Morning Briefing: Curtains for homestand


FIRST PITCH: Another eventful (and losing) New York Mets homestand comes to a close with Wednesday's 1:10 p.m. game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The Mets split the first two games with the Pirates, after dropping two of three in series with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks. They also dropped a relief pitcher (Jose Valverde) and a hitting coach (Dave Hudgens), and watched Hudgens drop hints all over town that the Mets' problems went far beyond anything he could control.

After Wednesday's game, the Mets head to Philadelphia, to begin a stretch where they'll play 24 of the next 32 games on the road.

Wednesday's news reports:

• New hitting coach Lamar Johnson debuted Tuesday, and the Mets scored a few (but not many) runs in their 4-2 win over the Pirates. Read more on the game in the Post, Times, Newsday, Star Ledger, Record and at MLB.com.

• The Hudgens story continues to dominate the news, as everyone tries to figure out what it means in the bigger picture. Hudgens suggested in some of his Tuesday interviews that general manager Sandy Alderson isn't being allowed to make all the decisions, and Howard Megdal writes in Capital New York that the GM didn't make this one. Megdal says Jeff Wilpon ordered the firing in what his sources called an "angry meeting" with Alderson.

Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post says Hudgens has confirmed all the worst suspicions of Mets fans. Anthony Rieber in Newsday wonders if the firing was a sign from the Wilpons to Alderson, and an indication that Alderson's rebuilding plan is going up in smoke. Dave D'Alessandro in the Star Ledger is just happy to see the fans get fed up.

Read more on Hudgens in the Post, Newsday, Journal and Record.

• Is the booing at Citi Field really a reason for the Mets' problems at home? Hudgens suggested it is, and John Harper in the Daily News says that Terry Collins agrees. Read more on Mets fans in the Times.

• Or is it Keith Hernandez that's the problem? Bob Raissman in the Daily News looks back at some Keith history.

• The best news for the Mets (even better than a win) came from Noah Syndergaard's MRI, which the team said came back clean. Read more in the Post, Times and MLB.com,

Dillon Gee isn't coming back soon. Read more in Newsday.

• Did you see 50 Cent's first pitch? The Post said he would fit right into the Mets bullpen. Read more in the Daily News.

From the bloggers: Faith and Fear decides to combat the "negativity," at least for one night.

BIRTHDAYS: Ryota Igarashi turns 35. ... Mike DiFelice is 45.


YOU'RE UP: Are you happy to see this homestand end?