New York Mets: Bruce Bochy

Rapid Reaction: Mets 4, Giants 2

August, 2, 2014
NEW YORK -- Reigning NL co-Player of the Week Jacob deGrom was nearly perfect into the seventh inning Saturday. Jake Peavy was perfect during that span.

And then the Mets pounced on Peavy to give deGrom a win for the fifth straight start.

After Peavy retired the first 19 batters he faced, the Mets exploded for four seventh-inning runs en route to a 4-2 win against the wild-card-leading San Francisco Giants at Citi Field.

DeGrom (6-5) took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning, when Pablo Sandoval produced a two-out double. The rookie right-hander ultimately surrendered a two-run single to pinch-hitter Travis Ishikawa and departed in the eighth with one out and the Mets still leading by two runs.

USA TODAY SportsNeither Jake Peavy nor Jacob deGrom allowed a hit until the seventh inning Saturday.

DeGrom's 6 2/3 innings and Peavy's 6 1/3 innings marked the deepest both starting pitchers carried a no-hitter since Gavin Floyd against Ted Lilly in an all-Windy City battle on June 13, 2010, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. That double no-no ended when Alfonso Soriano had a two-out double in the bottom of the seventh for the Cubs. On April 2 of this season, Milwaukee's Matt Garza (6 2/3 innings) and Atlanta's Aaron Harang (6 innings) had dueling no-nos, too.

DeGrom has a 1.58 ERA in eight starts since June 21 (9 ER in 53 1/3).

He has allowed only four runs in 34 2/3 innings over his past five starts.

DeGrom’s final line Saturday: 7.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. The NL Rookie of the Year candidate’s season ERA now stands at 2.77.

Until Ishikawa’s two-run single, deGrom was poised to become the first major league rookie since Matt Cain and Justin Verlander in 2006 to make five straight starts of at least six innings while allowing one run or fewer in each outing.

Entering Saturday, deGrom's past four starts each featured one earned run or fewer and at least six innings, which matched the second-longest streak in franchise history, regardless of experience. R.A. Dickey went six straight games of at least six innings and one run or fewer allowed in 2012. Of course, Dickey allowed only one unearned run total over the final five starts during that stretch and set a franchise record with 32 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings.

DeGrom also ran his streak without allowing a homer in 66 1/3 innings, which topped Mark Bomback (60.1 IP in 1980) for the franchise rookie record.

Peavy retired the first 19 Mets before allowing a one-out opposite-field double to Daniel Murphy in the seventh. The shot appeared catchable, but left fielder Michael Morse took a less-than-ideal route, and the ball cleared his head. David Wright followed with the Mets’ second hit by dropping a single in front of Morse, and Lucas Duda was hit by a pitch. Suddenly the Mets had the bases loaded in the scoreless game.

Travis d'Arnaud followed with a sacrifice fly, Juan Lagares contributed an RBI single, and Wilmer Flores produced a two-run double to give the Mets a 4-0 lead.

DeGrom retired the first 14 batters he faced. He then got ahead in the count 1-2 to Brandon Belt before losing him and issuing a walk for the game’s first baserunner. DeGrom nonetheless carried a no-hit bid two outs into the seventh, until Sandoval laced a two-out double to left-center.

It was the longest no-hit bid by a Mets pitcher since Bartolo Colon retired 20 straight in Seattle way back on July 23.

DeGrom had plenty of help behind him to get to that point.

Lagares raced into the left-center gap and made a leaping catch at the edge of the warning track on Belt’s shot to left-center to end the top of the second inning. Eric Young Jr. made a sliding catch at the left-field foul line to retire Sandoval to open the top of the fifth. Buster Posey narrowly hit a grounder foul down the third-base line with one out in the seventh. Giants manager Bruce Bochy left the dugout to chat with third-base Jeff Kellogg, but the play was not reviewable.

Peavy entered the start with the lowest run support in the majors this season (between the Boston Red Sox and Giants), at an average of 2.74 runs per game. That helps to explain his arriving at Citi Field having lost a career-high 10 straight decisions.

Peavy had plenty of help to take the perfect-game bid into the seventh. In the third inning, first-base ump D.J. Reyburn initially ruled deGrom safe at first base with an infield single to shortstop, but it was overturned on replay. Hunter Pence made a sliding catch in foul territory down the right-field on Flores’ fly ball to open the bottom of the sixth, which deprived Flores of the continuation of that at-bat. Immediately preceding Murphy’s double, Curtis Granderson gave the ball a ride to the track in right-center, and Pence ran it down to open the bottom of the seventh.

What’s next: Bartolo Colon (10-8, 3.88 ERA) opposes left-hander Madison Bumgarner (12-8, 3.41) at 1:10 p.m. Sunday.

Wheeler: Giants' accusations baseless

June, 10, 2014
NEW YORK -- Zack Wheeler insisted that suggestions, if not outright accusations, from the San Francisco Giants that he purposely drilled Hunter Pence in the ribs with a pitch Sunday are baseless.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy implied to Bay Area media that Wheeler may have been upset about Pence taking a big swing at a 2-0 pitch immediately preceding the plunking.

“I’d be ticked off too," Bochy said, according to the San Jose Mercury News. "He took a healthy cut there and that’s about all I’ll say, and then he gets hit in the ribs. These things happen and they usually take care of themselves.”

Oftentimes, pitchers publicly say they did not hit a batter on purpose to avoid getting fined, then wink off the record afterward. But Wheeler was particularly insistent to that there was no intent.

The ex-Giants farmhand said he lacked control of his fastball Sunday, when he allowed four runs and required 86 pitches to throw 3 2/3 innings. Wheeler also noted that he would not purposely put the leadoff man on base with none out, as was the case when he hit Pence to open the bottom of the third inning with a 2-1 pitch, immediately after the big swing. Pence ended up scoring.

The Mets and Giants play at Citi Field from Aug. 1-4. Stay tuned.

Morning Briefing: Harvey Day, Stars edition

July, 16, 2013

FIRST PITCH: Matt Harvey Day! In the All-Star Game at Citi Field!

After officially being named the All-Star starter on Monday afternoon by NL manager Bruce Bochy, Harvey is expected to handle the first two innings opposite Detroit Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer.

David Wright will bat cleanup for the NL squad.

The All-Stars will parade across 42nd St. at 1 p.m.

Tuesday’s news reports:

Elsa/Getty ImagesDavid Wright stalled in the first round of the Home Run Derby.

• Wright produced only five homers and had a first-round exit in Monday’s Home Run Derby, but the NL captain beamed about the Citi Field atmosphere, likening it to the playoffs in 2006 at Shea Stadium. Pedro Alvarez, who also was eliminated in the first round, said he felt badly about the treatment Wright received in Pittsburgh last weekend. Domonic Brown, snubbed, offered no complaint about being omitted from the event. Read more about the Derby in Newsday.

• Earlier Monday, Wright downplayed playing on an injured foot as the first half closed.

• Jeff Wilpon, while appearing on WFAN, pledged the Mets would spend money next offseason.

"We haven't set a payroll for next year, but I can tell you we're ready to invest with those big contracts coming off the books," Wilpon said, according to Newsday. "We have the money to invest. We're going to invest it prudently. Sandy [Alderson] is going to set a path. There's no predetermined, set way we're going to spend the money, but we do have the money to spend."

• Speaking with the Times during a charity event with MLB, Fred Wilpon addressed a handful of topics:

On Terry Collins: “We all love Terry, who has done a very good job with what we have.”

On Alderson: “We haven’t turned him down on anything.”

On whether the payroll will return to $140 million, like it had been in the past: “I asked Sandy about that. He said he couldn’t invest that much money.”

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw did not appear thrilled Bruce Bochy said Harvey would have been his choice to start no matter where the game was held. At one point Kershaw told reporters about the starting snub: “It hurts.”

• In a very funny skit on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” Harvey -- without disclosing his identity -- asked New Yorkers what they thought of him. Watch here.

• Collins acknowledged Harvey will have second-half starts skipped.

• Writes columnist Bob Klapsich in the Record on Harvey:

For one, maybe two innings tonight, Harvey has a chance to pull Mets fans into the organization’s time tunnel -- back to 1984 when Doc Gooden introduced himself to the world with a blow-away fifth inning in that year’s All-Star Game.

Gooden struck out Lance Parrish, Chet Lemon and Alvin Davis with a fastball that might as well have been shot out of a rifle -- that’s how overmatched the American League’s sluggers were. Gooden, only 19, was the advertisement of the gathering storm in Flushing, which is why the parallel to Harvey is so striking, even though he’s five years older.

Harvey is the Mets’ vehicle for legitimacy, smart and articulate and much hungrier for attention than David Wright. It’s no sin for the Mets to milk this opportunity for good PR, even if it looks like they sacrificed a chance to take a series from the red-hot Bucs this weekend. Truth is, the choice isn’t quite so stark.

Writes columnist David Lennon in Newsday:

Harvey may have blindsided the Mets with the nude layout, and surprised even more people by telling another publication of his post-baseball aspirations to be a movie star -- a full 29 starts into his major-league career.

But there's no need to hang up his spikes first. Look at R.A. Dickey. The knuckleballer released a book, starred in a documentary and won a Cy Young Award in the same season. Don't think Harvey wasn't paying attention.

When asked Monday about his inspiration, guess who Harvey brought up? Dickey, a multi-media darling who prepped for his career year by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

"I came up and obviously wanted to do everything I could to fill in for R.A. Dickey," Harvey said. "We knew him not being with us, it was going to take a lot and someone needed to step in. It was a role I wanted to take."

Writes columnist John Harper in the Daily News:

As for Boras, he joked on Monday that Harvey sure is in good company posing naked along with Gary Player, among others, noting that the 77-year-old golfer is renowned for being one of the most disciplined athletes in the world.

Still, a person close to the situation said Boras wasn’t thrilled with Harvey’s appearance in the magazine. On Monday he said he doesn’t make such decisions for his athletes, and chose his words carefully on the subject.

“Each individual athlete has to determine what they want to do when they’re approached about that,” he said. “All I care about is, you can do what you want off the field but it cannot affect your commitment, your focus, your ability to be ready for the next game.”

Read more on Harvey’s start tonight in the Post, Times, USA Today, Star-Ledger, Daily News, Journal and Newsday.

• The Mets actually owe Bobby Bonilla more than the originally reported $1.19 million a year. Read more in the Post.

• An ill-timed subway line fire left the No. 7 train without service as the Home Run Derby was letting out. Read more in Newsday.

• Collins spoke openly about Jordany Valdespin acting immaturely in the clubhouse Saturday in Pittsburgh. The manager said Valdespin’s biggest mistake may have been having the histrionics with Sandy Alderson as a witness. Valdespin wanted to land on the DL rather than be dispatched to Las Vegas. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Journal and Newsday.

• Wright says Carlos Beltran was underappreciated as a Met. Read more on Beltran in the Star-Ledger.

Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez, a first-time All-Star, said Mookie Wilson was a major influence as he was a young player in the Mets system.

• Logan Verrett tossed eight innings and rehabbing Justin Turner went 2-for-3 with an RBI as Binghamton beat Richmond, 7-3. Chris Flexen tossed a shutout as Kingsport swept Burlington. Matt Oberste’s RBI double in the 12th lifted Brooklyn past Connecticut, 5-4. Read the full minor league recap here.

• Turner told the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin about the left intercostal strain that landed him on the DL: “I haven’t had any setbacks so far. The process, obviously, took a long time. I was down there for a month. It went a lot slower than I was hoping. You get that cortisone shot and I was hoping to respond to it pretty quickly. It’s one of those things that it takes time. It’s a real small muscle.”

• Forbes ranks the Mets as the 45th-most valuable sports franchise in the world. Read more in Newsday.

• The Mets’ income at Citi Field continues to nosedive, Newsday reports.

• Charles V. Bagli writes in the Times that Citi Field’s neighbors plan a protest today over getting evicted for the development of a mall and other projects to complement the stadium.

• Read a feature on Wright at

From the bloggers … Mets Police caught up with some of the visiting mascots at Citi Field.

BIRTHDAYS: Catcher Norm Sherry was born on this date in 1931.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Does Clayton Kershaw have a legitimate beef not starting the All-Star Game?

Kershaw miffed with Bochy's Harvey logic

July, 15, 2013

USA TODAY Sports, Getty ImagesMatt Harvey's selection by Bruce Bochy did not thrill Clayton Kershaw.
NEW YORK -- A week after saying he was fine with Matt Harvey starting the All-Star Game for the National League, especially if it is being played in New York, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw did not sound as pleased on the day of the official announcement.

Kershaw did not seem to care for NL manager Bruce Bochy saying Monday afternoon that Harvey would have been the starting pitcher and "it really wouldn’t have mattered what city we were playing in" because of Harvey's first-half production.

Said Kershaw, tersely: "That's his opinion."

Would Kershaw have been more understanding if the tipping factor was the game being at Citi Field?

"I get it," Kershaw said.

Kershaw added that he would enjoy starting an All-Star Game.

"It's not a goal. I don't really set goals. I don't have any goals," Kershaw said. "It would be cool. I would like to do it. It would be fun."

About last night ... 5 wacky events

July, 9, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO -- It ended at 3:42 a.m. ET after 16 innings. And that left plenty of time for some odd occurrences.

For those who keep less nocturnal hours and missed it, here were five wacky events from Mets 4, San Francisco Giants 3:

Attack of the birds: Seagulls are commonplace at AT&T Park, which is alongside scenic McCovey Cove.

Adam RubinThe A&T Park scoreboard made light of the circling seagulls.

This time, the birds seemed to get feisty after the players decided to use occupy their landing pad -- aka the field -- for an extra seven innings.

The telecast had seagulls whizzing through shots while circling the field. The birds even got bold and started landing in the outfield in the latter innings. A few started encroaching upon the press box.

When John Buck batted in the 15th, the AT&T Park staff had a little fun and put pictures of seagulls in random places on the scoreboard.

Whoops: Bruce Bochy has managed the Giants to World Series titles two of the last three years. So forgive his 16th-inning lapse.

After Eric Young Jr.’s one-out single in what turned out to be the final frame, pitching coach Dave Righetti visited right-handed reliever George Kontos on the mound with Daniel Murphy due up. Young then stole second. And with Murphy still at the plate, Bochy went out to talk to Kontos, too.

The second mound visit meant that, by rule, Kontos had to leave the game after completing that matchup, which ended with Murphy grounding out and advancing Young to third.

Bochy was forced to bring in left-hander Javier Lopez with David Wright due up and two outs. Wright was intentionally walked. Brandon Crawford then committed the game-deciding error at shortstop on Anthony Recker’s two-out grounder.

Terry Collins called the botched pitching change a fortunate snafu in forcing Kontos’ departure.

JV-1? Collins said he was prepared to use Jordany Valdespin on the mound had the game not been completed in the 16th with Bobby Parnell earning the save. Enough said.

Extra, extra! The Mets have now played five games lasting 15 or more innings this season. That already ties the franchise record, established in 1968. And there still are 76 more games to go this season.

The AT&T Park public-address announcer at one point told fans to head for the last ferry to Oakland if they needed that transportation, since it was shutting down before the game ended. Later, she announced the BART metro system also was poised to shut down, so fans relying on that service ought to head for the gates.

Giveth and taketh away: It was Crawford, the Giants shortstop, who sent the game into extra innings and also prolonged it.

Mired in a 1-for-30 slump, Crawford’s RBI single against Matt Harvey in the seventh evened the score at 3. Crawford then had a stellar diving play to his right and throw to first to retire Marlon Byrd and strand the go-ahead run at third base and end the top of the 11th.

Crawford’s two-out error in the 16th ultimately proved the difference.

Honorable mention: On Young's sixth-inning triple, the Ball Dude down the left-field line ended up in the field of play, having to duck to avoid obstructing the return throw to the infield.

Morning Briefing: Working overtime

July, 9, 2013

Jeff Chiu/Associated PressGiants mascot Lou Seal takes a nap during the 15th inning Monday night.

FIRST PITCH: In all his years, Terry Collins has not seen anything like this season, between the snow in April in Minneapolis and Denver, the rainouts, and the extra-inning games that have gone 15, 20, 15 and now 16 innings.

“I’ve never even heard of anything like this,” Collins said after the Mets beat the Giants, 4-3, in 16 innings in a game that ended at 3:42 a.m. ET Tuesday. “The games we’ve played, the innings we’ve played, the conditions we’ve played, the travel schedule, it’s unbelievable.”

The Mets’ four games of 15-plus innings match the franchise record, also done in 1968, according to ESPN Stats & Information. And there’s still nearly half a season remaining.

Had the Mets not won Monday night’s/Tuesday morning’s game in the 16th with Bobby Parnell on the mound, Collins said he “probably” would have inserted Jordany Valdespin next to pitch.

The series continues at 10:15 p.m. ET today as Dillon Gee (6-7, 4.45 ERA) opposes left-hander Barry Zito (4-6, 4.44).

Tuesday’s news reports:

Matt Harvey and Tim Lincecum each received no-decisions in the latest marathon game for the Mets. The Mets finally scored in the 16th when Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford had a two-out fielding error.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Times, San Francisco Chronicle and

• After the extra-inning win, Collins and Harvey acknowledged the ace has been dealing with a blister on his right index finger, which prevented him from throwing a between-starts bullpen session.

NL manager Bruce Bochy had all but said Harvey’s outing Monday night was not material to the decision for All-Star starting pitcher, which is widely expected to go to Harvey. Even Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw said Harvey merits the start in next Tuesday’s game at Citi Field. Collins said either Harvey will have a shorter-than-normal outing Saturday in Pittsburgh or will be skipped entirely (with Carlos Torres presumably stepping in) so that Harvey can be ready to pitch in the All-Star Game.

Read more on the blister in the Post.

Read more on Harvey expected to start the All-Star Game in the Post and Newsday.

Zack Wheeler is looking forward to facing his former employer Wednesday. Meanwhile the Giants say they do not regret sending Wheeler to the Mets at the 2011 trading deadline for Carlos Beltran. “I played with Crawford and [Brandon] Belt,” Wheeler said. “I got to know [Pablo] Sandoval and [Barry] Zito just from rehab starts and stuff like that. So I know a few of them.”

Jonathon Niese had a favorable medical examination with team doctor David Altchek on Monday in New York and has been cleared to head to Port St. Lucie, Fla., and begin throwing. Read more in the Post, Newsday and Times.

• The Mets were flying Gonzalez Germen in from Triple-A to join the major league club, signaling Shaun Marcum likely will land on the DL on Tuesday. Marcum was examined in St. Louis on Monday for hand numbness and coldness by the same specialist that performed surgery on Gee last July. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

David Wright picked Carlos Gonzalez, Bryce Harper and Michael Cuddyer as his NL teammates for next Monday’s Home Run Derby at Citi Field. Wright’s primary rationale for picking Cuddyer: They’re good friends since growing up together in Virginia.

• The Mets got an up-close view of the plane wreckage at San Francisco International Airport when they landed Sunday night from Milwaukee.

“I took pictures of it. It was pretty devastating,” LaTroy Hawkins told Richard J. Marcus in the Post. “A lot more people could have lost their lives. Just seeing that seawall that the landing gear clipped, man. I am a scared flyer. I don’t fly easily. It is one of my worst fears, flying. It is the first plane crash I’ve seen. I think with my case it is more of not being in control.”

• Kyle Johnson, acquired in the trade with the Angels for Collin Cowgill, went 3-for-4 and scored three times in his St. Lucie debut after a promotion from Savannah. Jared King had two doubles and drove in the tiebreaking run as Brooklyn beat Lowell, 4-3. Rehabbing reliever Scott Atchison made his second Gulf Coast League appearance since landing on the disabled list with a groin injury. Read the full minor league recap here.

• Harvey almost missed the cutoff date for being included in ESPN The Magazine’s “Body Issue,” which will be available online today and on newsstands Friday. “This came very close to when we were about to go to press,” ESPN senior deputy editor Neely Lohmann told Neil Best in Newsday. “I said, ‘I think this is something we need to make an exception for.’ … Definitely a good decision.”

• Jared Diamond in the Journal asks whether how the Giants build an organization should be a model for the Mets.

• Read a snippet about Mrs. Mets in Newsday.

From the bloggers … John Delcos at Mets Report notes success can be fleeting for a pitcher, as Lincecum’s travails should demonstrate to Harvey.

BIRTHDAYS: Left-hander George Stone was born on this date in 1946.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: How late did you stay up last night watching the Mets game before deciding to bail?

Giants: Wheeler-Beltran trade worth shot

July, 8, 2013
US PresswireZack Wheeler was pitching in Class A two years ago when he was traded from the Giants to the Mets for Carlos Beltran.
SAN FRANCISCO -- Zack Wheeler, the sixth overall pick in the draft by the San Francisco Giants four years ago, faces his original ballclub in Wednesday's series finale.

Needless to say, he's motivated.

"I definitely want to go out there and do well for myself and maybe show them what they could've had, I guess," Wheeler said.

Meanwhile, manager Bruce Bochy said the Giants have no regrets about the July 28, 2011 trade that sent Wheeler to the Mets for Carlos Beltran.

San Francisco ended up missing the playoffs that season but did win the World Series in 2010 and 2012 with aggressive maneuvers. In '10 they acquired a couple of relievers at the deadline, Javier Lopez and Ramon Ramirez. In '12 they acquired Marco Scutaro and Hunter Pence and again won the title.

"Our pitching was doing such a great job there. We had trouble scoring runs," Bochy reflected about 2011. "And we felt that if we could get there that we could repeat. We were going into August sitting in a good position. We just needed a bat. We got a great guy [in Beltran]. Unfortunately, we lost him on the DL there [in August with a hand injury], but he did all he could to help us. Just as a group, without [Buster] Posey in the lineup, we just didn't have enough offense to do it.

"But I think any time you have a chance to win the World Series [you go for it] -- which we did in '10, we made a move, and 2012 we made some moves, and it worked out and we ended up getting rings on our finger because of it. That's something a lot of clubs do. Unfortunately, we just didn't have the bats to quite get us there [in 2011]."

Said Wheeler: "[Giants GM Brian Sabean] got the result that he wanted, not the year I got traded, obviously, but the next year. And that’s the game of baseball. You trade people away and try to make deals happen so you can win. No hard feelings or anything. It’s probably going to happen again sometime. Like I said, it’s the game of baseball."

Bochy said he never did see Wheeler as a minor leaguer with the Giants but knows he has a "great arm."

Added Bochy: "That's why we picked him where we did. He's got great stuff."

Wheeler had been to AT&T Park once before, for a conditioning camp when he got drafted. He met Willie Mays.

He still hears plenty from Giants fans, primarily via Twitter.

"Yeah, all the time," Wheeler said. "Especially when I landed here yesterday, it blew up from Giants fans."

Bochy: Harvey Day in SF not ASG audition

July, 8, 2013
USA TODAY SportsBruce Bochy did not tip his hand completely, but he is expected to select Matt Harvey as the NL starting pitcher in next week's All-Star Game.
SAN FRANCISCO -- NL manager Bruce Bochy indicated that Matt Harvey's start against the San Francisco Giants on Monday night is not very important in determining who should start the All-Star Game for the league. In fact, Bochy sounded like that decision had already been made.

Harvey is widely expected to get the assignment when it is announced next Monday, the day before the Citi Field event.

"I know which way I'm leaning," Bochy said Monday afternoon. I'll leave it at that. But this kid is having a special year and, I know, he's from New York. All that's been discussed. I'll just leave it at that right now."

Even NL ERA leader Clayton Kershaw said Harvey should get the honor.

"There's no reason, especially if it's in New York, that he shouldn't start. That's what the fans will want. I've got no problem with that," Kershaw told

Harvey's second major league start came last July 31 in San Francisco. He allowed three runs in six innings in his first major league loss. Bochy recognizes Harvey has raised his game to another level now.

"We all know about his great fastball, but he has other pitches he throws, too. And he's commanding them," Bochy said. "And I think sometimes it's a matter of a young player getting settled in -- whether it's a position player or pitcher. This guy has got tremendous stuff. Sometimes, it takes a while to get that confidence and that sense of belonging. He certainly has it now."

Harvey has been compared to stars such as Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke, but Bochy said he did not want to offer a comp.

"You could mention quite a few power pitchers in there. That's what he is," Bochy said. "He's a power arm and has a great changeup, but he's his own guy. You get special arms like this every so often. He's emerged as one of the best pitchers in the game. They've got a good one there."

Morning Briefing: 3 DL, 2 walk-off, good job

June, 24, 2013

Rich Schultz/Getty ImagesMatt Harvey and David Wright could end up starting the All-Star Game at Citi Field.

FIRST PITCH: The Mets lost on walk-off homer in Atlanta, when Freddie Freeman took Dillon Gee deep in the ninth inning last Monday. They also lost on a walk-off homer in Philadelphia, courtesy of Kevin Frandsen going deep against Carlos Torres.

Yet Terry Collins and the Mets still could pronounce the week a success, and not just because of the successful debut of Zack Wheeler and a pair of dominating performances from Matt Harvey.

The Mets won consecutive road series, at Atlanta and Philadelphia, despite losing Justin Turner, Jonathon Niese and Lucas Duda to the disabled list while on the trip.

The team has a day off today before beginning a two-game interleague series at the Chicago White Sox. The Mets then swing by Denver to make up a game on Thursday that was snowed out in April.

“I’ve got to tell you: I feel very good about what’s gone on on this trip,” Collins said. “That’s a very good seven days. They’re tired. They’re beat up. They lost three players to the DL in the last five days. To come out of here with another series, and to win the first two series on the road trip, is a huge lift for us.”

Monday’s news reports:

• Harvey tossed six scoreless innings before a 20-minute rain delay prompted Collins to pull him, and David Wright had a franchise-record-tying four extra-base hits, as the Mets won Sunday’s rubber game, 8-0, against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Harvey likely will leapfrog Gee and pitch Friday at Citi Field.

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

• Read more on Harvey in Newsday.

• Wright passed San Francisco’s Pablo Sandoval and now leads by 128,831 votes in balloting for the starting third-base nod for the National League in the July 16 All-Star Game at Citi Field. Harvey is making a strong bid to start the game too, although that decision will come from NL skipper Bruce Bochy.

Writes Tim Marchman in the Journal:

Wright will make the roster, and Matt Harvey may well start, especially if Wright doesn't. They're probably the only Mets going, unless someone in power takes a liking to Bobby Parnell's beard, which they might. The Yankees, meanwhile, have Robinson Cano and Mariano Rivera and maybe Hiroki Kuroda. (The only Yankee other than Cano to rank in the top five in voting at his position is Derek Jeter, suggesting that baseball fans don't actually watch baseball.)

Say four New York players take the trip to Citi Field; that would be the smallest, saddest delegation in a long time. The year was 1995. Bobby Bonilla, for the second time in three years, was the Mets' sole All-Star; the Yankees sent three to the game, including, for some reason, Mike Stanley. It was the end of an era, stretching back to 1989, in which you'd never once have needed all the fingers on a hand to count all the city's All-Stars, an era that reached its nadir in 1992, when David Cone and Roberto Kelly were the lonely two representatives of their town.

Read more in the Daily News and Newsday.

• Wheeler flew from Las Vegas to Chicago on Sunday to join the Mets in advance of Tuesday’s start against the White Sox, which will be the second of his major league career. Greg Burke is the likely player to demoted, although he was summoned into Collins’ office postgame Sunday and told to accompany the team from Philadelphia to the Windy City.

Ike Davis was bypassed for a return to the big leagues with Lucas Duda landing on the DL in large part because the Mets faced a lefty in the series finale in Philly (John Lannan) and will also see southpaws in both games in Chicago (Chris Sale and John Danks). The expectation is Davis will return to the majors as soon as Thursday’s makeup game at Colorado. Davis did not play Sunday for Triple-A Las Vegas after appearing in 12 straight 51s games. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Newsday.

• Noah Syndergaard earned the win in his Double-A debut as Binghamton improved to 46-28 with a 7-2 victory against Erie. Jacob deGrom tossed six scoreless innings in his second Triple-A start, but Salt Lake rallied to beat Las Vegas, 6-3. Jayce Boyd had a two-run homer in St. Lucie’s 4-2 loss against Bradenton.

“I didn’t really have a lot of time to think about things,” Syndergaard told the Press & Sun-Bulletin, referring to learning about his promotion Saturday and debuting Sunday. “I think it was beneficial because I wasn’t able to get nervous. I just woke up, came to the field and pitched. What else can you ask for?”

Read the full minor league recap here.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear in Flushing relishes the midday flub of Ben Revere. … Shannon from Mets Police wonders who in franchise history is an icon. … The Kings of Queens praises Eric Young Jr.

BIRTHDAYS: Right-hander Mike Bruhert, who started 22 games for the Mets, was born on this date in 1951.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Who is Matt Harvey’s biggest competition to start the All-Star Game for the National League?

Morning Briefing: Wheel deals in debut

June, 19, 2013

Scott Cunningham/Getty ImagesZack Wheeler's teammates doused him with beverages after his first major league win.

FIRST PITCH: The Mets may rival the Miami Marlins for futility in 2013, but Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler -- 1A and 1B – offer the hope to fans of better days to come.

“They’re going to enjoy watching these two guys for a long time,” Terry Collins said after Harvey and Wheeler earned the victories in a doubleheader sweep at Turner Field on Tuesday. “They’re going to be around and they’re going to be in the same rotation. You’ve got two guys that can win some baseball games for you.”

Wednesday’s news reports:

• Harvey took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning of Game 1 and the Mets narrowly held on for a 4-3 win thanks to Bobby Parnell’s four-out save. Wheeler, despite walking five batters, then tossed six scoreless innings in the nightcap as the Mets swept Atlanta with a 6-1 victory. Harvey believed a no-hitter was attainable until Jason Heyward produced a leadoff infield single up the first-base line in the seventh. Wheeler described himself as amped up early for his major league debut.

Writes columnist Bob Klapisch in the Record:

Listen hard enough and you could almost pick up the dog-whistle message after the Mets had finished sweeping the Braves on Tuesday: The suffering is over. Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler did more than offer a beta version of better times ahead. This was chicken soup for Flushing’s battered soul.

It almost wouldn’t have mattered how the franchise’s two best pitching prospects fared -- the fact that Harvey and Wheeler were on display, exploding the radar gun in the high 90s, served as its own medicine. But the day turned out better than that for the Mets. Much better, in fact.

Writes columnist John Harper in the Daily News:

At the very least, Super Tuesday was a showcase of dazzling pitching talent for Mets fans to savor, and, who knows, it may come to be remembered as the start of something big. There are miles to go to make that happen, and with the Mets, you know there is bound to be more misfortune along the way.

Still, it was quite the 10 hours or so.

Writes Brian Costa in the Journal:

Matt Harvey in the day game. Zack Wheeler in the night game. A legitimate ace and a potential ace, both out of the Mets' farm system, together in a doubleheader loaded with intrigue. Harvey chased a no-hitter. Wheeler made a stellar big-league debut.

Awful as they may be, the Mets deserved to stop and enjoy this. And if you've suffered through the sorry spectacle that is Mets baseball recently, how could you not? It was a proud day for an organization that hasn't had many of them.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday, Times, Journal and as well as columnist Mike Vaccaro’s take in the Post and columnist David Lennon’s take in Newsday.

Getty ImagesThe Mets acquired Eric Young Jr. from Colorado for Collin McHugh.

• In a flurry of late-night maneuvers, the Mets traded right-hander Collin McHugh to the Colorado Rockies for second baseman/outfielder Eric Young Jr., promoted outfielder/first baseman Andrew Brown from Triple-A Las Vegas and designated Collin Cowgill for assignment. The Mets also are expected to place Scott Atchison (groin) on the disabled list today. Atchison had just been activated from the DL on Tuesday morning, when Justin Turner landed on the DL with a strained intercostal muscle on his left side.

The final move Tuesday night involved sending Wheeler back to Triple-A Las Vegas, which is playing in Tucson, Ariz., through Friday. Wheeler will return in time for Tuesday’s start against the Chicago White Sox in the Windy City.

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

• Straight-talking New Jersey governor Chris Christie told schoolchildren about his affection for the Mets while saying they “stink” and are “awful.” Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• First-round pick Dominic Smith is imminently signing with the Mets. Newsday reported the deal will be worth $2.6 million -- about $200,000 below slot.

• Ex-Met Fernando Martinez has been traded by the Houston Astros to the Yankees.

• Asked if New York hosting the All-Star game should factor into whether Harvey should start the spectacle, San Francisco Giants/NL manager Bruce Bochy told SiriusXM:

“Well, it would play a part in it, sure. … That could play a part in my decision. These are things [Giants pitching coach] Dave Righetti and I will talk about, but I think it should play a part, to be honest. Now, I also believe that whoever deserves to go, whoever deserves to start that game should get that. But all things even, then I think you look at something like that -- a guy that’s in his hometown pitching.”

• Some Mets fans took offense to a Braves announcer hoping on air that Harvey would strain an oblique Tuesday. Watch the YouTube clip here.

• Dustin Lawley produced a game-tying two-run homer in the seventh, then had a walk-off RBI double two innings later as St. Lucie beat Charlotte, 7-6. Read the full minor league recap here.

• Dwight Gooden has taken notice of the attention Wheeler’s debut received. “It’s been incredible the way that people have been so eager to see him -- if that excitement is channeled right it could really help him,” Gooden told Roger Rubin in the Daily News.

• Michael Salfino in the Journal chronicles the Mets’ history of late-inning collapses at Turner Field.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear notes Wheeler is the first Met born in the 1990s and examines the debuts of other decade-‘firsters’ in franchise history.

BIRTHDAYS: McHugh, who was traded to the Rockies last night, turns 26. … Bruce Chen, now with the Royals, turns 36. … Claudio Vargas is 35.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Do you like the acquisition of Eric Young Jr.?

Morning Briefing: Wheels up!

June, 14, 2013

Al Pereira/WireImageIt not only feels like the first time. It is the first time Foreigner will play Citi Field.
FIRST PITCH: Foreigner plays Citi Field tonight.

The warm-up act: Shaun Marcum (0-7, 4.96 ERA) versus Chicago Cubs right-hander Edwin Jackson (2-8, 5.76) in the series opener at 7:10 p.m.

Read the series preview here.

Friday’s news reports:

Matt Harvey limited St. Louis to one run in seven innings, but nonetheless suffered his first 2013 loss as the Cardinals won the rubber game, 2-1, Thursday afternoon. Marlon Byrd homered in the ninth, but the tying run was stranded at third base when Edward Mujica struck out pinch-hitter Josh Satin to end the game. Afterward, the highly competitive Harvey indicated he should have pitched better and matched Adam Wainwright zero-for-zero.

Writes columnist Joel Sherman in the Post:

It is not his fault. Harvey is doing all he can to raise the competitiveness and win total of the Mets. But unless he morphs into the baseball version of Bugs Bunny -- first base, Matt Harvey; second base, Matt Harvey -- the organization’s biggest issue will not be if Harvey can lift those around him, but whether they will take him down, as well.

Manager Terry Collins, in fact, was compelled to have a private chat with Harvey yesterday, to counsel his young ace to stave off frustration after more genius was soiled not by the opponent, but his own teammates. We could say Harvey is enduring friendly fire, but that would mean saying these Mets have fire.

Writes columnist Bob Klapisch in the Record:

That was the most depressing takeaway from the 2-1 loss to the Cardinals, that not even Harvey, the boy king, can slow the Mets’ march to 100 losses. Like everything else in Flushing lately, Harvey has been devalued. His most precious gift, a fastball that averaged 97.64 mph Thursday, took a back seat to the inevitability of the Fatal Flaw -- a lack of timely hitting, defensive mistakes, a game-ending strikeout with the tying run on third base -- that’s rendered the Mets toxic.

The dejection was written all over Harvey’s face in the postgame clubhouse. The right-hander managed to repeat all the right clichés, but his words lacked conviction after his first loss of the season. When Harvey said, “I needed to put up seven zeros” against Wainwright, it was nothing short of an indictment of an offense that ranks 12th in the National League in runs and 14th in OPS.

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

Larry Goren/Four Seam Images/AP ImagesZack Wheeler will deliver his next pitch in the majors.

• Zack Wheeler made his final start for Triple-A Las Vegas, allowing a solo homer but no other hits in 5 2/3 innings against Tacoma. Wheeler next is due to face the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday at Turner Field. The Mets will use a six-man rotation for at least one turn after Wheeler debuts, in large part because Dillon Gee (elbow) and Jonathon Niese (shoulder) have dealt with shoulder tendinitis.

“Everything feels good right now,” Wheeler said, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I feel like I’m ready.”

Said pitching coach Randy St. Claire, alluding to an early season blister problem: “Once that finger started feeling better, he started throwing the ball a lot better. Especially when he executes pitches down in the zone, it’s electric stuff. Guys don’t have good swings on it when it’s down in the zone.”

Read more in the Post.

• Harvey told Kristie Ackert in the Daily News he does not like the six-man rotation plan, although Harvey is likely to be least affected by it, since he would be the priority and would probably pitch on regular rest next Sunday at Philadelphia after Tuesday’s outing against the Braves.

“I am not fond of it, but I don’t make these decisions,” Harvey told Ackert. “It’s always been five days, at least as long as I can remember. I don’t necessarily like the extra rest. I take pride pitching every five days, getting as many starts as I can,” Harvey said. “Obviously I don’t have a say in that. I guess I will have to make adjustments.”

• The Mets considered partnering with a cougar dating web site to help promote David Wright’s All-Star candidacy before abandoning the idea. Wright, meanwhile, revealed that he has asked the team to tone down its in-game promotion of his All-Star candidacy because it’s not appropriate to single him out with the team doing poorly. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Daily News and Newsday.

Ike Davis went 0-for-3 for Las Vegas on Thursday. Read more in Newsday.

• Responding to a Newsday article that suggested Mets brass was upset with Wally Backman’s pronouncement he could fix Davis, Backman told the Daily News on Thursday: "I'm sorry if I ruffled any feathers. If you've got an issue with me, call me."

• Terry Collins indicated Scott Atchison should be ready to be activated from the DL after working consecutive days with Double-A Binghamton -- although the B-Mets were rained out at Trenton last night, preventing the second straight night of relief work.

Rick Ankiel, designated for assignment during the weekend, has elected free agency, officially ended his Mets career.

• The St. Louis telecast of Thursday’s Mets-Cards game caught a fan tumbling at Citi Field. Read more in the Daily News.

• Collins as well as Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson will serve on Bruce Bochy’s NL staff at the July 16 All-Star Game. Jim Leyland’s AL staff also will have a Mets accent, with ex-Amazin’s Robin Ventura (Chicago White S0x) and John Gibbons (Toronto Blue Jays). Read more in Newsday, the Post and Daily News.

• Left-handed strikeout machine Jack Leathersich has been promoted from Binghamton to Vegas. He made his debut in relief of Wheeler, striking out his first Pacific Coast League batter. Gonzalez Germen surrendered four eighth-inning homers as Tacoma routed the 51s after Wheeler’s departure. In the Florida State League, T.J. Rivera had a tiebreaking RBI single in the ninth as St. Lucie beat Clearwater, 5-4. Jayce Boyd went 4-for-4 with a three-run homer and walk as Savannah moved closer to clinching the first-half title with a 9-4 win against Greenville. Boyd as well as Kevin Plawecki should get promoted to St. Lucie within days. Read the full minor league recap here.

• Catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud is due to get his fractured left foot reexamined Monday.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear rues the day the Mets couldn't get Harvey off the hook. … John Delcos at Mets Report advocates extending Collins. … Rising Apple wonders when Wilmer Flores will get a big-league shot. … Mark Berman at Blogging Mets looks back at one of the stranger moments in Mets history.

BIRTHDAYS: No one to play for the Mets was born on this date, but Donald Trump and Boy George celebrate birthdays today. Not together.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: What is your favorite Foreigner Song?

Collins, Davey, Robin will see Stars

June, 13, 2013

Getty ImagesRobin Ventura, Terry Collins and Davey Johnson will serve as All-Star coaches.
NEW YORK -- Terry Collins will serve as an NL All-Star coach for a second straight season, as the Mets host the July 16 game.

The managers selected as coaches for Bruce Bochy's NL squad and Jim Leyland's AL squad all have Mets ties.

Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson, who skippered the Mets to the 1986 championship, joins Collins on the NL side. On the AL side: former Mets players Robin Ventura (Chicago White Sox) and John Gibbons (Toronto Blue Jays).

"My whole life has been in this game," Collins said. "I realize it's in New York and that's probably why they asked me to do it. It's an honor. It's a blast. I had a great time last year. [2012 NL manager] Tony [La Russa] and I are very, very good friends. So he asked me a lot of things before the game. We spent all morning before the game getting ready. It now means something. That All-Star Game is just not an exhibition game anymore. It means something. So it's a lot of fun.

"And to get in there during batting practice and mingle with the greatest of the greats, how could you not like that? And the fact that it's in New York, it's great. It's special. This is the place where you want to play. Still, it's just an honor to be a part of it all."

Mets morning briefing 4.23.12

April, 23, 2012
Sunday's game was rained out, prompting a single-admission doubleheader between the Mets and Giants at 4:10 p.m. Monday. Spot starter Miguel Batista opposes Tim Lincecum in Game 1. Sunday's starter Dillon Gee pitches Game 2 opposite Madison Bumgarner. The Tom Seaver bobblehead giveaway has been rescheduled for May 5.

Monday's news reports:

Sandy Alderson on WNBC on Sunday night said regarding David Wright's contract status (the Mets hold a 2013 option): "We've said, look, let's play out at least part of this season and see where we are. But I, honestly, at this point cannot foresee David playing elsewhere."

That will cost money, though. Considered a comp, Washington Nationals 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. Wright is 21 months older than Zimmerman.

As for Jose Reyes' Tuesday return, Alderson said about the shortstop's departure on a six-year, $106 million contract: "I was disappointed. I wasn't surprised. In fact, I was a little bit surprised about the weakness of the market for Jose, because really the Marlins were not only the strongest suitor, but in some ways the only suitor. It would have been nice to keep Jose. He's clearly a different type of player, a very dynamic player, exciting, crowd-pleasing type of player. But that's baseball. That's life. We have to move on. He certainly has. We'll welcome him back [Tuesday], but hopefully we can beat the Marlins."

The GM added about the expected crowd reception: "It's interesting. I think there will be a mixed reaction. On the one hand, he was homegrown. He'd been with the Mets for a long time, had a great season last year. On the other hand, he left. And Mets fans are like fans in most places. If somebody leaves, they don't always maintain the same affections. So it will be interesting to see what happens.

"And, of course, we're giving him a little bit of a video tribute [Tuesday], which is typical for a lot of players that leave the Mets and come back. If people don't want to watch it, they can avert their eyes or what have you. But I think it's fitting. I think it's the least we can do for Jose coming back."

Chocolate might be nice, too.

Of course, it's worth nothing, mitigating the fact that Reyes left is the fact the Mets never made a bona fide offer to keep him.

Johan Santana will now pitch Tuesday, rather than Monday -- a full week after recording only four outs at Turner Field against the Braves in his shortest career start. The Mets needed a spot start either Monday or Friday anyway, since they have six games in five days. The 41-year-old Batista's last start was a two-hit shutout against Cincinnati in last season's finale. Santana threw two bullpen sessions since his abbreviated last start, so the extra day helps. It also moves him into the Marlins series, and Santana has a 1.47 career ERA against Miami. It also bumps Mike Pelfrey from the Marlins series (5.20 ERA against Miami) to the Rockies series, on Friday in Denver. Pelfrey has a 3.06 ERA career ERA against Colorado, despite that 2009 game at Coors Field in which he went for a jog in the parking lot after getting knocked out early. Read more in Newsday, the Star-Ledger, Record, Post and Daily News.

Terry Collins said Frank Francisco will remain the closer, despite allowing runs in each of his past four appearances. Francisco told reporters he worked with pitching coach Dan Warthen to avoid his front shoulder flying open during his delivery. That flaw typically can expose the ball earlier to hitters and flatten pitches. Collins, who met with Francisco on Sunday, said the closer insisted the knee troubles from late in spring training are not an issue. Read more in the Times, Record, Newsday, Post and Star-Ledger.

Jeurys Familia surrendered Bryce Harper's first Triple-A homer but no other damage while striking out eight in five innings as Buffalo split a doubleheader at Syracuse on Sunday. Read the full minor league recap here.

• Pelfrey, who was the Mets' first-round pick in 2005, the season after Philip Humber was chosen by the organization in the first round, at one point was a close friend of Humber's in the minor leagues. Pelfrey told John Jeansonne in Newsday about Humber's perfect game with the White Sox: "I saw his interview afterward. He was pretty humble. That's the kind of guy he is. I heard him say he didn't think he was dominant. When you retire 27 [in a row], you're dominant."

Writes Joshua Robinson in the Journal:

Pelfrey had known of Humber in college -- after all, Humber's Rice Owls had eliminated Pelfrey's Wichita State in the 2003 NCAA baseball tournament. He remembered him throwing in the neighborhood of 88 mph. On Saturday, he saw him hitting the low- to mid-90s and working in a slider. "After Tommy John, I think that he learned how to pitch," Pelfrey said, referring to Humber's 2005 elbow surgery. "Now that his velocity's back, with that curveball, the changeup, and his slider, he's going to have a great year."

Read more in the Times.

Pelfrey, by the way, predicts the Mets franchise will eventually get a no-hitter. Only the Padres and Mets are devoid of that achievement. The Mets are at 7,982 games and counting. "Obviously, a lot of luck is involved in that," Pelfrey told Kristie Ackert in the Daily News. "It’s not easy to get through one inning let alone nine. But I think one day it’s gonna happen. I can’t tell you when, but it’s gonna happen eventually.”

• Columnist Bill Madden in the Daily News says the Mets have a better rotation than the Yankees' cast. Writes Madden:

The Mets’ rotation of Santana, Jonathon Niese, Dickey, Pelfrey and Dillon Gee has an ERA of 3.48 with 83 hits, 69 strikeouts and 26 walks over 80 innings and 14 starts. The Yanks have a 5.84 ERA with 107 hits allowed, 77 strikeouts and 23 walks over 81 2/3 innings and 15 starts by the quintet of CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes, [Hiroki] Kuroda and [Freddy] Garcia. And as much as we despise the “quality start” stat (six or more innings, three or fewer runs), it has become a fact of life in baseball and, in this case, further illustrates the Mets’ superiority over the Yankee starters so far. Even without Santana having gone beyond five innings, the Mets’ starters have eight quality starts out of 14 as opposed to the Yankees’ five out of 15.

• Columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post says a successful team begins with a successful rotation. “That starter sends a sense of confidence throughout the club,’’ Giants manager Bruce Bochy told Kernan. “They’re the guys that keep you in the ballgame and give you the chance to win and you get that consistently and it does change the mentality of the club. They know every day they are going to have the chance to win with the guy on the hill. I saw how it changed here. Their confidence grows. They say, ‘You know what, we’re good, we can play with anybody because that guy is going to keep us in the ballgame. If we can figure a way to get enough runs, we’ll win the game.’’’

TRIVIA: Seaver pitched for only one minor league club during his Hall of Fame career. Name the team.

Sunday's answer: Along with Humber taken third overall by the Mets, two other Rice pitchers were selected in the first round in 2004 -- Jeff Niemann fourth overall by Tampa Bay and Wade Townsend eighth overall by Baltimore. Townsend did not sign, and was selected in the same No. 8 position by the Rays the following year.

Mets morning briefing 2.26.12

February, 26, 2012
Mets position players undergo physicals Sunday, with the first full-squad workout scheduled for Monday. Ruben Tejada, who was due to land in Miami yesterday afternoon, has a meeting scheduled with Terry Collins for 8 a.m. today. Collins was disappointed his new first-string shortstop did not arrive to camp early.

Sunday's news reports:

• The Mets will wear a "KID 8" patch on their uniforms as a tribute to Gary Carter. Fred Wilpon presented the patch to Carter's widow Sandy after Friday's memorial service. Read more in the Daily News and Newsday.

Andy McCullough in the Star-Ledger does a Q&A with Jason Bay, and gets to the bottom of why he routinely exchanges text messages with Eddie Vedder. "I was a huge Pearl Jam fan … Eddie’s a huge baseball fan," Bay told McCullough. "Huge Cubs fan. There’s a lot of guys who have met him. Sean Casey, who’s a diehard Pearl Jam fan, he’s hung out with Eddie numerous times. When I got traded to Boston, we played a game and that night Eddie was playing somewhere in Boston on his solo tour. And he signed this poster, 'Hey, Jason, welcome to the Red Sox.' And then Casey gave me his number. So we text back and forth. ... I’ve never met him. I’ve never actually technically met him. And that’s the funny part. Casey was like, 'Hey, here’s his number, he said text him.' So he was like 'Hey, sounds good, man. If I’m ever up in Seattle recording …' He’s never up there. He’s got a lot going on. I’m probably the last person [on his mind]. 'Oh, I've got to call Jason Bay!'"

Mike Pelfrey knows he needs to perform in 2012 or it may be his final season in Flushing. Pelfrey actually is under the Mets' control through the '13 season. But he settled for $5.6875 million this year and is arbitration-eligible again next winter, so he likely would be entitled to another raise. The Mets won't agree to that unless Pelfrey succeeds this season. "I want to play this game for as long as I can, and I can't do that with having the kind of year I had last year," Pelfrey told David Lennon in Newsday. "Going into the offseason, it kind of hits you like, 'Man, what happened?' So you go through it, you learn from it and you try to get better. I'm more determined not to let that happen again. Obviously, I need to have a good year or ... I might not be back." Pelfrey also tells Lennon he is far more serious now, not joking or accepting being the brunt of jokes from teammates about his palm-licking or balks. Pelfrey said he has now reincorporated a circle change, which he threw at Wichita State, instead of a split-finger fastball.

David Wright tells Mike Kerwick in the Record about Pelfrey: "He was coming off a good year, and then all of a sudden just because he's named the Opening Day starter … a lot of times he got matched up with [Roy] Halladay and Josh Johnson. There was numerous times where he pitched well and should have gotten a win. There were a couple times where we blew leads for him late. There were a couple times where he just had some bad luck because he's going up against other team's No. 1." Wright, Kerwick also notes, edged Pelfrey for the final playoff spot in the Mets' fantasy football league on the final day of their league's regular season. Pelfrey just needed to win his game to beat Wright, but lost his game by a half-point.

• 2010 first-round pick Matt Harvey drew positive reviews from the major leaguers who hit against him, including Ike Davis and Josh Thole, during a live batting practice session Saturday. Despite his goal to make the Opening Day roster, Harvey most likely is ticketed to open 2012 at Double-A Binghamton. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Newsday.

Andy Martino in the Daily News looks at Harvey and highly regarded pitching prospect Jeurys Familia, who pitched together last season in the minors. Writes Martino:

Neither is quite ready for the Mets. Harvey struggled upon rising to Double-A last year, and while he later stabilized, his secondary pitches need refining. Familia’s ultimate role is unclear, although when he and Harvey talk, they imagine him as a dominant reliever."We always laugh about it," says Harvey. "He says, 'I'll close your games!' "

• Former Mets reliever Taylor Buchholz, who is skipping this season, continues to be open about his battle with depression and anxiety. Buchholz is serving as the pitching coach at his former high school in Springfield, Pa. He told Wayne Coffey in the Daily News about not being at spring training for the first time in more than a decade: "It definitely feels weird. There's a strange void, and a little jealousy. ... I’m in a good place. I'm excited about getting my feet wet with coaching."

Mike Puma in the Post looks at the Mets' outfield defense, with Andres Torres in center field now joining Bay in left field and Lucas Duda in right field. "We know that Andres Torres is an outstanding defender," Collins said. "[San Francisco Giants manager] Bruce Bochy told me, 'If this guy stays healthy, he is an outstanding center fielder.'" Puma notes the Mets have no interest in using Duda in left field and switching Bay to right field. The elimination of the "Mo's Zone" nook in right field at Citi Field should make it easier for Duda anyway, lessening the difference in ground to cover between the corner outfield spots.

• Collins does a Q&A with Steve Serby in the Post. The skipper says R.A. Dickey would be his Opening Day starter if, for some reason, Johan Santana was unable. As for his expectations for Santana, Collins said: "What our expectations are and what our hopes are, are two different things. What our expectations are, is we don’t have any. If he’s healthy, he’ll be successful. We have hopes we can run him out there 28 times, and if it’s more than that, we’re gonna be really good. If it’s a little less than that, we’re still gonna be better. Is he gonna throw 95? Probably not. He has great command and still has that presence."

• Post columnist Mike Vaccaro compares Collins to New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin. Writes Vaccaro:

In a very real way, Collins is like that other sporting skipper in town with the initials T.C. In Tom Coughlin’s early days with the Giants, much was made of "Coughlin Time," which meant if you were on time you were really five minutes late. “Collins Time” is less formal and it doesn’t really have a name. Players just understand that whatever the official reporting date is, you can alter that as early as you like. And every other important Met did that.

• McCullough in the Star-Ledger writes about Adam Loewen's conversion from pitcher to outfielder. Loewen and Mike Baxter currently are competing for a lefty-hitting outfield spot, although the Mets just as likely could bring in someone from outside the organization late in camp. Writes McCullough:

The Rick Ankiel you’ve never heard about treats his tale with a blend of humility and simplicity. Nearly a decade ago, the Baltimore Orioles selected Loewen with the fourth pick in the MLB Draft. Half a decade ago, after breaking into the majors, the bones in Loewen’s left elbow separated and refused to reunite. He opted for another line of work -- converting into a position player after six years as a pitcher and a career mark of 8-8 with a 5.38 ERA.

Andrew Keh in the Times profiles center-field prospect Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who is returning after missing the latter part of last season at Triple-A Buffalo following shoulder surgery. "There's no doubt this is an important spring for him because of the situation we’re looking at, with us in desperate need of guys who can play outfield," Collins told Keh. "We're going to give him a lot of playing time. He's going to get plenty of chances to prove himself."

TRIVIA: Which player in Mets big league camp has a father who coaches a college baseball team?

(Saturday's answer: Valentino Pascucci had the most RBIs by a Buffalo Bison in 2011, with 91.)

Mets morning briefing 7.28.11

July, 28, 2011
Carlos Beltran is set to debut for San Francisco in Philadelphia on Thursday at 7:05 p.m., while the Mets aim for their first-ever four-game sweep in Cincinnati in a 12:35 matinee minus their former star. The Mets will attempt to match their season high by moving three games over .500. They were last at that level on July 8, at 46-43.

Thursday's news reports:

• The Mets will receive 21-year-old right-hander Zack Wheeler in the deal, and pick up $4 million of the remaining $6.4 million owed to Beltran, according to ESPN's Buster Olney. Wheeler was the sixth overall pick in the 2009 draft out of high school in Dallas, Ga. (View bio/career stats here.) He was 7-5 with a 3.99 ERA, and with 98 strikeouts and 47 walks in 88 innings over 16 starts, for high-A San Jose this season. The comparable level would be St. Lucie in the Florida State League.

• columnist Ian O'Connor catches up with the Wheeler family. Brother Adam Wheeler, a 13th-round pick in 2001, spent four seasons as a Yankees minor leaguer, compiling a 4-5 record and 2.71 ERA in 32 games (nine starts), all at the Class A level. Adam recalled getting into a brawl with the Mets-affiliated Brooklyn Cyclones back in '03. The Cyclones roster that year included Matt Lindstrom and Brian Bannister. Writes O'Connor:

"Zack is going to handle New York just fine," his father Barry said by phone. "Adam lived with two roommates in a small one-bedroom apartment in Staten Island and he loved it and thrived in New York, and his personality is similar to his brother's. Zack is low key and laid back, but he's really looking forward to this. He's already packing his bags. He thought it would be cool to be in a rotation with (Tim) Lincecum and (Matt) Cain someday, but when I talked to him about the trade he said he thinks this could be a quicker path to the majors." Barry Wheeler said his son's fastball topped out this year at 98 miles per hour. It's no mystery why the Mets wanted him, and why the Giants would've preferred to send a different prospect east.

John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle revisits Beltran and Jose Reyes flying from San Francisco to Arizona with the Giants contingent, including manager Bruce Bochy, for the All-Star Game. Writes Shea:

Bochy not only chose Beltran over Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen for the initial All-Star roster but told Beltran aboard the plane that he'd be in the NL lineup as the designated hitter. The two also spoke of what they had in common: playing for the Astros. Beltran's brief time in Houston in 2004 intrigues the Giants -- how he was a free-agent-to-be (just like now) and traded to a contender to be a difference-maker (just like now).

Lucas Duda will be the primary right fielder in Beltran's absence, Terry Collins said. Read more in Newsday, Post and Daily News.

Mike Nickeas is set to join the Mets as a third catcher, at least until Nick Evans is eligible to return in 10 days.

• Beltran will bat third for the Giants, followed in the cleanup spot by Pablo Sandoval, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle writes.

Willie Harris says Ya Gotta Believe (still) in the Mets. Harris told teammates pregame Wednesday in the training room that the Mets could rally to make the playoffs, then knock out Beltran's San Francisco Giants in October. "I mean, how cool would that be?" Harris asked. "We trade our best hitter and then we send him home. That would be pretty cool. We keep playing good, we might sneak in there. Who knows?" Read more in the Post.

• Post columnist Joel Sherman said the front office deftly found homes for Francisco Rodriguez and Beltran, with better results than could have been foreseen in spring training, when K-Rod was trying to rehab his image following legal troubles and Beltran's knees were suspect. Complicating the Beltran trade, Sherman noted, was Beltran had no-trade rights and wanted to go to San Francisco or Philadelphia. Writes Sherman:

Both were viewed as overpaid, disgruntled employees coming back from significant injuries. Heck, Beltran played three exhibition games in total and K-Rod had a vesting option for 2012 that made his contract status appear one of the ugliest in the game. The duo was just going to be money spent poorly, a lasting memory of a failed regime gone by. Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo, but with better pedigree and a place on the 25-man roster. But, motivated perhaps by their potential walk years, Rodriguez and Beltran performed very well as Mets. And general manager Sandy Alderson’s administration capitalized on that, turning two players who were not in future plans into money saved and prospects added. It is not the kind of win for which Mets fans yearn. Yet it should not be minimized as victories go, especially if you have perspective of how little Rodriguez and Beltran were worth just four months ago.

• Newsday columnist Ken Davidoff also applauds the deal. Writes Davidoff:

It was a festive mood at Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse late Tuesday night, according to one guest, as Carlos Beltran treated a huge party of Mets -- 25 to 30 people -- to what amounted to a farewell dinner. Beltran knew his time with the Mets was coming to an end, yet he wasn't sure where he'd go. He smiled as he said of Sandy Alderson and company, "They're trying to work the teams against each other." Beltran nailed the commentary, and the Mets nailed the trade, successfully dealing Beltran (and $4 million) to San Francisco in return for highly regarded minor-league pitcher Zack Wheeler.

• Daily News columnist John Harper said sources saying the Mets would not get a top-notch prospect for Beltran proved incorrect. Writes Harper:

Alderson isn't desperate to be on the fringe of a wild-card race. Quite the contrary, he understood that if these Mets are going to have a real shot at winning a championship, trading Carlos Beltran represented an opportunity that couldn't be passed up. And from all appearances, Alderson made the most of it. Certainly that was the reaction from baseball people Wednesday after word leaked that the Mets had pried Zack Wheeler away from the Giants -- including one major league scout who had all but guaranteed to me only a few days ago that Beltran wouldn't bring back a blue-chip prospect. "I'm impressed, I have to admit," the same veteran scout said Wednesday. "You just don't get a kid like this, especially a pitcher, for a rental in this day and age when everyone holds onto their prospects for dear life."

• Read trade news stories in the Record, Times, Newsday, Post and Star-Ledger.

Johan Santana is due to make his first minor league rehab start on Thursday at 6:30 p.m., for Class A St. Lucie ahainst the Daytona Cubs. Santana is due to throw 45 pitches.

• Former clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels has a scheduled court date Thursday, according to's Ian Begley. Newsday's Jim Baumbach tweets it should just be procedural, writing:

I'm told attorney for former Mets clubhouse manager Charlie Samuels will ask judge today for more time to go over evidence, which is common.

• Read game stories in the Record, Newsday, Times, Daily News and Star-Ledger.

BIRTHDAY: Savannah right-hander Guillaume Leduc, born in Quebec, turns 24.



Daniel Murphy
.289 9 57 79
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187