Dillon Gee walked six batters, the most in any game of his professional career, and suffered his first 2011 loss as the Mets dropped the series opener to the Athletics, 7-3. Terry Collins wondered aloud afterward why Gee only attempted a couple of curveballs, since that was his second or third best pitch. But Gee countered that he could not find the command of his fastball, so throwing the breaking pitch was futile.
Wednesday's news reports:
• Sandy Alderson approached Peter Greenberg, the agent for Jose Reyes, last week and asked to begin trading extension figures for the free-agent-to-be. Greenberg was in Japan and had a chance to meet with his client Monday. After a two-hour chat with Reyes at the shortstop's Long Island home, they advised Alderson there would be no in-season discussions. Reyes said he did not want any distractions for his on-field performance. There is a limited exclusive negotiating window after the season, since other teams cannot negotiate with Reyes until the sixth day after the World Series. The Mets actually had donned Reyes-style skullcaps before the game as Collins tried to keep the mood light in the clubhouse. Watch Reyes and Alderson discuss the situation in a video here. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Times, Daily News and Record.
• Post columnist Joel Sherman says Alderson's inclination to keep Reyes is a positive to take out of Tuesday's announcement. Writes Sherman:
The belief was that he disdained mega-deals, especially to offensive players who did not have plate patience as a main skill. But as athleticism and defense have grown in importance around the majors, and Reyes’ positive connection to the fan base has become more overt, Alderson clearly has become more enamored with Reyes. Still, right now, he would be bidding on Reyes as an MVP front-runner hitting 50 points above his career average. If Reyes retains this, then he almost certainly will reach or exceed Crawford’s dollars. So the Mets will wait to see if his health/production falter and take Reyes’ price south -- especially because the Wilpon’s financial situation remain a major character in any negotiation.
• Newsday columnist Ken Davidoff notes what the Mets are offered at the trade deadline for Reyes must be weighed against the fact they can collect two draft picks if they keep Reyes for the season and then lose him in free agency. Davidoff also does not buy that the Mets have to keep Reyes for attendance/revenue purposes in the second half. He writes:
As for the fans . . . puh-leeze. If the Mets are eliminated by September, Citi Field will be a ghost town, with or without Reyes. Alderson noted how quickly things can change in the game. How the A's endured a 10-game losing streak and, after beating the Mets, have won six straight and are very much alive. He should remember that in these coming weeks. For as Alderson knows, the best public relations in baseball comes from putting together a winning baseball team. Trading Reyes might prove the best realistic means to that end.
• Daily News columnist Tim Smith believes Reyes is a goner.
• Jason Bay went 3-for-3 and homered for the first time since May 13, off Houston's Bud Norris. Bay snapped a 104 at-bat homerless drought, the second-longest of his career. He also had gone a career-high 89 at-bats without an extra-base hit. Bay nearly had two long balls, but A's center fielder Coco Crisp jumped at the wall and the ball kicked off his glove and back into play. Umpires reviewed the play on video, but that only affirmed Bay's triple. Collins says Bay may move back up to a prime spot in the order Wednesday. Current cleanup hitter Daniel Murphy is only 3-for-his-last-29. Read more in the Times, Star-Ledger, Daily News, Post and Newsday.
• 2010 first-round pick Matt Harvey and fifth-round pick Matt den Dekker have been promoted from St. Lucie to Binghamton.
• With the spotlight on Reyes, Star-Ledger columnist Jeff Bradley speaks to another free-agent-to-be, Carlos Beltran, who is more likely a goner at the trading deadline. Beltran obviously was traded during the 2004 season from the Royals to the Astros. His eight homers in 12 postseason games prompted some s------ to offer him a seven-year, $119 million contract as a free agent that offseason. “The difference then was that I didn’t have a no-trade," Beltran told Bradley. "The last time, when I was in this position, I knew I’d be traded but I didn’t know when or where. I came to the park every day a little bit worried, expecting them to trade me. Now, they have to come to me and let me know what they’re doing. It’s my decision, and I like it better knowing it’s up to me.”
• There was a sighting of ex-Met Dave Kingman in Stockton, Calif.
• The Mets continued their regular involvement with the children of victims of 9/11 on Tuesday at Citi Field. Read more in the Post.
• Ike Davis (ankle) is due to be examined by team doctors Wednesday. David Wright (back) goes Thursday.
BIRTHDAYS: Ex-Mets catcher Ron Hodges turns 62. Hodges made his Mets debut in 1973 and had a huge game-winning hit that season in a comeback victory against the Pirates, best known as “The Ball on the Wall Game.” It is called that because the key play was a ball that should have been a home run, but instead hit the top of the fence, and the Mets were able to throw out a potential go-ahead run at home plate. ... Mets outfielder Willie Harris turns 33. ... Ex-big league pitcher Esteban Yan turns 36. Why is he significant to Mets history? Yan homered in his first major league at-bat, against the Mets in 2000. He finished a perfect 2-for-2 in his career. -Mark Simon