Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Mets morning briefing 8.1.12
By Adam Rubin
SAN FRANCISCO -- Jordany Valdespin misjudged a sinking liner and Ruben Tejada misfired to first base on a would-be inning-ending double play in the second inning, allowing two runs to score and depriving Matt Harvey of a potential win in his second major league start. After David Wright struck out looking as a pinch hitter on a wicked 2-2 curveball from Tim Lincecum in the seventh to strand the bases loaded, the Mets had missed their best chance to rally in a 4-1 loss to the Giants on Tuesday night at AT&T Park.
“The curveball he threw David, he didn’t throw one of those all night long,” Terry Collins said. “He saved it for David. It’s a great challenge when you go against a guy as good as he is. I know he’s had a down year, but that doesn’t mean he’s done.”
Wednesday's news reports:
• The entirety of the Mets' activity before Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET trade deadline? Well, that occurred July 20, when the Mets sold Omar Quintanilla to the Orioles. Speaking with reporters on a conference call a half-hour after the deadline passed, Sandy Alderson said the Mets remained buyers even after their post-All-Star-break swoon, although the targets became more "modest." The GM added that he had no interest in trading Scott Hairston for a Class A player not among the top 30 prospects in another organization, so he stood pat. Alderson expressed dismay the conference-call conversation gravitated toward why the Mets (now four games under .500) elected not to dismantle, rather than why they did not add at the deadline. The GM said there was no late-inning reliever available via trade a couple of weeks ago, when the Mets desperately needed someone of that ilk to potentially prevent their second-half struggles.
Hairston expressed satisfaction the deadline passed without his departure. Alderson said it's logical that he would engage Hairston's agent in contract-extension talks this month. Hairston, earning $1.1 million this season, is a pending free agent.
Writes columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post:
Trader Jack McKeon once put it in perspective as to why he was not able to swing a trade, telling a rival general manager, “I’ve got enough garbage of my own, why would I want your garbage.’’ Essentially, there was nothing out there that interested the Mets enough to trade away Scott Hairston, who has been a success. “If we’re just going to get marginal talent,’’ Alderson said, “then we have a choice to make.’’ The choice was to hang on to Hairston. Ironically, before the game, Mets players were playing the 1940’s board game “Shoot The Moon’’ in the clubhouse. These Mets are shooting for 80 wins.
Read more in the Journal, Star-Ledger, Newsday, Times, Record, Daily News and Post.
• Harvey, victimized by his fielders, ultimately was charged with three runs (two earned) on four hits and three walks while striking out seven in six innings. He now owns a 1.59 major league ERA. Read game recaps in the Post, Newsday, Times, Star-Ledger, Daily News and Record.
• Frank Francisco struck out the side in an inning for Double-A Binghamton in a rehab appearance Tuesday. He is due to again appear for the B-Mets on Wednesday, provided the left oblique that landed him on the DL during the Subway Series at Citi Field does not act up. Afterward, Francisco may be ready to join the Mets for the weekend series in San Diego.
• In what is expected to be his final Double-A start before a promotion to Buffalo, Zack Wheeler struck out a season-high 11 while allowing two runs on four hits in 6 2/3 innings. Binghamton beat Harrisburg, 3-2. Meanwhile, Zach Lutz had two homers in Buffalo's 5-4, 11-inning win against Indianapolis. Read Tuesday's full minor league recap here.
• Andres Torres (thumb) and Jason Bay (calf) both were held out of Tuesday's starting lineup because of injuries. Bay pinch hit and made the final out. Read more in Newsday, the Record and Star-Ledger.
• Right fielder Hunter Pence, acquired from the Phillies for Nate Schierholtz and two minor leaguers, is due to be activated by San Francisco for Wednesday's game, when Jon Niese opposes Matt Cain. Writes Henry Schulman in the San Francisco Chronicle:
Unlike Carlos Beltran, a two-month rental acquisition last year, Pence will be under Giants control next season, his final year of arbitration eligibility. The Giants were able to fill a long-standing need for a right-handed power bat without surrendering top outfield prospect Gary Brown or any significant minor-league pitchers. Pence has 17 home runs this season, which immediately makes him the team leader. Buster Posey is next at 13. Manager Bruce Bochy said Pence will bat fifth, behind Posey, until Pablo Sandoval returns from the disabled list. Bochy then will re-evaluate the lineup, perhaps batting Pence sixth and Sandoval fifth.
TRIVIA: At which university did Pence play baseball? (Hint: It's also Dillon Gee's former college program.)
Tuesday's answer: Aside from four members of the rotation, Elvin Ramirez and Josh Thole were the only players unused by Terry Collins in Monday's series opener.