FIRST PITCH: The 10-game homestand is only one game old, but already the New York Mets have traded Ike Davis and nearly got no-hit. Now they face a pitcher who held them to three hits in eight scoreless innings just 10 days ago in Atlanta.
Ervin Santana (1-0, 0.64), outstanding so far after signing with the Braves during spring training, starts against the Mets on Saturday night at Citi Field. Bartolo Colon (1-2, 6.00), who threw seven shutout innings in Atlanta but allowed nine runs in five innings last Sunday in Anaheim, is the scheduled starter for the Mets.
Colon has been dealing with back spasms this week, but the word Friday was that he was good to go to face the Braves. Even so, Mets manager Terry Collins said he would have newly-promoted Daisuke Matsuzaka ready to start if Colon has a last-minute setback.
In any case, Saturday has a long way to go to be as busy as Friday. The Mets finally dealt with their first-base logjam by dealing Davis to the Pirates. Then they got only one hit -- a two-out David Wright single in the eighth inning -- in a 6-0 loss to the Braves.
Saturday's news reports:
• Almost four years to the day after he made his Mets debut, Davis went to the Pirates for minor-league reliever Zack Thornton and a player to be named later.
It was hardly surprising to see Davis dealt, since the Mets had already decided to give most of the playing time at first base to Lucas Duda. How the trade is eventually viewed will depend on whether Davis can resurrect his career with the Pirates, and also on the identity of the player to be named. There were suggestions Friday night that the second player could be significant. ESPNNY.com's Adam Rubin points out that it could be someone who was drafted last June, since those players can't officially be traded until 12 months have passed.
• The Post quotes a "Pirates insider" as saying that Thornton is "not much of a prospect." That's hardly a surprising assessment, considering he's a 25-year-old middle reliever in his second year in Triple-A and his fifth year in the minor leagues, and was left unprotected in last December's Rule 5 draft. Post columnist Kevin Kernan says Davis is the true winner of the trade. Daily News columnist John Harper says the Mets should have traded Davis earlier.
• The Mets did not get a hit in seven innings against Aaron Harang, who made four starts for them last September. Wright's single off Luis Avilan at least kept them from getting no-hit for the first time since 1993 (and the first time at home since 1969).
From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear considers the inevitability of Ike Davis's departure.
BIRTHDAYS: Frank "Sweet Music" Viola, who is recovering from open-heart surgery, turns 54. ... Former reliever Ambiorix Burgos is 30.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
Happy birthday @FrankViola16, I pray improved health is your #1 gift this year!! #Mets
— Fran Pieniazek (@fpieniaz) April 19, 2014
YOU'RE UP: How will Ike Davis do with the Pirates, and will the Mets come to regret trading him away?