New York Mets: Adeiny Hechavarria

Rapid Reaction: Marlins 6, Mets 5

September, 15, 2014
Sep 15
10:21
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Jacob deGrom probably can start writing his NL Rookie of the Year acceptance speech.

DeGrom matched a modern-day major league record by striking out the first eight Miami Marlins batters and took a scoreless effort into the seventh inning. He ended up with a no-decision, however, as the Mets twice squandered two-run leads and lost, 6-5, Monday at Citi Field.

Jeurys Familia, whose 20 holds are a franchise rookie record, surrendered a two-run single to Adeiny Hechavarria in the eighth as the Marlins pulled even at 5.

Jenrry Mejia, entering with two outs in the eighth, allowed an inherited run to score on Jeff Mathis' go-ahead RBI single later in the frame.

The Mets (72-79) dropped two games behind the Giancarlo Stanton-less Marlins (73-76) for third place in the NL East. The Mets must go 9-2 the rest of the way to avoid their sixth straight losing season.

DeGrom is now 8-6 with a 2.68 ERA through 21 career starts.

He finished with 13 strikeouts -- the most by a Met since Matt Harvey achieved the same total on June 18, 2013 against the Atlanta Braves.

Newly installed No. 3 hitter Travis d'Arnaud had produced a tiebreaking RBI single in a three-run bottom of the seventh as the Mets took a 5-3 lead.

Nursing a 2-0 lead a half-inning earlier, deGrom surrendered a two-run single to ex-Met Jordany Valdespin and sacrifice fly to pinch hitter Reed Johnson. The three-run frame snapped deGrom’s streak without allowing an earned run at 28 innings.

It was the longest streak by a rookie in franchise history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Previous record-holder John Maine had gone 26 innings without allowing an earned run in 2006. Overall, it was the fifth-longest streak in the majors this season, trailing only efforts by Clayton Kershaw (41.0 IP without an earned run), Burke Badenhop (32.1 IP), Wade Davis (30.2 IP) and Kelvin Herrera (29.2 IP).

Marlins pitcher Jarred Cosart broke up deGrom’s game-opening string of strikeouts at eight with an opposite-field single through the right side of the infield with two outs in the top of the third. DeGrom matched Jim Deshaies of the 1986 Houston Astros for the modern-day record for consecutive Ks to open a game. Pete Falcone formerly held the Mets record. He had six straight strikeouts to open a game in 1980 against the Philadelphia Phillies.

What’s next: Bartolo Colon (13-12, 4.14 ERA) opposes right-hander Nathan Eovaldo (6-11, 4.29) at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 5, Marlins 4

July, 12, 2014
Jul 12
7:05
PM ET
NEW YORK -- The undercard to the Huey Lewis and the News concert did not disappoint.

Eric Campbell produced a two-out, pinch-hit single in the eighth against Mike Dunn that plated Travis d'Arnaud and the Mets beat the Miami Marlins, 5-4, on Saturday at Citi Field.

The Mets (44-50) twice overcame two-run deficits en route to their seventh win in nine games on the homestand. They climbed to six games under .500 for the first time since June 25.

In a pinch: Chris Young delivered a pinch-hit two-run homer in the seventh on the first pitch of reliever Bryan Morris' appearance as the Mets evened the score at 4. Morris had just inherited a two-run lead and a baserunner from starter Tom Koehler.

It was Young’s second career pinch-hit homer. The other came June 27, 2012 with Arizona at Atlanta against Jonny Venters.

The Mets’ last pinch-hit homer this season was produced by Lucas Duda on June 25 against Oakland.

All-Star leap: Daniel Murphy preserved a 4-all score in the eighth. The second baseman leaped and snared Adeiny Hechavarria's two-out liner against Vic Black to strand the potential go-ahead run in scoring position.

Pen-ultimately: Assuming Jonathon Niese successfully returns from the disabled list for the series opener in Seattle on July 21, which is the plan, this likely was Daisuke Matsuzaka's final start for a while.

In a 120-pitch effort, Matsuzaka had a better outing than his final line indicated (6 IP, 4 H, 4 ER). He had a career-high-matching 10 strikeouts -- a total he last had achieved three times in 2007 with Boston, back in his inaugural major league season.

Garrett Jones and Marcell Ozuna produced consecutive RBI doubles in the sixth against Matsuzaka as Miami took a 4-2 lead. Ozuna’s double was a line drive misread by Curtis Granderson, which resulted in it traveling over the right fielder’s head.

Déjà vu: The Mets pulled off their second suicide squeeze of the season … and second against the Marlins in three weeks. Ruben Tejada delivered a one-out bunt that plated hard-charging Kirk Nieuwenhuis and evened the score at 2 in the fifth.

The Mets also had successfully pulled off a suicide squeeze on June 22 at Miami, with Niese’s bunt plating Nieuwenhuis to open the scoring in the second inning of an eventual 11-5 win.

T.K. Oh! Koehler, a Stony Brook University product, held the Mets hitless until d’Arnaud’s leadoff single in the fifth. He ultimately allowed two runs that inning. He received a hard-luck no-decision despite limiting the Mets to two hits and departing with a 4-2 lead in the seventh.

Christian Yelich, who had raced to the wall to corral David Wright's fly ball in the fourth, had a misadventure on Nieuwenhuis’ fifth-inning fly ball to left field that carried well. Yelich drifted back, but the ball eluded him on the warning track.

After the catchable ball dropped for a double, the Mets had two in scoring position and none out. Juan Lagares followed with a run-scoring groundout. Tejada’s suicide squeeze then evened the score at 2.

Koehler departed after a one-out walk to Tejada in the seventh and Morris gave up the two-run lead.

What’s next: Jacob deGrom (2-5, 3.38 ERA) opposes left-hander Brad Hand (0-1, 5.09) at 1:10 p.m. Sunday in the final game before the All-Star break. Murphy is due for a day off, with Campbell playing second base.

Series preview: Mets vs. Marlins

July, 11, 2014
Jul 11
7:30
AM ET

Getty ImagesBefore heading into the All-Star break, the Mets are due to face the Marlins' Henderson Alvarez, Tom Koehler and Brad Hand.
METS (42-50, fourth place/NL East) vs. MIAMI MARLINS (44-47, third place/NL East)

Friday: RHP Zack Wheeler (4-8, 4.07) vs. RHP Henderson Alvarez (6-3, 2.27), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-3, 3.32) vs. RHP Tom Koehler (6-7, 3.98), 4:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Jacob deGrom (2-5, 3.38) vs. LHP Brad Hand (0-1, 5.09), 1:10 p.m. ET

Marlins short hops

• Outfielder Marcell Ozuna has hit safely in 15 straight games, during which he has produced a .368 average (21-for-57) with three homers and eight RBIs. The hitting streak is one shy of matching his career high, produced last season. Ozuna’s two-run homer against Addison Reed in the ninth inning on Tuesday gave Miami a 2-1 win at Arizona.

Of course, Ozuna had two outfield assists in the final two innings on June 20, during the last series against the Mets, in order to preserve a Miami win. He became the third player in Marlins history with two outfield assists at the plate in the same game, joining Joe Orsulak and Emilio Bonifacio. Like Orsulak, both of Ozuna’s throws did not require a relay.

The 23-year-old Ozuna has 15 homers and 51 RBIs in 326 at-bats this season.

• Closer Steve Cishek blew only his third save in 23 chances Wednesday at Arizona. The Diamondbacks scored three runs in the bottom of the 10th, capped by Paul Goldschmidt’s two-run double, in a 4-3 walk-off win. It marked the first time in Cishek’s career that he failed to record at least one out in a save situation.


Associated Press, Getty ImagesChristian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Giancarlo Stanton form a standout young triumvirate for the Marlins in the outfield.


Giancarlo Stanton went hitless in 11 at-bats in the D-backs series and is 3-for-24 on the Marlins’ current road trip. Stanton is the lone Marlins All-Star selection, despite strong candidacies from right-hander Henderson Alvarez and third baseman Casey McGehee. Stanton finished fourth in fan balloting in the outfield at 3,753,961 votes. He missed a chance to start by finishing 305,785 votes behind No. 3 Yasiel Puig.

Despite his recent slump, Stanton still leads the National League with 21 homers and 63 RBIs. His 4.9 WAR is second in the NL, trailing only Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki (5.7).

• Alvarez produced three hits Sunday against the St. Louis Cardinals. He is a career .269 hitter, with one homer and seven RBIs in 67 at-bats. On the mound, Alvarez is 4-0 with a 1.04 ERA since May 22. He has allowed only one home run during that nine-start span -- a solo shot by Kolten Wong on Sunday.

The Marlins have won Alvarez’s last 10 starts, a franchise record. The previous record? The Marlins won nine straight starts by Chris Hammond back in 1993, their inaugural season, when they finished 64-98 overall.

Alvarez’s 2.27 ERA ranks fourth in the league, trailing only St. Louis’ Adam Wainwright (1.79), Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto (2.03) and L.A.’s Josh Beckett (2.26).

• McGehee’s 112 hits are tied for the NL lead with the Mets’ Daniel Murphy and Giants’ Hunter Pence. The lone player in Marlins history to lead the league in hits at the All-Star break was Luis Castillo in 2002. McGehee and Stanton are the first Marlins teammates with 100 hits apiece before the All-Star break since Hanley Ramirez and Jorge Cantu in 2008.

After spending last year in Japan, the 31-year-old McGehee is hitting .320 with one homer and 53 RBIs in 350 at-bats this season. His 52 RBIs as a third baseman already are the most by a Marlin at that position since Cantu finished ’08 with 70.

• Left-hander Brad Hand has made two starts since getting activated from the disabled list and entering the rotation July 3. He is winless in his past 14 appearances as a starter, the third-longest active streak in the majors, despite allowing only one unearned run in 6 1/3 innings on Tuesday at Arizona. His last win as a starter came July 7, 2011 against the Houston Astros.

Hand, who mostly has been ineffective while serving in long relief this season, had landed on the DL with a right ankle sprain.

• Two days after Hand returned from the DL, rookie Andrew Heaney was demoted to Triple-A New Orleans. Heaney had limited the Mets to one run in six innings in his major league debut on June 19, but had allowed 14 earned runs in 14 2/3 innings over his next three starts.

• Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (right triceps strain) returned from the disabled list on Sunday.

• Left fielder Christian Yelich is batting .356 (16-for-45) with one homer and five RBIs in 10 games since returning from the disabled list, where he had landed with a lower-back strain.

• After getting reinjured during the last Mets series, Rafael Furcal landed on the DL on June 22 with a left hamstring strain. Derek Dietrich initially took over at second base, but he landed on the DL on July 4 with a right wrist strain. Donovan Solano and Ed Lucas since have started at the position.
ALBUQUERQUE 7, LAS VEGAS 6 (10 innings): Wilmer Flores' second homer of the game, a solo shot in the top of the 10th, gave the 51s the lead. But after inheriting two baserunners from Chasen Bradford with two outs in the bottom half, Buddy Carlyle walked Walter Ibarra to load the bases. First baseman Brandon Allen then had a fielding error on Carlos Triunfel's grounder as Albuquerque evened the score. Carlyle followed by walking in the winning run. Danny Muno had belted a game-tying two-run homer in the ninth to force extra innings. Starter Darin Gorski allowed two runs in six innings. Flores finished with four RBIs. Right-hander Matt Bowman was promoted to Las Vegas before the game, with Cory Mazzoni joining Binghamton. Box

ERIE 9, BINGHAMTON 6 (16 innings): Ryan Fraser surrendered three runs in the top of the 16th, including a tiebreaking solo homer by Aaron Westlake. Starter Gabriel Ynoa allowed five runs on nine hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings in his Double-A debut. With the B-Mets trailing 6-5, Dustin Lawley had a one-out solo homer in the bottom of the 10th to prolong the game. Brandon Nimmo contributed a second-inning solo homer and finished 2-for-6 with three RBIs. Box

ST. LUCIE 2, JUPITER 1: St. Lucie broke a 1-all tie in the eighth on Phillip Evans' sac fly en

lastname
Evans
route to its season-high seventh straight win. Maikis De La Cruz opened the frame with a single against Miguel Fermin. Eudy Pina then walked. Gilbert Gomez's bunt advanced De La Cruz to third, although it forced out Pina at second. Evans then drove the first pitch he saw from Fermin to deep center for a sac fly. T.J. Chism worked a perfect ninth for the save for his second save in three days. The Mets have won 16 of 19. The game had remained scoreless until Jake Esch hung a 1-2 breaking ball to De La Cruz in the fifth. De La Cruz lined it over the left-field wall for his fourth homer. St. Lucie starter Domingo Tapia cruised, retiring 11 in a row at one point and 15 out of 16. He ran into trouble in the seventh after Matt Juengel led off with a single. Tapia rebounded to retire the next two batters, but Josh Adams singled to move Juengel into scoring position. No. 9 hitter Ryan Goetz then tied the score with a single that plated Juengel. Beck Wheeler, activated off the disabled list earlier in the day, faced rehabbing Marlin Adeiny Hechavarria with the tying run at third base. Wheeler won an eight-pitch battle by getting Hechavarria to ground out. Wheeler then pitched around a two-out walk and wild pitch in the eighth to earn the win. Tapia went 6 2/3 innings and gave up one run and six hits. He struck out three and walked one. Box

lastname
Oberste
SAVANNAH 9, HICKORY 7: Matt Oberste went 4-for-5 with a homer, four RBIs and three runs scored. Obserte, a seventh-round pick out of the University of Oklahoma in 2013, is hitting .500 (14-for-28) with three homers and 14 RBIs during his current seven-game hitting streak. The Gnats built an 8-1 lead and held on. Akeel Morris tossed 1 1/3 scorleess innings to record his seventh save. Starter Ricky Knapp allowed three runs (two earned) in 5 2/3 innings. Box

GREENEVILLE 14, KINGSPORT 1: Starter Yoan Gonzalez was charged with five runs and was knocked out with two runs in the first inning. Nicco Blank also allowed five runs in relief. Box

ABERDEEN 3, BROOKLYN 2: The Cyclones scored one run in the bottom of the ninth, but Joe Tuschak flied out with potential tying run Jeff Diehl at third base to end the game. Aberdeen broke a 1-all tie with a two-run eighth against Josh Prevost, although one run was unearned. Rehabbing starter Dillon Gee allowed one run on three hits and a walk while striking out 10 in six innings. Box

GCL METS 5, GCL MARLINS 1: Starter Audry German allowed one run in five innings. Jose Medina contributed three scoreless relief innings. Box

Compiled with team reports

Rapid Reaction: Mets 4, Marlins 0

June, 21, 2014
Jun 21
6:48
PM ET
MIAMI -- Jacob deGrom officially has a major league win to his credit.

In his eighth major league start, deGrom tossed a career-high-matching seven innings and the Mets beat the Miami Marlins 4-0 on Saturday.

DeGrom (7 IP, 5 H, 3 BB, 7 K) recorded his final out by retiring Jeff Baker on a lineout to right field on pitch No. 97 to strand two runners in the seventh.

Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia handled the final six outs to secure deGrom’s first career victory.

The Mets have a 2.83 team ERA over their past 30 games.

The teams have combined to score 10 runs through three games of the series (Mets 1-0, Marlins 3-2, Mets 4-0).

Stony Brook University product Tom Koehler retired the first 11 batters he faced, until David Wright produced a two-out single in the fourth.

After a walk to Lucas Duda advanced Wright to second base, the captain scored on Chris Young’s bloop single (although Duda was tagged out between second and third base). Wright (3-for-4) added an RBI single in the sixth as the Mets took a 2-0 lead.

Since going 2-for-39 in a 12-game stretch, Wright now has a six-game hitting streak.

Duda belted a two-run homer in the ninth against Chris Hatcher, which plated Wright.

Ouch: The Marlins lost two infielders Saturday. Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria was a pregame scratch due to right elbow soreness. Second baseman Rafael Furcal departed with left hamstring cramping after failing to beat out a double-play grounder that ended the third inning.

What’s next: Jonathon Niese (3-4, 2.67 ERA) opposes rookie right-hander Anthony DeSclafani (1-1, 5.60) in Sunday’s 1:10 p.m. series finale. DeSclafani grew up in Howell, N.J.

Rapid Reaction: Marlins 3, Mets 2

June, 20, 2014
Jun 20
10:29
PM ET

MIAMI -- The Mets twice tried to get the tying run across the plate in the eighth inning Friday night -- with a single and with a challenge. They failed both times in what became a crazy 3-2 loss to the Miami Marlins.

The game ended when left fielder Marcell Ozuna threw out a runner at the plate for the second straight inning.

With the bases loaded in the top of the eighth, pinch hitter Eric Campbell singled to left field, scoring Eric Young Jr. as the Mets pulled within a run. David Wright also attempted to score from second on the play after being sent by coach Tim Teufel. However, Wright was out by a comfortable margin on Ozuna’s throw to Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Or was he?

Terry Collins asked for a review, challenging whether Saltalamacchia had provided a lane to the plate for Wright.

Arguably, the Marlins catcher did not in the strictest sense, although the baseball beat Wright by a considerable margin. The home office in New York nonetheless upheld the call on the field that Wright was the inning’s second out. And the Mets never did pull even.

MLB had acknowledged earlier in the day that it erred in reversing a similar call Wednesday in a game between the Reds and Pirates. So it undoubtedly would have been doubly wary about giving the Mets a run they seemingly did not deserve.

Meanwhile, trailing 3-2, the Mets also threatened to pull even in the ninth. Pinch hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis had a leadoff double against Steve Cishek in the outfielder's first at-bat since April 25. He was bunted to third base, then the unbelievable happened. Ozuna again fired to the plate on Chris Young's seeming sac fly and nailed Nieuwenhuis at the plate to end the game.

Alibi: We can safely conclude it was not Dave Hudgens’ fault.

The Mets were held scoreless until posting two runs in the eighth. In their past 10 games, they have scored 21 runs. And that’s with a six-run outburst last Friday against the San Diego Padres.

The Mets have scored three runs in their past 41 innings at Marlins Park.

Henderson Alvarez tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings Friday. He shut out the Mets on May 6 and has now tossed 18 1/3 straight scoreless innings against the Amazin’s.

Rafael Furcal tripled to lead off the bottom of the first against Daisuke Matsuzaka and scored on Adeiny Hechavarria’s groundout.

The Marlins tacked on two runs (one earned) in the seventh against Vic Black, with help from an error by Anthony Recker.

Jake Marisnick singled, stole second, stole third and scored on Recker’s errant throw. Wright later tried to barehand Hechavarria’s two-out grounder but could not come up with the baseball as the Marlins took a 3-0 lead. The play initially was scored an E-5 and changed to a double a half-inning later.

The Mets finally got on the scoreboard in the eighth with a one-out RBI single by Wright (2-for-4) against Kevin Gregg. Left-hander Mike Dunn entered and walked Curtis Granderson to load the bases. Campbell then had the run-scoring single in which Wright was thrown out at the plate. Wilmer Flores then made the final out to strand Granderson at second base.

Tough luck: Matsuzaka suffered his first loss since Sept. 2, snapping a personal six-game streak of winning decisions, despite limiting the Marlins to one run in 5 1/3 innings. Matsuzaka was making his first start since getting pulled from Sunday’s appearance at Citi Field after one inning with a severe stomach issue.

With the Mets trailing 1-0 in the sixth, Matsuzaka surrendered consecutive singles to Giancarlo Stanton and Casey McGehee that placed runners on the corners with none out. Matsuzaka then struck out Saltalamacchia looking on pitch No. 85.

With lefty-hitting Garrett Jones due up, Terry Collins inserted Josh Edgin. However, Marlins manager Mike Redmond countered by pinch-hitting with Jeff Baker. Edgin proceeded to coax an inning-ending double play to hold the deficit at 1-0.

Collins said pregame that it was undetermined who would lose a rotation spot when Dillon Gee eventually returns from the disabled list. Gee (lat strain) will make his first minor league start Tuesday, in the Gulf Coast League. He will need multiple rehab appearances before being activated from the DL.

Ouch! Recker was struck in the left arm by Ozuna’s backswing as the Marlin struck out to end the fourth inning. Recker shook the arm heading to the dugout, but led off the next half-inning and completed the game.

Heating up: After a woeful 12-game stretch, Wright now has a five-game hitting streak. He also doubled with one out in the sixth, but was stranded at third base when Granderson and Bobby Abreu consecutively flied out.

What’s next: Jacob deGrom again attempts to notch his first major league win. DeGrom (0-4, 4.39 ERA) opposes Stony Brook University product Tom Koehler (5-5, 3.84) at 4:10 p.m. ET Saturday.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 1, Marlins 0

June, 19, 2014
Jun 19
9:45
PM ET
MIAMI -- One year and one day after his own major league debut, Zack Wheeler was the veteran in a duel with debuting Miami Marlins sensation Andrew Heaney on Thursday at Marlins Park.

Wheeler produced the best game of his career in a dazzling, 111-pitch, three-hit shutout.

David Wright homered for the lone run, and Wheeler tossed his first career complete game as the Mets won the series opener 1-0.


Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY SportsZack Wheeler dominated the Marlins on Thursday.


Wheeler nearly became the first player in franchise history to face 27 batters in a nine-inning win, but he surrendered a two-out single in the ninth to Reed Johnson.

Earlier, three times Wheeler surrendered a leadoff baserunner -- on two singles and a walk. Three times that baserunner was erased with a twin killing.

Wheeler was pitching 366 days after that “Super Tuesday” doubleheader sweep in Atlanta in which Matt Harvey started the other game of the twin bill, then Wheeler tossed six scoreless innings in his debut.

Wheeler has found his most success this season against the Marlins. In three starts, he has allowed one run in 21 innings. He has a 5.05 ERA against the rest of baseball in 2014.

With Thursday’s success, Wheeler rebounded from a pair of rocky starts, during which he allowed a combined eight runs on 12 hits and five walks in 8 2/3 innings against the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres.

When Casey McGehee had a leadoff single in the second, ensuing batter Garrett Jones lined out to first baseman Eric Campbell and McGehee was doubled off. After Wheeler issued a leadoff walk in the fifth, Marcell Ozuna ultimately grounded into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play. An inning later, after Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s leadoff single, Adeiny Hechavarria grounded into a 4-6-3 double play.

Wheeler’s previous career high had been seven innings, done three times last season.

After going 2-for-39 in a 12-game stretch, Wright has now put together a modest four-game hitting streak that has included a pair of long balls.

Wright’s first-inning solo homer against Heiney was the lone damage against the southpaw in his six-inning major league debut.

Thursday’s win marked the 128th 1-0 win in franchise history. The last came Sept. 25, 2013, at Cincinnati, when Daisuke Matsuzaka, Pedro Feliciano and LaTroy Hawkins combined on the feat. Earlier that month, the Mets had a 12-inning shutout against the Marlins at Citi Field started by Dillon Gee. The last complete game: a 1-0 win was tossed by R.A. Dickey against Philadelphia on Aug. 13, 2010.

Snapped: Chris Young’s seventh-inning double snapped a string of 16 straight games with an at-bat and no extra-base hit. The drought ended one shy of matching Young’s career high. The Mets failed to score that inning despite placing two in scoring position with one out.

What’s next: Matsuzaka (3-0, 2.81 ERA) opposes right-hander Henderson Alvarez (3-3, 2.56) at 7:10 p.m. Friday. Matsuzaka departed Sunday’s start after one inning with extreme stomach discomfort. He subsequently pitched an inning in relief in St. Louis.

Rapid Reaction: Marlins 4, Mets 3

May, 5, 2014
May 5
10:04
PM ET
MIAMI -- Jonathon Niese deserved better. Much better.

After seven scoreless innings from the southpaw, Omar Quintanilla committed a critical error and Daisuke Matsuzaka failed to protect a three-run lead in the eighth, handing Niese a cruel no-decision.

The New York Mets ultimately lost 4-3 on Casey McGehee’s walk-off RBI single in the ninth against Gonzalez Germen. The ball ricocheted off Germen's leg and rolled through the vacated second-base position and into right field. Germen had inherited a runner at first base from Scott Rice with none out.

The Marlins improved to 15-5 at home. Last April, the Mets twice lost games at Marlins Park in which they held ninth-inning leads.


Alan Diaz/Associated PressJon Niese suffered a no-decision despite tossing seven scoreless innings.


No-Dice: Matsuzaka took over in the eighth with a 3-0 lead after a 108-pitch effort by Niese. The lead disappeared in a flash.

Pitching for the first time since suffering a right calf injury Saturday in Denver, Matsuzaka walked consecutive batters to open his appearance. Giancarlo Stanton then sent a rifle through the middle for an RBI single. McGehee sent a routine liner through Quintanilla’s legs at shortstop for a run-scoring E-6. And Jarrod Saltalamacchia produced a game-tying RBI double.

That ended Matsuzaka’s outing without an out being recorded.

Only Kyle Farnsworth’s tightrope walk allowed the Mets to escape the eighth with the score still tied at 3-3.

Farnsworth inherited two runners in scoring position with none out. He eventually retired Marcell Ozuna on a full-count groundout to third base with the bases loaded to send the game to the ninth inning still even.

Niesely done: The Mets have received back-to-back scoreless gems from their starting pitchers against high-octane offenses.

The Colorado Rockies entered Dillon Gee’s scoreless six-inning start Sunday averaging 7.8 runs per game at Coors Field. Miami entered Niese’s start averaging 6.2 runs per game at Marlins Park, second-best in MLB.

Niese has now allowed only three earned runs in 26 2/3 innings in his past four starts. He slashed his season ERA to 1.82 by limiting the Marlins to five hits and one walk in seven scoreless frames.

The lefty settled down nicely after requiring 41 pitches to navigate the first two innings.

Niese faced one final predicament in the seventh, after Jeff Baker and Reed Johnson opened the inning with singles. Niese escaped with the 3-0 lead when Adeiny Hechavarria lined out to center field and the pinch-hitting Ozuna grounded into a double play on Niese’s 108th and final pitch.

For starters: Daniel Murphy and Curtis Granderson both jumped on first-inning fastballs from Marlins starter Nate Eovaldi to stake the Mets to a 2-0 lead before Niese even took the mound.

Murphy homered for the first time since Sept. 24, against Cincinnati’s Mike Leake.

Granderson went deep for the third time as a Met. He has a six-game hitting streak during which he is hitting .391 (9-for-23).

Eovaldi had surrendered only one homer in 38 1/3 innings this season entering the start.

Bobby Abreu, starting for only the second time as a Met, added a fourth-inning sacrifice fly that plated David Wright as the Mets opened a 3-0 lead.

Juan Lagares entered for defense in the bottom of the seventh with the Mets maintaining that three-run lead. Granderson shifted to right field and Abreu departed.

What’s next: Bartolo Colon (2-4, 5.65 ERA) opposes right-hander Henderson Alvarez (1-2, 3.28) on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m.

Series preview: Mets at Marlins

May, 5, 2014
May 5
9:00
AM ET

Getty Images/Associated PressThe Met face Nate Eovaldi, Henderson Alvarez and Tom Koehler during a three-game series at Marlins Park.
METS (16-14, third place/NL East) at MIAMI MARLINS (16-15, fourth place/NL East)

Monday: LHP Jonathon Niese (2-2, 2.20) vs. RHP Nate Eovaldi (2-1, 2.58), 7:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Bartolo Colon (2-4, 5.65) vs. RHP Henderson Alvarez (1-2, 3.28), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Zack Wheeler (1-3, 5.13) vs. RHP Tom Koehler (3-2, 2.41), 12:40 p.m. ET

Marlins short hops

Giancarlo Stanton went deep twice Sunday, giving him National League leads with 10 homers and 36 RBIs. Stanton’s 31 RBIs in March/April set the franchise record, passing Moises Alou (30, in April 1997).


Mike Ehrmann/Getty ImagesGiancarlo Stanton leads the NL in homers and RBIs.


• The Marlins improved to an MLB-best 14-5 at home after winning a series from the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. Miami has won six of seven home series, with the lone loss coming to the Washington Nationals (April 14-16).

Miami has 21 homers in 19 home games. They had 36 long balls during the entire 2013 season at Marlins Park. Miami is an MLB-worst 2-10 on the road.

The Braves suspected the Marlins were somehow cheating during a recent series, but could not prove it. Wrote Carroll Rogers in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

[Braves manager Fredi] Gonzalez said he changed signs five times during the course of [Aaron] Harang’s outing and went to multiple signs even with no runners on base. The hits kept coming regardless.

Gonzalez said he wondered if [catcher Evan] Gattis was giving away signs, but then figured that wouldn’t account for the disparity in the Marlins home/road splits in general. Entering play Thursday, the Marlins were hitting .307 while scoring 6.3 runs per game at Marlins Park. They were hitting .215 with 2.7 runs per game on the road.

“Yeah, you have this conspiracy theory, but at the end, we came up with nothing,” Gonzalez said. “It wasn’t like we saw a guy with the (binoculars), like Mick Billmeyer (former Phillies bullpen coach) in Colorado. At the end of the day, they didn’t miss the pitches. They were right there.”

Rafael Furcal, who signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract on Dec. 5 after missing all of last season, remains on the disabled list with the Marlins. The 36-year-old Furcal departed a rehab game Friday with Double-A Jacksonville with a groin issue. He originally landed on the DL to open the season with a left hamstring strain. Adeiny Hechavarria has started every game at shortstop for Miami this season.

• Stony Brook University product Tom Koehler, who struggled against the Mets at Citi Field (4 ER in 5 IP), tossed seven scoreless innings against the Dodgers on Friday, allowing only three hits.

• Closer Steve Cishek suffered a blown save at Citi Field on April 25, which snapped his streak of successful save conversions at 33, a Marlins franchise record.

• Center fielder Marcell Ozuna is hitting .395 (17-for-43) in 10 career games against the Mets.

• Third baseman Casey McGehee has 20 RBIs this season, the most in the majors without a home run.

Nate Eovaldi’s fastball has averaged 96.0 mph this season. Only Kansas City’s Yordano Ventura (96.7 mph) has averaged more.

Greg Dobbs was designated for assignment last Tuesday, clearing a spot for Ed Lucas, who returned from the disabled list. Dobbs had been 1-for-13 as a lefty pinch hitter. He had signed a $1.7 million extension for 2014.

• Right-hander Jacob Turner returned from the disabled list Saturday and entered the rotation, pushing Kevin Slowey to the bullpen.

• Former Mets farmhand Alonzo Harris, who signed with the Marlins at the end of spring training after being released by the Mets, again has been released. Harris hit .094 (3-for-32) at Class A Jupiter.

Rapid Reaction: Marlins 7, Mets 6 (10)

April, 26, 2014
Apr 26
10:47
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Terry Collins went to his primary closer in the 10th inning with the score tied. Leadoff batter Jarrod Saltalamacchia then greeted Kyle Farnsworth with an opposite-field home run on a 2-2 fastball.

After Steve Cishek rebounded from Friday's blown save that snapped a streak of 33 straight saves, the Miami Marlins had defeated the New York Mets 7-6 on Saturday night at Citi Field.

The Mets (13-11) had been bidding to move to four games over .500 for the first time since July 14, 2012.

Oh, Jenrry: Jenrry Mejia breezed into the sixth inning with a 5-1 lead when things rapidly unraveled. Giancarlo Stanton belted a two-run homer and Adeiny Hechavarria produced an RBI single as the Marlins pulled within a run.

With two baserunners and two outs, Collins inserted heavily used Carlos Torres to face pinch hitter Reed Johnson. Johnson dropped a two-run double into the right-field corner as Miami capped a five-run inning and took a 6-5 lead.

Those marked the first inherited runners Torres had allowed to score this season, after stranding five straight.

Mejia’s final line: 5.2 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR.

Mejia, whose scoreless-inning streak was snapped at 14 2/3 in the second inning, had his ERA swell by a full run and a half, from 1.99 to 3.49.

New York extended its lead to 5-1 in the third inning on Lucas Duda's two-out, two-run single against Marlins starter Kevin Slowey.

The Mets took Mejia off the hook and evened the score at 6 in the bottom of the sixth with an unearned run thanks to a passed ball by Saltalamacchia and a throwing error by Hechavarria at shortstop.

Deep thoughts: Bobby Abreu, in the starting lineup for the second time in three days because Chris Young felt ill, belted a two-run homer in the first inning to stake the Mets to a 3-0 lead.

Abreu's last major league homer came on Sept. 28, 2012, with the Los Angeles Dodgers, against Colorado's Will Harris.

Young entered on a double-switch in the eighth inning.

Yer out: Daniel Murphy was ejected in the bottom of the 10th by plate umpire Seth Buckminster for arguing a called third strike. It was Murphy's second ejection of the season. It left the Mets without enough infielders should the game have gone any further than the 10th inning.

Q for shortstop: Omar Quintanilla made a pair of stellar plays at short. He dived to his left to snare a sharp line drive off the bat of Stanton in the third. Two innings later, Quintanilla fielded Hechavarria’s up-the-middle grounder, spun and fired to first base in time.

What’s next: Dillon Gee (1-1, 3.58 ERA) opposes right-hander Tom Koehler (2-1, 2.13), a Stony Brook University product, in Sunday’s 1:10 p.m. series finale.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 4, Marlins 3

April, 25, 2014
Apr 25
10:10
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Forget 90 wins. After a walk-off win Friday, the New York Mets are on pace for 92.

After Gonzalez Germen squandered a lead by surrendering consecutive two-out home runs in the eighth inning, the Mets had some late dramatics of their own en route to a 4-3 win against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field.

The Mets (13-10) moved a season-high three games over .500, matching their high-water mark in 2013 (5-2 and 7-4).

Trailing 3-2 and facing Marlins closer Steve Cishek, who had converted 33 straight save attempts, the longest active streak in the majors, Lucas Duda led off the bottom of the ninth with a bloop single. Travis d'Arnaud bunted Duda to second. Pinch hitter Bobby Abreu lined out to left field for the second out, but Omar Quintanilla provided some magic.

Quintanilla singled to left field to plate Duda ... barely.

Duda might have been dead at home, but left-fielder Christian Yelich fell after fielding the ball and there was no attempt at the plate.

Pinch hitter Kirk Niewenhuis then doubled to advance Quintanilla to third. Curtis Granderson capped the wild victory by grounding a single past Garrett Jones at first base.

In the eighth, Germen began stepping toward the dugout, convinced he had a called third strike on Jarrod Saltalamacchia to end the inning. Instead, plate umpire Andy Fletcher ruled the pitch a ball and the count went full.

Two pitches later, Saltalamacchia homered to even the score. The following batter, Jones, then went deep as well. And the Marlins took a 3-2 lead.

It was a shocking swing in momentum after Germen had retired the first five batters he faced, including striking out Giancarlo Stanton and Casey McGehee to begin the eighth, with the Mets clinging to a one-run lead.

Mets manager Terry Collins had Scott Rice warming, but allowed Germen to face the switch-hitting Saltalamacchia and then the lefty-hitting Jones, given Germen's success in mowing down the first five batters. Saltalamacchia has far more power from the left side.

Earlier, David Wright and Daniel Murphy had driven in third-inning runs against Henderson Alvarez, and Zack Wheeler limited Miami to one run in six innings as the Mets handed a 2-1 lead to Germen for the seventh.

Wheeler deal: Wheeler breezed through the early innings, working around a Wright two-base fielding error to open the game. In fact, Wheeler did not allow a hit until the fourth.

Wheeler's outing began to unravel late, but he came up big in his sixth and final frame. With runners on the corners and one out, Wheeler consecutively struck out Derek Dietrich and Adeiny Hechavarria to preserve a 2-1 lead.

Wheeler's line: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 10 K. He was charged with two wild pitches, although one actually appeared to be a passed ball on d'Arnaud.

Wheeler threw 110 pitches (63 strikes) as he shaved his ERA to 3.99. It was his second career double-digit strikeout performance. He had a career-high 12 strikeouts last Aug. 15 at San Diego.

Mets starters now have a 1.81 ERA in their past 11 games.

Off and running: Murphy swiped third base in the third inning and has now been successful in 26 straight attempts. That matches Howard Johnson in 1989 for the second-longest streak in franchise history. The franchise record belongs to Kevin McReynolds, who stole 33 straight bases from 1987 through '89.

Snapped: Yelich's 17-game hitting streak, which had been the longest active streak in the majors, came to an end. Yelich went 0-for-3 with a walk. He also reached in the first inning on Wright's error.

Hello there: Jeurys Familia handled the ninth inning in his first appearance since last Friday.

What's next: Jenrry Mejia takes a career-high 13 2/3-inning scoreless streak into Saturday's 7:10 p.m. start. Mejia (3-0, 1.99 ERA) opposes right-hander Kevin Slowey (0-0, 4.15).

Series preview: Mets vs. Marlins

April, 25, 2014
Apr 25
9:15
AM ET

Getty ImagesThe Mets face Henderson Alvarez, Kevin Slowey and Tom Koehler this weekend at Citi Field.
METS (12-10, second place/NL East) vs. MIAMI MARLINS (10-12, fifth place/NL East)

Friday: RHP Zack Wheeler (1-2, 4.63) vs. RHP Henderson Alvarez (1-2, 2.66), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Jenrry Mejia (3-0, 1.99) vs. RHP Kevin Slowey (0-0, 4.15), 7:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: LHP Dillon Gee (1-1, 3.58) vs. RHP Tom Koehler (2-1, 2.13), 1:10 p.m. ET

Marlins short hops

Giancarlo Stanton leads the National League with 27 RBIs. Among his six long balls, he has the longest homer in the majors this season: 484 feet, on April 4 against San Diego’s Eric Stults (watch video here). Last Friday against Seattle’s Yoervis Medina, Stanton belted his second career walk-off grand slam. The other came May 13, 2012 against the Mets’ Manny Acosta.


Jeff Roberson/Associated PressChristian Yelich arrives at Citi Field with a 17-game hitting streak.


Christian Yelich enters the series with a career-high 17-game hitting streak -- the longest active streak in the majors. Yelich, 22, also is 14-for-14 in steals attempts to begin his big-league career. That is a Marlins record, displacing Edgar Renteria, who began his career with 13 straight successful steals in 1996.

• The Marlins used free agency to bring in nearly an entirely new infield during the offseason: catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, first baseman Garrett Jones, shortstop Rafael Furcal and third baseman Casey McGehee.

Furcal (hamstring) has opened the season on the disabled list, although he has started a rehab assignment. He signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract on Dec. 5 after missing all of last season. Furcal underwent Tommy John surgery on March 15, 2013. Adeiny Hechavarria has started all 22 games at shortstop in Furcal’s absence.

McGehee, who signed for one year, $1.1 million on Dec. 18, spent last season with Rakuten in Japan. He tied for second in that country’s Pacific League in homers with 28. With that pennant-winning Japanese club, McGehee played alongside ex-Met Kazuo Matsui as well as current Yankee Masahiro Tanaka, who went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA.

The Marlins signed Saltalamacchia away from the champion Boston Red Sox with a three-year, $21 million contract on Dec. 4.

Jones signed for two years, $7.75 million on Dec. 9 after spending the previous five seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

• Closer Steve Cishek has converted a franchise-record 33 consecutive save attempts dating to June 8, 2013. It is the longest active streak in the majors. The previous Marlins record belonged to Todd Jones, who converted 27 straight saves in 2005. Last year’s 94.4 save percentage tied Toronto’s Casey Janssen for best in the majors.

• After opening the season working in long relief, Kevin Slowey replaced ineffective Brad Hand in the rotation last turn. Slowey had gone 1-6 with a 4.11 ERA in 14 first-half starts for Miami last season before being dispatched to the bullpen. He then suffered a season-ending forearm strain.

Hand had an 11.37 ERA while tossing a combined 6 1/3 innings in two starts against the Washington Nationals before getting bounced from the rotation last week.

• Stony Brook University product Tom Koehler has limited opponents to two runs or fewer and completed at least six innings in each of his four starts.

• Center fielder Marcell Ozuna's 2013 season ended July 22 when he suffered a torn thumb ligament on a diving play in the outfield. Ozuna is hitting .309 with three homers and 10 RBIs in 81 at-bats.

• Miami is tied for second in the NL with 98 runs scored.

• The Marlins are 1-8 on the road.

• Reliever Carlos Marmol was forced to depart Wednesday’s game with a strained right hamstring.

Series preview: Mets at Marlins

July, 28, 2013
7/28/13
6:08
PM ET

Wilfredo Lee/Associated PressJake Marisnick and Christian Yelich were promoted from Double-A Jacksonville last Tuesday.
METS (46-56, fourth place/NL East) vs. MIAMI MARLINS (40-63, fifth place/NL East)

Monday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (4-8, 4.17) vs. RHP Jacob Turner (3-3, 2.49), 7:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Zack Wheeler (4-1, 3.72) vs. RHP Nathan Eovaldi (2-1, 3.54), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Jenrry Mejia (1-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Henderson Alvarez (1-1, 2.64), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: RHP Matt Harvey (8-2, 2.11) vs. RHP Tom Koehler (2-6, 4.67), 12:40 p.m. ET

Marlins short hops

• First-year hitting coach Tino Martinez resigned Sunday. He allegedly grabbed rookie second baseman Derek Dietrich by the neck and neck chain and verbally assaulted other players this season, the Miami Herald reported. "I want to apologize to the Marlins organization for my behavior," Martinez said, according to the Associated Press. "I have made some comments to certain players at certain times that I thought was more constructive criticism. Obviously, they didn't feel that way, and it kind of backfired on me."

• The Marlins promoted top outfield prospects Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick from Double-A Jacksonville last Tuesday.


Robert Mayer/USA TODAY SportsGiancarlo Stanton has heated up with the Marlins.


Yelich, a left fielder who started in the Futures Game at Citi Field, is the only two-time organizational player of the year in Marlins history. He became the second player in franchise history to record a hit in each of his first three major league at-bats, joining current manager Mike Redmond (May 31, 1998). He is only the fourth major leaguer since 1980 to have hits in his first three ABs, joining Daryl Boston (White Sox, 1984), Jose Offerman (Dodgers, 1990) and Jay Bruce (Reds, 2008).

Marisnick, a center fielder, was hitless in 14 at-bats to open his career before singling. It was the second-longest drought in Marlins history to open a career. Nigel Wilson, the first pick in the expansion draft in 1992, went 0-for-16 as a Marlin and eventually was hitless in his first 26 at-bats in the majors before getting a hit three years after his debut, with the Cleveland Indians in ’96.

Fellow rookie outfielder Marcell Ozuna landed on the disabled list Thursday with a ligament tear and fracture in his left thumb and required surgery. Ozuna had been demoted with Dietrich after Monday’s game to make room for Yelich and Marisnick, but Ozuna’s demotion was rescinded after the extent of his injury attempting a diving catch became known.

Adding Yelich and Marisnick to an outfield that already includes Giancarlo Stanton in right field makes it a formidable trio. After a mostly quiet July at the plate, Stanton is 9-for-13 in his last four games. He has four homers in his past six games at Marlins Park.

Justin Ruggiano is 0-for-his-last-32. Adeiny Hechavarria replaced Ruggiano in the leadoff spot a week ago.

Jacob Turner, who was acquired at last year’s trade deadline from the Detroit Tigers as part of a package for Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante, has suffered consecutive hard-luck defeats. He was tagged with losses at Milwaukee and Colorado despite allowing two runs in each outing. Turner has allowed only three homers in 10 starts since making his season debut with seven scoreless innings against the Mets on May 31.

Henderson Alvarez -- acquired in November in the trade that sent Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio and John Buck to Toronto -- earned his first Marlins win Friday. He tossed six scoreless innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He topped out at 98 mph with his fastball.

Kevin Slowey, who struggled in the rotation before getting reassigned to the bullpen, landed on the DL during the weekend with right forearm discomfort. Right-hander Steve Ames took the roster spot Sunday. Ames was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 6 with fellow minor leaguers Angel Sanchez and Josh Wall for Ricky Nolasco.

Logan Morrison, who has settled in at first base, has reached base in 26 straight games.

• The Marlins snapped a franchise-record 37-inning scoreless streak last Monday at Colorado.

• Closer Steve Cishek has an MLB-best 17 saves since June 8, without a blown save during that span.

Rapid Reaction: Marlins 8, Mets 4 (10)

June, 9, 2013
6/09/13
4:46
PM ET
NEW YORK -- If only the Miami Marlins played the Mets every day.

The Mets failed to protect an eighth-inning lead and were swept for the second straight weekend by the Marlins, this time with an 8-4 loss in 10 innings Sunday at Citi Field before an announced paid crowd of 21,747.

After Bobby Parnell allowed consecutive singles to open his second inning of work, Daniel Murphy errantly fielded Adeiny Hechavarria’s grounder to allow the go-ahead run to score from second base. Robert Carson entered and surrendered a sacrifice fly to Greg Dobbs and two-run homer to Miguel Olivo as the Marlins ultimately posted four runs in the 10th. Parnell was charged with three runs (two earned).

At least this time it did not take 20 innings, like Saturday’s loss.

Miami is 8-3 against the Mets and 10-41 against the rest of baseball this season.

The Mets (23-35) matched their season low-water mark at 12 games under .500, although they're still seven games ahead of the Marlins for fourth place in the National League East.

Fried rice: Scott Rice, summoned for his MLB-leading 34th relief appearance to begin the eighth with the Mets leading 4-3, surrendered a game-tying leadoff homer to Derek Dietrich and departed. Lefty batters had been hitting .143 (9-for-63) against Rice with one extra-base hit -- an April 5 double by Miami’s Rob Brantly -- before Dietrich’s homer.

Shouldering the load: Jonathon Niese, who missed his last rotation turn with a shoulder issue, then had his rotation reentry delayed by rain, allowed three runs (two earned) on eight hits and one walk while striking out four in 6 2/3 innings. He threw 103 pitches in what became a no-decision.

Niese made his first start since May 27.

The southpaw departed with a 4-3 lead in the seventh after allowing consecutive two-out singles to opposing pitcher Tom Koehler and Juan Pierre. LaTroy Hawkins entered and retired 31-year-old rookie Ed Lucas on a groundout to strand both inherited runners.

Niese had taken a 4-1 lead into the sixth, when he surrendered a two-run double to Marcell Ozuna. The second run was unearned because Juan Lagares misplayed the ball in right-center. Niese did strand Ozuna at third base to preserve the one-run lead. He retired Logan Morrison on a shallow flyout and coaxed a groundout to third from Justin Ruggiano.

Wright stuff: David Wright, who entered Sunday hitting only .200 (13-for-65) over his last 16 games, broke a 1-all tie in the third with a two-run double against Koehler.

Murphy, in his first start in the cleanup spot this season, followed with a run-scoring groundout as the Mets took a 4-1 lead. Murphy’s solo homer in the second accounted for the Mets’ opening run.

JV caliber: After bunting for a base hit in the first, Jordany Valdespin made the final out at third base that inning when he was caught stealing with Murphy at the plate.

In a pinch: Terry Collins used Justin Turner as a pinch hitter for Ike Davis for a second straight day.

Welcome back: Kirk Nieuwenhuis made his return as a pinch hitter in the 10th. He struck out.

What’s next: After an off-day Monday, the Mets welcome the St. Louis Cardinals. In Tuesday’s series opener, Jeremy Hefner (1-5, 4.36 ERA) opposes phenom Michael Wacha (1-5, 4.36) in the right-hander’s third major league start.
NEW YORK


Associated Press/Getty ImagesOn Day 3 of the draft, the Mets' picks included (l to r) Long Beach State's Jeff McNeil, Loyola Marymount's Colton Plaia and Florida State's Robby Coles.
FIRST PITCH: The day after their 20-inning debacle, the Mets try to rebound by sending Jonathon Niese to the mound at 1:10 p.m. today against Stony Brook University product Tom Koehler (0-4, 3.70 ERA).

Niese (3-5, 4.40) has not pitched in a game since May 27. He missed a rotation turn because of occasional “sharp pain” and catching in his left shoulder as he threw. He then had his planned return rained out Thursday in D.C.

Sunday’s news reports:

Matt Harvey left Saturday’s game after taking the mound for the eighth inning with what he described as tightness in his lower back, near the right hip. Harvey maintained he intends to make his next start, which would be Thursday or Friday at Citi Field. He suggested the issue was remedied when the troublesome area was “popped back into place” during a chiropractic adjustment in the trainer’s room. He had similar issues on occasion while at UNC.

Writes columnist Bob Klapisch in the Record:

What’s unforgivable, however, is the way Harvey and the Mets handled the brush with injury, brief as it was. The 24-year-old ace admitted he tweaked the hip in the top of the seventh inning. Harvey’s first mistake was failing to tell anyone he was no longer at 100 percent.

Mistake No. 2 occurred in the bottom of the seventh, after Harvey singled and reached first base. Finally he told first base coach Tom Goodwin something was wrong with his lower back -- yet, no one thought to intervene. Harvey should’ve never set foot on the mound after that. But it wasn’t until he took his warm-ups in the eighth that common sense prevailed and he was removed.

Read columnist Steve Serby's opinion in the Post.

Before departing, Harvey tied Clayton Kershaw at seven for the most starts this season going seven-plus innings and allowing one or fewer runs, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Harvey has one win and eight no-decisions since April 19.

Read more in the Times, Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and MLB.com.

Rick Ankiel’s Mets career lasted 27 days, during which he hit .182 with 25 strikeouts in 66 at-bats. The final straw: an 0-for-4, three-strikeout performance off the bench in Saturday’s loss. Kirk Nieuwenhuis will join the Mets on Sunday from Triple-A Las Vegas. Niewenhuis had eight homers in his last 16 games with the 51s. Ankiel was designated for assignment.


Courtesy of Wheeler familyA young Zack Wheeler (middle) grew up a Braves fan. He may face them in his major league debut.


• The Mets reversed course and will delay Zack Wheeler’s promotion, which had been tentatively planned for this upcoming Friday against the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field. The expectation now is that Wheeler makes his major league debut at Turner Field during a June 17-20 series against the Atlanta Braves, unless Harvey’s issue requires Wheeler sooner. The Mets will need an extra starter during that series anyway because the teams play five games over four days. Wheeler would be starting at a stadium 30 miles east of where he grew up, in Dallas, Ga. Wheeler should make one more Triple-A start, likely Wednesday in Las Vegas.

“I knew what I was doing wrong, but I couldn’t make the adjustment, which stinks as a pitcher,” Wheeler told Ken Davidoff in the Post about his most recent outing, when he allowed four runs in 4 2/3 innings Friday. “It happens. It’s part of pitching. Learning experience.”

Writes columnist David Lennon in Newsday:

What do the Mets have to lose? More games? They got that covered. If the front office believes Wheeler is capable of handling the mental leap, take the plunge, and he'll likely lead a parade of call-ups that should follow after the All-Star break. Harvey pitched through last season's second-half pratfall with blinders on. The Mets need Wheeler to do the same.

He won't be looked at as any kind of savior. The Mets took care of that by removing themselves from contention by Father's Day. All that will be asked of him is to take the baseball, throw strikes and get some people out. Use these next four months as a tune-up to prepare for 2014, which presumably will include those "meaningful games" Fred Wilpon talked about once upon a time.

Read more on Wheeler in the Daily News and Newsday.

• In what matched the fourth-longest game innings-wise in franchise history, the Mets lost to the Marlins, 2-1, in 20 innings Saturday. The Mets went a franchise-record 0-for-19 with runners in scoring position. They left 22 men on base, trailing only a 1974 game against the St. Louis Cardinals when they stranded 25 for the franchise record.

The time of game: six hours, 25 minutes.

Shaun Marcum, after tossing seven scoreless relief innings, surrendered the game-deciding RBI single to Adeiny Hechavarria in the 20th.

Marcum unfairly dropped to 0-7 this season, with two of the losses coming as a reliever against the Marlins. Marcum’s record matches the fourth worst to open a season in franchise history, trailing only Anthony Young (0-13 in 1993), Bob Miller (0-12, 1962) and John Franco (0-8, 1998) and matching Mike Pelfrey (0-7, 2007). Marcum’s eight-inning relief appearance was the longest in the majors since Scott Sanderson also pitched eight innings for the Chicago Cubs in 1989, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Miller, with the 0-12, is the only pitcher to begin his Mets career with a worse record than Marcum.

Amazingly, Harvey and Jose Fernandez have now been the starters for both lengthy extra-inning games between the Mets and Marlins this season (also 15 innings on April 29, in Marcum’s other relief loss). The only other time a pair of starting pitchers met twice in a season in games that went 15-plus innings: 1884, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. That matchup featured Jim Whitney of the Boston Beaneaters and Old Hoss Radbourn of the Providence Grays.

The only longer games in Mets history: 25 innings versus St. Louis on Sept. 11, 1974; 24 innings at Houston on April 15, 1968; and 23 innings versus San Francisco on May 31, 1964. The Mets also played a 20-inning game at St. Louis on April 17, 2010.

The Marlins are 7-3 against the Mets this season and 10-41 against the rest of MLB.


Paul J. Bereswill/Associated PressShaun Marcum excelled in eight innings of relief, but was tagged with the loss.


• Marcum had been scheduled to reenter the rotation Tuesday. But after logging 107 pitches in his first appearance in eight days with the relief effort, Marcum undoubtedly will wait until at least Thursday’s series finale against the Cardinals to pitch again, which would be on standard rest. Because of Monday’s off-day and two rainouts, Jeremy Hefner and Dillon Gee can handle the first two games of that series, both with extra rest anyway. Read more on Marcum in the Post and Star-Ledger.

• Veteran reliever David Aardsma joined the Mets on Saturday from Las Vegas and debuted with a scoreless 12th inning. Collin McHugh was optioned to the 51s, while Jeurys Familia was shifted to the 60-day DL to clear the 40-man roster spot.

The Mets have four players on the 60-day DL, where they currently do not count against the 40-man roster: Johan Santana, Frank Francisco, Jenrry Mejia and Familia. With Ankiel DFA’d postgame, the Mets now have 39 players counted toward the 40-man roster.

Familia underwent surgery last week to remove a bone spur and other loose objects from his pitching elbow.

Read more in the Daily News.

• MLB completed its draft Saturday with rounds 11 through 40. Of local note on the final day, the Mets selected left-handed pitcher Anthony Kay from Ward Melville High School on Long Island in the 29th round. That’s the same Suffolk County school that produced the Mets’ top pick in the 2009 draft, left-hander Steven Matz. See all 41 Mets picks at Baseball America.

Landon Powell, who has tons of people rooting for him because of his traumatic family experience, has been released by the Mets from Las Vegas. Powell was the subject of a recent E:60 documentary after his infant daughter Izzy died on the eve of spring training. He was hitting .159 for Las Vegas, which also had homegrown catchers Francisco Pena, Juan Centeno and Kai Gronauer active. Powell indicated to 51s broadcaster Russ Langer that he had an offer to be a coach with a small college program near his Greenville, S.C., home, which he was leaning toward accepting.

Powell’s release coincided with Andrew Brown (oblique) returning from the Las Vegas DL.

• Travis Taijeron (.303, 9 HR, 27 RBIs) earned a promotion from St. Lucie to Binghamton after B-Mets outfielder Cory Vaughn landed on the DL with a right elbow strain. Taijeron homered in his Double-A debut and Rafael Montero tossed seven scoreless innings as Binghamton beat Altoona, 9-3. Read the full minor league recap here.

• Ex-Met Oliver Perez has revived his career with the Seattle Mariners, writes David Waldstein in the Times.

From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear soaked up all 20 innings in Promenade and lived to tell about it.

BIRTHDAYS: Short-lived Met Jason Anderson, who arrived from the Yankees in the July 16, 2003 trade for Armando Benitez, turns 34.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Are you relieved Kirk Nieuwenhuis is replacing Rick Ankiel? Or is your attitude more: What took so long?

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.289 9 57 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187