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Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Mets morning briefing 6.5.12

By Adam Rubin

The Mets rallied, tying the score on a pinch-hit two-run homer in the seventh by Scott Hairston. But Jon Rauch surrendered a two-run homer to Allen Craig a half-inning later as St. Louis avoided the four-game sweep by beating the Mets, 5-4, Monday. The Amazin's, despite a successful weekend, missed a chance to move alone into first place entering a series at Washington, which instead is the division leader.

Tuesday's news reports:

• The Mets, with the 12th overall pick in the draft, selected 18-year-old Louisiana high school shortstop Gavin Cecchini. Then, at 35th overall, the Mets selected Purdue University catcher Kevin Plawecki, who struck out only eight times in 223 at-bats this season for the Boilermakers. Read more in the Times, Post, Star-Ledger, Daily News and Newsday.

Jon Niese had his occasionally rapid heartbeat checked out by Mets doctors Monday. While the southpaw said there is nothing alarming, he likely will have surgery during the All-Star break to try to once and for all prevent recurrences. Niese said the procedure known as "ablation," albeit involving the heart, is minimal enough that he would not need to miss time in the rotation. Read more in the Record.

• Rauch has been experiencing tenderness in his right elbow, Terry Collins said. Rauch went to have the elbow checked out postgame.

Chris Young will start Tuesday for the Mets in the series opener at Washington. It will be Young's first major league action since May 1, 2011 -- before surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his right shoulder. That is the same surgery Johan Santana underwent the previous September. Miguel Batista (lower back/oblique) also will be activated from the disabled list. He work in the bullpen behind Young, who likely will be capped at 80-85 pitches. One of the two roster spots will be forfeited by reliever Jack Egbert, who will be removed from the 40-man roster. It's unclear if Rauch is a DL candidate and will open the other 25-man roster spot, although that seems plausible. The Mets did not end up placing Ramon Ramirez (hamstring) on the DL before Monday's game. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Times, Post and Newsday.

• Santana, it turns out, will get two extra days of rest after his 134-pitch no-hitter. The southpaw will pitch Friday's series opener at Yankee Stadium. The Mets will go with a six-man rotation for one turn. After Young Tuesday in D.C., Jeremy Hefner faces the Nats on Wednesday and R.A. Dickey on Thursday. Dillon Gee faces the Yankees on Saturday and Jon Niese on Sunday, keeping the Mets' two southpaws separated by a right-hander.

There was consideration of Dickey on Wednesday and Santana on Thursday, which would have eliminated the need for Hefner, but Collins ultimately did not want to disrupt Dickey's roll by asking him to pitch on short rest. Read more in Newsday, the Post, Daily News and Record.

• Santana bailed on reading the Top 10 list on David Letterman's "Late Show" Monday, citing time constraints with the Mets traveling to D.C. postgame. So Letterman handled the list himself. (See the full list here.) Santana also became the Mets' second straight NL Player of the Week. And the southpaw discussed his charitable work in the Daily News.

• On "The Daily Show," Mets fan Jon Stewart discusses watching the first no-hitter in franchise history at Citi Field with his family. Watch the video here. "I have suffered much for these Mets over my life, which is why these moments of joy that occur sporadically are even more appreciated," Stewart said. "This Met team is a fun team. They're a scrappy team. They play the game right, these 2012 Mets."

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

Ike Davis told Steven Marcus in Newsday the minors will not be worthwhile for him.  "It's not going to help me down there,'' Davis told Marcus. "If I hit .400 down there, what's it going to do up here? You can't just hit in the minor leagues. That's not going to help.'' Said Collins postgame Monday to reporters: "Ike's going to work it out. He's going to have to keep grinding it out."

Ruben Tejada (quadriceps) began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Buffalo on Monday night. He logged five innings at shortstop and went 0-for-3. Collins expects Tejada to be activated from the DL on Friday. Jason Bay was due to play the outfield Monday for Class A St. Lucie and complete a rehab assignment, but he felt sick and was scratched, which will push back his return to the Mets, which had been scripted for today, according to Collins.

Brian Costa in the Journal, under the headline "Finally, Mets Sniff Credibility," writes:

During its broadcast of Sunday night's Mets-Cardinals game, ESPN put up a poll question for viewers. It read: "Will the Mets make the playoffs?" Two months ago, this would have seemed like some kind of cruel joke, like asking, "Will 'Khloe & Lamar' make the Emmys?" And if pressed for an honest answer, most people would still probably say no. But it is the first week of June, and the question is being asked. And for a Mets team of which so little was expected, a team that not long ago seemed in a competitive and financial abyss, that is an achievement in itself.

Jenrry Mejia and Pedro Beato combined to toss eight scoreless innings in Buffalo's 2-1, 10-inning win against Toledo. Read Monday's full minor league recap here.

David Wright, who scored on Hairston's homer Monday, tied Jose Reyes' franchise record for runs scored as a Met at 735.

• Former Mets GM Jim Duquette and family are doing well after he donated a kidney to his 10-year-old daughter Lindsey during a transplant performed Monday. Read more in the Daily News.

Bob Raissman in the Daily News praises announcers Gary Cohen and Howie Rose.

• Yankees GM Brian Cashman saluted the Mets. "They clearly are a test,'' Cashman said. "We know they're fighters.'' Read more in the Post.

• Columnist Steve Serby in the Post praises Collins. Writes Serby:

Collins is the best manager the Mets have had since Bobby Valentine. He is the manager Omar Minaya thought he had in Willie Randolph and Jerry Manuel. As little as he is, he is the biggest reason the Mets believe again.

• Columnist Jeff Bradley in the Star-Ledger looks forward to the Subway Series.

TRIVIA: When the Nationals selected Stephen Strasburg first overall in 2009, they also had the 10th overall pick in the draft Whom did Washington pick?

Monday's answer: The Mets' second selection in the 2011 draft was Oklahoma high school right-hander Michael Fulmer. He was chosen 44th overall.