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Saturday, April 12, 2014
Morning Briefing: Late show in Anaheim

By Adam Rubin


Paul Spinelli/MLB Photos/Getty ImagesThe Angels, perhaps spurred by the Rally Monkey, won in walk-off fashion Friday against the Mets.
ANAHEIM, Calif.

FIRST PITCH: The Mets attempt to bounce back from an extra-inning loss when Jonathon Niese makes his second start of the season Saturday.

Niese (0-1, 3.18 ERA) should be free to throw as many as 105 pitches. He opposes right-hander Jered Weaver (0-2, 6.00) at 9:05 p.m. ET.

With the Mets having the DH available, Ike Davis and Lucas Duda both are expected to start.

Saturday’s news reports:

Jeurys Familia loaded the bases with a pair of one-out intentional walks, then plunked Hank Conger to force in the winning run as the Angels beat the Mets, 5-4, in 11 innings late Friday night. That snapped a streak of 20 1/3 scoreless innings by Mets relievers. The Mets last lost on a walk-off hit by pitch in 2008, courtesy of Scott Schoeneweis. The Angels left 14 men on base. The Mets left four men on base the entire game and failed to score over the final seven innings. A displeased Dillon Gee allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings. Travis d’Arnaud, who grew up 15 minutes from Angel Stadium, homered for the first time in 110 at-bats. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday, Times and MLB.com.

Curtis Granderson was touched on the back by a fan who reached onto the field during the eighth inning. The spectator was ejected but law enforcement will not get involved, an Angels spokesman said. Read more in the Daily News and Star-Ledger.

• Kevin Burkhardt recalls the 3 a.m. ET firing of Willie Randolph back in 2008, after Game 1 of the Mets’ last series in Anaheim. Burkhardt told Kristie Ackert in the Daily News about SNY’s critical coverage of that event: “I ripped into how they handled it for 15 minutes. I was exhausted. It was one of those things that when I got done, I was like, hmmmm, I wonder how that will be received.”


Jim Rogash/Getty ImagesFree agent Joel Hanrahan is expected to audition for teams next week.


• ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick tweets that the Mets are believed to be one of the teams interested in free-agent reliever Joel Hanrahan, who is 11 months post-Tommy John surgery. Hanrahan is expected to throw for teams next week. Other teams in the mix include the Yankees, Angels, Rangers, Rockies, Royals, Red Sox, Athletics and Rays, according to Crasnick.

Chris Young (quadriceps) is headed to Triple-A Las Vegas to begin a rehab assignment. Terry Collins expects a rotation among four outfielders when C.Y. is activated from the disabled list on Friday in New York. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger and Record.

• Rainy Lara tossed seven scoreless innings and Brian Burgamy homered twice as Binghamton beat New Hampshire, 7-0. Cam Maron drove in Aderlin Rodriguez in the eighth with the tiebreaking run and St. Lucie beat Fort Myers, 6-3. Robert Gsellman allowed one unearned run in seven innings as Savannah beat Rome, 4-1. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Mets farmhand Akeel Morris, a right-hander from the Virgin Islands, gets a mention in this week’s Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet. The report reads:

A 10th-round pick from the Virgin Islands in 2010, Morris struggled with his direction to the plate as a starter, but his potential was obvious given his mid-90s heat. He began seeing results after switching to relief at short-season Brooklyn last year, striking out 60 in 45 innings with a 1.00 ERA. That success has carried over to 2014 as the 21-year-old Morris has recorded 11 strikeouts among the 12 outs he’s recorded this year while throwing four scoreless innings (three of them in one relief outing) at low Class A Savannah. If Morris keeps dominating like that, he might get another shot at the rotation.

• Collins said he is a changed person compared to the late 1990s, when he was managing the Angels. The only thing the same? His short stature, he joked.

"We let him down," Angels third-base coach Gary DiSarcina, who played for Collins with the Angels, told Marc Carig in Newsday. "He didn’t let us down. … We fractured. And he took the blame for it."

Said Bill Bavasi, then the Angels GM, to Tim Rohan in the Times about Collins’ players in Anaheim: “They couldn’t handle being pushed to get better. You know, life was good for them. They were getting paid a lot of money. Why put up with somebody asking you to work a little bit harder? They were just really rotten apples. And blame me. Terry didn’t bring those guys in. I did.”

Read more in the Journal, Star-Ledger and Record.

From the bloggers … Mark Berman at Blogging Mets thinks Collins should have used Jose Valverde with the game on the line Friday.

BIRTHDAYS: Catcher-turned-thoroughbred handicapper Paul Lo Duca turns 42. ... Danny Garcia, the first Brooklyn Cyclone to reach the majors, is 34. ... Minor-league catchers Xorge Carillo (25) and Tomas Nido (20) also celebrate birthdays.

TWEET OF THE DAY:

Touched by an Angel fan: RT @xMetsmatician: Granderson yelling at fan #Mets #Angels pic.twitter.com/Q73QpxgX9I

— Adam Rubin (@AdamRubinESPN) April 12, 2014
YOU’RE UP: Should Jeurys Familia have been pitching a third inning of relief Friday?