<
>

Morning briefing: Gee fizz in Philly

PHILADELPHIA

FIRST PITCH: The Mets send Jeremy Hefner to the mound on Wednesday night in a rubber game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Hefner opposes right-hander Kyle Kendrick.

Wednesday’s news reports:

Dillon Gee had his shortest career start and the Phillies beat the Mets, 8-3, Tuesday. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Times, Newsday, Record and MLB.com.

• Zack Wheeler was charged with four runs (one earned) on eight hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings as Las Vegas lost at Fresno, 4-1. Read the full minor league recap here. Read more in Newsday.

• Columnist John Harper in the Daily News notes the Mets have agent Scott Boras to thank -- yes, thank -- for drafting Matt Harvey. Because of Harvey’s perceived asking price, he slipped to the third round of the draft out of high school and did not sign. Instead, Harvey attended North Carolina and was drafted by the Mets three years later, receiving a $2.52 million signing bonus.

Ike Davis, who is 4-for-27 on the season and did not play Tuesday against Cliff Lee, is unconcerned. “I have more hits than last year at this time,” Davis told Mike Puma in the Post. Davis suggested he has been unlucky because pitchers have been painting the outer corner of the plate. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Newsday, Record and MLB.com.

Collin Cowgill is hitting .130 (3-for-23) on the season despite becoming the first player in Mets history to hit a grand slam in his debut with the team. “It’s definitely frustrating when you’re not having success,” Cowgill told Mark Hale in the Post. “I’m a competitor. I want to get a hit every time I’m in the box.”

Daniel Murphy, on the other hand, is hitting .333. And Terry Collins suggested the right intercostal strain Murphy suffered during spring training may be a factor -- in a positive sense -- in that it prevented Murphy from overworking and taxing himself. “The injury occurred, and it kept this guy from working himself to death, too,” Collins said. “That might be a difference. The game starts, and he still has got a lot of strength this time of year.” Read more in the Daily News.

• Jared Diamond in the Journal looks at the Mets’ patience -- or, perhaps, over-patience -- at the plate. The Mets don’t even swing at strikes. Writes Diamond:

History shows that teams that walk a lot tend to win a lot. In the past 10 years, the team that had the most walks finished the season with an average final record of 95-67.

The Mets have taken that to heart. According to the baseball statistics website FanGraphs, 49.4 percent of pitches thrown to the Mets this season were deemed to be in the strike zone -- fifth-most in baseball. Nonetheless, they had swung at only 60.8 percent of those strikes, which ranked 26th.

That discrepancy indicates that Mets hitters make a conscious effort to work the count, even if it means taking a strike.

• Israel and Honduras will meet in a soccer friendly at Citi Field on June 2.

Mike Pelfrey will not face the Mets this weekend in Minnesota. Pelfrey, with his mother in attendance, allowed six runs in two innings last night at Kansas City. Read more in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

From the bloggers … John Delcos at Mets Report examines whether Murphy should move to a middle-of-the-order slot in the lineup. … Each time Harvey pitches well, the respect level for the Mets goes up as well, writes The Eddie Kranepool Society. .. With a blowout brewing, Shannon from Mets Police began thinking about his DVR.

BIRTHDAYS: Frank Lary, who played for the Mets in the early ’60s, was born on this date in 1930.

TWEET OF THE DAY:

YOU’RE UP: Will Ike Davis turn things around?