Mets morning briefing 9.25.12

Ike Davis belted two long balls to reach the 30-homer plateau and produced a career-high five RBIs as the Mets beat the Pirates, 6-2, Monday night. Jenrry Mejia, despite a high pitch count, contributed five scoreless innings to notch his first major league win. After opening the second half 4-24 at Citi Field, the Mets have now won four straight at their home ballpark, albeit against Miami and the plummeting Pirates.

Now, Collin McHugh makes his first start in two weeks. McHugh (0-2, 3.86 ERA) opposes left-hander Wandy Rodriguez (11-13, 3.76) at 7:10 tonight.

Tuesday's news reports:

• Post beat writer Mike Puma reports the Mets have resolved to have Jason Bay on next year's Opening Day roster should they be unable to trade him.

• Read game recaps in the Record, Post, Star-Ledger, Times, Newsday and Daily News.

Jeurys Familia and Mejia both may be in the major league bullpen next season, but Paul DePodesta tells Andy McCullough in the Star-Ledger the starter-versus-relief debate continues in the organization. Writes McCullough:

Both appear more likely to work as relievers down the road. But the Mets intend to keep the dialogue open in regard to the duo, a pair of 22-year-olds who are among their top pitching prospects. “It could be debated for years to come, to be frank,” said Paul DePodesta, the team’s vice president for scouting and player development. “Because it may partly depend on major-league team need.” ... When discussing the two pitchers, DePodesta often references the Texas Rangers. Texas turned C.J. Wilson, once a closer, into an All-Star starter. Alexi Ogando vacillates between both roles. A similar experiment with Neftali Feliz this season garnered worse results: Feliz required Tommy John surgery. Even so, DePodesta said, “the Rangers have shown over and over again that it can be done,” he said.

Read more in the Record.

• Despite nothing at stake during the final nine games of the season, the Mets have so far not shut down unavailable Frank Francisco -- reasoning that he only has tendinitis in his right elbow and is not at risk for further injury once it calms.

Justin Turner, whose at-bat total is way down this season, intends to play winter ball with Escogido in the Dominican Republic.

Adam Loewen's two-run homer helped lift Canada to an 11-1 win in Regensburg, Germany, over the host country to qualify for the World Baseball Classic, which will be held during spring training.

• Can the Pirates produce their first winning season in 20 years? Well, after Monday's loss, they're three games under .500 with nine games remaining.

“We still haven’t printed the T-shirts,” manager Clint Hurdle quipped to Peter Botte in the Daily News. “That’s funny, come on. No, we still haven’t banged the drum or gotten the gavel out and said this is what we need to do. Everybody in this building is aware of it, so that would be a good finish. It would take seven wins to get to 82, and we have [nine] games left. We’ve all gotten through some kind of schooling to be able to do the numbers. It’s not a rallying cry, but it is in front of us.

“It’s been challenging because of what we were about to accomplish the first three-fifths of the season, the position we put ourselves in. But we let our identity slip from us. We haven’t finished how we wanted to. I’m not trying to find a moral victory in a lot of things, but I do know we are headed in the right direction. We just have to sustain what we have on a more consistent level.”

TRIVIA: David Wright is two hits shy of matching Ed Kranepool for the franchise's career hits record at 1,418. Which three active players lead their franchise's in career hits?

Monday's answer: During the Pirates' last winning season, in 1992, Doug Drabek led the team in victories. Drabek, whose son Kyle Drabek now pitches for the Toronto Blue Jays, went 15-11 with a 2.77 ERA and had 10 complete games in 34 starts for the '92 Bucs.