Sunday, July 20, 2014
Morning Briefing: Don't blow it
By Adam Rubin
FIRST PITCH: If the Mets want to be taken seriously in the second half, it sure would help to produce a win Sunday.
Zack Wheeler (5-8, 3.90 ERA) opposes Cuban right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne (2-1, 1.35) in the 4:10 p.m. ET rubber game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.
Wheeler allowed one run and pitched into the seventh inning in each of his final three first-half starts.
Sunday’s news reports:
• Dillon Gee surrendered a pair of solo homers and All-Star Tyson Ross tossed seven scoreless innings as the Padres beat the Mets, 6-0, Saturday at Petco Park. The Mets now trail the Braves and Nationals by seven games in the NL East. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record and at MLB.com.
• More than 250 folks spent Saturday night at Citi Field participating in a sleepover at the ballpark.
• Veteran San Diego sportswriter Bill Center deduced an interesting stat: Mets reliever Buddy Carlyle is the lone active major league player to have been a teammate of the late Tony Gwynn. Carlyle pitched for the Padres in 1999 and 2000.
• Andrew Brown had a go-ahead three-run homer in the eighth and Wilmer Flores extended his hitting streak to 20 games with an RBI single in the ninth as Las Vegas beat Salt Lake, 6-2. Phillip Evans drove in three runs with St. Lucie down to its final out and the Mets beat Brevard County, 8-6. Yoryi Nuez tossed six scoreless innings as Kingsport blanked Princeton, 3-0. First-round pick Michael Conforto went 1-for-4 with a sixth-inning single and run scored in his professional debut as Brooklyn beat Williamsport, 8-4. Read the full minor-league recap here.
• Read more on Conforto’s debut in the Daily News and Newsday.
• Jordany Valdespin returned to the majors with the Miami Marlins on Saturday. He batted second and played second base and went 1-for-4 in a loss to the San Francisco Giants. "This is an opportunity to bring up a guy who's been playing well in the minor leagues and hopefully can give us a little bit of a boost," Marlins manager Mike Redmond told Juan Rodriguez in the Sun-Sentinel. "Our offense has been sluggish, so we're looking for a guy that can hit at the top of the order, give us some good at-bats, get on base for the big boys and see if he can get us going a little bit."
• Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger looks at Travis d'Arnaud’s success since returning from Triple-A.
• Billy Witz in the Times looks at Sandy Alderson’s task as the trade deadline approaches.
BIRTHDAYS: No one to play for the Mets celebrates a birthday Sunday, but Gisele Bundchen, Sandra Oh and Chris Cornell all were born on this date.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: Is Saturday’s loss a serious setback?