Mets morning briefing 9.16.11

September, 16, 2011
9/16/11
6:31
AM ET
The Nationals completed a four-game sweep of the Mets on Thursday afternoon, handing the Mets their sixth straight loss, 10-1.

Afterward, Terry Collins spoke harshly about his team, saying the players "folded it up" and there was "no energy at all on the field." (Read Collins' full comments here.)

The Mets fell to 31-44 at Citi Field, already their most home losses since going 34-46 at Shea Stadium in 2003. With a six-game homestand against the Phillies and Reds remaining, the Mets must go at least 3-3 or they will finish with their worst home record since going 28-53 in 1993.

Friday's news reports:

Paul DePodesta says he does plan to see "Moneyball" the movie, and explains to Brian Costa in the Wall Street Journal why he did not want his name used. Jonah Hill plays Peter Brand, the character that would have been DePodesta had the Mets VP given permission. Writes Costa:

Over the last several years, DePodesta said he met with several of the film's actors, writers and directors to talk about his role with the 2002 Athletics. The team won 103 games despite having one of the lowest payrolls in baseball, in part because of how Beane and DePodesta used statistical analysis to find bargains on the trade and free-agent markets. DePodesta met, at different times, with both Hill and Demetri Martin, the actor who was initially slated to play him. There were various incarnations of the script, but he said he was always concerned about how he would be portrayed. Shortly before the film began shooting last year, he asked the filmmakers to remove his name from it, and they agreed. "I think for Jonah, actually, it was even a little uncomfortable, because as he told me, it was his first time having to play a real person," DePodesta said. Making the character fictional "gave him a little more freedom to do his job."

• Mets pitchers have a .102 batting average, better than only the Pittsburgh Pirates at .085. The division leaders actually have three of the top four pitcher ERAs: No. 1 Arizona at .185, No. 2 Milwaukee at .181 and No. 4 Philadelphia at .166. Mark Viera in the Times writes:

If a pitcher can get a hit, it is usually a bonus. Yet in a year in which Jose Reyes isattempting to become the first player from the franchise to win a batting title, the Mets’ pitchers have sometimes struggled to make contact on their bunt attempts. “We do some things mechanically wrong,” Manager Terry Collins said. “To get the ball out in front, to let the ball come to you, to not punch it, to try to make a perfect bunt where your bat’s not in foul territory — that stuff is the stuff I want to correct.”

• With the Braves leading the Cardinals by 4 games in the wild-card standings, the Mets' trip to Atlanta and St. Louis will impact the playoff composition. Read the Mets-Braves series preview here.

David Wright committed his eighth error in 10 games. He became the first major league player to commit that many errors in a 10-game span exclusively at third base since Carlos Guillen with the Seattle Mariners in August 2000, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Wright also flied out to strand the bases loaded. Read more on Wright's fielding in Newsday and the Post.

• Read recaps of Collins' postgame eruption/game recaps in the Post, Star-Ledger, Record, Daily News, Times and Newsday.

• Savannah won Game 3 of the South Atlantic League title series, 4-3 in 11 innings, without Johan Santana. The rehabbing ace instead opted to throw a simulated game Sunday at home in Fort Myers, Fla., which is also the site of the Mets' instructional league. Joe Bonfe's bases-loaded, two-out single scored Darrell Ceciliani for the walk-off win in extra innings as the Gnats took a 2-1 lead over Greensboro in the best-of-five series.

Chris Schwinden should remain in the rotation over 40-year-old Miguel Batista for the remainder of the season. And the rookie felt better about his second start than his major league debut. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

D.J. Carrasco has dropped down to sidearm with his delivery, trying to find success that has eluded him this season. Carrasco would on occasion throw a pitch from that arm angle in the past, but is now doing it consistently. Carrasco has another season remaining on his two-year, $2.4 million deal. His contract was one of only two multi-year deals handed out by Sandy Alderson during his first winter as GM -- the other going to R.A. Dickey. "I've mixed it in for the last 10 years, since A-ball, but the last three times I have used it consistently," Carrasco told the Daily News. "The last three weeks of the season, why not try it?"

• Outfielder Mike Baxter, who was warming up in the bullpen when Manny Acosta finally recorded the final out of top of the ninth inning, told the Daily News he had not pitched since he was "a little kid."

• With the Mets' homestand complete, Ike Davis intended to fly home to Arizona. He will be idle for a couple of weeks before resuming weightlifting. Davis, who did not have surgery performed on his left ankle, expects to participate uninterrupted in spring training and during the 2012 season, although there may always be lingering mild discomfort and he expects arthritis to develop as he ages.

BIRTHDAYS: Orel Hershiser turns 53. ... Chris "The Animal" Carter turns 29. ... Desi Relaford is 38.
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.289 9 57 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187