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Thursday, June 9, 2011
Mets morning briefing 6.9.11

By Adam Rubin

The Mets grabbed a 6-2 lead with a five-run eighth, then watched it erased the following half-inning against Pedro Beato and Jason Isringhausen. They suffered their first walk-off loss of 2011 an inning later, 7-6 to the Milwaukee Brewers.

"Right now there's an empty feeling because we thought we had that one wrapped up," Terry Collins said.

Thursday's news reports:

• Isringhausen allowed Prince Fielder's second two-run homer of the game. "I made a mistake. I know I have first base open," Isringhausen said. "And as hot as he's been, I shouldn't give him anything to hit right there. That ball caught a lot of the plate. Mistake on my part. As soon as I came in the game, Terry said, 'Don't forget you have a base open.' The last thing I wanted to do is leave one in the middle of the plate -- especially a straight one." Read game stories in the Record, Times, Star-Ledger, Post, Daily News and Newsday.

Jason Bay does not believe a vision issue is contributing to his struggles. He's now 0-for-23. Writes Newsday's David Lennon:

During day games, Bay is hitting .304 (14-for-46) with a .429 on-base percentage. At night, that plummets to .165 (15-for-91) and .243, respectively. Bay was curious when asked about the splits, but doubted that his eyes were the reason. The leftfielder said he has astigmatism in his left eye, but that hasn't been an issue, and the 32-year-old doesn't wear glasses or contacts. When he was last checked, during his spring training physical, Bay said his vision was 20-20. Bay did say, however, that the subject had come up, and for the moment, no eye exams are scheduled. ... [Hitting coach Dave] Hudgens believes it's more of a mental block.

Collins indicated he is sticking with Bay in the lineup. Still, Bay told Mike Puma in the Post he is aware the bench could be looming if he does not pick up his performance. "That's the reality of the situation we're in," Bay said. "I'm not going to sit here and tell you that is not an option. I'm pretty aware of what's going on."

• Newsday columnist Ken Davidoff writes Jose Reyes will be the most high-impact player -- position player or pitcher -- available at the trading deadline.

Brian Costa of The Wall Street Journal looks at the Reyes trade/free agency issue as well. Writes Costa:

The better Reyes plays, the more expensive he likely will be to re-sign, and the more value he figures to command on the July trade market. As a result, it becomes harder for the Mets to hold onto him. At the same time, the longer Reyes keeps playing this way, the more difficult a break-up becomes. How could a big-market team allow a homegrown star in his prime to sign elsewhere? Vince Gennaro, author of "Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball," said it would be unwise to value Reyes based on a performance spike in a contract year. But failing to re-sign him would be a hard sell to a fan base that is already frustrated. "The odds that this is the new Jose Reyes and that he's going to have a five-year run that even remotely resembles this are minuscule," Gennaro said. "But that's not where the fan base is going to come from."

David Waldstein in the Times looks at the relationship between Isringhausen (293 career saves) and Francisco Rodriguez (285 saves). Writes Waldstein:

Rodriguez needs nine to vault Isringhausen, who has now made it his goal to assist him in doing just that.  “If I can help him achieve something that he wants, then that makes me feel good,” Isringhausen said. “Hopefully he ends up with 500.”

BIRTHDAYS: Billy Baldwin, the former Met and not the Hollywood actor, turns 60. Like June 7 birthday boy, Esix Snead, Baldwin’s only Mets home run was a walk-off, on Sept. 24, 1976 against the Cubs. He played in nine games for the Mets. The team won seven. -Mark Simon