R.A. Dickey delivered his 14th straight quality start, the longest active streak in the majors, and Jason Bay and Scott Hairston went deep against Cliff Lee as the Mets beat the Phillies, 5-2, Friday night at Citizens Bank Park. Washington rallied on an eighth-inning homer by Xavier Nady and eventually beat Cincinnati, 2-1, in 13 innings, so the Mets (5-2) remained a half-game out of first place.
Saturday's news reports:
• David Wright indicated Friday that his fractured right pinkie was too swollen to even curl around the bat. Unless there was dramatic overnight improvement, Wright appeared headed to the DL before today's 4:05 p.m. matchup between Jon Niese and Vance Worley. A team source told ESPNNewYork.com that Josh Satin would be expected to be activated for a bench role if Wright does, in fact, end up on the DL. Daniel Murphy, who had a difficult time on three double plays Wednesday, and who committed a game-prolonging ninth-inning error Friday, would shift to third base for the time being, with Ronny Cedeno and Justin Turner sharing second. Read more in Newsday, the Star-Ledger, Post, Times and Daily News.
• Josh Thole felt embarrassed by a baserunning gaffe during Friday's game. On what should have been a second-inning sacrifice bunt by Dickey, Thole -- approaching second -- inexplicably turned around and headed back to first base. He was tagged out for a double play. Read more in the Post and Record.
• Bay's two-run homer in the first inning was his first long ball since last Sept. 8, against Atlanta's Mike Minor. He had a total of one RBI entering the series between spring training and the first six games of the season. Bay had been 4-for-33 with no RBI in nine games at Citizens Bank Park as a Met. With Wright out, Bay is the Mets' best righty-hitting power threat. Writes columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post regarding Bay:
It’s now or never for Bay and he knows it. “It’s a big time for me,’’ Bay told The Post last night after the left fielder finally came up with a big at-bat in the Mets’ 5-2 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Bay crushed a two-run home run to right-center in the first inning off Cliff Lee.
• Top prospect Zack Wheeler's second Double-A start proved a marked improvement from his Binghamton Mets debut. Wheeler allowed one run and five hits while striking out nine. He did not issue any walks, but hit three batters. In his first game as a B-Met, Wheeler had allowed two runs on four hits, three walks and a hit batter in three innings. Read the full minor league recap here.
• The trustee recovering funds for victims of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme filed the official settlement paperwork with the U.S. District Court on Friday regarding the original $1 billion civil suit against Fred Wilpon, his family and their businesses and charities. Judge Jed S. Rakoff should approve the settlement at a May 15 hearing.
• Terry Collins said he may, in fact, start lefty-hitting Kirk Nieuwenhuis against Cole Hamels on Sunday, rather than have a straight platoon with Hairston in center field. Collins reasoned that he does not want to have a rookie not starting two of three games in the series. Read more in the Star-Ledger.
• Jenrry Mejia has started to face batters as he rehabs from May 16, 2011 Tommy John surgery, while D.J. Carrasco (ankle) has resumed lightly throwing off a mound. There has not been significant progress with Pedro Beato's shoulder. And Andres Torres (calf) is not yet running.
• At Yankee Stadium with the Los Angeles Angels, Jason Isringhausen expressed appreciation to the Mets for reviving his career, and suggested he wanted to re-sign with the organization for 2012. “I wanted to come back,” Isringhausen told Dan Martin in the Post. “We talked to Sandy [Alderson] and he said to call him before I went anywhere. But, by the time I got the deal here, they had already brought all those guys in. ... I’m still thankful they gave me the chance. And Sandy called to wish me luck. But I’m glad I wound up here and I think we have a chance to win.”
• Ken Belson and Mary Pilon in the Times look into the use of Toradol in sports. Mets pitchers Mike Pelfrey and Dickey repeatedly have used the drug before starts, and Johan Santana used it at least once late in spring training. Write Belson and Pilon:
Toradol, a brand name for ketorolac, is among a family of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Doctors put it in the same class as ibuprofen (like Advil) and Alevel. But unlike those drugs, Toradol can be injected, as well as taken orally, and can act more quickly. It is most commonly used in emergency rooms and post-operation wards to help patients manage short-term inflammation and pain, but athletes are turning to it to deal with inflammation and pain.
The use of Toradol, which is made by a number of drug manufacturers, was at the center of a lawsuit filed in December by a dozen retired N.F.L. players who said the league and its teams repeatedly and indiscriminately administered the drug before and during games, thus worsening injuries like concussions. (The league disputed the claims.) The suit claimed that the use of Toradol was rampant in the N.F.L., with players lining up in their locker rooms before games to receive injections, a process the players called a cattle call. According to the complaint, no warnings were given and there was “no distinguishing between different medical conditions of the players, and regardless of whether the player had an injury of any kind.”
TRIVIA: How many homers has Bay hit as a Met, through Friday?
Friday's answer: When Cole Hamels lost consecutive 1-0 starts to the Mets in August 2010, he opposed Santana and Dickey.