Mets morning briefing 8.11.11

The Mets lost to the San Diego Padres, 9-5, on Wednesday night and fell 10 games back of the wild-card-leading Braves.

Thursday's news reports:

Angel Pagan left the game in the fourth inning with back spasms/tightness.

Mental miscues undermined the Mets, with Ruben Tejada not sliding at home plate and the Mets getting caught on a Padres steal of home. Read game stories in the Record, Newsday, Daily News, Post and Star-Ledger.

Mike Baxter went 1-for-3 with two walks in his first major league start. Writes Jesse Spector in the Daily News:

There were 22 text messages on Baxter's phone after his big debut hit, and he celebrated until after midnight at a postgame barbecue back in Whitestone. Wednesday night, it seemed as if half the neighborhood was at the game, cheering on Baxter in his first major league start. When he drew a walk to lead off the second inning, the stands behind the Mets' dugout erupted in cheers. "It's just overwhelming," Baxter's father Ray said in section 114, his voice barely audible after what he called two days of non-stop, joyous screaming. "It's phenomenal. It's a dream come true. How can anybody express what their feelings are? It's above phenomenal. It's just unbelievable. We live here in Queens, he played the city (CHSAA) championship here in Queens, always wanted to play for the Mets. Nothing better than this."

Read more in Newsday.

• 2010 first-round pick Matt Harvey allowed three runs in five innings for Double-A Binghamton at Trenton. "He's got big-league makeup," B-Mets manager Wally Backman told Cody Derespina in Newsday. "He thinks he's supposed to be there right now, and good for him. But there's still some things he needs to work on. And it's not a long road for him."

Jeff Roberts in the Record chronicles 5-11 R.A. Dickey, including his winter plans to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Writes Roberts:

Scaling the Tanzanian mountain will be physically demanding -- only 18,000 of the 30,000 who set out to do the seven- to eight-day hike each year succeed -- with altitude sickness the biggest threat. But it probably will be the least taxing obstacle he has overcome in his life. Kilimanjaro requires no technical rock climbing and therefore is allowable under the terms of his contract. Dickey's story began with a difficult childhood that included his parents' divorce, his mother's alcoholism and Dickey often living with friends while he attended Nashville's Montgomery Bell Academy. "He was over my house probably three nights a week," said Mike Anderson, a teammate of Dickey's at MBA and Tennessee. "My family fed him. They washed his clothes. They just took him in. He never really wanted to talk about it."

BIRTHDAY: Edgardo Alfonzo turns 38.