Mets morning briefing 8.14.11

Mike Pelfrey lobbied to stay in Saturday's game after being struck with a fifth-inning line drive in the right elbow off the bat of Gerardo Parra. Trainer Ray Ramirez didn't allow it. So D.J. Carrasco entered and coughed up a two-run lead by serving up a three-run homer. The Mets eventually lost at Arizona, 6-4, to slide three games under .500.

Pelfrey joked that he wished assistant trainer Mike Herbst rather than Ramirez had come to the mound, since it was Herbst who allowed Niese to throw that ill-fated warm-up pitch after an injury covering first base two years ago. Niese collapsed on the mound Aug. 5, 2009 during that warm-up pitch and required surgery for a torn hamstring tendon.

Pelfrey expected to make his next start, which would be Friday at home against the Milwaukee Brewers, when Francisco Rodriguez comes back to Citi Field. X-rays of Pelfrey's elbow were negative, the organization reported, and Pelfrey was diagnosed with a bruise.

Pelfrey also clarified his quotes in Saturday's Post, saying any suggestion he made that it was "unrealistic" for the Mets to win a championship this year were taken out of context. “I’ve said stupid stuff before,” Pelfrey said. “But this time, I didn’t.”

Pelfrey said he left the interview Friday believing he had said something positive, and noted he said that the organization is heading in the right direction under Sandy Alderson and crew. "This isn't a big deal," David Wright said.

Read the full ESPNNewYork.com report here.

Sunday's news reports:

• Read game stories/Pelfrey reaction coverage in the Times, Star-Ledger, Newsday, Daily News and Record. Mike Puma in the Post has this opening to his story: Mike Pelfrey's foot hadn't even left his mouth last night when a new body part became an issue.

Zack Wheeler was a tough-luck loser. He allowed one run in five innings in his third start with Class A St. Lucie since being acquired for Carlos Beltran. "It was just that I couldn't get command of my fastball tonight. I was all around the plate," Wheeler told Bill Whitehead at TCPalm.com. Said St. Lucie manager Pedro Lopez, who managed against Wheeler's Augusta team in the South Atlantic League last season: "He's much different. He pitched more up in the zone last year. This year it's more downward plane with his pitches. He a really special kid. Tonight he didn't have his best stuff, but he gave up one run in five innings."

Meanwhile, fellow top pitching prospect Jeurys Familia tossed five scoreless innings for Double-A Binghamton. Read the minor league recap here.

• While not set in stone, sources project the Mets' September call-ups to include right-handers Chris Schwinden and Josh Stinson, left-hander Robert Carson, infielders Josh Satin and Zach Lutz, outfielder Fernando Martinez and catcher Mike Nickeas.

Justin Turner pinch hit in the ninth inning Saturday and plans to return to the lineup Sunday after missing two starts, despite a hip flexor/quadriceps issue.

Terry Collins started Mike Baxter over Scott Hairston in right field on Saturday night. The primary reason? Collins thought Hairston was more equipped to be a late-game pinch hitter than Baxter, who produced his first major league triple during Saturday's game. Read more on the rationale in the Star-Ledger and Record.

• Staten Island's Jason Marquis, who faces the Mets on Sunday after being sent July 30 from Washington to Arizona, again is a free agent this offseason. And like the previous times he has been available, he would love to pitch at home, he told the Daily News. "I try not to extend my focus past (this season), but obviously I have always had a desire to pitch at home," Marquis told the newspaper. "I'm a New York guy, and I have always dreamed of playing for the Yankees or Mets, representing my hometown."

Christian Red of the Daily News speaks with one Long Island family about their Sept. 11 loss, and how Mike Piazza and the Mets were a part of the healing 10 days later.

BIRTHDAY: Outfielder McKay Christensen, a waiver claim from the Dodgers, who had four plate appearances as a Met during the 2002 season, turns 36.