Morning Briefing: Niese Day in St. Louis

June, 17, 2014
Jun 17
5:57
AM ET
ST. LOUIS

FIRST PITCH: The Mets face another tough task Tuesday at Busch Stadium.

Jonathon Niese (3-3, 2.54 ERA) opposes right-hander Michael Wacha (4-5, 2.88) in the 8:15 p.m. ET game.

Tuesday’s news reports:

Jacob deGrom allowed six runs in 4 1/3 innings in his shortest career start and the Mets lost to the Cardinals, 6-2, Monday. Eric Young Jr. (hamstring) returned from the disabled list and threw out a runner at the plate from left field, but he also struck out to strand the bases loaded in the fourth. David Wright had only his third hit in his last 43 at-bats and afterward said there is no physical ailment hindering him.

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

• The Mets had their pitcher in the starting lineup batting in the No. 8 slot for the first time in franchise history. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• In his first appearance since landing on the DL with a left shoulder sprain, Noah Syndergaard allowed four runs in four innings as Las Vegas lost to Oklahoma City, 5-1. Wally Backman was ejected. St. Lucie remained a half-game out in its first-half division title race with two games remaining with a 6-2 win against Charlotte. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• In light of Tony Gwynn’s death potentially being tied to smokeless tobacco, Josh Edgin tells Mike Puma in the Post he may redouble his efforts to quit the product.

“I grew up with it and it’s one of those things for me, it’s a relaxing thing, helps you get unstrung,” Edgin told Puma. “I have attempted to stop, but it’s kind of hard to do it during the season when there’s guys around you doing it. I actually started when I was 16 years old, working in the summer, and it was just there and nothing to do other than work, so ‘Let’s try this.’”

• Read Wright’s thoughts on Gwynn’s passing in the Daily News.

Travis d’Arnaud will not return Wednesday after spending the minimum 10 days in the minors, but he should be with Vegas less than 20 days, a team official suggested. Read more in Newsday.

Dillon Gee threw off a mound Monday, while Juan Lagares took live batting practice as both work back from side-muscle injuries.

Andrew Brown was demoted to clear the roster spot for the return of E.Y. Jr. from the disabled list. A team official said there was not consideration given to releasing Chris Young.

Daisuke Matsuzaka remained too weak to pitch Monday, a day after getting forced from a start because of intense stomach pain.

• YouTube video purports to show a brawl at Citi Field during Saturday’s 50 Cent concert.

• Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post writes why the Mets would have difficulty copying the turnaround of the Kansas City Royals.

• Michael Salfino in the Journal ranks teams based on projected tickets sales compared with market size and won-loss record.

• Savannah will have 10 players in Tuesday’s South Atlantic League All-Star Game, which will be played in Hickory, N.C.: right-handers Kevin McGowan, Miller Diaz, Akeel Morris, Robert Coles, John Gant and Tim Peterson, left-hander Dario Alvarez, infielders Jeff McNeil, Gavin Cecchini and L.J. Mazzilli. Gnats manager Luis Rojas will lead the Southern Division team.

BIRTHDAYS: Shawn Abner, the first overall pick in the draft by the Mets in ’84, was born on this date in 1966.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should Jon Niese bat eighth for the Mets on Tuesday?
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
.298 8 43 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