsday!



FIRST PITCH: Noah Syndergaard makes his official Citi Field debut when the New York Mets face the Milwaukee Brewers in Sunday’s 1:10 p.m. ET rubber game.

Well, it is sort of Syndergaard’s debut at the Queens ballpark. He started for the U.S. team in the Futures Game at Citi Field on July 14, 2013, opposite the World team’s Rafael Montero.

Facing the Chicago Cubs in his major league debut last Tuesday at Wrigley Field, Syndergaard took a scoreless effort into the sixth inning. He ultimately was charged with three runs on six hits and four walks in 5 1/3 innings.

Syndergaard (0-1, 5.06 ERA) opposes Milwaukee right-hander Wily Peralta (1-4, 3.80) on Sunday.


    • In a 10-run fourth inning, Wilmer Flores produced a grand slam and pitcher Jacob deGrom had two of his three hits as the Mets routed the Brewers 14-1 Saturday. The Mets snapped a five-game losing streak.

      The fourth-inning outburst fell one run shy of matching the franchise scoring record for an inning. The Mets scored 11 runs in the sixth at Wrigley Field on July 16, 2006. That was a frame during which Cliff Floyd and Carlos Beltran belted grand slams. Saturday’s fourth inning marked the fourth double-digit scoring output in an inning in franchise history.

      Only one other pitcher in Mets history had two hits in an inning: Chris Young on April 5, 2011 at Philadelphia, with both singles coming against Cole Hamels. Young’s showing also marked the last three-hit game by a Mets pitcher. DeGrom, avoiding overthrowing, allowed one run on five hits and a walk in six innings.

      Flores matched his career high with his sixth homer. He is the team long-ball leader, two ahead of Curtis Granderson.

      Actually, the Mets batted their home-run leader in the No. 9 slot Saturday for the first time since April 1967, according to STATS LLC. And back then it was a seven-way tie among players with one.

      Kevin Plawecki and Granderson also homered Saturday.

      Flores’ shot was the second grand slam by a position player out of the No. 9 hole in franchise history. Jose Reyes' first career homer was a slam in interleague play at Anaheim on June 15, 2003. Interestingly, Flores’ slam appears the first in major league history by a non-pitcher who started the game in the No. 9 hole in a game without the DH.

      Erik Goeddel contributed two scoreless relief innings. He has tossed 11 1/3 scoreless innings this season.

      The Mets (21-16) maintained a half-game lead on the hard-charging Washington Nationals (21-17) for first place in the NL East.

      The Mets produced season highs for runs (14) and hits (16). The run production matched the team’s scoring during its entire five-game losing streak.

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

  • Eight of 10 MLB talent evaluators would take Syndergaard over left-hander Steven Matz, columnist Ken Davidoff writes in the Post. “I will take the guy with no injury history long term,” an American League official tells Davidoff. Syndergaard, by the way, indicated he recently turned over control of his Twitter account to his agent. Read a preview of Syndergaard’s start in the Post, Daily News, Newsday and at MLB.com.

  • David Wright may finally begin baseball activity Monday as he recovers from lower-back pain, which surfaced while he rehabbed a right hamstring strain. Columnist Bill Madden in the Daily News writes: “It is a scary thought that, at 32 with $107 million owed to him through 2020, Wright might actually be done. Yet there is no getting around it: Between hamstring pulls that seemingly take forever to heal and continual issues with Wright’s back, his body is breaking down, and you have to wonder if we might be witnessing a redux of another beloved New York baseball captain here -- Don Mattingly, whose career as an All-Star-caliber, productive player was essentially over at age 30 because of a chronic back problem.”

  • The Mets at some point this season could trade Daniel Murphy, move Flores to second base and promote Matt Reynolds for shortstop, Fox's Ken Rosenthal suggests. The key being: at some point.

    • Dillon Gee allowed one run on six hits while striking out seven in four innings in a rehab start for Class A St. Lucie. In the same 10-4 loss to Charlotte, Vic Black and Bobby Parnell each surrendered a run in one inning of work. Black allowed two hits, a walk and a wild pitch. Parnell allowed one hit and walked two. Stay tuned for word about whether Gee is deemed ready to return to the majors and whether Parnell and Black are ready to shift their rehab assignments to Triple-A Las Vegas.

      Danny Muno forced extra innings with a ninth-inning double and Las Vegas went on to beat Tacoma 6-3 in 10 innings. Playing without Brandon Nimmo, who is due to get an injured knee examined, Jayce Boyd and Aderlin Rodriguez had two RBIs apiece in Binghamton’s 6-1 win against New Hampshire. Jimmy Duff earned his first save as Savannah beat Lexington 5-2. Read the full minor-league recap here.

  • Columnist Anthony McCarron in the Daily News contrasts Saturday’s scoring outburst with the quiet bats of the previous five games.

  • Eric Campbell went 2-for-5 with a double and RBI in his return to the majors, which coincided with Dilson Herrera landing on the disabled list. Herrera fractured the tip of his right middle finger during pregame fielding drills on Friday. Read more in the Daily News and Record.

  • The Mets “desperately need” the returns of Wright and Travis d'Arnaud, Matt Ehalt writes in the Record.

  • Goeddel could be getting more late-inning assignments because of his success. Read more in Newsday.

  • Read more on Flores’ night in the Post and Newsday.

  • Read more on deGrom’s night in the Post and at NJ.com.

  • From the bloggers ... Mets Fan Weekly recommends three trades to aid the Mets.

BIRTHDAYS: Savannah third baseman Eudor Garcia turns 21. ... Savannah reliever David Roseboom is 23. ... Dick Smith was born on this date in 1939.


YOU’RE UP: Has the Mets’ offense awakened?