New York Mets: Bruce Chen

Rapid Reaction: Royals 4, Mets 3 (12)

August, 3, 2013

NEW YORK -- David Aardsma, who blew Friday's save chance in the ninth inning while filling in for injured Bobby Parnell in the closer's role, served up the decisive blast a day later when summoned in extra innings.

Pinch-hitter Justin Maxwell homered to lead off the 12th and the Kansas City Royals beat the Mets, 4-3, Saturday afternoon at Citi Field.

The Mets have played 48 extra innings, passing Arizona (46) for the most in the majors this season. The major league record for a season is 82, by the 1918 Washington Senators, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Hail Satin: Josh Satin filled in fine for David Wright in the No. 3 spot in the lineup on Day 1 of the captain's absence with a right hamstring strain. Satin delivered a game-tying two-run single in the eighth against Royals reliever Aaron Crow, after Juan Lagares had stolen second base to join Andrew Brown in scoring position.

Satin entered the day hitless in his past 10 at-bats, after torrid production while playing regularly during Ike Davis' minor league stint.

The Mets had taken a 1-0 second-inning lead on Daniel Murphy's homer against ex-Met Bruce Chen.

The Royals answered with three runs the following half-inning against Jeremy Hefner.

George Kottaras opened the third with a homer. Chen, Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer then consecutively singled to load the bases with none out.

After Billy Butler struck out, Alex Gordon flirted with a grand slam, but the ball came up short of the right-field wall for a sacrifice fly. Miguel Tejada's two-out RBI single gave the Royals a 3-1 lead.

Hefner's line in a 110-pitch no-decision: 6 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 1 HR.

Chen retired the final nine Mets he faced and departed with the two-run lead intact for the seventh.

Everyday Pedro: Pedro Feliciano, active for two days, already has two appearances. With three straight lefty hitters due up, Feliciano entered for the eighth and consecutively retired Hosmer, Jarrod Dyson and Gordon.

Welcome back: Mike Baxter received his first major league plate appearance since June 9 when he led off the bottom of the 10th as a pinch hitter. He flied out to right field.

What's next: Zack Wheeler, originally scheduled for Tuesday's start, now will pitch on standard rest in Sunday's series finale. Wheeler (4-1, 3.55 ERA) opposes right-hander Ervin Santana (7-6, 3.03) at 1:10 p.m.

Morning Briefing: Wright hammy whammy

August, 3, 2013

Mike Stobe/Getty ImagesDavid Wright came up lame after legging out an infield single in the 10th inning.

FIRST PITCH: Terry Collins labeled Friday’s walk-off win “bittersweet.”

That is because despite beating the Kansas City Royals, 4-2, in 11 innings Friday night, the Mets lost captain David Wright to a right hamstring strain, leaving a struggling offense without its biggest weapon.

Wright will undergo an MRI today. A DL stint would appear likely.

Mike Baxter is due to join the club Saturday. That signals the Mets are content using Josh Satin and/or Justin Turner at third base in Wright’s absence.

Baxter had been demoted as part of the June 10 purge with Ike Davis and Robert Carson.

He hit .275 with five homers and 15 RBIs in 149 at-bats with Triple-A Las Vegas. During Baxter’s stint in the Pacific Coast League, his wife gave birth in New York to the couple’s first child, which should make the return to the big leagues a doubly happy event. Baxter also gives the Mets a lefty pinch hitter, which they lacked.

Meanwhile, because Carlos Torres was pressed into relief work in extra innings, Jeremy Hefner (4-8, 4.21 ERA) will move up to today’s 1:10 p.m. start on standard rest opposite left-hander Bruce Chen (4-0, 2.09). Zack Wheeler similarly will slide up to Sunday.

Saturday’s news reports:

Bill Kostroun/Associated PressLaTroy Hawkins delivered a pie to the face of Eric Young Jr. after the walk-off homer.

Eric Young Jr. delivered a walk-off two-run homer against Luis Mendoza as the Mets snapped Kansas City’s nine-game winning streak. Young produced his first homer as a Met. It was the first walk-off hit of Young’s career and the third walk-off homer by a Met this season, joining Jordany Valdespin against the Dodgers on April 25 and Kirk Nieuwenhuis against the Cubs on June 16.

Dillon Gee had taken a scoreless effort into the eighth inning before issuing a leadoff walk and departing with a two-run lead.

With Bobby Parnell unavailable perhaps through the weekend because of continued neck discomfort, David Aardsma was anointed the closer. Aardsma, who posted a combined 69 saves in 2009 and ’10 with the Seattle Mariners, suffered a blown save when he surrendered a ninth-inning run and failed to protect a 2-1 lead.

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

• Wright, who had been dealing with a hamstring injury since last weekend in D.C., left the game in obvious discomfort after legging out an infield single to begin the 10th inning. Wright had been downplaying the issue as a manageable cramp. “Most likely not all that good,” Collins said about Wright’s injury. Wright did not speak to the media postgame.

Wright had slugged a two-run homer in the first inning -- the 220th long ball of his career. That tied Wright with Mike Piazza for second on the Mets’ all-time homer list. Darryl Strawberry has a franchise-record 252.

Josh Edgin landed on the disabled list before Friday’s game with a hairline fracture of a rib on his left side, potentially ending his season. That paved the way for Pedro Feliciano to join the Mets.

Feliciano, who arrived in the fifth inning, entered into a pressure-packed situation in his first major league game since Oct. 2, 2010. After Aardsma blew the save, Feliciano inherited runners on the corners and two outs in a 2-2 game in the top of the ninth and coaxed a groundout from lefty-hitting Alex Gordon.

Feliciano underwent shoulder surgery and never appeared for the Yankees while collecting $8 million over the previous two seasons. He re-signed with the Mets during the offseason, but was idled during spring training because of a heart issue. Then, during the season while pitching for Class A St. Lucie and trying to build up his arm strength, Feliciano went home to Puerto Rico because his son briefly was hospitalized. Feliciano, 36, developed a type of food poisoning known as ciguatera from fish served by his mother. The ailment continued to torment him as he tried to resume pitching in the minors.

Feliciano, who made a franchise-record 92 appearances for the Mets in 2010, appeared in 22 minor league games this season across three levels before the promotion.

Read more in the Post and Star-Ledger.

Courtesy of New York MetsSavannah right-hander Matt Koch was struck in the head by a line drive and was hospitalized.

• Savannah right-hander Matt Koch, the organization’s third-round pick last year out of the University of Louisville, was struck in the head with a line drive off the bat of Greenville’s Mario Martinez to open the second inning last night and departed the game. He was to be hospitalized overnight.

Teammate Stefan Sabol tweeted: “Please pray for my teammate @mattykoch20 and his family! He was hit in the head by a line drive and I ask we pray for a speedy recovery!”

Koch did tweet: “Thank you everyone for your prayers. I'll be ok. Jus stayin in the hospital over night and havin more tests in the mornin then hopefully out”

Jonathon Niese is due to be at Citi Field today and should throw a between-starts bullpen session. Niese tossed four scoreless innings Thursday with Class A St. Lucie in his second rehab appearance as he returns from a partial tear of his left rotator cuff. Niese likely will be activated from the DL after one more rehab appearance, which he expects will be Tuesday with Brooklyn.

• Automotive businesses adjacent to Citi Field have received 30-day eviction notices -- meaning they have to vacate the area in the next month under eminent-domain laws. The business owners are not happy. View a WPIX channel 11 report here.

John Buck’s wife is overdue to give birth to the couple’s child. Because the Mets are now in New York, it is unclear if Buck actually will need paternity leave when the baby is born.

• Davis, after batting fourth and then fifth since his return from the minors, was dropped to seventh Friday. Davis went 3-for-3 with a walk -- although he did commit an error and avoided another when LaTroy Hawkins made a stellar play at first base to corral Davis’ off-the-mark flip. Davis might have been headed the bench today with the lefty Chen pitching, although Wright’s injury and Satin’s potential use at third base now makes that unclear.

• Jacob deGrom allowed four runs in six innings as Las Vegas lost at Nashville, 4-2. Greg Peavey took a no-hit bid one out into the sixth and Binghamton beat Harrisburg, 3-0. Lucas Duda went 3-for-3 with a homer and three RBIs and Alex Panteliodis tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings as St. Lucie blanked Clearwater, 4-0. Jared King drove in four runs and Patrick Biondi went 4-for-5 as Brooklyn beat Jamestown, 8-1.

• Wally Backman received a two-game suspension and Valdespin and Armando Rodriguez received three-game bans for their parts in a bench-clearing brawl earlier this week in Las Vegas. Valdespin’s pimping of a homer led to an exchange of hit-by-pitches -- the latter by Rodriguez to a Sacramento batter, which prompted the benches to clear. Backman completed his suspension last night. Rodriguez, now assigned to Double-A, and Valdespin have one game remaining.

• SNY will soon give away analyst Keith Hernandez's scorecard from each game he works, writes Neil Best in Newsday.

• Dave Caldwell in the Journal profiles Juan Lagares.

From the bloggers … John Delcos at Mets Report believes using Wheeler out of the bullpen at the end of the season would be a mistake. ... Faith and Fear in Flushing cannot conceive of the Royals as a Mets rival, not even for a weekend.

BIRTHDAYS: Mackey Sasser, who had the throwing yips as a catcher with the Mets, turns 51. He has served as the head coach at Wallace Community College in Dothan, Ala., for 17 seasons. … Kevin Elster is 49.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Were the Mets foolish to allow David Wright to play through a clear hamstring issue?

Series preview: Mets vs. Royals

August, 1, 2013

Getty ImagesThe Mets face (l to r) Wade Davis, Bruce Chen and Ervin Santana this weekend at Citi Field.
METS (48-58, fourth place/NL East) vs. KANSAS CITY ROYALS (54-51, third place/AL Central)

Friday: RHP Dillon Gee (7-8, 4.13) vs. RHP Wade Davis (5-9, 5.50), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Carlos Torres (1-2, 3.03) vs. LHP Bruce Chen (4-0, 2.09), 1:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (4-8, 4.21) vs. RHP Ervin Santana (7-6, 3.03), 1:10 p.m. ET

Royals short hops

• Kansas City has won nine straight games, the longest active streak in the majors. It is the franchise’s longest winning streak in a decade, since opening the 2003 season 9-0. The Royals nonetheless have not gained much ground in the AL Central because Detroit and Cleveland also are on big winning streaks.

• The Royals acquired outfielder Justin Maxwell from the Houston Astros at the trade deadline for Class A right-hander Kyle Smith. Maxwell, 29, was hitting .241 with two homers overall with Houston. He had a .302 average against left-handed pitchers.

Jesse Johnson/USA TODAY SportsJustin Maxwell made his Royals debut Thursday.

Maxwell made his Royals debut Thursday, going 1-for-3 with an RBI, run scored and walk while starting in right field. He primarily will see action against left-handed pitching and serve as a reserve.

• Maxwell took the roster spot of second baseman Chris Getz, who landed on the disabled list with a knee injury. Miguel Tejada started his fourth straight game at the position Thursday. Elliot Johnson also is an option at second base with Getz sidelined.

• Left-hander Bruce Chen started for the Mets in the first baseball game back in New York after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, in the game Mike Piazza belted the two-run homer in the eighth to lift the Mets to a 3-2 win against the Atlanta Braves. Chen limited Atlanta to one run in seven innings that day.

Now 36 years old, Chen has allowed only three runs in 18 innings and opponents have a .115 batting average over three starts since he entered the rotation. Chen had been working out of the bullpen before replacing ineffective Luis Mendoza earlier this month. Mendoza (2-5, 5.21 ERA) has moved to long relief.

• The Royals’ strong play leading into the trade deadline prompted the organization to hold onto free-agent-to-be Ervin Santana at the trade deadline.

Alex Gordon, who moved from third base to left field three years ago, was a first-time All-Star this season. His 45 RBIs lead major league leadoff men. Gordon has won two Gold Glove awards since the position change.

He was one of three Royals All-Stars. Closer Greg Holland and catcher Salvador Perez also represented K.C.

• Holland has converted 21 straight save chances, the third-longest streak in franchise history. Joakim Soria saved 36 straight in 2010. Jeff Montgomery saved 24 straight in 1993.

• 2012 All-Star Billy Butler is the first Royal to have at least a share of the team’s RBI lead for four straight seasons. However, the righty-hitting DH is likely to find himself on the bench this weekend in the NL ballpark. Royals manager Ned Yost indicated Thursday that lefty-hitting Eric Hosmer should start all three weekend games at first base over Butler, since the Mets are throwing three right-handed pitchers.

Hosmer has a team-best 36 multi-hit games and is hitting .296 (16-for-54) since the All-Star break.

Lorenzo Cain returned to center field Thursday after missing three games with a groin injury.

Jeff Francoeur was released by the Royals last month and eventually signed with the San Francisco Giants.

Wade Davis is coming off 7 1/3 scoreless innings against the Chicago White Sox. He was acquired from Tampa Bay last Dec. 9 with James Shields.

• George Brett resigned as co-hitting coach last week and returned to his front-office role as vice president of baseball operations. Brett had assumed the uniformed role alongside hitting coach Pedro Grifol when the Royals were 21-29.

• Kansas City last visited Queens in 2002.

Toxicology report -- bad MLB contracts

September, 25, 2012

US Presswire
Vernon Wells, Juan Uribe and Chone Figgins (l to r) are among the bloated contracts around Major League Baseball.
The Mets’ first task this offseason regarding Jason Bay, and for that matter Johan Santana, likely should be to see if any team has trade interest. A swap appears unlikely, though, even discounting the no-trade clause each possesses.

After all, Bay is hitting .155 with eight homers in 187 at-bats. And he is owed $19 million next season including a 2014 buyout, making it a toxic contract.

Similarly, Santana -- despite the June 1 no-hitter -- finishes the season on the DL after allowing six-plus runs in each of his final five starts. Santana is owed $31 million next season including a ’14 buyout.

Still, if the Mets were to find another team with toxic contracts to swap, who is logical? With the help of reporters around baseball, here’s a look …


Angels: “Oh, you've come to the right place,” our friend who covers the Angels says. “The Angels have the deadest of dead weight -- Vernon Wells. The Angels are paying Wells $21 million this year to be their fourth outfielder. They owe him $21 million more in 2013 and again in 2014.”

Blue Jays: Left fielder/first baseman Adam Lind (.240, 10 HR, 40 RBIs) is owed $5 million in 2013. With buyouts of option years, the minimum owed is $7 million. “He cleared waivers at one point this season and the Blue Jays would love to get rid of his contract -- even though it's unlikely that can happen,” a team observer said.

Braves: Second baseman Dan Uggla (.215, 19 HR, 73 RBIs) is owed $39 million over the next three seasons.

Cubs: Alfonso Soriano ($18 million apiece in 2013 and ’14) and Carlos Marmol ($9.8 million next season) are the remaining sizable contracts.

Dodgers: The Dodgers inherited Carl Crawford ($102.5 million through 2017) and Josh Beckett ($31.5 million through 2014) while acquiring Adrian Gonzalez, but both should contribute. The least-productive contract: Juan Uribe, who finally pinch hit Sunday after going unused for nearly a month. Uribe, with one year remaining, is still owed $8 million.

Mariners: Left fielder Chone Figgins (.183, 2 HR, 11 RBIs) is owed $8 million next season. Center fielder Franklin Gutierrez (.258, 4 HR, 14 RBIs) is owed $7.5 million in 2013 with a buyout of the following season. Says one observer: “Gutierrez has been hurt or sick for most of his deal and might produce if ever healthy. Figgins is literally dead weight.” Bay does live in the offseason in Seattle. And the combined $15.5 million owed to those two are close to Bay's $19 million.

Marlins: Heath Bell has two years, $18 million guaranteed remaining. He also has a $9 million option for 2015 based on games finished -- 55 the previous season or 100 combined in 2013 and '14. (The Mets have been down that route before.)

Pirates: Clint Barmes is signed for 2013 at $5.5 million. He's hitting .228/.266/.325 with eight homers.

Red Sox: John Lackey (12-12, 6.41 ERA) has two years left for a combined $30.5 million, with a 2015 club option at the major league minimum because of a preexisting elbow injury.

Twins: Nick Blackburn (4-9, 7.39 ERA) and middle infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka -- both relegated to the minors -- are under contract for 2013 and “practically sunken cost.” Blackburn is owed $5.5 million. Nishioka is owed $3.25 million including a 2014 buyout. The Twins likely would never trade Joe Mauer, despite him being owed $23 million annually through 2018.

Yankees: Alex Rodriguez to Flushing? Don't hold your breath. Still, A-Rod is owed $114 million over the next five seasons. Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia could emerge as bad contracts, with $90 million over four seasons and $119 million over five seasons owed, respectively.

(Read full post)



Daniel Murphy
.295 9 55 76
HRL. Duda 28
RBIL. Duda 86
RD. Murphy 76
OPSL. Duda .832
WB. Colon 14
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.49
SOZ. Wheeler 180