Mets morning briefing 5.30.11

Jimmy Rollins ran the Philllies out of a potential comeback bid in the eighth inning and the Mets salvaged the series finale, 9-5, against Philadelphia, which was sitting Ryan Howard and Chase Utley.

Read the series preview against the Pirates here.

Monday's news reports:

Carlos Beltran left Sunday's game after six innings with left hamstring tightness, but minimized the issue and suggested he would start Monday's series opener against Pittsburgh. "This is not a big deal," he said. Read more in the Post and Record.

• Post columnist Joel Sherman notes there's a sizable gap between the Mets and Phillies, but Jon Niese is part of the solution in trying to rebuild the Mets. Writes Sherman:

The Mets manager, unprovoked, added this, “We are not going to do it, but if you threw Jonathon Niese’s name out there for trades, the phone here would ring off the hook. Quality left-handers are really hard to find.” The impression inside and outside the Mets universe is Niese is that; a quality lefty starter. No one imagines him as an ace, but rather as a significant rotation staple. He has a good fastball, superb curve and [Terry] Collins accentuated the 24-year-old has huge, um, fortitude. “He is not afraid of anything,” Collins said.

• The Mets should offer a verdict Monday whether R.A. Dickey will be allowed to proceed with Tuesday's start, or whether Chris Schwinden -- who is being held out of action with Triple-A Buffalo -- gets the turn instead. Dickey pronounced himself ready despite continued pain with a right heel injury (partially torn plantar fascia) that forced him to depart his last start at Wrigley Field, but Terry Collins has wondered whether Dickey can field his position. Dickey threw a bullpen session Sunday. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Post, Times and Newsday.

• Read game stories from Sunday's win, which included four hits from Jose Reyes and three-hit days by Josh Thole and Daniel Murphy, in the Post, Star-Ledger, Record, Times, Daily News and Newsday.

• Reyes may not get Carl Crawford money from the Mets, but he does have 76 hits through 52 games. If Reyes isn't traded, Lance Johnson's franchise record for hits in a season (227 in 1996) could be broken. Reyes is on pace for 237 hits. Reyes, by the way, had his third multi-triple game of the season Sunday. The last major leaguer to have at least that many in a season? Crawford, in 2004, with four. Read more in the Post and Newsday.

• Daily News columnist Bill Madden says the Mets need to make a legitimate five-year offer to Reyes soon, then get it over with and trade him if they deem a deal is not going to happen. Writes Madden:

With Reyes now batting .335 after six straight multi-hit games, second-longest in club history, Mets ownership owes it to its fans to let its intentions be known with him. The Mets need to make him an offer now -- a five-year offer commensurate to what they believe to be his market value. Their best-shot offer, not a token offer they know will be refused. And if he still turns them down, well then they have to do what the San Diego Padres did when Adrian Gonzalez turned down their best shot offer and what the Florida Marlins did when Dan Uggla did likewise with them. They can feel justified in trading him. "I know there's a lot of rumors out there that the team's going to trade me, but I don't put that kind of stuff in my mind," Reyes said Sunday, after his third two-triple game of the season.

• Newsday's Anthony Rieber tracks down the Louisville, Ky.-based company ZOOperstars!, which makes inflatable, animal-themed parodies of baseball players, to find out why David Wright isn't a superstar to them, either. Among the menagerie: Shark McGwire, Pee Wee Geese, Cow Ripken Jr. and Ken Giraffey Jr. "David Wright is certainly a great baseball player," company founder Dominic Latkovski tells Rieber. "He's certainly well-known in New York. But we kind of have our own way around here. Like, I ask my wife. She knows who Darryl Strawberry is, but she wouldn't know who David Wright is because she doesn't follow baseball."

• Rollins had a bad day at the old ballyard Sunday. "I helped spot 'em three extra runs, which would've made it a 6-5 ballgame and a different situation," Rollins said postgame, according to the Post.

• Star-Ledger columnist Jeff Bradley asserts even mediocre teams can be fun to watch. Writes Bradley:

Mets fans of a certain age remember the organization in the years before Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry, when the best thing about making the trek across two bridges to Shea Stadium was the Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop behind home plate, and that no matter what tickets they bought, they’d end up at field level. They remember Doug Flynn running hard to first on every grounder -- there were many. And Willie Montanez milking every home run trot -- there were not many.

Francisco Rodriguez is unfazed by whether he will be dealt at the trading deadline, become a free agent at the end of the season, or have his contract vest at $17.5 million for 2012 if he finishes 55 games, according to the Record's Steve Popper. K-Rod tells Popper: “In ’08, when I was with the Angels and about to hit the free agent market, I pretty much found out they were not going to bring me back. I was worried. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I’d never been a free agent before. … But now I have a little experience how things work, so I don’t really worry about things I’ve been through before.”

Ruben Tejada's 16-pitch plate appearance against Antonio Bastardo on Friday was the longest in the majors this season, writes Anthony McCarron in the Daily News.

BIRTHDAYS: Nothing of significance today, but it’s the anniversary of a famous game in the 1986 regular season. The Mets were victorious in extra innings when Giants second baseman Robby Thompson and shortstop Jose Uribe collided trying to catch a potential inning-ending popup. The winning run scored when the ball fell to the ground. -Mark Simon