Friday, July 1, 2011
Mets morning briefing 7.1.11
By Adam Rubin
The Mets' four-game winning streak -- during which they scored a franchise-record 52 runs -- came to an end Thursday afternoon in Detroit with a 5-2 loss, even if Justin Verlander's velocity was not its normal eye-popping 98-99 mph. The Mets nonetheless won road series at American League division leaders Texas and Detroit and enter the Subway Series at Citi Field above .500 at 41-40. Read the series preview here.
Friday's news reports:
• David Einhorn and the Mets hoped to have a completed deal for a minority share announced by the end of June. That has not materialized yet, but a team spokesman told the Post the sides are still exclusively speaking and positive about a favorable resolution. "The Mets ownership and David Einhorn are engaged in exclusive, positive discussions regarding an investment in the team," the spokesman told the newspaper.
• Jon Niese has been cleared to pitch the series opener against the Yankees, although doctors still do not know the cause of the rapid heartbeat that surfaced during his outing Saturday at Texas. Niese said the issue happens once or twice a month on the mound, and only while pitching. Read more in the Star-Ledger.
• Mike Pelfrey struggled to command his pitches and was pulled in the fifth inning, having allowed five runs (four earned). Read game stories in the Times, Record , Newsday, Journal, Daily News and Star-Ledger.
• Record columnist Tara Sullivan writes that the Subway Series has some energy with both teams entering on a roll.
• Post columnist Mike Vaccaro notes that both teams would have entered the weekend on five-game winning streaks if not for Verlander topping the Mets.
• With the Mets at the midpoint of the season -- 81 games down, 81 to go -- the Record's Steve Popper takes a look back and offers a look ahead. His first-half MVP? No doubt, Jose Reyes.
• Voting closed for the All-Star game at midnight last night. Reyes should overtake Troy Tulowitzki as the NL's starting shortstop when the team is announced Sunday.
• Newsday does a position-by-position analysis of the Mets versus Yankees.
• Newsday's David Lennon speaks with Josh Thole about how the catcher handled a rough first half both behind the plate and hitting-wise. Thole quit Twitter because he determined it was not fun to interact with fans when a fraction berated him, but the issues were deeper. Writes Lennon:
Thole, only 24 and without a full season in the majors, was batting .234 and was worried about his future. This was not how his season was supposed to start, not after the Mets had handed him the starting catcher's job based on his strong finish the previous year. "I will go through nothing like that ever again," Thole said this week at Comerica Park . "It was every day. It was the hardest thing I've ever been through. When you're going out there busting your butt and you don't get a hit, and then the catching is not going like you want it to go, it just builds up. It's hard. It's stressful. You're thinking to yourself it can't get any worse, and the next day, something more happens, and then you think about your job. You really do. I can't tell you how many times I thought, I gotta get this thing going."
• The Post calculates the Yankees' payroll advantage -- just among active players for the weekend -- is $85 million over the Mets.
• Post columnist Joel Sherman contrasts New York's shortstops -- Derek Jeter and Reyes.
BIRTHDAY: Original Met Craig Anderson turns 73. Anderson won three of his first four decisions for the 1962 team, then lost his last 16 decisions that season. He would go 0-2 with the 1963 team and 0-1 in 1964 to finish his Mets career with 19 straight defeats. -Mark Simon