FIRST PITCH: The New York Mets (35-41) are back in the Big Apple for a very brief homestand -- two interleague games against the AL West-leading Oakland A's (47-29), who boast the best record in Major League Baseball, on Tuesday and Wednesday nights at Citi Field.
After that, the Mets hit the road again, for four games in Pittsburgh followed by three in Atlanta. Their next home series won't begin until July 4.
This is the first matchup between these teams since 2011. Bartolo Colon (7-5, 3.88) will make his 15th start of the season for the Mets, opposed by former Mets prized prospect Scott Kazmir (9-2, 2.08). It's Kazmir's first appearance in Queens since being traded by the Mets back in 2004.
Kazmir has been brilliant all season long, but Colon is 5-0 with a 1.66 ERA in his past six starts. This should be a good one.
Tuesday's news reports:
• Travis d'Arnaud will be back with the Mets on Tuesday, and likely be in the starting lineup -- we're waiting to hear whether it'll be Anthony Recker or Taylor Teagarden who is jettisoned to make room for him.
• Mets general manager Sandy Alderson held the same position with the A's from 1983 to 1997. Daily News columnist Bill Madden writes that Alderson could learn a thing or two from current A's GM Billy Beane -- click here to read more.
Kevin Kernan of the Post writes that the Mets need to start playing like the low-budget A's -- click here to read more.
• The infamous trade was made nearly 10 years ago to the day, on June 30, 2004 -- Kazmir (and Jose Diaz) to Tampa Bay for Victor Zambrano (and Bartolome Fortunato). Read more in the Daily News.
• Colon will be facing his former club on Tuesday as well. He pitched for Oakland the past two seasons, and A's manager Bob Melvin is looking forward to seeing him -- at the plate, anyway. Read more on MLB.com.
• From the bloggers ... NY Mets Life gives their weekly recap on the NL East.
BIRTHDAYS: Mike Bruhert turns 63 on Tuesday. A Queens native, Bruhert spent just one year in the major leagues, 1978 -- in 27 games (22 starts) for the Mets, he went 4-11 with a 4.78 ERA. He later became the pitching coach at Fordham University.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
Night off. Heading down to Radio City. Hoping to see Dave Chappelle. Hear he is a big Mets fan. Show a sellout.Will trade a hat for tickets.
— Jay Horwitz (@Jay_HorwitzPR) June 23, 2014
YOU'RE UP: How painful is that Kazmir trade to think about, even 10 years later?