Morning Briefing: Halfway done

June, 29, 2014
Jun 29
5:32
AM ET
PITTSBURGH

FIRST PITCH: Terry Collins did not sugarcoat where the Mets stand precisely halfway through their schedule.

After the Mets beat the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday to improve to 37-44 at the midpoint, the club is on pace for the same 74-win total as the previous two seasons. (Not quite 90.)

The Mets are six games behind the co-division-leading Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves (43-38 apiece), although the Philadelphia Phillies (36-45) now occupy the division basement.

“We’re not going to make any excuses,” Collins said. “We’re not happy about it.”


Mike Stobe/Getty ImagesDillon Gee makes a rehab start Sunday with Brooklyn.


The manager continued: “We’re hanging in there. As I told the guys the other day, ‘Listen, we’ve just got to push through the All-Star break, go into the break on a positive note. … We have like 15 games before the break. Let’s go 10-5. Let’s not get crazy. Hopefully you get really hot, but let’s just go 10-5, go into the break close and then, coming out of the break, everybody will be rested. We’ll be healthy, Dillon [Gee] will be back and now let’s take off after that.’”

Gee is due to make a rehab start Sunday for the Brooklyn Cyclones.

Pitching coach Dan Warthen estimated Gee will throw 55 in-game pitches. Gee, on the disabled list with a strained lat muscle on his right side, likely will need one additional minor-league start before presumably displacing Daisuke Matsuzaka in the rotation.

Meanwhile, the Mets send Bartolo Colon to the mound Sunday at PNC Park looking to split the four-game series. Colon (8-5, 3.67) opposes right-hander Edinson Volquez (5-6, 4.35).

The 41-year-old Colon is 6-0 with a 1.58 ERA in his last seven starts.

Sunday’s news reports:


Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY SportsDavid Wright received a favorable report on his left shoulder Saturday in New York.


David Wright received favorable news during an examination with team doctor Struan Coleman at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan on Saturday. The captain was diagnosed with a bruised left rotator cuff and may avoid the disabled list. Wright will remain in New York and be reevaluated Monday by team doctors.

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

Jonathon Niese lost his control in the fourth inning and issued consecutive bases-loaded walks, but the southpaw overall limited Pittsburgh to three runs in six innings. And after Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia combined to retire all nine batters they faced, the Mets had completed a 5-3 win against the Pirates on Saturday to snap a three-game losing streak.

The Mets wore Negro Leagues-era uniforms from the Brooklyn Royal Giants during the victory.

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

• Backup catcher Anthony Recker required a postgame X-ray of his right hand, but minimized the issue.

• Long Island native Steven Matz tossed six scoreless innings to earn his first Double-A win and Dilson Herrera homered and had five RBIs as Binghamton held off Altoona, 8-7. Eudy Pina slugged a disputed walk-off homer as St. Lucie beat Bradenton, 4-3. Jorge Rivero delivered a walk-off RBI as Savannah beat Rome, 4-3. Eighth-round pick Dash Winningham produced his first professional homer as the Gulf Coast League Mets won, 7-2. Read the full minor-league recap here.

Scott Rice has an elbow injury at Triple-A Las Vegas.

• Columnist Bill Madden in the Daily News suggests the Mets and Yankees are in the same boat as the July 31 trade deadline nears -- rightfully sellers with an eye toward 2015, but unlikely to strip down this year’s team.

Columnist David Lennon in Newsday suggests Colon, Gee and Daniel Murphy could be on the block.

Chris Young has taken over the role of clubhouse D.J., which formerly was held by Justin Turner, Tim Rohan reports in the Times. Writes Rohan:

He actively seeks out requests. After wins, he plays what he called “Lil Jon-style music.” Before day games, he plays something lighter. He has noticed that everyone seems to enjoy hip-hop like Notorious B.I.G. and Outkast. Michael Jackson Sundays have been a big hit, too.

• Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger asks Pirates GM Neal Huntington why the Mets and his club have been compatible in trades. The Mets have sent Marlon Byrd, John Buck and Ike Davis to Pittsburgh in a pair of deals since last August.

• Jim Baumbach in Newsday examines Colon’s success, even with a fastball that is averaging a career-low 89.1 mph. That’s down from 89.9 mph last season with the Oakland Athletics and down from 93.2 mph a dozen years ago.

“Everybody says he throws one pitch -- a fastball -- just like everyone always said Mariano Rivera threw one pitch with the cutter,” A’s first baseman/outfielder Brandon Moss told Baumbach. “But because they can throw that one pitch to all four quadrants of the strike zone, they really become four pitches.”

The Daily News gives a plug to partner SNY’s debuting game show, which pitted the Mets TV and radio broadcast crews. It was hosted by Kevin Burkhardt.

BIRTHDAYS: 1960s-era Met Larry Stahl was born on this date in 1941.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Are you upbeat about the Mets’ late-inning relief?
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
.289 7 38 58
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 17
RBIL. Duda 53
RD. Murphy 58
OPSL. Duda .855
WB. Colon 9
ERAJ. Niese 3.13
SOZ. Wheeler 121