New York Mets: Rapid Reaction

Rapid Reaction: Mets 8, Astros 3

September, 28, 2014
Sep 28
NEW YORK -- Second place! Well, at least a share of it anyway.

Lucas Duda launched his 30th homer and finished with four RBIs and the Mets completed their season with an 8-3 victory against the Houston Astros on an 84-degree Sunday afternoon at Citi Field.

The Mets posted a 79-83 record -- their most wins in four seasons under Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins.

The Amazin’s finished tied with the Atlanta Braves for second place in the NL East.

The Mets draft 15th next June.

With a final-day announced paid attendance of 34,897, the Mets had their first season uptick -- abeit barely -- since 2007 to ’08:

2014: 2,148,808
2013: 2,135,657
2012: 2,242,803
2011: 2,378,549
2010: 2,559,738
2009: 3,154,270 (Citi Field debut season)
2008: 4,042,047 (Shea Stadium final season)
2007: 3,853,949

Duda's two-run homer came in his final at-bat, in the eighth inning. He answered cheers with a curtain call. Ruben Tejada followed with a two-run homer as the Mets turned a 4-3 lead into a rout with a four-run frame.

Milestone: Bartolo Colon tossed six innings in the season finale, allowing him to cross the 200-inning threshold for the first time since 2005, when he won 21 games and the AL Cy Young with the Los Angeles Angels. Colon became the first major league pitcher to reach 200 innings at age 41 or older since Tom Glavine in 2007, also with the Mets.

Colon, who departed with a 4-3 lead, finished the season at 15-13 with a 4.09 ERA. He is under contract for next season, when he turns 42, at $11 million.

Outta here: Retiring Bobby Abreu went 1-for-2 with a walk in his final major league game. After Abreu singled in the fifth inning, the crowd gave him a standing ovation as Billy Joel’s “This Is The Time” blared over the PA system. Abreu waved his helmet to the crowd as Astros second baseman and fellow Venezuelan Jose Altuve patted him on the backside.

Abreu, 40, then was replaced by pinch runner Eric Young Jr.

Abreu finished his career with a .291 average, 288 homers, 1,363 RBIs and 400 steals in 8,480 at-bats spanning 18 major league seasons.

Finished strong: Matt den Dekker went 2-for-4 with a double, RBI, steal and run scored. He hit .339 (19-for-56) in September and finished the season on a career-high eight-game hitting streak.

Local boy makes good: Long Islander Nick Tropeano, a West Islip High and Stony Brook University product, allowed four runs in five innings before a large cheering section of family and friends in section 122. The damage included a two-run double by Duda that staked the Mets to a 4-2 lead in the fifth.

Batting champ: Altuve, initially out of the starting lineup before public pressure led to his late insertion, went 2-for-4 with an RBI to wrap up the first batting title in Astros history.

Altuve had entered the day with a three-point lead over Detroit Tigers slugger Victor Martinez. Altuve finished with a .341 average. Martinez finished at .335.

What’s next: The offseason!

The Mets open the 2015 season on April 6 against the Washington Nationals in D.C.

It may even be Matt Harvey Day.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 2, Astros 1

September, 27, 2014
Sep 27
NEW YORK -- So there was still a little excitement left in the 2014 season for the Mets.

A few hits, too.

The Mets, held to two hits over the first eight innings and about to lose to the Houston Astros for the second straight night, rallied for two runs in the ninth inning for a 2-1 win Saturday night at Citi Field.

Lucas Duda hit a two-run home run off Astros left-hander Tony Sipp to give the Mets the win. It was Duda's 29th home run of the season.

Eric Young Jr. gave the Mets a baserunner in the ninth with his one-out triple. Daniel Murphy's fly ball was too shallow to score Young, but Duda ripped a Sipp pitch off the right-field foul pole to give the Mets the walk-off win.

It was Duda's third career walkoff hit.

The Mets now take a 78-83 record into Sunday's season finale, and they still could finish as high as second place in the National League East.

Montero's season: At one point this season, Rafael Montero seemed ready to push himself up the list of Mets pitching prospects. The Mets even chose to put Montero into the rotation ahead of Jacob deGrom in May. Now deGrom is a given for the 2015 rotation, while Montero will be a long-shot candidate in the spring.

Montero started in deGrom's place Saturday night, and the results weren't bad. He shut out the Astros for the first five innings, before giving up a sixth-inning run on Dexter Fowler's infield single and Jason Castro's double.

Montero pitched in 10 big-league games this season, eight of them starts. His ERA as a starter was 3.98.

One more thing to remember about Montero: He won't turn 24 until next month.

Familia again: Jeurys Familia may well have finished his fantastic rookie season with an inning Saturday, but you have to wonder whether all the appearances this year will have a lasting effect. Familia has pitched in 75 games, just two off the National League lead and the second most ever by a Mets rookie (Joe Smith appeared in 82 games in 2008).

Familia, who retired the Astros in order in the eighth, has a 2.24 ERA and allowed just 59 hits in 76 2/3 innings.

No offense, but: The Mets' only hit in four innings against Astros starter Samuel Deduno was Ruben Tejada's infield single in the second inning. And even that didn't end well.

Tejada's ground ball was smothered by Astros shortstop Marwin Gonzalez, and with two out and Montero due up, third-base coach Tim Teufel decided to try to score Wilmer Flores from second base. Gonzalez got up and threw Flores out at the plate to end the inning.

The Astros claimed Deduno on waivers from the Twins in August. His claim to fame is that he was the winning pitcher for the Dominican Republic in the 2013 World Baseball Classic championship game.

What's next: The Mets' final game of 2014 is Sunday afternoon against the Astros. Bartolo Colon (14-13, 4.08) is the Mets' starter. Right-hander Nick Tropeano (1-2, 3.78), who grew up in West Islip, New York, and pitched at Stony Brook University, starts for the Astros. It will also be the final game of Bobby Abreu's big-league career.

Rapid Reaction: Astros 3, Mets 1

September, 26, 2014
Sep 26
NEW YORK -- For the sixth straight year, the Mets' win total will start with a "7." It could be 77, or 78, or 79.

It won't be 80.

That much is certain, after the Mets began their final-weekend series with a 3-1 loss to the Houston Astros on Friday night. Curtis Granderson's fourth-inning home run gave the Mets their only run. They had only five hits.

The Astros scored all their runs in the sixth inning against Carlos Torres, who took over when Jonathon Niese had to leave because of an elevated heart rate. Torres had help, because Anthony Recker dropped a throw at home plate to allow Jose Altuve to score Houston's second run. Altuve would have been out on a nice relay throw by Wilmer Flores.

Niese questions: The Mets' starter finished his season with 5 1/3 shutout innings, leaving Niese with a 3.40 ERA that matches the best of his career (also 3.40 in 2012). But Niese left Friday's start one out into the fifth inning because of an elevated heart rate, the same issue that forced him from games in both 2011 and 2012.

When Niese had the problem before, doctors first recommended a heart procedure known as ablation. But Niese visited experts at the Cleveland Clinic, who told him they believed the procedure wasn't needed.

Granderson Citi: Granderson is having a nice September, but it's certainly notable that his fourth-inning home run off Brad Peacock on Friday night was his first homer at home since the All-Star break. In Granderson's first season with the Mets, 13 of his 20 home runs have come on the road.

Altuve watch: It's hard to remember that this is an interleague series, the first time the Mets and Astros have met since Houston moved to the American League in 2013. So the Mets could have an impact on the AL batting race. Altuve began the night with a six-point lead over the Tigers' Victor Martinez.

Altuve went 1-for-4 (with a single off Torres), which dropped his average from .343 to .342.

Family affair: Astros reliever Kevin Chapman, who is Matt den Dekker's first cousin, entered the game in the fifth inning to face Daniel Murphy with two on and two out. Chapman, who is left-handed, remained in the game to face the four lefties in the middle of the Mets lineup ... including den Dekker.

It was the first time the two had met in a major-league game. The result? den Dekker walked.

Chapman told the Houston Chronicle that he and den Dekker are almost like brothers. They're close to the same age, and grew up about a mile apart in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

What's next: With Jacob deGrom shut down for the season, the Mets give Rafael Montero (1-3, 4.38) another start in Saturday night's 7:10 p.m. ET start. Right-hander Samuel Deduno (2-6, 4.66) starts for the Astros.

Rapid Reaction: Nats 3, Mets 0

September, 25, 2014
Sep 25

WASHINGTON -- Make it six straight losing seasons.

Gio Gonzalez surrendered one hit in seven scoreless innings and the Washington Nationals beat the Mets 3-0 in the nightcap of Thursday's split doubleheader to hand the Amazin’s their 82nd loss. The Mets match the Houston Astros for the longest active streak of consecutive sub-.500 seasons in the majors.

Zack Wheeler took a scoreless effort into the fourth. His pitch count then soared in a frame in which the three runs scored on a fielder’s choice, passed ball and hit batter.

Wheeler’s final line in a 107-pitch effort: 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 1 HBP.

He finished the season 11-11 with a 3.54 ERA, and had a particularly strong second half. He had opened the season with a 3-8 record.

Wheeler logged 185 1/3 innings, a jump of 16 2/3 innings over last season. That should set him up for no restrictions in 2015.

Wheeler’s undoing was his high pitch counts. His 4.17 pitches per plate appearance were the most in the National League this season.

The Mets went 4-15 against Washington in 2014.

Gonzalez struck out a career-high 12 batters -- the most by a pitcher against the Mets since Scott Kazmir also reached that total Sept. 6, 2013, at Cleveland.

What’s next: The Mets return home to close out the season with a weekend series against the Astros. Jonathon Niese (9-11, 3.50 ERA) opposes right-hander Brad Peacock (4-9, 4.82) in Friday’s 7:10 p.m. series opener.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 7, Nationals 4

September, 25, 2014
Sep 25
WASHINGTON -- The pursuit of .500 continues!

Matt den Dekker produced a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth against Tyler Clippard as the Mets beat the Washington Nationals, 7-4, in Game 1 of a split doubleheader Thursday afternoon at Nationals Park.

Den Dekker plated pinch runner Eric Young Jr., who stole second base with two outs to reach scoring position. Den Dekker ultimately scored from second base on Wilmer Flores' infield single. EY Jr.’s swipe was his 30th of the season.

The Mets (77-81) won for only the fourth time in 18 games against the Nats this season.

The Amazin’s can snap a string of five straight losing seasons by winning their remaining four games.

With the matinee victory, the Mets returned to a second-place tie with the Atlanta Braves in the NL East.

Oh, Gee: Dillon Gee finished the season with a 7-8 record and 4.00 ERA after tossing five innings in a no-decision. Gee, staked to a 4-1 lead, allowed three fifth-inning runs, including a game-tying two-run single by Michael Taylor.

Gee’s final line: 5 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 2 K.

He tossed the first balk by a Met this season. The Amazin’s were bidding to become the first NL club in 15 years to go a full season without a balk.

Gee, 28, is a candidate to be traded during the winter. He again is eligible for arbitration after earning $3.625 million this season. Gee is under the Mets’ control through the 2016 season.

He logged 137 1/3 innings in 2014. He allowed 128 hits and 43 walks while striking out 94.

What’s next: Zack Wheeler (11-10, 3.49 ERA) makes his final 2014 appearance. He opposes left-hander Gio Gonzalez (9-10, 3.74) in the 7:05 p.m. nightcap of a split doubleheader.

Rapid Reaction: Nats 4, Mets 2

September, 23, 2014
Sep 23
WASHINGTON -- If the Mets want to avoid their sixth straight losing season, they will need to run the table in their remaining five games.

Adam LaRoche continued his assault of the Amazin’s with a tiebreaking three-run homer in the fifth against Bartolo Colon and the Washington Nationals ultimately beat the Mets, 4-2, Tuesday.

The Mets dropped to 3-14 against the Nats this season.

The Mets (76-81) remained in a second-place tie with Atlanta in the NL East with the Pirates clinching a playoff berth by beating the Braves.

LaRoche staked the Nats to a 4-1 lead. He now has 29 career homers against the Mets. Among active players, only a trio of Philadelphia Phillies have more: Ryan Howard 41, Chase Utley 33 and Jimmy Rollins 30.

Colon, who is under control for 2015 at $11 million, ultimately was charged with four earned runs on five hits and three walks in six innings. He has logged 196 1/3 innings this season. Terry Collins said Colon wants to reach the 200-inning plateau, and will be afforded that opportunity in Sunday’s season finale against the Houston Astros at Citi Field.

Ouch: Denard Span made a dazzling diving catch on the track in left-center to rob Matt den Dekker of an extra-base hit and end the top of the third. Span, injured, then departed for a pinch hitter in the bottom half.

What’s next: Dillon Gee (7-8, 3.88 ERA) wraps up his 2014 season. He opposes left-hander Gio Gonzalez (9-10, 3.74) at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 10, Braves 2

September, 21, 2014
Sep 21
ATLANTA -- Jacob deGrom had a stellar showing in what may have been his final opportunity to state his case for the NL Rookie of the Year Award.

DeGrom struck out the first four Atlanta Braves batters he faced, was perfect through four innings and allowed one earned run in six innings as the Mets won, 10-2, Sunday at Turner Field.

With their first three-game sweep in Atlanta in seven years, the Mets (76-80) moved within a half-game of the freefalling Braves (76-79) for second place in the NL East.

By a 10-9 margin, the Amazin’s won their first season series from the Braves since 2006.

DeGrom has now logged 178 2/3 innings this season between the majors and minors. That’s already 31 innings over last season’s total. And Mets brass seemed to hint that Rafael Montero could take deGrom’s final rotation turn.

If deGrom’s rookie season is complete, he finished at 9-6 with a 2.63 ERA in 22 starts. It would be the fourth-best ERA in franchise history for a rookie who logged at least 140 innings, trailing only Jerry Koosman (2.08 ERA in 1968), Jon Matlack (2.32, 1972) and Dwight Gooden (2.60, 1984). Matlack and Gooden earned Rookie of the Year honors, while Koosman finished second, narrowly behind Johnny Bench.

DeGrom’s line Sunday: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 10 K. He threw 100 pitches.

It marked deGrom’s fourth career double-digit strikeout performance.

In his first outing since matching a modern-day MLB record by opening a game with eight consecutive strikeouts against the Miami Marlins, deGrom this time opened his start with four straight Ks. He was perfect until Justin Upton's leadoff single in the fifth. The Braves eventually scored two runs in that frame to pull within 5-2. The latter run came on a four-pitch walk to Emilio Bonifacio with the bases loaded and two outs. That run was unearned because Ruben Tejada had committed a fielding error earlier in the frame.

DeGrom now has produced a 1.79 ERA in 13 starts since July 8. That is the third-best ERA in the majors during that span, trailing only the Rays’ Alex Cobb (1.61) and Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw (1.75).

DeGrom also contributed a successful suicide squeeze bunt in the sixth on Sunday that plated Anthony Recker.

Atlanta dropped to an MLB-worst 4-14 in September.

Starter Ervin Santana allowed five runs in five innings, including a sacrifice fly and solo homer by Tejada. Anthony Recker finished 3-for-3 with a walk and three RBIs.

What’s next: The Mets spend a day off in D.C., then face the Washington Nationals beginning Tuesday. Bartolo Colon (14-12, 4.02 ERA) faces right-hander Tanner Roark (14-10, 2.85) in the series opener.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 4, Braves 2

September, 20, 2014
Sep 20
ATLANTA -- Dilson Herrera's first big league season looks like it is ending a week early.

Herrera departed Saturday’s game after beating out an infield single in the sixth inning. He officially was diagnosed with a right quadriceps strain.

Herrera, who limped off the field, earlier had delivered a two-run homer against reliever David Hale in the second inning. That shot, along with a scoreless effort into the eighth inning from Jonathon Niese, helped lift the New York Mets to a 4-2 win against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.

If his season is over, the 20-year-old Herrera hit .220 (13-for-59) with three homers and 11 RBIs.

The Mets improved to 75-80, surpassing their win total for each of the past two seasons and leapfrogging the Marlins for third place.

The second-place Braves dropped to 76-78. It marks their first time at two-plus games under .500 in September since finishing the 2008 season at 72-90.

Niese carried a shutout bid into the eighth, when he allowed three straight one-out singles as the Braves loaded the bases. Freddie Freeman then greeted Josh Edgin with a two-run single as Atlanta pulled within 4-2. Carlos Torres replaced Edgin and coaxed a groundout from Justin Upton as the runners advanced. With two in scoring position, Chris Johnson then grounded out to first base.

Toned down: Jenrry Mejia allowed a one-out single but recorded the save. He had a sedate celebration afterward -- merely pointing to the sky.

Ouch 2: Braves starter Mike Minor surrendered a first-inning sacrifice fly to Lucas Duda and departed after the frame with left shoulder discomfort.

What’s next: The Mets complete their season series with the Braves on Sunday at 1:35 p.m. as Jacob deGrom's Rookie of the Year campaign continues. DeGrom (8-6, 2.68 ERA) opposes right-hander Ervin Santana (14-9, 3.74). DeGrom matched a major league record by striking out the first eight batters he faced against the Miami Marlins in his most recent start. The Mets are 9-9 against the Braves this season entering the finale.

Reaction: Mets 5, Braves 0; still eliminated

September, 19, 2014
Sep 19
ATLANTA -- Over and out!

Lucas Duda broke a scoreless tie with a two-run homer against Julio Teheran in the sixth, and the Mets beat the Atlanta Braves 5-0 Friday at Turner Field.

Still, before completing their 154th game of the season, the Mets (74-80) were mathematically eliminated from postseason contention. Russell Martin had a three-run homer in a four-run eighth to lift the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 4-2 win against the Milwaukee Brewers. Pittsburgh notched its 83rd win -- more than the Mets can achieve even if they win out.

The Mets need to go 7-1 the rest of the way to reach .500 and snap their streak of consecutive losing seasons at five straight.

"We thought we had the pieces, but we had to have a lot of things go right because we had a lot of question marks,” Terry Collins said pregame, with the Mets on the brink elimination. “I don’t call them, ‘holes.’ I call them ‘question marks,’ because I think if you’re a major league player you’re talented. There were certain things guys had to do that we talked about in spring training that, ‘Hey if we get this out of this guy, this out of that guy, we’re going to be in the hunt.’ We didn’t do that.

"We’ve competed. We’ve competed very well. And now it’s a matter of next year trying to go in with a realization that, ‘Hey, look, we are going to be good enough.’”

Zack Wheeler contributed six scoreless innings despite requiring 105 pitches.

Wheeler’s final line: 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K.

Duda now has 28 homers and 85 RBIs, both team highs by sizable margins. The long ball total ranks third in the National League, trailing only idle Giancarlo Stanton (37) as well as the Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo (31).

Duda’s homer plated Daniel Murphy, who finished 4-for-5. Murphy matched his career high with the four hits.

The Mets tacked on three ninth-inning runs.

What’s next: Jonathon Niese (8-11, 3.55 ERA) opposes left-hander Mike Minor (6-11, 4.74) at 7:10 p.m. Saturday.

Rapid Reaction: Marlins 4, Mets 3

September, 17, 2014
Sep 17

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.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 9, Marlins 1

September, 16, 2014
Sep 16
NEW YORK -- Wilmer Flores launched a pair of homers and matched a career high with six RBIs as the Mets beat the Miami Marlins, 9-1, Tuesday at Citi Field.

Both of Flores’ long balls came against reliever Brad Penny -- a three-run shot in the fifth and a two-run shot in the seventh.

Flores is now 8-for-15 with two doubles, one triple, three homers and 10 RBIs in his past four games.

He also had a six-RBI game on June 2 against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Hits scattered: Bartolo Colon earned the win despite surrendering 12 hits. Colon stranded the bases loaded in the fifth inning and preserved a 4-1 lead by striking out Marcell Ozuna and getting Garrett Jones to ground out.

Colon’s final line: 7.2 IP, 12 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K.

It matched the second-most hits surrendered in franchise history by a starting pitcher who allowed one run or fewer. Jason Isringhausen allowed one run and 13 hits in 7 1/3 innings against the Phillies on Sept. 15, 1995. Bobby J. Jones allowed 12 hits in 7 1/3 scoreless innings against the Atlanta Braves on June 10, 1996.

Injury report: Juan Lagares departed the game after four innings with what the team labeled a hyperextended right elbow.

Penned: Rafael Montero made his first relief appearance since reverting to a relief role after last Wednesday's start against the Rockies. He handled the ninth inning in scoreless fashion despite allowing the first two batters to reach.

What’s next: The Mets (73-79) and Marlins (73-77) complete their season series Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. Dillon Gee (7-7, 3.80 ERA) opposes right-hander Henderson Alvarez (10-6, 2.81). The Mets already have clinched the season series, 11-7.

Rapid Reaction: Marlins 6, Mets 5

September, 15, 2014
Sep 15
NEW YORK -- Jacob deGrom probably can start writing his NL Rookie of the Year acceptance speech.

DeGrom matched a modern-day major league record by striking out the first eight Miami Marlins batters and took a scoreless effort into the seventh inning. He ended up with a no-decision, however, as the Mets twice squandered two-run leads and lost, 6-5, Monday at Citi Field.

Jeurys Familia, whose 20 holds are a franchise rookie record, surrendered a two-run single to Adeiny Hechavarria in the eighth as the Marlins pulled even at 5.

Jenrry Mejia, entering with two outs in the eighth, allowed an inherited run to score on Jeff Mathis' go-ahead RBI single later in the frame.

The Mets (72-79) dropped two games behind the Giancarlo Stanton-less Marlins (73-76) for third place in the NL East. The Mets must go 9-2 the rest of the way to avoid their sixth straight losing season.

DeGrom is now 8-6 with a 2.68 ERA through 21 career starts.

He finished with 13 strikeouts -- the most by a Met since Matt Harvey achieved the same total on June 18, 2013 against the Atlanta Braves.

Newly installed No. 3 hitter Travis d'Arnaud had produced a tiebreaking RBI single in a three-run bottom of the seventh as the Mets took a 5-3 lead.

Nursing a 2-0 lead a half-inning earlier, deGrom surrendered a two-run single to ex-Met Jordany Valdespin and sacrifice fly to pinch hitter Reed Johnson. The three-run frame snapped deGrom’s streak without allowing an earned run at 28 innings.

It was the longest streak by a rookie in franchise history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Previous record-holder John Maine had gone 26 innings without allowing an earned run in 2006. Overall, it was the fifth-longest streak in the majors this season, trailing only efforts by Clayton Kershaw (41.0 IP without an earned run), Burke Badenhop (32.1 IP), Wade Davis (30.2 IP) and Kelvin Herrera (29.2 IP).

Marlins pitcher Jarred Cosart broke up deGrom’s game-opening string of strikeouts at eight with an opposite-field single through the right side of the infield with two outs in the top of the third. DeGrom matched Jim Deshaies of the 1986 Houston Astros for the modern-day record for consecutive Ks to open a game. Pete Falcone formerly held the Mets record. He had six straight strikeouts to open a game in 1980 against the Philadelphia Phillies.

What’s next: Bartolo Colon (13-12, 4.14 ERA) opposes right-hander Nathan Eovaldo (6-11, 4.29) at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday.

Rapid Reaction: Nats 10, Mets 3

September, 13, 2014
Sep 13
NEW YORK -- Jenrry Mejia's next save celebration will have to wait.

Zack Wheeler had his shortest outing in two and a half months and the Mets lost to the Washington Nationals, 10-3, at soggy Citi Field on Saturday night.

The Nats, who had a 12-game Citi Field winning streak snapped Friday, are 27-5 in Queens since Sept. 12, 2011. They lead the season series, 12-3.

The Mets (72-77), who committed four errors, slipped five games under .500. They will need to go 9-4 the rest of the way to avoid their sixth straight losing season, which would match the Houston Astros for the longest active streak in the majors.

Wheeler (10-10) departed with two runners in scoring position and none out in the fifth and with his pitch count at 100. Gonzalez Germen entered and things further devolved. Germen surrendered a one-out single to Ian Desmond as both baserunners inherited from Wheeler scored and Washington took a 6-0 lead. Germen also walked two in the inning before stranding the bases loaded.

Wheeler’s final line: 4+ IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 4 K. It was his shortest start since lasting only two innings against the Oakland Athletics at Citi Field on June 25. The six earned runs allowed by Wheeler on Saturday matched that start against the A’s for his career high.

The Mets received a two-run homer from Wilmer Flores against Doug Fister in the fifth to close within 6-2. Flores snapped an 0-for-21 drought.

Hit parade: Each team hit a batter. Fister plunked Curtis Granderson in the right thigh in the second. Vic Black drilled Anthony Rendon in the left shoulder blade in the eighth. Black last had appeared Monday, when Terry Collins expressed concern about the state of his herniated disk.

What’s next: Jonathon Niese (8-10, 3.59 ERA) opposes right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (11-5, 2.93) at 1:10 p.m. Sunday in the series finale. With a win, the Mets will be unbeaten in five straight series. A Nats win officially would eliminate the Mets from division contention.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 4, Nats 3

September, 12, 2014
Sep 12
NEW YORK -- The longest-ever winning streak by a visiting club against the Mets ended Friday.

The Mets beat the Nationals, 4-3, Friday to snap Washington’s 12-game Citi Field winning streak.

Dillon Gee failed to hold a three-run lead, with Anthony Rendon eventually evening the score in the fifth on a replay-awarded solo homer. Juan Lagares delivered a tiebreaking RBI double against Gio Gonzalez a half-inning later to restore the Mets’ lead.

Gee, who allowed a season-high nine hits, departed with two baserunners aboard and one out in the sixth. Carlos Torres entered and coaxed an inning-ending double-play grounder from Asdrubal Cabrera.

Torres also induced an inning-ending double play in a scoreless seventh. Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia followed with scoreless frames, although Mejia allowed the tying run to reach scoring position.

The Nats nonetheless have out-homered the Mets 32-6 in the past 13 meetings in Queens. Washington is 26-5 at Citi Field since Sept. 12, 2011.

Travis d'Arnaud produced a three-run double in the first against Gonzalez, although an E-2 allowed the third run to score. It was d’Arnaud’s first hit in 10 at-bats this season with the bases loaded. Gonzalez also surrendered three first-inning runs against the Mets on May 17.

Payback? Albeit on an 0-2 count, Gonzalez hit the second batter of the game. Lagares was drilled on the left side -- the same spot where Jayson Werth was struck Thursday, which led to Bartolo Colon's ejection. Lagares has been hit by pitches seven times this season. Three of those plunkings have come against the Nats.

What’s next: Zack Wheeler (10-9, 3.38 ERA) opposes right-hander Doug Fister (13-8, 2.53) at 7:10 p.m. Saturday.

Rapid Reaction: Nats 6, Mets 2

September, 11, 2014
Sep 11
NEW YORK -- The wild-card dreaming probably can stop now.

Bartolo Colon had an early shower and the Washington Nationals continued their dominance at Citi Field with a 6-2 win against the Mets in Thursday’s series opener. The Amazin’s dropped 6 games behind the victorious Pittsburgh Pirates for the second wild-card spot with 15 games remaining.

The Nats have won 12 straight at Citi Field -- the longest winning streak ever by a visiting team in Queens. The Atlanta Braves won 10 straight at Shea Stadium in 1990 and ’91.

Washington is 26-4 at Citi Field since September 2011.

The teams participated in a pregame remembrance ceremony marking the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Jefferson Crowther threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Crowther’s son Welles saved countless lives in the World Trade Center’s South Tower, including by carrying one woman down 17 flights. He died attempting more rescues.

Uh-oh: The Mets potentially lost two players to injuries during Thursday's game.

Daniel Murphy was hit in the left wrist by a pitch from Matt Thornton in the eighth inning and departed with extreme swelling. X-rays were negative.

Travis d'Arnaud departed the game for the start of the fifth inning and was replaced behind the plate by Anthony Recker. There was no immediate word on the cause.

Recker produced a solo homer in the bottom of that frame to pull the Mets within 6-1, but struck out to leave the bases loaded in the eighth.

Yer out! Colon was ejected in the fourth inning by plate umpire John Tumpane after drilling Jayson Werth in the left side with the first pitch after Anthony Rendon had homered to give the Nats a 6-0 lead. In the first inning, Colon had surrendered a two-run homer to Adam LaRoche, then also hit the ensuing batter, Ian Desmond.

Colon entered the game with three hit batters in 27 starts this season.

Terry Collins also was ejected after confronting Tumpane.

Colon became the first Mets pitcher ejected for what was deemed intentionally hitting a batter since D.J. Carrasco on May 15, 2012 against Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun. It was in that game that Collins pulled David Wright for fear of retribution. Carrasco made an appearance the following day, served up a homer to Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier and was released. He never pitched in the majors again.

Colon’s final line: 3+ IP, 7 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 HR. His ERA swelled to 4.14.

Hello again: Daisuke Matsuzaka, who received a cortisone injection in his right elbow nine days ago, entered after Colon’s ejection and contributed three scoreless innings. It marked Matsuzaka’s first appearance since Aug. 30. He allowed one hit and three walks in a 44-pitch effort.

Not him again: Maybe the Mets should pitch around LaRoche. In addition to the two-run homer in the first, LaRoche also had an RBI single in the third. He finished 2-for-5 with two runs scored.

LaRoche is hitting .361 (13-for-36) with five homers and 14 RBIs in 10 games against the Mets this season. He is fourth among active players in homers against the Mets with 28, trailing only a trio of Phillies -- Ryan Howard (41), Chase Utley (33) and Jimmy Rollins (30).

Brain locks: The Mets had at least three gaffes during the ugly game.

With the lead just 2-0 in the bottom of the second, the Mets placed runners on the corners with none out against Tanner Roark. They came up empty, thanks in part to a mental lapse by d’Arnaud.

First, Curtis Granderson popped out in foul territory to Rendon at third base. Then, Dilson Herrera popped out to second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera. Apparently having lost track of the outs, d’Arnaud broke for second on the pop fly. He was doubled off first base.

A half-inning later, Colon fielded a comebacker off the bat of Desmond and threw to second base to try to get the lead runner. Wilmer Flores and Herrera had some confusion, no one was stationed at the bag and Colon was charged with an errant throw. That led to an unearned run.

Eric Young Jr. was thrown out attempting to go first to third on an errant pickoff throw by Roark in the sixth with the Mets trailing by five runs.

Snapped! Bobby Abreu, in his first at-bat since rejoining the Mets, pinch hit in the eighth and singled up the middle. That snapped an 0-for-22 drought as a pinch hitter in the majors.

What’s next: Dillon Gee (6-7, 3.74 ERA) opposes left-hander Gio Gonzalez (8-9, 3.78) at 7:10 p.m. Friday.



Daniel Murphy
.289 9 57 79
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187