New York Mets: Buddy Carlyle
The New York Mets don't hit many of them at home, and they gave up two to the Colorado Rockies on Monday night. But a ninth-inning rally off ex-Met LaTroy Hawkins gave the Mets a 3-2 win.
Travis d'Arnaud began the rally with a leadoff double, the Mets' fourth double of the night. Curtis Granderson followed with a game-tying triple, the Mets' second triple. Wilmer Flores followed with a sacrifice fly to center field.
The Mets didn't hit any home runs, and they haven't homered twice in the same game at home since July. Their opponents have had seven multihomer games at Citi Field since then.
But who needs home runs when you have four doubles and two triples?
Nice start for Niese: Last week in Miami, Jonathon Niese became the first Mets pitcher in 14 years to allow six run on 10 hits and get a win. Monday, he became just another Mets pitcher to fail to win because the offense struggled. Niese went 6 2/3 innings and allowed just one run, on a Michael Cuddyer home run in the second, but he left a 1-1 tie because the Mets managed only three hits off Rockies starter Jordan Lyles.
Another Lagares save: Juan Lagares is so good in center field that he doesn't often need to leave his feet to make a catch that ends up on a highlight tape. But he can dive to catch a ball, and he did exactly that to rob Nolan Arenado and save Niese with a runner on first base and one out in the first inning.
And an assist to Carlyle: Niese allowed a leadoff double to DJ LeMahieu in the seventh inning, but the Rockies didn't score. Niese got two ground-ball outs, and when manager Terry Collins went to the bullpen for Buddy Carlyle, Carlyle struck out Josh Rutledge to end the threat.
Black is back: The Mets activated Vic Black from the disabled list before Monday's game. Black, who missed two weeks with a herniated disk in his neck, hung an 0-2 curveball to Arenado, the first batter he faced.
Recognize these names? The Rockies are playing without their two biggest stars, Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, both out for the season with injuries. They've spent most of the past three months without Cuddyer, too, and the Mets and Niese wish he had missed at least one more game.
Cuddyer came off the disabled list Monday, and his second-inning home run off Niese tied the game at 1-1.
Small "crowd": With school back in session and with the New York Giants opening their season on "Monday Night Football," the Mets and Rockies played before what had to be one of the smallest gatherings in Citi Field history. The Mets' announced attendance was 21,710, and possibly two or three of those numbers actually reflected the number of people in the ballpark.
What's next: Jacob deGrom (7-6, 2.79) makes his 20th big league start Tuesday night against the Rockies. Right-hander Christian Bergman (2-2, 5.23) starts for Colorado.
Three errors in the inning later -- two committed by Familia -- the Marlins had scored three runs despite producing only one hit en route to a 9-6 win against the Mets.
One run scored on a wild pitch by Familia. Another came when he fielded a comebacker and fired wide to the plate.
Erik Goeddel eventually entered in his major league debut. He issued a walk to Giancarlo Stanton with first base open to load the bases, then forced in a run by walking Casey McGehee.
The Mets committed six errors in the game, one shy of matching the franchise record. It marked their most since also committing six in an 18-9 loss at Colorado on April 27, 2012, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Mets have allowed at least one unearned run in six of their last 11 games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. They surrendered five unearned runs Monday.
It’s a first: Rookie Dilson Herrera had a big day at the plate and two-error game at second base.
Herrera’s two-run triple against Sam Dyson in the sixth staked the Mets to a 6-5 lead.
Earlier, Herrera produced his first major league homer -- a solo shot to open what became a four-run third inning against Henderson Alvarez as the Mets pulled ahead, 4-2.
Herrera, 20, became the fifth-youngest player to homer for the Mets. Only Jose Reyes, Jose Oquendo, Greg Goossen and Ed Kranepool had gone deep while younger.
Herrera did commit two errors, giving him three in four games.
He booted a two-out grounder from Garrett Jones in the third inning, although Zack Wheeler bailed Herrera out and left the bases loaded that inning by striking out Marcell Ozuna.
Then, making a hurried throw in the sixth after fielding Adeiny Hechavarria’s bunt, Herrera tossed the ball into the stands. He should have held the baseball, with Hechavarria comfortably safe. The misthrow allowed Hechavarria to advance to second base as the potential tying run. Christian Yelich eventually followed with an RBI single against Carlos Torres that evened the score at 6.
Oh, captain: As Wheeler’s pitch count climbed upward, Terry Collins tried to get him through five innings and qualified for a win. Instead, David Wright committed a one-out error in the fifth and three unearned runs charged to Wheeler subsequently scored as Miami took a 5-4 lead.
With the Mets ahead 4-2 and two outs in the fifth, McGehee delivered an RBI double against Wheeler. Then, on his 114th and final pitch, Wheeler surrendered a game-tying RBI single to Jones. Buddy Carlyle entered and allowed an inherited runner to score on Ozuna’s single.
Wheeler’s line in what became a no-decision: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 1 HBP, 1 HR.
It marked Wheeler’s shortest start since lasting two innings at Oakland on June 25. He had been 2-0 with a 1.04 ERA in five previous career starts against the Marlins.
Ouch: After surrendering a bases-loaded single to Wright in the third, Alvarez departed with a strained left oblique. Three runs scored on the play, including the runner from first after Ozuna threw the ball from center field into the home dugout.
MVP? Stanton opened the game’s scoring by belting a first-inning homer against Wheeler. Stanton now leads the National League with 34 homers and 99 RBIs.
Looks familiar: Ex-Met Jordany Valdespin walked as a pinch hitter in the sixth in his first plate appearance against his former club.
What’s next: Jonathon Niese (7-10, 3.48 ERA) opposes right-hander Brad Penny (1-0, 5.40) on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m.
Bartolo Colon surrendered six runs in 5 1/3 innings, and the Mets suffered a 7-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday at Citi Field in the 1,500th major league game managed by Terry Collins.
The Mets dropped to 63-73, which makes it mathematically impossible to reach the win total Sandy Alderson ambitiously articulated to team personnel during an internal spring training meeting.
The last-place Phillies (62-73) returned to within a half-game of the Mets, which sets up a battle for fourth place in Sunday’s final 2014 meeting between the clubs.
Colon had limited the Phillies to one hit until ex-Met Marlon Byrd, on his 37th birthday, opened the fifth with a homer that broke a scoreless tie. Byrd notched his career-high 25th homer and surpassed last year’s previous high, which he produced while with the Mets (21) and Pittsburgh Pirates (three).
An inning later, Philadelphia took a 6-0 lead. Colon surrendered singles to six of the first seven batters -- including a two-run single to Ryan Howard -- and departed. Buddy Carlyle entered and immediately surrendered an RBI single to Cody Asche for the sixth and final run charged to Colon.
The Mets, who had been limited to one hit through six innings, finally mounted a threat in the seventh. Wilmer Flores delivered an RBI single, and Juan Lagares walked with the bases loaded to force in a run. However, left-hander Antonio Bastardo entered and struck out Curtis Granderson to leave the bases loaded and preserve a 6-2 lead.
It’s a hit! Dilson Herrera notched his first major league hit with a seventh-inning single that loaded the bases with one out and chased Phillies starter Jerome Williams. Herrera finished 1-for-3 with a walk in his second major league game.
What’s next: Dillon Gee (5-6, 3.77 ERA) opposes A.J. Burnett (7-14, 4.30) on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. in the final meeting between the clubs this season. The Mets, who are 12-6 against Philadelphia in 2014, can match their most wins ever against the Phillies in a single season. The Amazin’s went 13-5 against Philadelphia in 1970, ’71, ’72 and ’87.
FIRST PITCH: Their anemic hitting already has reached historic levels. And things get no easier for the Mets as they shift coasts to California.
The Mets are due to face All-Stars Scott Kazmir on Tuesday and Jeff Samardzija on Wednesday in Oakland. After a day off, the Amazin’s then draw expected NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw to open a weekend series at Dodger Stadium, followed by Dan Haren and Kevin Correia.
“We know going into Oakland and L.A., obviously we’re going to face good pitching,” David Wright said.
The Mets have now failed to exceed four hits in any of their past five games -- a franchise record. The last major league team to have a streak that long was the 2002 Mets.
If that streak continues against Kazmir and the A’s on Tuesday, the Mets will become the first MLB team since 1900 to have a single-season streak of six games producing four hits or fewer in each, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Also on the negative front: Despite splitting a four-game wraparound series with the Chicago Cubs, the Mets produced a total of 16 hits. That’s the fewest hits by a team in a four-game series in MLB since May 2-5, 2008, when the Chicago White Sox also mustered 16 hits against the Toronto Blue Jays.
“There’s no easy answers,” Terry Collins said. “It’s not the workload. These guys are working. As a matter of fact, at this time of year maybe they’re swinging too much.”
Dillon Gee (4-5, 3.69 ERA) opposes Kazmir (13-5, 2.78) at 10:05 p.m. ET.
Collins implied that Daniel Murphy is due for a day off in Oakland. That would seem more likely to occur against the southpaw Kazmir. Murphy is 3-for-6 with a homer in his career against Samardzija, the ex-Cub.
Tuesday’s news reports:
• Bartolo Colon was scratched from Monday’s scheduled start against the Cubs and traveled to the Dominican Republic, where his mother died at age 63 after battling breast cancer. Gonzalez Germen will join the Mets on the West Coast while Colon is placed on bereavement leave, which may last three to seven days. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger, Newsday and at MLB.com.
• Wright took batting practice in a cage early Monday and convinced Collins to place him in the lineup. Wright, after missing one game with a bruised left shoulder, went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in his return. Postgame, Wright denied the shoulder issue that initially arose on a headfirst slide on June 12 was hindering his substandard production. Read more in the Times, Post, Star-Ledger and Newsday.
• Carlos Torres tossed five scoreless innings as an emergency fill-in for Colon. However, once he departed, Dana Eveland surrendered an RBI single to Luis Valbuena in the sixth as Chicago evened the score. Anthony Rizzo had a tiebreaking solo homer in the eighth against Buddy Carlyle and Javier Baez had a two-run shot against Jenrry Mejia in the ninth and the Cubs ultimately beat the Mets, 4-1, Monday at Citi Field.
Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Times, Journal and at MLB.com.
• Daisuke Matsuzaka, who will not activated from the disabled list with Colon going on bereavement leave, instead will make his third rehab start on Thursday. Matsuzaka is scheduled to pitch for the Brooklyn Cyclones at MCU Park against the Staten Island Yankees.
• The Cyclones host the New York-Penn League All-Star Game on Tuesday. Brooklyn’s representatives include left-hander Shane Bay, right-handers Marcos Molina and Corey Oswalt, shortstop Amed Rosario, third baseman Jhoan Urena and outfielder Michael Bernal.
• Bobby Abreu went 1-for-4 with a walk and RBI in his return to Triple-A, but John Lannan was roughed up and Las Vegas lost at Omaha, 9-5. Travis Taijeron had four hits and five RBIs and Binghamton sliced its magic number to claim a playoff spot to three with an 11-4 win against Erie. Read the full minor-league recap here.
• A bone-marrow donor and recipient met for the first time at Citi Field, Kathryn Cusma and David K. Li write in the Post.
• From the bloggers … Faith and Fear offers a public service announcement of sorts.
BIRTHDAYS: Pitcher-turned-broadcaster Ron Darling turns 54. ... Ex-Mets left-hander Chris Capuano is 36. ... Among Mets minor leaguers, Flabio Ortega is 24 and Ismael Tijerina is 25.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: Will the Mets exceed four hits on Tuesday?
@AdamRubinESPN At least the Mets are good at being 1st in something!!!— linda wolf@MetsMom31 (@lindawolf12) August 18, 2014
After being limited to four hits by Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks and two relievers, the Mets (59-67) became the first major league team in a decade to produce four hits or fewer in five straight games.
The last team to do it?
The 2004 Mets.
The Mets’ current streak of hitting futility actually matches the franchise record. In addition to ’04, the 1963 Mets also went five straight games with four hits or fewer.
The Mets produced only 16 hits yet split this four-game series against the Cubs (54-70).
Buddy Carlyle surrendered a tie-breaking homer to Anthony Rizzo to open the eighth inning. It snapped the journeyman right-hander’s scoreless streak at 13 innings, the longest by a Mets reliever this season.
Who needs rest? Subbing for Bartolo Colon, who flew to the Dominican Republic to be with his gravely ill mother, Carlos Torres tossed five scoreless innings in his first start since last Sept. 27.
Torres became the fourth pitcher in franchise history to make a start on no days of rest. He joined Dan Wheeler (2004), Kevin Kobel (1979) and Craig Anderson (1962).
In an 86-pitch effort, Torres limited the Cubs to three hits and two walks while striking out six. He faced a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the fourth, but fanned Welington Castillo to escape.
Torres suffered a no-decision when Dana Eveland allowed a leadoff double to Rizzo and a one-out RBI single to Luis Valbuena in the sixth inning that evened the score at 1.
On the leaderboard: Lucas Duda's solo homer in the fourth inning against Hendricks opened the scoring. Duda upped his career high to 22 homers. He ranks fifth in the National League, trailing Giancarlo Stanton (32), Rizzo (28), Marlon Byrd (23) and Justin Upton (23).
Shouldering the load: After getting struck in his balky left shoulder Saturday and departing after six innings, then missing Sunday’s game, David Wright returned to the lineup. The captain went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
Black Monday: Vic Black stranded two runners in the eighth inning. He has now prevented 21 straight inherited runners from scoring. That’s the longest streak by a Mets reliever this season.
Passing fancy: Travis d'Arnaud had his 12th passed ball, matching the Rockies' Wilin Rosario for the most in the majors.
Pitching in: Jonathon Niese pinch-hit for Torres with two outs and none on in the bottom of the fifth and grounded out. Niese became the first Mets pitcher to appear as a pinch-hitter since Jacob deGrom on May 30 in Philadelphia. deGrom struck out in the 14th inning in that game.
What’s next: The Mets fly to Oakland for a two-game series, and the challenge for their hitters does not get any easier. Dillon Gee (4-5, 3.69 ERA) opposes old friend Scott Kazmir (13-5, 2.78) at 10:05 p.m. ET on Tuesday. Jeff Samardzija starts for the A's on Wednesday.
Kazmir got roughed up at Citi Field on June 24, allowing a season-high seven runs in three innings, including homers to Curtis Granderson, Chris Young and d’Arnaud. Manager Terry Collins implied Daniel Murphy will be given the day off Tuesday. Murphy snapped an 0-for-12 drought with a leadoff double in the ninth. He went 5-for-28 on the homestand.
Vic Black bailed the Mets out of a precarious predicament in the seventh, and the Amazin’s held on to beat the Chicago Cubs 7-3 on Saturday at Citi Field.
Jonathon Niese had cruised into the seventh with a six-run lead, having only allowed a Welington Castillo solo homer, when things quickly cratered.
Justin Ruggiano led off with a homer, and the next four batters singled. By the time Niese departed, the Cubs had pulled within four runs, and the bases remained loaded, still with none out.
Black rescued the Mets.
He coaxed a fly out to left field from Chris Coghlan, and the runners decided to hold. Black then got Javier Baez and Anthony Rizzo to pop out in the infield to preserve the 7-3 lead.
Black has now stranded 19 straight inherited baserunners.
Oh captain: Eric Campbell replaced David Wright at third base for the seventh inning, a half-inning after the captain was drilled by a pitch from Cubs starter Dan Straily in the left shoulder blade. The Mets labeled the injury shoulder soreness.
Early lead: After Wilmer Flores drove in two runs with a single to stake the Mets to a 3-0 lead in the second, Straily retired 12 straight batters in his Cubs debut. Things then unraveled for the former Oakland Athletics right-hander in what became a four-run sixth, despite the Mets' producing only one hit in the frame.
With one out, Straily drilled Wright, walked Lucas Duda, surrendered a single to Travis d'Arnaud and walked Matt den Dekker to force in a run and give the Mets a 4-1 lead.
Cubs manager Rick Renteria pulled Straily at that point.
Kyuji Fujikawa inherited loaded bases and immediately experienced a letdown behind him. Center fielder Arismendy Alcantara had Juan Lagares' line drive glance off his glove for a sacrifice fly and E-8, as two runs scored. After an intentional walk to Flores with first base open, Niese followed with a run-scoring groundout, and the Mets grabbed a 7-1 lead.
Buddy! Buddy Carlyle tossed a scoreless ninth to extend his scoreless-innings streak to 11 1/3 innings.
What’s next: Rafael Montero makes his second and potentially final start as a sub for Jacob deGrom at 1:10 p.m. Sunday. Montero (0-3, 6.12 ERA) opposes right-hander Jake Arrieta (6-4, 2.77).
DeGrom is due to throw off a mound Sunday and, if all goes according to plan, should return Saturday at Dodger Stadium.
Montero allowed homers to Bryce Harper, Anthony Rendon and Ian Desmond and was charged with five runs in five innings Tuesday against the Washington Nationals in the rookie’s return to the majors. He also made four major league starts in May.
Jacob deGrom (4-5, 3.01 ERA) looks to continue his stellar rookie campaign. DeGrom has produced a 1.59 ERA over his past six starts. He has allowed only two runs in 21 innings over his past three starts.
DeGrom opposes right-hander Jimmy Nelson (1-1, 5.06) in the 2:10 p.m. ET finale.
The Mets are 4-5 on their trip to San Diego, Seattle and Milwaukee.
Sunday’s news reports:
• Milwaukee overcame a two-run deficit with three runs in the fifth against Jonathon Niese and ultimately beat the Mets, 5-2, on Saturday at Miller Park. A displeased Niese was lifted for a pinch hitter in the sixth.
Chris Young started over slumping Juan Lagares and had two doubles. However, Young also had Mark Reynolds' leadoff single drop in front of him in the fifth. If caught, Niese may have escaped that inning unscathed.
The Mets have scored three runs or fewer in eight straight games. If they fail to exceed three runs on Sunday, it will match the franchise’s longest streak since going nine straight games in August 2012.
Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Times, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and at MLB.com.
• Daisuke Matsuzaka landed on the disabled list Saturday with inflammation in his pitching elbow. Doctors will need for the inflammation to subside before making a proper diagnosis. Terry Collins expects more than a 15-day absence for Matsuzaka. Buddy Carlyle rejoined the Mets. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Daily News, Newsday and at MLB.com.
• How inefficient have the Mets been in spending money? Well, since 2000, only the Kansas City Royals, Chicago Cubs and Baltimore Orioles were less efficient, according to an analysis at fivethirtyeight.com. During the 15-year period, the Mets overpaid by $564.3 million for their win total, the study found. The Oakland Athletics set the standard, getting $1.376 billion in extra value compared to what the average MLB dollar buys in terms of wins.
• After being promoted to Triple-A to replace Darin Gorski (broken foot), Matt Bowman dominated Salt Lake on Saturday. Bowman took a scoreless effort into the eighth inning, although he ultimately was charged with three runs (two earned) after a pair of runners he turned over to the bullpen scored. Dilson Herrera had a three-run homer and drove in four runs as Binghamton beat Trenton, 10-7. Will Fulmer’s two-run single helped lift Brooklyn past Vermont, 3-2. After undergoing surgery on a thumb ligament, Wilfredo Tovar has returned to action in the Gulf Coast League. Read the full minor-league recap here.
• Mike Gavin in Newsday unearths the origins of Mets and Yankees players’ walk-up music. Writes Gavin:
Zack Wheeler recently felt that it was time to change his warm-up music. So he tracked down a scoreboard employee and requested "Purple Haze" by Hendrix.
"I like something that pumps me up," he said. "Some guys, they like it to settle them down, but I like it to get me going."
• Anthony Recker gives restaurant tips for NL cities to Jared Diamond in the Journal.
• Ex-Met (and ex-Brave) Tom Glavine will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday. Glavine went 61-56 with a 3.97 ERA in 164 starts over five seasons with the Mets. Also being inducted: Greg Maddux, Frank Thomas and managers Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre. Torre produced a 286-420 record while managing the Mets from 1977 through 1981.
Anthony McCarron in the Daily News chats with Torre about how he became Mets manager.
• Mary Kay Linge in the Post has a first-person account of participating in the Citi Field sleepover.
• John Lannan is due make his season debut with Las Vegas on Monday. Lannan had a 6.75 ERA in six starts with St. Lucie after rejoining the organization following a seven-week absence for a “personal reason.”
• Troy Tulowitzki is headed to Philadelphia … for a visit with a doctor, writes Nick Groke in the Denver Post.
• From the bloggers … Faith and Fear delves into Mets fans’ intuition.
BIRTHDAYS: First base coach Tom Goodwin turns 46.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: Should Chris Young start the series finale after producing two doubles on Saturday?
Oh sure, now Chris Young wants to hit a double. #Mets— Irish Brute (@MrMickToYou) July 27, 2014
“He’s not going to be back in 15 days,” manager Terry Collins said. “He needs to rest the elbow. The inflammation really needs to subside to get a better idea of what’s going on. It’ll be at least seven to 10 days without throwing and then we’ll have more to say after that.”
The Mets have summoned right-handed reliever Buddy Carlyle from Triple-A Las Vegas. Carlyle had cleared waivers this week and accepted an assignment to the minors after Jonathon Niese had been activated from the DL on Monday.
Matsuzaka pitched two innings in relief in Thursday's series opener in Milwaukee, but looked uncomfortable in the dugout after the second frame. He had been dispatched to a bullpen role this week with Niese's return.
Matsuzaka is 3-3 with a 3.87 ERA. He has one save in 19 relief appearances and started nine games. He made his first relief appearance since June 17 in Seattle on July 21.
Nothing has been said about surgery, according to Collins.
FIRST PITCH: After stops in San Diego and Seattle, the Mets now move further east as they begin a four-game series against the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday night at Miller Park.
Milwaukee is coming off a sweep of the Cincinnati Reds.
Dillon Gee (4-2, 2.92 ERA) opposes right-hander Matt Garza (6-7, 4.04) in the 8:10 p.m. ET series opener.
Read the Mets-Brewers series preview here.
Thursday’s news reports:
• Bartolo Colon retired the first 20 batters he faced before surrendering a seventh-inning single to Robinson Cano and the Mets held on to beat the Mariners, 3-2, in Wednesday’s rubber game. The Mets are very open to dealing Colon before next Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline, although they will need to locate a partner willing to accept the $11 million he is owed next season. Because of the size of Colon’s contract, he likely will remain eligible to be traded in August.
Read game recaps in the Seattle Times, Post, Daily News, Times, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday, Journal and at MLB.com.
• Ruben Tejada was beaned by a fastball from Mariners rookie Taijuan Walker in the fifth inning. Terry Collins said Tejada displayed no concussion symptoms and indicated no roster move was forthcoming. Tejada accompanied the team on its flight to Milwaukee. Still, Eric Campbell may start the series opener in Milwaukee at shortstop to give Tejada one day off. It would mark Campbell’s first major league start at shortstop, and his fifth professional game overall -- majors or minors -- at the position. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.
• Under-the-weather Curtis Granderson missed a second straight game Wednesday. It is not yet clear if he will be available for the series opener against the Brewers because of continued flu-like symptoms.
• Columnist John Harper in the Daily News suggests Troy Tulowitzki is not a fit for the Yankees or the Mets. "[Sandy] Alderson’s priority has been building depth into the farm system," a GM told Harper. "So he wouldn’t give up multiple prospects, especially for that type of risk, regardless of whether ownership would take on the contract -- which seems unlikely."
• Right-handed reliever Buddy Carlyle, who lost his major league roster spot when Jonathon Niese was activated from the disabled list on Monday, cleared waivers and accepted an assignment to Las Vegas.
• Steven Matz allowed two runs in seven innings and Binghamton beat Portland, 4-2. Rob Whalen earned the win in his first Savannah start since May 1 as the Gnats beat Augusta, 7-2. Dale Burdick’s sacrifice fly broke an eighth-inning tie and the GCL Mets won, 9-6, against the GCL Nats. Read the full minor-league recap here.
BIRTHDAYS: Las Vegas reliever Miguel Socolovich turns 28.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: Is 3-3 acceptable through two legs of the road trip?
Rather have had Cano break it up than someone like Paul Hoover #mets— Joe Malloy (@saffir_99) July 23, 2014
Keith Torrie/Getty ImagesDavid Wright made his major league debut in this July 21, 2004 game against the Montreal Expos at Shea Stadium. He went 0-for-4.
FIRST PITCH: The captain celebrates an anniversary on Monday.
David Wright made his major league debut on July 21, 2004 against the Montreal Expos at Shea Stadium, ending a revolving door at third base for the franchise.
The Mets’ lineup that day?
Jose Reyes, 2b
Kazuo Matsui, ss
Ty Wigginton, 1b
Cliff Floyd, lf
Richard Hidalgo, rf
Mike Cameron, cf
Vance Wilson, c
Jae Weong Seo, rhp
Wright had been drafted by the organization three years earlier with a compensatory pick (38th overall) for losing Mike Hampton as a free agent to the Colorado Rockies.
The Mets open an interleague series on Monday in Seattle at 10:10 p.m. ET. Jonathon Niese (5-4, 2.96 ERA) returns from the disabled list to face Cuban rookie left-hander Roenis Elias (7-8, 4.54).
The Amazin’s lone other trip to Safeco Field came in 2005.
The Mariners staff includes ex-Mets Howard Johnson, Chris Woodward and Jason Phillips.
Read the Mets-Mariners series preview here.
Monday’s news reports:
• Odrisamer Despaigne held the Mets hitless until Daniel Murphy produced a two-out double in the eighth. The Mets tied the score that inning on Wright’s RBI single. However, the Amazin’s lost, 2-1, in walk-off fashion when Josh Edgin stumbled on a chopper off the bat of Seth Smith and could not complete the out at first base in time. Zack Wheeler limited his opponent to one run and logged at least six innings for the fourth straight start. The Mets dropped eight games back in the NL East.
Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Times, Journal and at MLB.com.
• Read more on Wheeler in the Post.
• With Niese (shoulder strain) coming off the disabled list, Daisuke Matsuzaka is relocating to the bullpen and Buddy Carlyle was designated for assignment. Read more at MLB.com and in the Daily News.
• Although the Mets are receptive to trading Bartolo Colon, the buzz in San Diego was that no scouts were specifically there to see the veteran righty on Friday, signaling limited interest. Writes Mike Puma in the Post:
According to a source, as of Sunday the Mets had not yet received even a nibble on the 41-year-old right-hander, who is expendable because of the club’s starting-pitching depth. Over his last four starts, Colon is 0-3 with a 5.88 ERA. That comes after a strong June in which Colon helped carry the Mets rotation by going 4-1 with a 2.57 ERA.
• Columnist Michael Powell in the Times takes the Mets’ temperature.
• Wilmer Flores extended his hitting streak to 21 games and Rafael Montero allowed one run in four innings in his return to Triple-A following a left oblique strain, but Las Vegas lost to Salt Lake, 3-0. Brian Burgamy had two homers and Dustin Lawley also went deep in Binghamton’s 5-2 win against Trenton. John Gant took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning and Savannah ultimately swept Lexington in a doubleheader. Corey Oswalt tossed seven scoreless innings as Brooklyn blanked Williamsport, 6-0. Read the full minor-league recap here.
• There are no plans to promote Flores to the majors anytime soon, Terry Collins said. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Newsday.
• Bobby Abreu is expected to serve as the designated hitter for the final two games in Seattle.
BIRTHDAYS: Former Mets player and manager Mike Cubbage turns 64. He currently is a scout for the Tampa Bay Rays ... Mike Bordick is 49.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: Have the Mets eroded your optimism with their performance in San Diego?
I'll wait until after they blow both series with the Mariners + the Brewers before being convinced this is the typical post ASG slide #Mets— Ken Marston (@NeoBhagwan) July 20, 2014
Carlyle, 36, has produced a 1.29 ERA in five major league appearances this season.
He also was outrighted to Las Vegas on June 7 after clearing waivers. That time, Carlyle accepted the assignment to Triple-A.
Getty ImagesJon Niese's return means Daisuke Matsuzaka is headed to the bullpen.
The manager added that Daisuke Matsuzaka is now a reliever, although he will be on standby Monday in case Niese has an issue in his first game action since a 12-pitch effort on July 4. Niese officially has been on the DL with a left shoulder strain. The Fourth of July start separately was shortened by getting struck with a line drive in the lower back.
Matsuzaka opened the season in the bullpen, marking the first time in his career in that role. He has a 2.22 ERA and opponents are hitting only .145 in 17 relief appearances this season. Still, he has walked 19 in 24 1/3 innings in that role.
Collins met with Matsuzaka on Sunday morning to inform him of the decision. Matsuzaka is 2-3 with a 4.24 ERA in nine starts in 2014.
“I don’t feel it’s something to comment on. I’m just going to pitch where I’m told and it’s done,” Matsuzaka said through an interpreter in his lone remark about the reassignment.
Perhaps acknowledging at least a slight possibility that Bartolo Colon could be traded and Matsuzaka could reenter the rotation, Collins said: “I don’t have a crystal ball to tell you what’s going to happen in the next five or six days. I really don’t know. But, as of right now, he’s going to go to the bullpen. He did a great job for us there. He pitched very well as a starter. I said, ‘You fill a lot of holes for us.’ … I think he brings a real useful piece to our pitching staff.”
The Mets will need to make a roster move Monday to active Niese. Buddy Carlyle would appear most vulnerable.
FIRST PITCH: If the Mets want to be taken seriously in the second half, it sure would help to produce a win Sunday.
Zack Wheeler (5-8, 3.90 ERA) opposes Cuban right-hander Odrisamer Despaigne (2-1, 1.35) in the 4:10 p.m. ET rubber game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.
Wheeler allowed one run and pitched into the seventh inning in each of his final three first-half starts.
Sunday’s news reports:
• Dillon Gee surrendered a pair of solo homers and All-Star Tyson Ross tossed seven scoreless innings as the Padres beat the Mets, 6-0, Saturday at Petco Park. The Mets now trail the Braves and Nationals by seven games in the NL East. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record and at MLB.com.
• More than 250 folks spent Saturday night at Citi Field participating in a sleepover at the ballpark.
• Veteran San Diego sportswriter Bill Center deduced an interesting stat: Mets reliever Buddy Carlyle is the lone active major league player to have been a teammate of the late Tony Gwynn. Carlyle pitched for the Padres in 1999 and 2000.
• Andrew Brown had a go-ahead three-run homer in the eighth and Wilmer Flores extended his hitting streak to 20 games with an RBI single in the ninth as Las Vegas beat Salt Lake, 6-2. Phillip Evans drove in three runs with St. Lucie down to its final out and the Mets beat Brevard County, 8-6. Yoryi Nuez tossed six scoreless innings as Kingsport blanked Princeton, 3-0. First-round pick Michael Conforto went 1-for-4 with a sixth-inning single and run scored in his professional debut as Brooklyn beat Williamsport, 8-4. Read the full minor-league recap here.
• Read more on Conforto’s debut in the Daily News and Newsday.
• Jordany Valdespin returned to the majors with the Miami Marlins on Saturday. He batted second and played second base and went 1-for-4 in a loss to the San Francisco Giants. "This is an opportunity to bring up a guy who's been playing well in the minor leagues and hopefully can give us a little bit of a boost," Marlins manager Mike Redmond told Juan Rodriguez in the Sun-Sentinel. "Our offense has been sluggish, so we're looking for a guy that can hit at the top of the order, give us some good at-bats, get on base for the big boys and see if he can get us going a little bit."
• Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger looks at Travis d'Arnaud’s success since returning from Triple-A.
• Billy Witz in the Times looks at Sandy Alderson’s task as the trade deadline approaches.
BIRTHDAYS: No one to play for the Mets celebrates a birthday Sunday, but Gisele Bundchen, Sandra Oh and Chris Cornell all were born on this date.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
FIRST PITCH: If the Mets want to be relevant after the All-Star break, they better win -- if not sweep -- their next series.
The Atlanta Braves arrive at Citi Field for a four-game series having just had a nine-game winning streak snapped by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Despite picking up a game in the standings Sunday, the Mets still trail first-place Atlanta by 10 games (and the Washington Nationals by 9½ games) in the division.
Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-3, 3.72 ERA) opposes left-hander Mike Minor (2-5, 4.73) in Monday’s 7:10 p.m. opener.
Read the Mets-Braves series preview here.
The Mets were swept in three games last week at Turner Field. The Amazin’s squandered a two-run lead in the eighth inning last Monday when Jeurys Familia, Juan Lagares and Eric Campbell committed errors in an unsightly frame.
Catcher Taylor Teagarden is eligible to return from the disabled list for the series opener. The Mets have a few options: They can leave Teagarden on the DL, where he officially landed with a strained left hamstring two weeks ago. They can attempt to send him to the minors, although he would need to pass through waivers and also accept the assignment. Or they can demote Anthony Recker, who has an option remaining.
Of course, Recker homered Sunday.
The Mets essentially deferred the decision when Travis d'Arnaud was promoted by placing Teagarden on the DL, even though Teagarden had been getting treatment for that seemingly manageable hamstring issue for a considerable period.
Monday’s news reports:
• The Mets placed Jonathon Niese on the disabled list with a left shoulder strain before Sunday’s game and promoted right-handed reliever Buddy Carlyle. Dillon Gee is slated to be activated from the DL on Wednesday to make the start in Niese’s slot against the Braves.
Niese likely will miss only one start, since his DL stint will include the four-day All-Star break. He is eligible to return on July 20 -- the third game after the break, at San Diego.
Niese insisted he is uninjured. Still, Niese’s fastball topped out at only 86 mph in his 12-pitch start Friday against the Texas Rangers -- an outing that ended when he was struck on the “love handle” on his left side by Alex Rios’ line drive. Despite a solid 3.31 ERA, Niese’s fastball is averaging a career-low 88.6 mph this season, down from 90.2 mph in 2013.
Although the DL decision displeased Niese, even the southpaw had previously expressed hope that the All-Star break would allow his fastball to get recharged. Niese actually had wanted to come back early after Friday’s abbreviated outing and make two starts before the All-Star break.
He missed seven weeks last summer with a partial tear of his left rotator cuff.
Gee (3-1, 2.73) last pitched in the majors on May 10. He since has been on the disabled list with a strained right lat muscle. Gee made his final rehab start Friday with Brooklyn. He limited Aberdeen to one run on three hits and a walk and also hit a batter while striking out 10 in six innings. Gee logged 75 pitches. He then threw a bullpen session Sunday at Citi Field to further confirm his health before the Mets made the official announcement about Niese landing on the DL.
Read more in the Star-Ledger, Daily News, Newsday and at MLB.com.
David Wright and Niese were passed over for selection, although Niese would have been disqualified anyway because of the DL stint.
Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez topped the second-place Wright by 338,728 votes in fan balloting. It is only the second time in the past nine years that Wright has been left out of the game. The other instance came in 2011, when Wright missed two months with a stress fracture in his lower back.
This marks the first time since 2003 that the Mets have only one All-Star selection. That year, it was Armando Benitez. This time, no Mets were selected via the fan or player ballots, so Murphy was chosen by St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny, who will lead the NL squad.
Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.
• The Mets scored a season-high five first-inning runs, capped by Recker’s three-run homer, and beat the Rangers, 8-4, in Sunday’s rubber game. Zack Wheeler surrendered only a solo homer to Robinson Chirinos in 6 1/3 innings. Wheeler had been winless in his last nine starts at Citi Field, going 0-6 with a 4.65 ERA since an Aug. 20, 2013 victory.
Gonzalez Germen surrendered a pair of homers in a three-run eighth, forcing Terry Collins to insert Familia to protect a three-run lead. Germen could be vulnerable Wednesday when the Mets need to clear a roster spot for Gee’s activation. The alternative presumably would be to drop the newly added Carlyle.
Texas has lost 15 of 18.
Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Times, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.
• Prospects Wuilmer Becerra and Vicente Lupo were arrested by Kingsport, Tenn., police for allegedly drag racing at speeds in excess of 100 mph.
• The Brooklyn Cyclones held their “Salute to Seinfeld Night” on Saturday at MCU Park, on the 25th anniversary of the pilot episode, known as “The Seinfeld Chronicles,” having been broadcast on July 5, 1989. The festivities included players wearing puffy shirts during batting practice and a Keith Hernandez “magic loogie” bobblehead giveaway.
Hernandez and Jerry become friends, with Jerry spending much of his free time worrying about how he can impress Hernandez. Hernandez and Jerry's ex-girlfriend, Elaine, date, and meet Mets outfielder Mookie Wilson (unseen) in a local restaurant. The relationship breaks up when Elaine sees that Hernandez is a cigarette smoker.
The highlight is the mystery surrounding whether Hernandez spit on Kramer and his friend Newman, after the two yelled insults at the Mets first baseman, following another game the Mets blew (based on a game "Seinfeld" creator Larry David and friends attended in 1986).
Using the same principles regarding the "magic bullet" theory in the John F. Kennedy assassination, Jerry attempts to debunk the story. In the end, it's revealed that the spitter was actually Hernandez's teammate, Roger McDowell, who was getting revenge for Newman's spilling beer on him in the bullpen.
Mike Salfino in the Journal notes “Seinfeld” actually was far more Yankees- than Mets-oriented.
• Noah Syndergaard allowed one run on six hits while striking out eight and walking none in seven innings as Las Vegas routed Albuquerque, 12-1. Wilmer Flores homered for the sixth time in his last five games. Cesar Puello homered twice in his first game since June 23. He had been sidelined with a concussion.
Chase Huchingson allowed two runs in the top of the 10th and the B-Mets lost, 10-9, after leaving the bases loaded in the bottom half despite a hit by pitch and three walks to open the frame. Jorge Rivero drove in three runs and Matt Obserte homered as Savannah beat Hickory, 8-2. Carlos Valdez and Gaither Bumgardner combined on a two-hit shutout as Binghamton blanked Abderdeen, 7-0.
• Columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post suggests the Mets start making trades.
• Columnist David Lennon in Newsday acknowledges trading a pitching surplus could be shortsighted. Writes Lennon:
On paper, it's true -- the Mets have some pitching currency for the trade market. If not in the next three weeks, then certainly in the offseason. But you also can understand why Alderson might be leery of dealing from that deck. The fragile nature of pitchers, now more than ever, has made it crucial to have quantity as well as quality. If the Mets go the trade route, the pressure to pick the right chip can be cause for hesitation.
• Stephen Haynes in Newsday recaps Wheeler’s outing Sunday.
• From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear offers an appreciation of Murphy as the perfect All-Star selection from an inherently imperfect Mets team.
BIRTHDAYS: Third base coach and '86 Met Tim Teufel turns 56. ... Andy Green, now managing Double-A Mobile in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, is 37. ... Minor-league left-hander Alex Panteliodis, a ninth-round pick in 2011 out of the University of Florida, is 24.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: Will the Mets be represented by the correct All-Star selection in Minnesota on July 15?
Citi Field is leading all MLB stadiums in between-pitch sound effects for the sixth consecutive season.— Bob Waterman (@esbbob) July 6, 2014