Morning Briefing: Niese takes hill vs. Cards

April, 23, 2014
Apr 23
7:00
AM ET
NEW YORK

First Pitch: The Mets were 7-7, 8-8, 9-9 and now they're 10-10, with two games remaining in this week's series against the Cardinals.

Jonathon Niese (0-2, 2.84), who starts for the Mets tonight, has had some success against St. Louis. The Mets have won four of his five career starts against the Cards.

Niese could be a tough matchup for the Cardinals, whose .180 batting average against left-handers is the worst in the majors so far this season.

Then again, Cardinals starter Michael Wacha (2-1, 1.73) is proving to be a touch matchup for any opponent.

Wednesday's news reports:

[+] EnlargeCurtis Granderson
Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesWill Curtis Granderson snap his career-high 0-for-22 funk tonight?
• The Mets were no match for Adam Wainwright, who worked seven shutout innings in a 3-0 Cardinal win, leaving with what turned out to be a minor injury. The Mets had just four singles against Wainwright and none in two innings against the Cardinals bullpen. Curtis Granderson's struggles continued, but his teammates didn't do much, either. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Times, Newsday, Star Ledger, Record, Wall Street Journal and MLB.com.

• What to do with Granderson, now hitless in a career-high 22 straight at-bats? Terry Collins says he's not about to sit his slumping $60 million outfielder. Read more on MLB.com.

• For more on Wainwright's injury (announced as a hyperextended right knee, but not nearly as serious as that makes it sound), here's the report on MLB.com (you might even recognize the byline).

Matt Harvey is making news again, but you can bet the Mets wish he weren't. Tuesday's issue was with Harvey's Twitter account, or rather with what he put on it.

Whether the Mets liked it or not, the tabloids sure did. Read more in the Post and Star Ledger, and on MLB.com. Even the Times considered it newsworthy. On the bright side, Harvey said his arm feels good, as Newsday wrote. Meanwhile, Newsday columnist Anthony Rieber says it's time for Harvey to grow up.

Bobby Abreu will likely make his first Mets start on Thursday afternoon, but his primary role will be as the first bat off the bench. Read more in the Post.

• It's natural to wonder why Lucas Duda isn't batting cleanup. Terry Collins addressed it Sunday when he moved Curtis Granderson out of the fourth spot, but understandably the questions continue. Read more in the Star Ledger.

• As Adam Rubin wrote here on Tuesday, the Mets wore seven different uniforms in seven games. How crazy is that? The Wall Street Journal has more details.

From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear suggests 2014 is the reincarnation of offense-challenged 1968, with Curtis Granderson in the role of Tommie Agee.

BIRTHDAYS: Warren Spahn, who made 19 starts for the 1965 Mets (he went 4-12), was born on this date in 1921. . . . Duke Carmel, who played half a season with the Mets in 1963, turns 77 . . . Sean Henn, who made four appearances for the Mets last year, turns 32.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU'RE UP: What would you do to get Curtis Granderson straightened out at the plate?

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.295 9 54 75
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 27
RBIL. Duda 81
RD. Murphy 75
OPSL. Duda .821
WB. Colon 14
ERAJ. Niese 3.55
SOZ. Wheeler 173