Morning Briefing: Rocky Mountain low

May, 4, 2014
May 4
5:29
AM ET
DENVER

FIRST PITCH: Suddenly, the Mets need a quality performance from Dillon Gee to avoid getting swept in a four-game series at Coors Field and avoid dropping to .500 for the first time since April 22.

Gee (2-1, 2.88 ERA) opposes Colorado Rockies right-hander Jhoulys Chacin in Sunday’s 4:10 p.m. ET game. Chacin is making his season debut after dealing with a right shoulder strain. He went 14-10 with a 3.47 ERA in 31 starts last season.

Sunday’s news reports:


Doug Pensinger/Getty ImagesKyle Farnsworth walks off the field after surrendering a game-ending two-run homer to Charlie Culberson.


Kyle Farnsworth surrendered a walk-off two-run homer to Charlie Culberson and the Mets lost to the Rockies, 11-10, Saturday night. The Mets led 6-0, but Jenrry Mejia surrendered eight fifth-inning runs, capped by a one-out grand slam by Nolan Arenado. It marked the second straight season the Mets had blown a six-run lead at Coors Field.

Terry Collins suggested leaving Mejia in to face Arenado made sense, since Arenado had hit groundballs the previous two at-bats. “Arenado did not have particularly good swings on Jenrry Mejia,” Collins said. “I thought he could get another groundball out of him.”

Opponents are now hitting .438 against Mejia the third time through the order this season, which raises the question of whether Mejia might instead be better in a late-inning role.

As for Culberson’s decisive homer, Farnsworth said: “Fastball up and away. It just came middle, I guess. He put a good swing on it.”

The Mets dropped to 15-14.

Read game recaps in the Denver Post, Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Times and at MLB.com.

Daisuke Matsuzaka has a right-calf injury, but downplayed the severity.

Juan Lagares is now the “everyday” center fielder, Collins said, while allowing for periodic rest to avoid Lagares irritating his right hamstring.

Collins nonetheless said he would “try” to get Eric Young Jr. in Sunday’s lineup, after E.Y. Jr. was on the bench for three straight games.

Read more in the Star-Ledger, Record, Daily News and at MLB.com.

David Wright has not homered since Opening Day, when he went deep in the 10th inning against Washington’s Jerry Blevins. Wright has gone a career-high 115 at-bats without a long ball.

Wright nonetheless had three hits and an intentional walk Saturday to lift his season average to .275, albeit with a .333 slugging percentage.

“To me, you expect results when you do things you're supposed to do right,” Wright told Marc Carig in Newsday. “And when you don’t get those results, I think it’s easy to try to hit the ball extra hard next time. Sometimes you can get yourself into a bit of a hole. …

“There were some balls that I hit at Citi Field that quite frankly, I hit very well. They catch them on the track in right-center. You try to tell yourself to keep with the plan and they’ll start falling. But it’s only natural in the next at-bat to instinctively try to hit it even more hard.”

• Outfield prospect Jared King proposed to his girlfriend Maggie Watson at Savannah’s game Saturday.

• Pitching prospect Rob Whalen has been hospitalized with an infection on his pitching hand.

• Matt Clark scored the tiebreaking run on a wild pitch as Binghamton won the opener of a doubleheader against Portland. Luis Cessa allowed one run on two hits in five innings as St. Lucie salvaged a doubleheader split with a 5-1 win in its nightcap at Bradenton. Gavin Cecchini went 3-for-6 as Savannah beat Rome, 12-2. Read the full minor-league recap here.

Matt Harvey’s rehab from Tommy John surgery is set to advance to throwing on flat ground at 120 feet.

Lucas Duda started at first base against a left-handed pitcher Saturday and likely will be doing that more in the future, according to Collins.

• Marc Carig in Newsday suggests one reason the Mets kept Duda over Ike Davis is that the speed of balls off Duda’s bat is among the elite in the league, rivaling Joey Votto’s. Writes Carig:

The Mets noticed the trend playing itself out last season, when [Sandy] Alderson said Duda finished “in the upper echelon” of big-league hitters.

According to the team’s internal metrics, the number of Duda’s batted balls above 100 mph was more than double the league average. It was enough to make him second among National League first basemen in exit speed, behind only the Reds’ Joey Votto.

Of course, nobody is mistaking Duda for Votto, a perennial MVP contender. But the Mets believe Duda is capable of bridging that gap in production.

• A former Mets massage therapist has been accused of sexually abusing two female trainers, Julia Marsh reports in the Post.

• Sal Cacciatore in Newsday gets fan reaction to the Mets’ “True New Yorkers” pitch.

• Reigning NL batting champ Michael Cuddyer was eligible to come off the DL on Saturday to face the Mets, but remains day-to-day as he mends a left hamstring strain, writes Nick Groke in the Denver Post. No. 1 Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario is dealing with the flu and did not play Saturday, Groke also writes.

• Tyler Kepner in the Times catches up with ex-Met Collin McHugh, who is 2-0 with a 0.59 ERA in two starts for the Houston Astros.

From the bloggers ... NY Mets Life suggests the Mets need to allow Matt Harvey to be Matt Harvey.

BIRTHDAYS: Miguel Cairo turns 40. ... Robinson Cancel is 38. ... Manny Aybar is 42.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets consider using Jenrry Mejia as closer (or, at least, in a late-inning reliever) and place Daisuke Matsuzaka or a Triple-A arm in the big-league rotation?
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.295 8 42 62
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 19
RBIL. Duda 60
RD. Murphy 62
OPSL. Duda .864
WB. Colon 10
ERAJ. Niese 3.23
SOZ. Wheeler 125