New York Mets: Brandon Lyon

Morning Briefing: Mets to honor Kiner

February, 12, 2014

Howard Simmons/NY Daily News Archive via Getty ImagesLegendary broadcaster Ralph Kiner died last week at age 91. The Mets are expected to recognize Kiner this season.


FIRST PITCH: A Mets official was coy about what precisely will be done. But the insider definitely left the impression the team will do something special to honor Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner, who contributed to Mets telecasts all the way until his death at age 91 last week.

Courtesy of New York MetsWhen Gary Carter passed away two years ago, the Mets remembered him with uniform patches.

The Mets created a uniform patch to remember Gary Carter after his battle with cancer tragically ended in 2012.

Among fans on Twitter, there seems to be some sentiment in Kiner’s case to name a nook by the foul pole at Citi Field “Kiner’s Korner,” after his longtime TV segment interviewing players.

Wednesday’s news reports:

• WOR plans to announce later this week that the radio broadcast team of Howie Rose and Josh Lewin will remain intact for the 2014 season. The station takes over Mets radio rights this season. Read more in Newsday.

• Sandy Alderson, speaking on WFAN, said the free-agent relief market is barren and suggested a prospect such as left-hander Jack Leathersich could make the Opening Day roster in the bullpen. Alderson also addressed Stephen Drew as well as Ike Davis and Lucas Duda. On Drew, the GM said the free-agent shortstop could be signed “under the right circumstances.” At one point, Alderson suggested the loser of the Davis-Duda first-base battle “likely” would be sent to Triple-A if both are still will the organization March 31. Listen to the full audio here. Read more in Newsday.

• After driving from Boston with his interpreter, Daisuke Matsuzaka reported to Mets camp on the same day Masahiro Tanaka had his big press conference at Yankee Stadium. Dice-K, who re-signed on a minor-league deal, is looking to claim the fifth-starter’s role. He definitely can identify with what Tanaka is now experiencing, having been in the same situation in 2007. “The way he finished last year, I am glad he is back in camp, because he gives us huge security,” Terry Collins told Kevin Kernan in the Post about Dice-K. “This guy can pitch.” Read more in the Times and Daily News.

• Check out the Mets’ 2014 uniform-number assignments here.

Eric Young Jr., who wore a shirt reading “SPEED SWAG” for the voluntary workout, arrived at camp Tuesday and said he wants to claim the leadoff spot. He knows he needs to lift his on-base percentage. Read more in the Post and Daily News.

Jeremy Hefner, who underwent Tommy John surgery last Aug. 28, is unsure whether he will be ready to pitch at all in the majors this season.

• Actor Ty Burrell and host Jon Stewart, both Mets fans, tried to one-up each other with barbs about the team during Monday’s “The Daily Show.”

• SNY and WPIX announced their spring-training TV schedule.

• Anthony DiComo at previews the bullpen. Bobby Parnell, Vic Black and Kyle Farnsworth (who is on a minor-league deal) would appear three names to pencil in, while Jeurys Familia and Gonzalez Germen would appear solid candidates. And Carlos Torres did fine as a long man/spot starter in 2013. From the left side, Scott Rice was durable last season before succumbing to surgery for sports hernias. His sidekick among southpaws may come down to a competition between Josh Edgin and Leathersich.

• Reliever Brandon Lyon, who was released by the Mets last summer, officially has a minor-league deal with the Los Angeles Angels.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear tries to decide upon which near-miss Mets team it would retroactively bestow a world championship. … John Delcos at Mets Report believes the Mets should “quit the charade and just say no to Stephen Drew.”

BIRTHDAYS: Former Mets pitcher Tim Redding turns 36 today. … Dennis Springer turns 49. … Lenny Randle was born on this date in 1949.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: What would be an appropriate tribute by the Mets to remember Ralph Kiner?

Rapid Reaction: Brewers 7, Mets 6

July, 6, 2013
MILWAUKEE -- Here is all you need to know about Shaun Marcum: Brandon Lyon's fate might be awaiting him sooner than later.

Marcum surrendered six runs and became the quickest Met in 12 years to compile double-digit losses in a 7-6 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday night at Miller Park.

Marlon Byrd produced a two-out solo homer in the ninth against ex-Met Francisco Rodriguez, but Kirk Nieuwenhuis struck out to end the game.

The Mets do not have a ton of rotation depth, but Carlos Torres had been highly successful starting with Triple-A Las Vegas before a promotion for relief work. He likely would step in if the Mets decided to designate Marcum for assignment at some point, as they did with Lyon at the end of the last homestand.

Jeffrey Phelps/Associated PressShaun Marcum, while facing his former team, suffered his 10th loss Saturday night.

Of course, the DL also is an option perhaps. Manager Terry Collins acknowledged Marcum dealt with tingling in his fingers in his previous start.

The Mets, trailing 5-0, did claw back to within a run multiple times.

John Buck had a solo homer in a two-run fifth against Yovani Gallardo. Buck then produced a two-run single an inning later that pulled the Mets within 5-4. (Buck was not in the original starting lineup, but Marcum requested him over Anthony Recker and Collins made the adjustment.)

After sloppy fielding gave back a run in the bottom half of the sixth, the Mets loaded the bases with one out in the seventh against John Axford. Byrd delivered a sacrifice fly to pull the Mets within 6-5. But Nieuwenhuis, who was 4-for-4 with two walks in the series opener, then lined out to left field.

Marcum's line: 5+ IP, 11 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR.

He dropped to 1-10 with a 5.29 ERA. The last Met with 10 losses this early in a season: Steve Trachsel, who suffered his 10th defeat on July 5, 2001, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

As for the ugly bottom-of-the-sixth play: After Logan Schafer had a leadoff single, Gallardo tried to bunt him ahead. Marcum fielded the ball in front of the plate and tossed to first base, but Daniel Murphy missed the throw for an E-4. Schafer scampered all the way home as the Brewers took a 6-4 lead that ended Marcum's night.

LaTroy Hawkins surrendered a seventh-inning run -- snapping a streak of 14 appearances without surrendering an earned run -- as Milwaukee took a 7-5 lead. Hawkins was making his 909th appearance, passing Eddie Guardado for 21st all time. Next up: Gene Garber with 931.

Murphy flied out to strand two runners in scoring position a half-inning later.

The day after: In his second day back with the big league club, Ike Davis went 0-for-2 with three walks. He has reached base in seven of 11 plate appearances since his return from Vegas.

Ouch: Nieuwenhuis walked off gingerly after slamming his right knee into teammate Eric Young Jr. on the track in left-center on Young's eighth-inning-ending catch.

What's next: Jeremy Hefner (3-6, 3.54 ERA) opposes left-hander Tom Gorzelanny (1-1, 2.43) in the 2:10 p.m. ET rubber game on Sunday. Wily Peralta originally had been slated for the start, but he will be pushed back two days to allow more time for a hamstring strain suffered in his latest start to heal.

Because the Mets are facing a southpaw rather than a righty, that might afford Collins an opportunity to get Josh Satin a start after two games out of the lineup.

Morning Briefing: All-Star selection day

July, 6, 2013

Morry Gash/Associated PressKirk Nieuwenhuis reached base six times on Friday night.

FIRST PITCH: Shaun Marcum faces his former employer on Saturday at 7:15 p.m. ET when the Mets and Milwaukee Brewers continue their series at Miller Park.

Marcum (1-9, 5.03 ERA), who pitched the past two seasons for the Brewers before signing with the Mets as a free agent, opposes right-hander Yovani Gallardo (6-8, 4.78).

Although Marcum experienced tingling in his fingers during his last start and subsequently underwent an MRI on his upper back, Terry Collins said he expected no health impediments to Marcum’s start today.

“Shaun feels great, so I don’t plan on anything happening,” the manager maintained.

Also on tap today: The All-Star teams will be announced at 6:30 p.m. ET. David Wright and Matt Harvey figure to represent the Mets, although the starting pitching assignment is not due to be officially announced by NL manager Bruce Bochy until the day before the July 16 game at Citi Field.

Saturday’s news reports:

Morry Gash/Associated PressIke Davis had three hits in his return to the majors Friday.

Ike Davis went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a walk in his return to the majors. Davis acknowledged Friday afternoon that his three-plus-week stint in Triple-A was beneficial in quieting his swing. Meanwhile, Terry Collins pledged to continue to find ways to get Josh Satin at-bats, including potentially in the outfield.

Read more in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Journal and

Kirk Nieuwenhuis became the first Met in 13 years to reach base six times in a nine-inning game without benefting from an error and Zack Wheeler notched his second major league win as the Mets beat the sloppy Brewers, 12-5, at Miller Park.

“Just to come in here and not drag our feet and get some momentum after yesterday, that was big for us," Nieuwenhuis said postgame Friday, referring to a 15-inning loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field on Thursday.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Times and

• Wheeler next gets to face the Giants -- the organization that traded him to the Mets two years ago. He will oppose Matt Cain on Wednesday at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

As for Friday’s five-inning outing in which he surrendered three runs (one earned) in five innings, Wheeler greatly increased the percentage of fastballs he threw. Wheeler tossed 80 fastballs among his 98 pitches. The heater averaged 95.9 mph and topped out at 97.1 mph.

“I don’t know about command-wise, but I’m feeling more comfortable,” he said. “Command will come once I start settling down a little bit and focus on getting ahead of guys. That’s the biggest thing.”

• A Mets source tells Fox’s Ken Rosenthal the organization would not trade Bobby Parnell unless they are “blown away” by a trade proposal.

Mike Pelfrey and R.A. Dickey are the opposing pitchers Saturday as the Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays play, notes David Waldstein in the Times.

• Michael Salfino in the Journal determined the Mets’ .220 average at Citi Field is the seventh-worst in the majors for a team at home since 1921.

• Jeyckol De Leon’s three-run homer helped lift Kingsport to a 5-3 win against Johnson City. Read the full minor league recap here.

Gonzalez Germen was demoted before Friday’s game without the rookie making a major league appearance to clear a roster spot for the additions of Davis and Greg Burke. Brandon Lyon had been designated for assignment Thursday.

• Hunter Atkins in the Times reviews the Mets’ 2008 draft class five years later.

From the bloggers … With Davis’ promotion, the Mets have important decisions to make, writes John Delcos at Mets Report.

BIRTHDAYS: Willie Randolph turns 59. … Lance Johnson is 50.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Do you feel better about Ike Davis returning after seeing Friday’s results?

Morning Briefing: Ike and Wheeler Day

July, 5, 2013

Getty ImagesZack Wheeler and Ike Davis figure to be the two primary storylines Friday.
FIRST PITCH: Ike Davis is crashing Zack Wheeler Day.

Davis’ demotion ended on Day 25 when the first baseman was instructed to rejoin the Mets on Friday in Milwaukee, according to a source. Also en route: sidearmer Greg Burke. He will take the bullpen spot previously held by Brandon Lyon, who was designated for assignment.

The Mets, who are carrying an extra bullpen arm, will have to make another roster move before the game. The simplest transaction would involve returning Gonzalez Germen to Las Vegas unused. But if there is concern about Shaun Marcum’s durability on Saturday and the Mets want to keep the extra arm around, perhaps that endangers Kirk Nieuwenhuis or Jordany Valdespin.

Anyway, Wheeler actually will have more major league experience than his opponent in tonight’s series opener versus the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park at 8:10 p.m. ET.

Wheeler -- who needs to throw more fastballs, according to Terry Collins -- will oppose Brewers rookie right-hander Johnny Hellweg. Hellweg (0-1, 20.25) has two appearances and one start on his major league résumé.

Read the Mets-Brewers series preview here.

Friday’s news reports:

• The Mets got game-tying solo homers from Anthony Recker in the 13th and Nieuwenhuis in the 14th but did not have an answer when Scott Rice surrendered an RBI single to Cliff Pennington in the 15th as Arizona beat the Mets 5-4 Thursday afternoon at Citi Field. It marked the longest four-game series in Major League Baseball since 1989 -- rain delays excluded -- and left the Mets exhausted, according to Collins.

The Mets became the first team with a pair of game-tying homers in the 13th inning or later since the Braves did so against the Mets on the exact anniversary -- July 4, 1985 -- according to ESPN Stats & Information. The Mets dropped to 0-3 in 15-plus-inning games this season. They are the first team in the expansion era (since 1961) to lose three or more games of that length in two different seasons.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Journal, Times, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and

Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY SportsJosh Satin will be the playing-time loser with Ike Davis returning.

• Davis’ return undoubtedly will greatly diminish the playing time of Josh Satin, who is hitting .353 with a homer and seven RBIs in 51 at-bats. Satin also has a 10-game hitting streak and .468 on-base percentage.

Collins has said Davis is not returning for a part-time role.

Assuming Collins is obligated to play Davis a lot at first base, little room exists for Satin. He can play third base, but David Wright is not ceding much time there. Satin is a natural second baseman, but the Mets mostly have abandoned using him there because of his non-ideal fielding prowess. Satin also has dabbled in the outfield, but the Mets have shown no inclination to use him there. There is little room anyway in the outfield since Eric Young Jr. (switch-hitter), Marlon Byrd, Juan Lagares and Andrew Brown all hit righty, as Satin does.

Davis hit .293 with seven homers in 75 Triple-A at-bats.

Read more on Davis’ return in the Post, Newsday, Daily News, Times, Star-Ledger and Record.

• The follow-up MRI of Jonathon Niese’s left shoulder (partial rotator cuff tear) will wait until Monday. Niese originally was due to see a team doctor Thursday, but Independence Day vacation plans in the Hamptons -- for the doctor, not Niese -- resulted in the delay.

• A brief media session with Wheeler on Thursday got a little awkward. Writes columnist David Lennon in Newsday:

Why underperforming reliever Brandon Lyon -- who was designated for assignment after the game -- felt it necessary to mock the proceedings was a mystery. That the respected veteran LaTroy Hawkins chose to grab a tape recorder, stick his hand into the circle and pretend to be a reporter was just silly and stupid. As soon as Hawkins intervened, Wheeler clammed up, clearly self-conscious about what was happening, even though it was exactly what is supposed to happen in a major-league clubhouse, especially in New York. Reporters ask questions of players, who choose to answer them or not.

Some are better at handling this relationship than others, but it's all part of the learning curve, one that suddenly has become Matterhorn-steep for Wheeler. And that's OK. He seemed fine answering questions about Wednesday's side session; it was his two teammates who made him uncomfortable, which then cut things short.

As for that side session, the between-starts throw day that lets pitchers recalibrate while on the mound, Wheeler didn't sound too pleased by the adjustments he tried to make. Location has been a problem, along with tipping his pitches, and it was unclear what progress he made. "Going into a game when you're struggling a little bit, and your side is horrible, it sucks,'' Wheeler said. He described the session as "really just a wasted bullpen."

• All-Star voting has concluded. The rosters will be announced Saturday at 6:30 p.m. ET.

• Collins said John Buck will still get the bulk of the playing time behind the plate, even though his average has plummeted to .205. Read more in Newsday and the Daily News.

• Bob Costas apologized to the Mets after the fact, but still believes his ribbing of the Mets’ June 16 walk-off celebration -- saying it was an indication of the decline of western civilization -- was unnecessarily inflamed. "Of all the faux controversies, this is among the dumbest I've ever seen or heard,” Costas told ESPN Radio, according to Newsday.

• Danny Muno had two homers and seven RBIs as Binghamton beat New Hampshire 7-6. In the Gulf Coast League, first-round pick Dominic Smith produced his first professional homer. Read the full minor league recap here.

From the bloggers … John Delcos at Mets Report believes All-Star voting is a joke, including the Mets’ efforts on behalf of Wright. … Mets Police asks: Is Mr. Met wearing a knockoff cap or is it just faded?

BIRTHDAYS: Former submarine reliever Jeff Innis turns 51.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: How much playing time should Ike Davis and Josh Satin get now that both are on the major league roster?

Brandon Lyon dumped by Mets

July, 4, 2013
NEW YORK -- The Mets have designated Brandon Lyon for assignment.

Lyon allowed a 14th-inning RBI single to Martin Prado on Thursday in what became a 5-4, 15-inning loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Two appearances earlier, he surrendered six runs in two-thirds of an inning against the Washington Nationals.

Lyon was one of two major league contracts handed out by Sandy Alderson last offseason (along with Shaun Marcum), although Lyon's base salary was only $750,000.

He finished his brief Mets career with a 2-2 record and 4.98 ERA in 34 1/3 innings.

Lyon made 37 appearances. He was due to start getting $100,000 bonuses for each five appearances beginning at 40.

Lyon already had qualified for $400,000 in bonuses based on time on the major league roster, but would have been eligible for an additional $250,000 had he remained deeper in the season.

Rapid Reaction: D-backs 5, Mets 4 (15)

July, 4, 2013

NEW YORK -- The New York Mets’ Fourth of July festivities included two long balls to erase extra-inning deficits. It still ended up a dud.

Anthony Recker had a game-tying, two-out solo homer in the 13th against ex-Met Heath Bell, then Kirk Nieuwenhuis had a game-tying, one-out solo homer against Chaz Roe in the 14th.

But Cliff Pennington's RBI single against Scott Rice in the 15th went unanswered and lifted the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 5-4 win against the Mets at Citi Field on Thursday afternoon.

The game lasted 5 hours, 46 minutes.

Nieuwenhuis' long ball matched the latest game-tying homer in franchise history. He joined Ken Singleton and Todd Hundley with that distinction.

Ray Lankford and Eli Marrero of the 1998 St. Louis Cardinals were the last duo in the major league history to hit a pair of game-tying homers in extra innings, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

The Mets had only two game-tying homers in the 13th inning or later in franchise history entering the game, so they doubled that total with Recker and Nieuwenhuis' shots.

They split the four-game series against Arizona and completed their homestand against the Nats and D-backs with a 3-4 record.

The game ended when Nieuwenhuis was retired with two in scoring position and the Mets bidding to erase an extra-inning deficit for the third straight inning.

For the second time in the series, the D-backs had taken a 13th-inning lead on an RBI by Cody Ross against David Aardsma. (On Monday, Ross delivered a go-ahead solo homer against Aardsma, but Andrew Brown answered with a walk-off two-run single in the bottom half.) The damage could have been worse in the top half of the 13th, but Marlon Byrd produced his team-leading sixth outfield assist, throwing out Eric Chavez attempting to score from second base to end the half-inning.

Brandon Lyon surrendered a two-out RBI single to Martin Prado in the 14th.

Gee sharp: Dillon Gee limited the D-backs to two runs on six hits and two walks while striking out seven in seven innings. He departed with the score tied at 2-2 and received a no-decision.

Gee drove in the game-tying run with a two-out single in the fifth that plated Omar Quintanilla, who had doubled.

The lone runs surrendered by Gee scored a half-inning earlier in part because of an unusual play.

After Gee walked Ross to open the fifth, Gerardo Parra bunted toward the right side of the infield. The hard bunt scooted between Josh Satin and Daniel Murphy and into shallow right field. By the time Murphy recovered the baseball, Parra had reached second for a double. Wil Nieves followed with a two-run single as Arizona took a 2-1 lead.

The Mets had a chance to have Gee depart in position for a win, but Murphy struck out looking with two runners in scoring position against Ian Kennedy to end the seventh and the score remained tied at 2.

Gee has a 2.47 ERA over his past seven starts.

Ike who? Satin extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a sixth-inning single. He has reached base in 15 straight games.

What relief: LaTroy Hawkins tossed a scoreless eighth inning with three strikeouts. He has not allowed an earned run in his past 13 appearances (12 innings). Hawkins was making his 908th appearance, tying Eddie Guardado for 21st all time. ... Carlos Torres contributed three scoreless relief innings, from the 10th through 12th. He has allowed one run in 13 2/3 innings since a promotion from Triple-A Las Vegas.

Outta here: John Buck was ejected for arguing from the dugout after he was rung up for swinging at a third strike as a pinch hitter in the 12th.

What’s next: The Mets hit the road until after the All-Star break, with stops in Milwaukee, San Francisco and Pittsburgh. Zack Wheeler (1-1, 5.06 ERA) makes his fourth major league start Friday at 8:10 p.m. ET, against the Brewers. He opposes Johnny Hellweg (0-1, 20.25) in the Brewers right-hander’s second career start and third major league appearance.

Morning Briefing: No CarGo at deadline?

July, 1, 2013

Kathy Kmonicek/Associated PressZack Wheeler suffered his first major league loss Sunday.
FIRST PITCH: The Mets conclude their final first-half homestand with a four-game series against the NL West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Amazin’s face southpaws in the first two games of the series: Wade Miley (4-7, 4.55 ERA) opposing Shaun Marcum (1-9, 5.08) at 7:10 tonight, then unbeaten Patrick Corbin (9-0, 2.22) against Jeremy Hefner (2-6, 3.72) on Tuesday.

Arizona arrives having been swept over the weekend in Atlanta.

Monday’s news reports:

• A Mets official tells Mike Puma in the Post that the organization is unlikely to add a major piece such as Carlos Gonzalez at the trade deadline. “I don’t think that’s something [for] right now,” the source told Puma. “That’s probably something more for the offseason.”

Writes Puma:

This year’s pool of potential trade bait includes Marlon Byrd, Daniel Murphy, Dillon Gee, Jeremy Hefner and Bobby Parnell. But the Mets aren’t going to trade any of those players just for the sake of making a deal. The organization’s biggest trade chips, pitching prospects Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard, would likely need to be included in a deal to land the kind of high-impact outfielder the Mets covet.

Zack Wheeler surrendered five runs in 4 2/3 innings in his home debut and confessed often-elusive fastball command again troubled him, while Brandon Lyon was charged with six runs in the eighth. The result: The Nationals beat the Mets, 13-2, in Sunday’s rubber game at Citi Field. "I've always struggled with my fastball command," Wheeler said.

"Today he had trouble throwing strikes," Nats third baseman Ryan Zimmerman told Barbara Barker in Newsday. "I don't care who you are. When you get behind in this league, it doesn't matter if you throw 100 like [Matt] Harvey or 80. It's tough to pitch when you’re behind."

Writes columnist Joel Sherman in the Post:

Like it or not, fair or unfair, Wheeler will be assessed on the Harvey scale: The younger brother trying to keep up with the elder prodigy. The second guy over the mountain attempting to provide more reason for hope to a fan base yearning for any sign that tomorrow will be better.

Writes Brian Costa in the Journal:

What gets lost in all this is that Harvey is the exception, not the rule. Take a glance at the statistical leaderboards this year and you'll find that even at the top, most pitchers went through some degree of early growing pains. Cliff Lee had a 5.43 ERA the year before he first received Cy Young votes. Clayton Kershaw finished his rookie season with an ERA of 4.26.

Even Justin Verlander, whose ascent to stardom was almost instantaneous, had a 6.86 ERA after his first four starts. He went on to win the AL Rookie of the Year award in 2006.

For Wheeler to have a 5.06 ERA, some fastball command issues and a mechanical glitch or two after three major-league starts doesn't mean he'll follow the same path. But it's not an indictment of him, either. It just means, as pitching prospects go, he's pretty normal.

Writes columnist John Harper in the Daily News:

Because so much of GM Sandy Alderson’s plan is built around young pitching, in fact, Wheeler’s home debut felt at least somewhat ominous. That’s probably an overreaction based at least partly on Harvey raising the expectations even higher for Wheeler. And, of course, it’s worth remembering that Harvey too was roughed up in his second and third starts after his callup last season.

From there, he made adjustments and delivered a string of strong starts, setting the stage for his brilliant 2013 season.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Times, Newsday, Journal and

Read more from the Nats on Wheeler in the Post.

• Catcher Anthony Recker pitched the ninth inning and surrendered a two-run homer to Ian Desmond. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger, Daily News, Newsday and

Justin Turner is tossing a baseball but not yet swinging a bat as he recovers from an intercostal muscle strain on his left side, while Lucas Duda remains limited to getting treatment for a similar injury. Neither is close to returning. Read the full injury update here.

• Matt den Dekker, who suffered a broken right wrist on March 24 in the Grapefruit League, is due to join Las Vegas today. Mike Baxter has temporarily left the 51s to be with his pregnant wife in New York.

Matt Fox tossed six scoreless innings as Las Vegas beat Tacoma, 4-1. Cesar Puello had a two-run homer against rehabbing Yankee Michael Pineda and also drove in the tiebreaking run as Binghamton reached 50 wins before July 1 for the first time in its 22-year history. Cole Frenzel had a walk-off RBI single in Savannah’s 2-1, 10-inning win against Rome. Robert Gsellman tossed eight scoreless innings, but Hudson Valley beat Brooklyn, 1-0 in 11 innings. Read the full minor league recap here.

• Brandon Nimmo will learn today whether he has been voted in by fans to the Futures Game, joining fellow Mets farmhands Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero.

• MLB will announce the latest NL All-Star voting tally Tuesday. Online voting closes Thursday at 11:59 p.m. The All-Star team will be announced Saturday.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear in Flushing believes someday we will look back on Sunday’s 13-2 loss and it will all seem funny. … John Delcos at Mets Report wonders if the Mets were premature in promoting Wheeler. … Mark Berman at Blogging Mets suggests Wheeler is apparently no Harvey, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

BIRTHDAYS: Original Met Craig Anderson was born on this date in 1938.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Do you believe the Mets will acquire a significant piece for 2014 and beyond at the trade deadline?

Rapid Reaction: Nats 13, Mets 2

June, 30, 2013
NEW YORK -- Zack Wheeler’s Citi Field initiation went well for 13 pitches.

After breezing through the first inning in third major league start and Flushing debut, Wheeler served up a first-pitch homer to Adam LaRoche on a 94 mph fastball to open the second inning. Wheeler allowed four runs that frame, then surrendered a solo homer to Jayson Werth in the third.

Wheeler ultimately was tagged with his first major league loss as the Washington Nationals beat the Mets, 13-2, in Sunday’s rubber game.

Kathy Kmonicek/Associated PressZack Wheeler surrendered five runs in 4 2/3 innings in his home debut.

Brandon Lyon was charged with six eighth-inning runs, including a two-run homer by Kurt Suzuki. It was the most runs allowed by a Mets reliever since Manny Acosta surrendered seven while recording only one out against the Colorado Rockies on April 27, 2012.

Catcher Anthony Recker, who had a handful of appearances in college, pitched the ninth inning. He issued six straight balls, then a monster two-run homer to Ian Desmond, before recording three outs. Fellow catcher Rob Johnson in Toronto on May 18, 2012 was the last Mets position player to take the mound.

John Buck's two-run homer in the ninth prevented the shutout.

The Wheeler home debut/David Wright bobblehead day drew an announced paid crowd of 33,366 to Citi Field -- the stadium’s second-highest attendance this season. The Mets had an announced crowd of 41,053 on Opening Day against the San Diego Padres. Today unseated the May 27 Subway Series game against the Yankees (32,911) as the runner-up.

Wheeler’s final line: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 2 HR. He threw 89 pitches (54 strikes). His ERA rose to 5.06.

David Aardsma stranded runners inherited on the corners from Wheeler by striking out Werth to prevent further damage.

Mets starters had produced a 1.65 ERA against the Nats this season entering Wheeler’s outing.

Early speed bumps are not atypical for a rookie pitcher. Matt Harvey, for instance, allowed five runs -- including homers to Chase Headley and Yonder Alonso -- in five innings in his third major league start, on Aug. 5, 2012 at San Diego.

No offense: The Mets mustered only three hits against Gio Gonzalez in seven innings. Those came on a first-inning single by Daniel Murphy (after third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was unable to run down Murphy’s foul pop near the tarp), a leadoff double in the fourth by Wright and a single by Josh Satin in the seventh.

Payback? Gonzalez sent a high-and-tight fastball in the direction of Wright’s head while ahead in the count, 0-2, in the first inning. In the sixth, Aardsma plunked Desmond.

Streakers: Eric Young Jr.’s hitting streak ended at eight games with an 0-for-4 day. Satin extended his career-high hitting streak to six games. He has reached base in 11 straight games.

What’s next: The NL West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks visit Citi Field for a four-game series. Shaun Marcum (1-9, 5.08 ERA) opposes left-hander Wade Miley (4-7, 4.55) in Monday’s 7:10 p.m. opener. In his last start, Marcum tossed eight scoreless innings and earned his first Mets win at the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 4, Braves 3

June, 20, 2013

ATLANTA -- The Mets won the rubber game of a five-game series against the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night, but lost a valuable starting pitcher in the process.

Jonathon Niese departed in the fourth inning with left shoulder discomfort after wincing while delivering a pitch to Tyler Pastornicky. Niese has dealt for weeks with what the team has labeled shoulder tendinitis.

The absence of Niese for any length of time presumably would resolve the much-debated issue about how to transition from a six- to five-man rotation -- although clearly not how the Mets intended.

Scott Cunningham/Getty ImagesJon Niese departed Thursday's game in the fourth inning with shoulder discomfort.

Three innings after Niese motioned to the dugout and was removed, pinch-hitter Josh Satin delivered a tiebreaking double that plated Omar Quintanilla and chased Braves starter Mike Minor.

Josh Edgin inherited runners on the corners from Brandon Lyon with two outs in the eighth and retired Jason Heyward on a grounder to first base and the Mets held on to beat the Braves, 4-3, at Turner Field.

Atlanta entered the series an MLB-best 23-8 at home this season, but lost three of five games to the Mets.

Satin, who had a game-ending strikeout at Citi Field a week earlier against St. Louis Cardinals closer Edward Mujica that stranded the tying run at third base, has now reached base in five straight plate appearances.

David Wright set the table for Satin’s heroics by producing the 20th multi-homer game of his career, which is approaching Darryl Strawberry’s franchise-record 22.

Wright now has 32 career homers against the Braves, more than he has produced against any other team. He has 18 homers at Turner Field. That is more than any other road ballpark. He entered the night with 16 apiece in Atlanta and at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park.

Wright had his second two-homer game this season. He also went deep twice against Colorado Rockies right-hander Juan Nicasio on April 16 at Coors Field.

Andrew Brown, in his first at-bat since rejoining the Mets, followed the pair of solo homers by Wright with a fifth-inning, pinch-hit solo shot against Minor that had pulled the Mets even at 3.

Niese’s line: 3.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K.

David Aardsma, LaTroy Hawkins, Lyon, Edgin and Bobby Parnell combined for 5 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Just missed: The Mets had the bases loaded and none out in the fourth after Wright’s second homer. Down 3-2 at the time, the opportunity went for naught. Juan Lagares flied out to right field too shallow for Marlon Byrd to tag from third. Quintanilla then grounded into a 1-2-3 double play.

What’s next: The Mets head to Philadelphia for a weekend series. Right-hander Jeremy Hefner (1-6, 3.96 ERA) opposes NL-loss-leader Cole Hamels (2-10, 4.40) at 7:05 p.m. Friday.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 6, Braves 1

June, 18, 2013

ATLANTA -- Chipper Jones sat alongside Zack Wheeler’s parents in the second row behind home plate.

Jerry Seinfeld tweeted: “Wheeler!!!!!”

Yes, this was a big deal.

Scott Cunningham/Getty ImagesZack Wheeler attracted a crowd while warming up for his major league debut.

Making his major league debut in a stadium 30 miles from his home of Dallas, Ga., Wheeler overcame early control issues to toss six scoreless innings against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night.

His final line: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 7 K, 102 pitches (55 for strikes).

Wheeler qualified for the win after Josh Satin singled and Anthony Recker belted a two-run homer against Paul Maholm to break a scoreless tie in the top of the seventh.

The New York Mets swept the NL East-leading Braves in a day-night doubleheader with a 6-1 nightcap victory.

Wheeler became the third starting pitcher in franchise history to earn the win in his MLB debut while tossing six or more scoreless innings, joining Masato Yoshii (1998) and Dick Rusteck (1966).

The performance capped an uplifting day that included Matt Harvey taking a no-hit bid into the seventh inning in the 4-3 matinee victory.

Harvey’s line in his MLB debut, for the record: 5.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 11 K against the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 26, 2012.

Tweeted Dwight Gooden: "Today after watching @MattHarvey33 & @Wheelerpro45 it looks like the @Mets could have the best one-two punch in @MLB for years to come!!"

The 23-year-old Wheeler undoubtedly experienced early jitters. He walked Andrelton Simmons, the first batter he faced, then earned a mound visit from David Wright after falling behind No. 2 hitter Jason Heyward, 2-0.

Wheeler rallied to strike out Heyward with a 97-mph, full-count fastball.

He walked Freddie Freeman on four pitches later in the first, earning a visit from pitching coach Dan Warthen as well. Wheeler ultimately retired B.J. Upton on a fielder’s choice grounder to escape unscathed from a 23-pitch first inning.

Sore subject: Scott Atchison, in his return from the disabled list, never threw an official pitch.

Atchison was summoned to start the bottom of the seventh inning after Wheeler departed. He lasted one warm-up pitch. At least it was not an elbow problem.

Atchison clutched his groin after his first warm-up pitch, received a mound visit from trainer Ray Ramirez and departed. Warthen summoned Brandon Lyon to replace him. The team subsequently announced Atchison had a sore right groin.

Lyon surrendered two hits and a sacrifice fly to Justin Upton as Atlanta pulled within 2-1, but the Mets answered with four runs the following half-inning thanks in part to sloppy Braves fielding.

Round number: Wright recorded his 1,500th career hit. He is the 30th active player to reach that milestone.

What’s next: Shaun Marcum (0-8, 5.43 ERA), still in search of his first Mets win, opposes right-hander Kris Medlen (3-7, 3.09) at 7:10 p.m. Wednesday.

Morning Briefing: Who gets dumped?

May, 26, 2013

Getty Images/Associated Press
Jeremy Hefner or Dillon Gee likely will need to get bounced from the rotation once Zack Wheeler arrives.
FIRST PITCH: So how do the Mets clear a rotation spot when Zack Wheeler joins the Mets in mid-June?

Matt Harvey isn’t going anywhere. Jonathon Niese isn’t, either. And because of his veteran status and $4 million base salary, it is unlikely winless Shaun Marcum is going to get bounced from the rotation.

The choices for bullpen relocation … or demotion: Dillon Gee (2-6, 6.34 ERA) and Jeremy Hefner (0-5, 4.76).

The predisposition probably had been to put Hefner in the bullpen as a long reliever and return Collin McHugh to Triple-A Las Vegas, since scouts often have projected Gee as a quality fifth starter and see Hefner as more of a swingman and rotation safety net.

But Gee’s performance this season, including allowing five fifth-inning runs and departing Saturday against the Atlanta Braves, and Hefner’s more credible recent outings complicate that decision.

There is still time for both to state their cases. Around the time Wheeler is projected to join the Mets, the team will need a sixth starter for a five-game series in Atlanta June 17-20. So the decision likely will not need to be made until after that.

Meanwhile, after dropping two games yesterday to the Atlanta Braves, the Mets (17-29) are now winless through five games of their homestand. They only have a better record than the Houston Astros (14-35) and Miami Marlins (13-36).

The Amazin’s have lost eight straight games at Citi Field. With 12 losses in their past 15 games overall, the Mets have fallen 12 games under .500 at this early a date for the first time since 1993.

The Mets send Marcum (0-5, 6.59) to the mound for an ESPN-televised game on Sunday night at 8:05 opposite Braves right-hander Julio Teheran (3-1, 3.99).

The four-game Subway Series then gets underway Memorial Day -- with two games in each ballpark, beginning in Queens. Matt Harvey Day is Tuesday, opposite Hiroki Kuroda.

Sunday’s news reports:

• Ageless Mariano Rivera continued his production Saturday, converting his 18th straight save opportunity to open the season in the Yankees’ 4-3 comeback win in 11 innings against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Mets will honor the retiring Rivera, 43, before Tuesday’s game -- the closer’s last in Queens (with the exception of the All-Star Game). Last season, the Mets presented retiring Chipper Jones artwork inside the bowels of Citi Field, then replayed the ceremony on the scoreboard once fans arrived.

Mark Cunningham/Getty Images
Mariano Rivera received mounted photos from Jim Leyland during his final visit to Detroit as a player.

Rivera has received gifts at every last stop in a city so far, so spare the outrage at the Mets recognizing his retirement, too.

The Detroit Tigers gave mounted photos of Mo pitching at the old Tiger Stadium and Comerica Park with dirt capsules from each stadium. The Cleveland Indians gave a gold record of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And the Kansas City Royals and Colorado Rockies each have donated $5,000 to his charitable foundation.

Of course, having the Mo’s Zone in right field at Citi Field arguably is enough.

• The Atlanta Braves scored a pair of runs against Brandon Lyon in the 10th inning and won the resumption of Friday’s suspended game, 7-5. The Mets placed two runners on base in the bottom half against closer Craig Kimbrel, but Ruben Tejada popped out on an attempted sacrifice bunt and Justin Turner grounded into a game-ending double play. The defeat kept the Mets winless in the 10 games following Harvey starts, and meant the Mets are now 0-9 in Hefner starts, although this wasn’t his fault.

The Mets then were blanked by left-hander Mike Minor and David Carpenter in a 6-0 loss in the regularly scheduled contest. Gee took a scoreless effort into the fifth, when he surrendered five runs, including a two-run homer to Minor. This season, Gee has held opposing batters to a .225 average and no homers the first time through the order. After facing him one plate appearance, though, opponents are hitting .392 with eight homers during subsequent at-bats in the game.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Times and

• Read more on Gee in the Post.

Ike Davis delivered a line-drive single over shortstop against Kimbrel after the suspended game resumed, but then sat against the left-handed Minor. He struck out on three pitches as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning of the regularly scheduled game and is now 2-for-his-last-44. Read more in the Post, Newsday, Star-Ledger and Times.

• Columnist John Harper in the Daily News suggests the stench in Flushing is more than Davis stinking up the joint. Writes Harper:

At this point the Ike Davis saga is little more than a symbolic sideshow. Yes, he should be in the minors by now, if only to throw a life preserver to a drowning hitter, but with each passing day, the debate matters less and less as the Mets sink into oblivion.

Suffice to say the Mets are as bad as the weather lately, and, of course, only one of the two is guaranteed to get better in the weeks ahead. Remember when Sandy Alderson insisted during the winter that he wasn’t punting on 2013? Well, it’s Memorial Day weekend, and the only race the Mets are in is the one to avoid the embarrassment of finishing behind the Triple-A Marlins.

Never mind punting. The season already feels like one long Hail Mary. I mean, you knew the Mets had no shot of contending, but, Matt Harvey aside, did anybody really think they’d be this unwatchable?

Getty Images/Associated Press
Scott Atchison and Jeurys Familia began rehab assignments Saturday with Class A St. Lucie.

Scott Atchison and Jeurys Familia began rehab assignments Saturday with Class A St. Lucie, each tossing scoreless innings. Atchison had experienced numbness in his fingers during a May 13 appearance at St. Louis, which was related to elbow inflammation, so appearing in a minor league game this soon would appear a positive sign. When similar symptoms surfaced last year while with the Boston Red Sox, Atchison passed on undergoing Tommy John surgery but missed two months. Familia has been on the DL since May 12 with biceps tendinitis.

• Starter Logan Verrett retired the final 13 batters he faced and Binghamton beat Portland, 3-2, on a throwing error in the 10th. Phillip Evans’ two-out, walk-off hit in the ninth scored Cole Frenzel with the winning run as Savannah overcame a one-run deficit in the final frame to beat Augusta, 2-1. Angel Cuan tossed seven scoreless innings and combined with Familia and Atchison on a two-hit shutout as St. Lucie beat Bradenton, 1-0. Read the full minor league recap here.

• The Mets amended their ticket-exchange policy for Friday’s suspended game. If you haven’t already traded in tickets for Friday's suspended game, you need to do so for tonight’s series finale against Atlanta. Originally, the Mets had said fans could trade in the tickets for any comparably priced seat this season, subject to availability. Read more in the Daily News.

• Mike Kerwick in the Record believes the Subway Series getting reduced from six to four games this season is good for the Mets, but not the fans.

• Vote on the best Subway Series moments, Sweet 16 bracket style, in the Post.

• Steve Serby in the Post has a Q&A with Gary, Keith and Ron.

• Columnist Bob Klapisch in the Record outlines some Subway Series matchups to watch.

• Columnist George Willis in the Post writes something unflattering about Wheeler.

• Harvey’s social life made the tabloids. Read more in the Daily News.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear discovered Mets-Braves suspended game precedent from 1979. … John Delcos at Mets Report suggests Davis needs the minor leagues right now.

BIRTHDAYS: Right-hander Kevin Mulvey, who now helps coach the Villanova baseball team, turns 28. He was traded to the Minnesota Twins in the Johan Santana deal.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Who should get bounced from the rotation for Zack Wheeler?

Rapid Reaction: Braves 7, Mets 5 (10)

May, 25, 2013
Even Mother Nature couldn't galvanize the New York Mets to a win.

In a continuation of Friday's suspended game, the Mets fell to the Atlanta Braves 7-5 in 10 innings on Saturday at Citi Field. The game was postponed entering the ninth due to rain. While the teams had to wait nearly 24 hours to continue, it was officially a one hour, 15 minute stoppage.

First baseman Ike Davis, however, had a personal victory, as he recorded a base hit in the 10th, just his 2nd in his past 43 at-bats.

The Mets have now lost four straight and seven in a row at home. They are 17-28 heading into Saturday night's game.

That's the game: Mets reliever Brandon Lyon gave up three straight hits to start the 10th as the Braves went on to score two in that frame to take a 7-5 lead. One inning before, closer Bobby Parnell needed an inning-ending double-play ball off the bat of Justin Upton to escape a bases-loaded, one-out jam with the score tied at five.

End the game: After putting two on to start the 10th, Ruben Tejada couldn't lay down a bunt, popping out, and pinch hitter Justin Turner grounded into a game-ending double play.

How we got to Saturday: The Mets led 3-2 after six before Atlanta rallied to take a 5-3 lead in the eighth on Evan Gattis' two-run single. In the bottom of the frame, the Mets tied the game. The game was then suspended with the ninth inning on tap.

Ike gets a hit: After Davis recorded a golden sombrero on Friday, he singled against Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel in the 10th inning. He snapped a 1-for-42 slide with that base knock. Davis is still zero for his last 25 with runners in scoring position, but the base hit could allow him to relax. The fans gave him a mini standing ovation for the hit.

Hefner line: The Mets are now 0-10 when Jeremy Hefner appears in a game. Hefner started Friday's game and left in line to win before LaTroy Hawkins gave up a game-tying homer to Dan Uggla. Hefner, who could be booted from the Mets' rotation when prospect Zack Wheeler arrives, is 0-5.

Up next: The Mets will get right back at it as Dillon Gee (2-5, 6.04 ERA) faces Mike Minor (5-2, 2.78 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:15 p.m.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 5, Cards 2

May, 16, 2013
WHAT IT MEANS: They’ll frustrate you even when they win, but it beats the alternative.

Daniel Murphy reached base all five plate appearances and twice scored on David Wright hits and Jonathon Niese rebounded from a pair of dismal starts as the Mets snapped a six-game losing streak with a 5-2 win against the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday afternoon at Busch Stadium.

The Mets (15-23) avoided getting swept in a series of four or more games by the Cardinals for the first time since 1982.

Jeff Roberson/Associated Press
Jordany Valdespin scores from first base on Daniel Murphy's third-inning double.

They also avoided dropping 10 games under .500 at the earliest date since they were 12-23 on May 16, 1993. That year, Dallas Green replaced Jeff Torborg days later en route to a 59-103 record -- the last 100-loss season by the franchise.

DANNY BOY: Murphy went 4-for-4 with two doubles and also walked. He is now 11-for-his-last-17 since going hitless in the previous 17 at-bats.

Murphy’s third-inning double against Adam Wainwright scored Jordany Valdespin from first base and evened the score at 1.

Both times Murphy doubled, Wright followed by driving him in -- for the tiebreaking run in the third and then to give the Mets a 3-1 lead against Wainwright in the sixth.

The last Mets to reach base five times in a game without benefit of an error? That would be Mike Baxter (five walks) and Murphy (4-for-4, BB) last Aug. 4 at San Diego.

NIESELY DONE: After allowing a combined 15 runs in 8 1/3 innings in his previous two starts, Niese got back on track to earn his first win since April 12.

Niese’s teammates actually did more damage than the Cardinals. The lone run against the southpaw came when Rick Ankiel broke late on what was ruled a double by Pete Kozma into shallow right-center with two outs in the second inning. That scored Yadier Molina with the game’s opening run.

Niese logged 7 1/3 innings. He departed with his pitch count at 113 and a 5-1 lead after a one-out double by Matt Carpenter and walk to Shane Robinson. Brandon Lyon allowed an inherited runner to score on Carlos Beltran’s RBI single. Lyon then coaxed an inning-ending double play from Allen Craig.

CLOSE CALL: Bobby Parnell earned only his fourth 2013 save. He had not had an opportunity since May 1.

OH-NO: Ike Davis went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts. He is hitless in his last 22 at-bats, with 10 strikeouts during that span.

NOT PRETTY: The Mets may have won, but that does not mean they played crisply. With runners on the corners and none out leading 4-1 in the seventh, Niese struck out bunting. Valdespin then bunted, and popped out in foul territory to Molina. After Murphy walked to load the bases, Wright lined out to second base to end the threat.

WHAT’S NEXT: Matt Harvey Day! Harvey (4-0, 1.44 ERA), the SI cover boy who has suffered four straight no-decisions despite stellar pitching, opposes Chicago Cubs right-hander Edwin Jackson in the 2:20 p.m. ET opener to a three-game weekend series Friday at Wrigley Field.

Rapid Reaction: Cardinals 4, Mets 2

May, 15, 2013
WHAT IT MEANS: Oops, they did it again.

Inheriting runners on the corners from Shaun Marcum with two outs in the seventh inning and the score tied, Scott Rice tossed a wild pitch that allowed Daniel Descalso to race home from third with the go-ahead run.

The Mets ultimately lost to the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 Wednesday night at Busch Stadium, spoiling Marcum’s first solid outing as a Met and Rick Ankiel’s game-tying two-run homer.

Jeff Roberson/Associated Press
With Ty Wigginton batting, the second pitch from Scott Rice skipped by John Buck for a run-scoring wild pitch that gave St. Louis a 3-2 lead.

Rice was making his 23rd appearance, tied for the major league lead.

It marked the second time this season a Mets game was decided by a run-scoring wild pitch. Brandon Lyon did the honors in Miami for a walk-off loss on April 30.

The Mets (14-23) now have a season-high six-game losing streak for the second time in 2013. They have lost 14 of 18 to drop nine games under .500 this early in a season for the first time since May 13, 2001, under Bobby Valentine (also 14-23).

Marcum (6.2 IP, 3 R, 2 ER) completed five innings for the first time as a Met -- he actually had his longest outing since last June 14 with the Milwaukee Brewers -- but nonetheless dropped to 0-4.

Ankiel had belted his first homer as a Met, a two-run shot in the top half of the seventh against Seth Maness, to even the score at 2. In 70 at-bats this season between the Mets and Houston Astros, Ankiel has six homers and 37 strikeouts.

OOPS, THE PREQUEL: Jon Jay’s two-out double to right-center in the fourth plated Matt Holliday with the game’s opening run.

Jay, apparently concerned about a potential play at the plate with Holliday, essentially gave himself up between second and third to deter the Mets from throwing home. That worked ... better than he could have expected. David Wright dropped the ball while applying a tag on Jay, and he successfully proceeded to third. After Wright's error, Jay scored an unearned run and gave St. Louis a 2-0 lead when Tony Cruz, getting a rare start over Yadier Molina, delivered a single.

Molina was heard from before the game ended. His pinch-hit RBI single in the eighth against LaTroy Hawkins gave St. Louis a two-run cushion.

WOE IS IKE: The Mets were shut down by Shelby Miller for 5 2/3 innings and Ike Davis twice failed to come through with runners in scoring position as the Mets were blanked until Ankiel’s blast.

Davis’ first-inning strikeout against Miller stranded Wright at second base. An inning later, John Buck was doubled off second base on Ruben Tejada’s lineout to center to end the half-inning. In the sixth, after Daniel Murphy doubled with one out and stole third, Wright struck out. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny then lifted Miller for left-hander Randy Choate, who coaxed an inning-ending groundout from Davis to preserve a 2-0 lead.

Miller tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings to shave his ERA to 1.40, tied with Clayton Kershaw and narrowly ahead of Matt Harvey (1.44) for tops in the National League.

WHAT’S NEXT: Jonathon Niese (2-4, 5.93 ERA) opposes right-hander Adam Wainwright (5-2, 2.30) in the 1:45 p.m. ET series finale Thursday as the Mets look to avoid a four-game sweep. The Cardinals last swept a series of four or more games from the Mets in September 1982 at Shea Stadium, when Keith Hernandez played for St. Louis.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 3, Pirates 2

May, 9, 2013

WHAT IT MEANS: Clint Hurdle inserted his closer, Jason Grilli, with the score tied for the bottom of the ninth. The Mets found magic again anyway.

Marlon Byrd led off with an infield single, advanced to second on a sac bunt from Andrew Brown and scored the winning run in walk-off fashion on Mike Baxter's pinch-hit single as the Mets beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, 3-2, Thursday night at Citi Field. Baxter had provided the walk-off win two days early to get a 1-0 win in 10 innings in Matt Harvey's near-perfect outing.

The Mets' last three home wins have come via walk-offs.

Juan Lagares -- who had received wide praise for his outfield skills in the minors -- deserved plenty of credit, too. With the go-ahead run on base and two out in the top of the ninth, the rookie center fielder leaped at the wall and took away a sure go-ahead extra-base hit (and potentially homer) off the bat of Andrew McCutchen to preserve a scoreless frame from Bobby Parnell.

The Mets had squandered a 2-1 lead in the eighth when Pedro Alvarez delivered a game-tying one-out solo homer against LaTroy Hawkins. Hawkins had not allowed an earned run in his previous 10 appearances.

LIKE IKE: Ike Davis did not start Thursday, because Terry Collins preferred righty-hitting Justin Turner face Pirates southpaw starter Jeff Locke. In the end, Davis was at the plate against a left-hander in a big spot. And Davis delivered.

Davis, who entered on a double-switch with Scott Rice the previous half-inning, laced a two-out RBI double to right-center in the seventh against reliever Tony Watson to give the Mets a 2-1 lead.

The Mets had not produced a hit since the second inning until Brown delivered his first Mets hit, a one-out single, ahead of Davis’ two-bagger in the seventh. Davis entered the game hitting .167 (8-for-48) with 20 strikeouts over his previous 15 games.

SIZZLING RICE: Rice, the second-oldest U.S.-born player ever to debut for the Mets (31 years, 192 days old), continues to excel. Rice inherited a runner on second and one out in the seventh from Lyon and retired a pair of batters (sandwiched around an intentional walk to McCutchen) to preserve a 1-1 tie.

GEE WHIZ: Dillon Gee took a scoreless effort into the sixth, when he allowed singles to Travis Snider and McCutchen and plunked Garrett Jones to load the bases with none out.

Brandon Lyon entered the precarious situation and surrendered a sacrifice fly to Alvarez that evened the score at 1. But Lyon limited the damage to that run.

Gee’s final line: 5+ IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 2 HBP.

The Mets opened the scoring in the second inning on a Marlon Byrd sacrifice fly, which plated John Buck. Buck had snapped an 0-for-14 skid with a leadoff single. The Mets produced only three hits in six innings against Locke.

WHAT’S NEXT: Shaun Marcum (0-2, 7.20 ERA) looks for his first Mets win when he opposes left-hander Wandy Rodriguez (2-2, 4.02) at 7:10 p.m. Friday at Citi Field.



Bartolo Colon
15 4.09 151 202
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187