Morning Briefing: deGrom day!

August, 7, 2014
8/07/14
5:20
AM ET
WASHINGTON

FIRST PITCH: Reigning NL Rookie of the Month Jacob deGrom is making a run at a franchise rookie record.

DeGrom (6-5, 2.77 ERA) has won five straight starts, the longest streak by a Mets rookie since Dillon Gee also won five straight in 2011.

The Mets rookie record is seven straight starts with a win, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. It was accomplished three times: by Jason Isringhausen (1995), Ron Darling (1984) and Dwight Gooden (1984).

DeGrom opposes right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (7-5, 3.00) at 12:35 p.m. Thursday in the rubber game against the Washington Nationals.

Thursday’s news reports:

Jonathon Niese surrendered homers to Adam LaRoche and Danny Espinosa and dropped to 0-4 with a 5.76 ERA in four starts since returning from the disabled list as Washington beat the Mets, 7-1, Wednesday. Niese insisted he is healthy. He suggested he revised his mechanics to avoid irritating his shoulder and has struggled with command as he adjusts to the delivery tweaks.

With Wednesday’s loss, the Mets (54-60) trail the first-place Nats by eight games. The Amazin’s run differential now stands at only plus-one for the season. The Mets are seven back in the wild card.

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

David Wright faults his struggles on tinkering, not injury. Writes columnist John Harper in the Daily News:

He insists his left shoulder, in which he received a cortisone shot nearly a month ago, is not a factor in hitting .194 so far in the second half.

Instead Wright is convinced that he turned himself into a mental mess at the plate, so quick to make changes and adjustments that essentially he has forgotten how to hit.

“I’ve made some mistakes this year, revamping some things with my swing that I probably shouldn’t mess with,” he was saying on Wednesday. “Especially after the All-Star break I started trying to change things when I didn’t get the results I wanted. Pretty soon you’re trying something new every at-bat and thinking about all the wrong things.

“Instead of realizing there are going to be times during the season when you’re going to have a hiccup and you need to ride it out, I was too quick to make adjustments, and you get to the point where you can’t remember what it felt like when you were going good.”

• Mets ownership has yet to pick up Sandy Alderson’s 2015 option, but columnist David Lennon in Newsday expects that to be a formality. Writes Lennon:

Alderson has a job now, presumably one he enjoys, and the impression here is that it should be only a matter of weeks before some kind of extension is announced. Alderson's original four-year contract expires in October. But he has an option for 2015, and we've always believed the only way he is ever stripped of the GM title is if Alderson chooses to leave Flushing on his own.

Although that's always possible, Alderson sounded Wednesday like someone who wants to stay on to see the Mets become a legitimate contender again -- and that won't be accomplished by the end of this season.

• Darren Rovell at ESPN.com has more on the Mets’ toy truck giveaway that included a Phillies logo. Essentially, the manufacturer took responsibility for a packaging error.

• Bill Price in the Daily News has a feature on deGrom, with additional material here.

San Francisco Giants right fielder Hunter Pence had a playful response Wednesday to those weekend signs at Citi Field taunting him.

• Greg Peavey tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings and Brian Burgamy and Dustin Lawley homered in Binghamton’s 5-1 win against Richmond. Dilson Herrera departed the game in the sixth after jamming a finger on a headfirst slide. Brandon Nimmo has been sidelined since Sunday with hand soreness. Jeremy Hefner allowed three runs and lasted only one inning, but St. Lucie scored six unearned runs in a 6-5 win against Fort Myers. Rob Whalen and Akeel Morris combined on a shutout in Game 1 and Stefan Sabol had two long balls, including a walk-off shot, in the nightcap as Savannah swept a doubleheader against Charleston. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• The Toronto Blue Jays acquired Class A right-hander Hunter Carnevale from the Mets for cash.

Matt Harvey dunked himself in an ice-cold pool for a good cause.

• Sandy Alderson discussed with ESPNNewYork.com why Kirk Nieuwenhuis was promoted over Matt den Dekker.

• Alderson all but said Bartolo Colon had not completed the waiver process as of Wednesday.

• Will Noah Syndergaard or Rafael Montero appear in the majors this season? Alderson was noncommittal with Mike Puma in the Post. “I’m not really speculating about what we’re going to do a month from now, in terms of bringing [Syndergaard] up or Montero or what have you,” Alderson told Puma. “We’ll see what happens here and see how they continue to perform.”

Syndergaard is due to face Albuquerque on Thursday. He has allowed only two runs (one earned) in 17 1/3 innings over his past three starts. Montero has tossed 14 2/3 scoreless innings over his past two starts.

Read more in the Daily News.

• Jared Diamond in the Journal examines Lucas Duda against left-handed pitching.

• Read more on Darryl Strawberry serious allegation against former teammate Kevin Mitchell in the Post.

BIRTHDAYS: Nieuwenhuis turns 27. ... Hawaiian Tyler Yates is 37. ... Danny Graves is 41.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: How do you predict Jacob deGrom will fare against the Nats on Thursday?
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

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
15 4.09 151 202
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187