- Andrew Marchand, ESPNNewYork.com
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After being swept by the Yankees, the Mets did some work in Tampa, taking care of the Rays. The Mets kept piling on the runs against one of the best pitching staffs in the game. Adam Rubin writes:
The Mets -- who scored 11, nine and nine runs -- last posted at least nine runs in three straight games in 2006. They last did it consecutively in the same series back in 1990, when they scored 43 runs in the final three games of a four-game set against the Chicago Cubs. Dave Magadan had a six-RBI game at Wrigley Field back then.
Meanwhile, Jon Rauch wasn't all-a-Twitter after finally coming through for Johan Santana.
• Today, the Mets should find out if R.A. Dickey will be given a no-hitter for Wednesday's start in Tampa. The Mets are trying to have David Wright charged with an error on B.J. Upton's first-inning bouncer. It has made for a little bit of an awkward situation, as usually teams don't try to have their franchise player -- or anyone, for that matter -- awarded an a negative stat. Dickey is not sure how he feels about it, the Times' Andrew Keh writes:
“It would be weird,” Dickey said of a potential scoring change. “I don’t know if it would be quite as satisfying. I think the asterisk beside the no-hitter would get more attention than the no-hitter.”
Dickey joked that the final out would have to be re-enacted at Citi Field. He was asked if there was any part of him that wished the team had not sent the appeal. He seemed torn.
“A part of me would love a no-hitter -- regardless of how you get it, it’s still a no-hitter -- and a part of me thinks it would be cheap,” Dickey said. “Which part wins out? Ask me tomorrow.”
• The whole thing is not perfect, the News' Roger Rubin writes:
“I guess that’s not an ideal situation,” Wright said sheepishly. “That’s their decision. It’s a little awkward when the team wants an error on its own player.”
• The Record's Jeff Roberts went in-depth about Dickey's knuckleball:
A tiny, but dedicated fraternity has grown among knuckleballers, largely because no one else understands it. Only about 70 men have used it as their primary pitch since the dawn of the major leagues.
"You're talking about eight to 10 guys left in the world who have done this," Hough said.
So they help each other. Dickey relies on Hough and Wakefield -- who invited the then-Twin in 2009 to watch his bullpen session.
But the next to "carry the torch," as Candiotti called it, is unknown. Yet he, Hough and Dickey think the knuckleball will live on as long as there are desperate pitchers and desperate teams.
"We're always going to find somebody who can throw it," Hough said. "It's got to be a special guy, a guy with real nerve."
• There is no hangover from Johan Santana's no-hitter, the News' John Harper writes:
And while Collins blamed himself after the Yankee game a week ago for giving Santana two extra days of rest, this time he admitted he wonders whether the no-hitter is a factor in Santana’s recent lack of sharpness.
“The adrenaline rush from a no-hitter, it takes its toll,” Collins said. “It takes time to get that out of your system. But I’m not real worried about it. I think he just needs to get back into that pattern of pitching where he’s comfortable.”
The good news for the Mets is that no one seems to think Santana is paying a price physically for throwing all those pitches, or that his surgically repaired shoulder is any type of concern.
“The 134 pitches is a non-issue,” pitching coach Dan Warthen said flatly.
“That’s over,” Santana himself said. “That was, like, two weeks ago. I’m fine, man.”
Santana cited long innings on the bench and the Rays’ ability to lay off his changeup, forcing him to pitch from behind in the count, as factors in his mediocre outing.
The pitching coach thought it was simpler than all that.
“He’s too strong right now,” Warthen said. “He’s had way too much rest. I thought he was overthrowing his fastball a great deal today, which is great because he feels so strong, but he’s rusty. He needs to get out there and pitch.”
• If Jason Bay had more time to rehab, would he be better now? Terry Collins seems to think so. The Star-Ledger's Andy McCullough writes:
Justin Turner (sprained ankle) made his rehab debut with Triple-A Buffalo. He could be ready by Sunday, but Collins wants Turner to get a plethora of at-bats before returning. Jason Bay’s slow start off the disabled list is part of Collins’ motivation. He wants his players to receive a solid amount of rehab at-bats now. When Turner returns, Omar Quintanilla will still be the everyday shortstop, Collins said. Backup infielder Ronny Cedeno (strained calf) will join Turner in Buffalo Friday.
• Collins has been great all year. Now, he has to add juggling to his act. The Post's Mike Puma writes:
After six straight games in American League ballparks, Collins and the Mets will return to National League rules tonight at Citi Field against the Reds, eliminating the designated hitter from the equation as the manager tries to find steady playing time for four outfielders.
Collins hinted yesterday he likely will try to keep Bay and Lucas Duda consistently at the corner outfield positions while using Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Andres Torres in a center field platoon.
• Zach Wheeler is the Mets' best pitching prospect and one of the best in all of baseball. He also is not a quitter and has a great family background. Kevin Kernan of the Post writes:
Wheeler said he never will give in to adversity.
“I’m not a quitter,’’ the 6-foot-4, 185-pound Wheeler told The Post. “I’m not going to go out there and just because I can’t throw a strike and I give up a few hits ... say, ‘Oh man, it’s not my day.’ I’m going to battle and at least think about making quality pitches and keeping my team in it. I’m a competitive person. I really didn’t like my performance today, but I was happy with my six innings.’’
Wheeler’s parents, Elaine and Barry, came up from Georgia yesterday to see the youngest of their three sons pitch.
“I’m a grounded guy because of my family,’’ Wheeler said.
• The Mets are looking into adding a section to make it easier for children with autism to attend games.
A Mets official told the Daily News on Thursday that club officials began thinking about designating a quiet section after hosting autistic children and their families at Citi Field on May 6, the Mets’ 10th annual Autism Awareness Day.
“We want to make opportunities to attend games at Citi Field available to people who have personal issues and conditions that we can accommodate,” said Dave Howard, the team’s vice president of business operations.
TRIVIA: Who was the Met who went on the "Howard Stern Show" before the 2000 Subway World Series and jokingly predicted a Mets victory?
Thursday's answer: The Mets had consecutive road sweeps at Baltimore and Cleveland in 2010.
After being swept by the Yankees, the Mets did some work in Tampa, taking care of the Rays. The Mets kept piling on the runs against one of the best pitching staffs in the game.