For the second time in the Pirates series, the Mets had a chance to move to .500 for the first time since May 20 and came up short. This time, despite Mike Pelfrey limiting the Pirates to two runs in seven innings, he was outpitched by Paul Maholm and the Mets lost, 3-1. The Mets, who fell to 32-34, split the season series with the Pirates, four games apiece.
Tuesday's news reports:
• Johan Santana stopped throwing off a mound on June 3 because of shoulder soreness. Sandy Alderson said he believes Santana will try again later this week. “I’ve talked to Johan,” manager Terry Collins said. “To be honest, he’ll decide. We can put whatever plan we want. Ultimately, when he feels right, he’ll pitch. We can only hope that it comes, and he comes in July maybe, or August or September. But we hope he comes back. And if not, if he’s ready next spring, we’re going into spring training with a pretty good pitcher on our team.” Neither Chien-Ming Wang nor Mark Prior has successfully made it back from the procedure to repair a torn anterior capsule, notes Steve Popper in the Record. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Newsday, Post and Daily News.
• Alderson, meanwhile, said this about Jose Reyes: "He's been great so far. It's hard to draw any other conclusion. ... From what I read, it sounds like his level of play has surprised even himself. I think we're all obviously very pleased with how he's performed and my opportunity to observe him over the first couple months or so of the season [has been] almost a privilege. It's been great to watch." The GM has indicated he expects to at least touch base with Reyes' agent to gauge the financial parameters sought. Read more in the Times and Newsday.
• Ike Davis (ankle) and David Wright (back) have examinations scheduled for June 22 and June 24, respectively.
• Pelfrey said he is concerned with the number of home runs he has allowed -- 12 in 81 innings. That matches the total he allowed in 204 innings last season. The latest came off the bat of Brandon Wood in the fifth inning Monday and gave the Pirates a 2-0 lead. Pelfrey added, though, that it may be the byproduct of trying to be efficient with his pitch counts and throw strikes. Pelfrey has been forcing batters to put the ball in play. He threw only 72 pitches in Milwaukee in six innings before being lifted for a pinch-hitter. Then, Monday night, he threw 81 pitches in seven innings.
“I’ve given up way too many homers,” Pelfrey said. “I’m giving up a lot more fly balls. The homers I’ve given up is kind of a concern, but I am being efficient and feel like I’m being aggressive in the strike zone. When you do that, sometimes you’re going to make mistakes and guys are going to hit them. ... So I’m being efficient. I think if we can get a couple of runs on the board, maybe I can throw a complete game or something like that. That’s what's in my head. It just hasn’t worked out like that. I know the last time, two weeks ago, when we played the Pirates, they put up nine runs for me. That’s just the way the game works sometimes.”
• Lenny Dykstra pleaded not guilty Monday to 25 misdemeanor and felony counts.
• The Post's Mike Puma notes that somewhere around 3 a.m. Friday is the third anniversary of the hardwood floors being replaced with the Tuscany tile. Or was that the other way around? Anyway, it's when Dan Warthen took over as pitching coach in Anaheim, after Willie Randolph and Rick Peterson were fired. Writes Puma:
Pitching coach Dan Warthen is having a blast. It helps when your pitchers not only follow directions, but have success. The Mets have a 2.54 ERA from starting pitchers over their last 18 games, since May 26, and Warthen has certainly played a part. Mike Pelfrey made it nine straight superb starts for Mets pitchers by allow ing two earned runs over seven innings in a 3-1 loss to the Pirates last night.
Warthen told Puma about the recent improvement: "I was not pleased early on about the catching and a lot of the game-calling that was going on. I certainly don't blame it on the catchers. I blame it on the pitchers for not shaking their heads to the pitches they should have been throwing." Warthen also said Jon Niese has started throwing his curveball more and Chris Capuano has added a cutter.
BIRTHDAYS: Randy Tomlin turns 45. Tomlin never pitched for the Mets, but he sure pitched well against them. The ex-Pirates lefty went 9-0 for his career against the Mets from 1990 to 1994. He was 21-31 against everyone else. ... June 14, 1980 was one of the best wins in Mets history, a game in which they rallied for five runs in the ninth inning, beating the Giants, 7-6, on a game-ending three-run homer by Steve Henderson. Not known at the time: That was the same day Henderson gave his future wife an engagement ring, making it a doubly good day. ... Also, it’s not the Mets' Ike Davis, but the other Ike Davis who was born on this date in 1895. -Mark Simon