New York Mets: Brad Peacock

Rapid Reaction: Astros 3, Mets 1

September, 26, 2014
9/26/14
10:27
PM ET
NEW YORK -- For the sixth straight year, the Mets' win total will start with a "7." It could be 77, or 78, or 79.

It won't be 80.

That much is certain, after the Mets began their final-weekend series with a 3-1 loss to the Houston Astros on Friday night. Curtis Granderson's fourth-inning home run gave the Mets their only run. They had only five hits.

The Astros scored all their runs in the sixth inning against Carlos Torres, who took over when Jonathon Niese had to leave because of an elevated heart rate. Torres had help, because Anthony Recker dropped a throw at home plate to allow Jose Altuve to score Houston's second run. Altuve would have been out on a nice relay throw by Wilmer Flores.

Niese questions: The Mets' starter finished his season with 5 1/3 shutout innings, leaving Niese with a 3.40 ERA that matches the best of his career (also 3.40 in 2012). But Niese left Friday's start one out into the fifth inning because of an elevated heart rate, the same issue that forced him from games in both 2011 and 2012.

When Niese had the problem before, doctors first recommended a heart procedure known as ablation. But Niese visited experts at the Cleveland Clinic, who told him they believed the procedure wasn't needed.

Granderson Citi: Granderson is having a nice September, but it's certainly notable that his fourth-inning home run off Brad Peacock on Friday night was his first homer at home since the All-Star break. In Granderson's first season with the Mets, 13 of his 20 home runs have come on the road.

Altuve watch: It's hard to remember that this is an interleague series, the first time the Mets and Astros have met since Houston moved to the American League in 2013. So the Mets could have an impact on the AL batting race. Altuve began the night with a six-point lead over the Tigers' Victor Martinez.

Altuve went 1-for-4 (with a single off Torres), which dropped his average from .343 to .342.

Family affair: Astros reliever Kevin Chapman, who is Matt den Dekker's first cousin, entered the game in the fifth inning to face Daniel Murphy with two on and two out. Chapman, who is left-handed, remained in the game to face the four lefties in the middle of the Mets lineup ... including den Dekker.

It was the first time the two had met in a major-league game. The result? den Dekker walked.

Chapman told the Houston Chronicle that he and den Dekker are almost like brothers. They're close to the same age, and grew up about a mile apart in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

What's next: With Jacob deGrom shut down for the season, the Mets give Rafael Montero (1-3, 4.38) another start in Saturday night's 7:10 p.m. ET start. Right-hander Samuel Deduno (2-6, 4.66) starts for the Astros.

Series preview: Mets vs. Nationals

April, 9, 2012
4/09/12
7:30
AM ET

US Presswire
Edwin Jackson makes his Nats debut Monday against the Mets, followed by Ross Detwiler on Tuesday and Stephen Strasburg on Wednesday.
METS (3-0, first place/NL East) vs. WASHINGTON NATIONALS (2-1, second place/NL East)

Monday: RHP Mike Pelfrey vs. RHP Edwin Jackson, 7:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Dillon Gee vs. LHP Ross Detwiler, 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: LHP Johan Santana (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (0-0, 1.29), 1:10 p.m. ET

Nationals short hops

Ross Detwiler claimed the fifth-starter’s job over fellow southpaw John Lannan, in the spot available because Chien-Ming Wang strained his left hamstring March 15. Lannan, assigned to Triple-A Syracuse, asked GM Mike Rizzo for a trade after the decision, then sent an email to beat reporters the following day acknowledging the request. After Wang suffered the injury, manager Davey Johnson had said Lannan would be the fifth starter. Lannan is due to earn $5 million this season. The Nats are only expected to trade Lannan if they get something of consequence in return, since they will need starting pitching depth during the season. Detwiler’s spring-training ERA was 3.06, to Lannan’s 5.14. The Nats did not think Lannan would be comfortable in the bullpen, so they sent him to Syracuse and instead carried Craig Stammen in a major league relief role.

• Cleanup hitter Michael Morse is expected to be activated from the disabled list as soon as Tuesday. He homered Friday, during a rehab assignment with Double-A Harrisburg, as he returns from a right lat muscle tear. After coming to New York on Saturday for preplanned treatment, Morse returned to the Eastern League club Sunday to continue a rehab assignment. Bergen Catholic product Mark DeRosa started in left field the first two games of the season, while ex-Met Xavier Nady manned the position Sunday. DeRosa was signed at winter meetings to fill the void after Chris Marrero suffered a hamstring injury in winter ball in November that will sideline him the first half of the season. DeRosa has undergone three wrist surgeries in past two years, but appears healthy now. Nady signed in mid-March after being jobless.


Rob Grabowski/US Presswire
With Drew Storen on the DL, ex-Phillie Brad Lidge picked up the save on Opening Day at Wrigley Field.


Jayson Werth is expected to play center field against left-handed pitchers, with Nady manning right field. Primarily the right fielder, Werth is due to make $13 million in 2012, in the second season of a seven-year, $126 million deal. He hit .232 with 20 homers, 58 RBIs and 19 steals in his first season with the Nats.

Roger Bernadina has started in center field the first three games against right-handers, while fellow lefty-hitting outfielder Rick Ankiel opens the season on the disabled list with quadriceps tightness. Ankiel, who originally re-signed with the Nats on a minor league deal, will earn $1.25 million this season. He has started a rehab assignment, but is not eligible to be activated until Saturday.

Chad Tracy spent last season in Japan, where he hit only .235 with one homer and 19 RBIs in 149 at-bats with Hiroshima. Tracy has been big off the bench so far. After making the Opening Day roster because of Ankiel’s quadriceps injury, Tracy already twice has delivered successful pinch hits -- including a two-run, go-ahead single in the eighth Saturday against Carlos Marmol, who was attempting a four-out save.

Stephen Strasburg started Opening Day and limited the Cubs to one run and five hits while striking out five and walking one in seven innings. Strasburg breezed through the first two innings, requiring only 14 pitches. He ultimately received a no-decision. The Nats have pledged to cap Strasburg’s innings at 160 this season after he missed most of last season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, although playoff contention would test that commitment.

Drew Storen, who recorded 43 saves last year, opened the season on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation. Brad Lidge, who signed a one-year, $1 million deal, and flame-throwing Henry Rodriguez will close in Storen’s absence. Lidge, 35, picked up the save on Opening Day at Wrigley Field -- only the ex-Phillie’s second save since Sept. 27, 2010. The Nats have an ultra-deep bullpen. Rodriguez has been clocked at 101 mph, with a 94 mph changeup. Set-up man Tyler Clippard (3-0, 1.83 ERA in 2011) earned an All-Star invitation last season.

• Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman agreed to a six-year, $100 million extension Feb. 26. The deal is on top of the combined $26 million he was due to earn between this season and 2013. The Nats have a team option for 2020.

(Read full post)

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
15 4.09 151 202
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187