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Monday, June 16, 2014
Morning Briefing: A reprieve at Busch?

By Adam Rubin


Jared Wickerham/Getty ImagesThe Mets won't be facing the real hook from hell -- Adam Wainwright's -- on Monday.
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: The Mets get a reprieve Monday when they open a series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium at 8:10 p.m. ET.

Maybe.

Adam Wainwright, the originally scheduled starter, will have his turn skipped because of tendinitis in the back of his pitching elbow. Right-hander Carlos Martinez and his 97 mph fastball instead will make his second career major league start in the opener.

“We’re not going to get Wainwright, although Martinez isn’t a party,” Terry Collins said.

Jacob deGrom makes his seventh major league start, still in search of his first victory.

In Port St. Lucie, Fla., Dillon Gee is due to throw off the slope of a mound Monday for the first time since landing on the disabled list. He could be in a rehab game early next week.

Monday’s news reports:

Daisuke Matsuzaka had to depart after one inning with intense stomach pain, but Carlos Torres stepped up to toss four innings as the Mets won Sunday’s rubber game against the San Diego Padres, 3-1, at Citi Field. Vic Black and Jenrry Mejia added two scoreless innings apiece. Mejia’s appearance marked his first action since getting pulled from Thursday’s game with lower-back discomfort. Curtis Granderson, batting leadoff for the first time this season, homered and finished 2-for-3 with two walks after being out of the starting lineup the previous three games with a left-calf injury.


Kathy Willens/Associated PressBig contributors Jenrry Mejia and Curtis Granderson celebrate Sunday's win.


“I just tried to get myself on base and try to get the team going,” Granderson told reporters. “I’ve done it plenty of times in my career. I just didn’t know it was going to be today.”

Still, Collins lamented wasted chances, including leaving baserunners on second and third in a two-run first inning despite having them in scoring position with none out.

“We had opportunities to blow this game open, and we’ve got to start blowing some games open, because it’s going to take a lot of pressure off a lot of people,” Collins said.

Writes columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post:

This could have been the ugliest of Father’s Days for the Mets, who badly needed a victory to close out their homestand at 3-3 after losing nine of their previous 11 games. Instead, they hit their gross-out apex when starting pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka puked up his breakfast in the bullpen and responded to the crisis when the right-hander checked out after just one inning.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Record, Times and at MLB.com.

• On batting Granderson leadoff, columnist David Lennon in Newsday writes:

Terry Collins first brought up the idea of hitting leadoff to Curtis Granderson on the dugout bench during Saturday's embarrassing two-hit loss to the Padres. The manager described the chat as a conversation, a way to gauge Granderson's feelings on the subject, "to see if he had any problems" with the assignment.

In other words, a cry for help.

Collins basically told Granderson he had no one else. To which we say, "What the heck took you so long, Terry?"

• The Mets completed their trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday, acquiring left-hander Blake Taylor as the player to be named in the April 18 deal for Ike Davis. Taylor was drafted out of high school by the Pirates in the second round in 2013. Read more in the Post and Star-Ledger.

Eric Young Jr. went 0-for-3 with a walk and played seven innings in left field for Double-A Binghamton on Sunday in what appeared to be his final rehab game. Collins said he expected E.Y. Jr. (hamstring) to rejoin the Mets on Monday. “I feel ready to go and help out the big club,” he told the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin’s Lynn Worthy (tweet). Read more in the Post.

Rafael Montero has been diagnosed with a left-oblique strain. He left Saturday’s start for Triple-A Las Vegas after five pitches. Meanwhile, Noah Syndergaard, who injured his left shoulder in a June 5 collision while covering the plate on a wild pitch, is due to return from the disabled list to start Monday’s game for the 51s. He will be capped at about 75 pitches.

• First-round pick Michael Conforto is “getting close” to being officially signed, an insider told ESPNNewYork.com.

David Wright leads for the second straight week in NL All-Star balloting at third base, but old voting nemesis Pablo Sandoval is making a charge. Read more at MLB.com.

• Jeff Roberts in the Record profiles the relationship between Wright and his father Rhon, a retired Norfolk, Va., assistant police chief. "He lost all his credibility with me in baseball when he started playing me in the outfield in Little League," Wright quipped to Roberts.

Travis d’Arnaud homered for the fifth time in a week in the Pacific Coast League, but Las Vegas lost to Oklahoma City, 13-9. Brooklyn split a doubleheader with Staten Island as heralded Casey Meisner and Marcos Molina made their Cyclones debuts as the starting pitchers. Read the full minor-league recap here.

BIRTHDAYS: Former reliever Calvin Schiraldi turns 52.

TWEET OF THE DAY:

@AdamRubinESPN I guess it's going to take a lot of write in votes for Chris Young.

— Robert Schear (@RSchear) June 16, 2014
YOU’RE UP: Should Curtis Granderson remain the leadoff hitter?