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Sunday, August 21, 2011
Mets morning briefing 8.21.11

By Adam Rubin

The Mets overcame a six-run deficit, and took the lead against former teammate Francisco Rodriguez, but Jason Isringhausen failed to record an out in the ninth and the Amazin's lost to Milwaukee, 11-9, Saturday. (Watch Isringhausen react to the outing here.)

Sunday's news reports:

• Citi Field is expected to get modestly more hitter-friendly in 2012, with changes such as making the left-field wall a standard eight feet. “It’s very difficult to play here if you’re an offensive player,” Terry Collins told Jeff Bradley in the Star-Ledger. “Especially if you’re a guy who’s supposed to be driving in runs, it’s a tough place to play. If there are some adjustments made, I think that would help. I think it would certainly help to get some of our guys to relax. I’m not denying it won’t. I think the park gets in the mind of hitters.”

Jose Reyes (strained left hamstring) plans to attempt to run the bases Sunday, although not at full intensity. He will accompany the Mets to Philadelphia for Monday's series opener and try to ramp up his baserunning on Monday. If all goes well, Reyes expects to have a brief minor league rehab assignment before being activated from the disabled list. Read more in the Post and Newsday.

• Thick black smoke was visible just outside the stadium during the latter innings. It came from a construction trailer fire in the automotive businesses area across the street from Citi Field. "It was just the trailer itself and some junk and rubbish that was around the outside," 52nd Battalion Chief Gene Marmann said in Newsday, adding the thick smoke likely came from burning tires.

• Former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand, who was paralyzed during a game last year, visited Citi Field and spoke with David Wright and other Mets during batting practice. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Newsday.

• K-Rod said he was unfazed by the jeering from the Citi Field faithful. He had not worked in a week because of a left leg injury, but also minimized that as a factor in a three-run eighth by the Mets. "I couldn't care less what they say, what they do, what they don't say," Rodriguez said about the reception from fans. Read more in Newsday.

• Read game stories in the RecordPost, Star-Ledger, Daily News and Newsday.

• The Binghamton Mets won at Fenway Park against Portland, the Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. Catcher Kai Gronauer hit a three-run homer over the Green Monster in a four-run 11th inning.

Chris Capuano allowed three homers in 5 2/3 innings, upping his long ball total to a team-leading 21 this season. “It was kind of a weird game,” Capuano told reporters afterward. “When I looked up there after those five innings, I think I had given up two hits and five runs. Kind of a strange game like that -- a game where I was having trouble with my sequences, figuring out how I wanted to pitch to these guys.” Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• With Mike Pelfrey earning $3.925 million this season and in line for an inevitable raise as an arbitration-eligible player, the Record's Steve Popper wonders what Pelfrey's future holds. The Mets figure to at least explore trading Pelfrey this offseason, although the Scott Boras client is under their control through the 2013 season. Writes Popper:

Pelfrey will be arbitration eligible again this winter and the Mets are facing the possibility of paying the erratic innings-eater about $6 million next season. Within the organization, there is no consensus he is worth that money. One team official speculated that the price might be the going rate for 200 innings, with middle relievers sometimes collecting about $3 million per year. But for a team looking to reduce payroll while trying to figure out a way to bring Jose Reyes back, the math gets more complicated. Can the Mets afford to pay Pelfrey $6 million?

Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger profiles the interpreter for Ryota Igarashi, Mike Peters.

BIRTHDAYS: Felix Millan turns 68. ... Former catcher John Stearns turns 60.