New York Mets: Carlos Lee

Series preview: Mets vs. Astros

August, 24, 2012

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Tony DeFrancesco (left) was named interim manager by first-year GM Jeff Luhnow (center), replacing fired Brad Mills (right).
METS (57-68, fourth place/NL East) vs. HOUSTON ASTROS (39-86, sixth place/NL West)

Friday: LHP Jon Niese (10-6, 3.82) vs. RHP Jordan Lyles (2-10, 5.70), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP R.A. Dickey (15-4, 2.82) vs. TBA, 1:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (2-5, 5.11) vs. RHP Lucas Harrell (10-9, 4.04), 1:10 p.m. ET

Astros short hops

Tony DeFrancesco became interim manager Sunday, replacing fired Brad Mills. DeFrancesco had been managing Triple-A Oklahoma City. First-year GM Jeff Luhnow also replaced hitting coach Mike Barnett with Ty Van Burkleo and first base coach Bobby Meacham with Dan Radison.

• This series marks the last meeting before the Astros move to the American League West in 2013. Houston is 307-256 against the Mets all time in the regular season.

The Mets beat the Astros, 4-2, in the 1986 NLCS -- taking the clinching Game 6 in 16 innings. The Mets trailed, 3-0, entering the ninth, with the prospect of facing ace Mike Scott in Game 7 looming. But the Amazin’s scored three runs in the ninth on RBIs from Mookie Wilson, Keith Hernandez and Ray Knight. After trading runs in the 14th, the Mets produced three runs in the 16th and held on, 7-6, when Jesse Orosco struck out Kevin Bass.

Bob Levey/Getty Images
All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve remains on an otherwise dismantled Astros roster.

• The Mets and Astros own the two worst second-half records in the National League. Houston is 6-33 since the All-Star break. The Mets are 11-28. Next: The Cubs are 14-24, followed by the Marlins at 16-25 and the Rockies and Brewers, each at 17-21.

• The Astros’ pre-trading deadline dismantling included:

July 4: Sent first baseman Carlos Lee to Miami for third baseman Matt Dominguez and left-hander Rob Rasmussen.

July 20: Traded right-handers Brandon Lyon and David Carpenter and left-hander J.A. Happ to Toronto for right-hander Francisco Cordero, outfielder Ben Francisco, right-hander Joe Musgrove, right-hander Asher Wojciechowski, left-hander David Rollins, catcher Carlos Perez and a player to be named.

July 21: Traded Brett Myers to the Chicago White Sox for right-hander Matt Heidenreich and left-hander Blair Walters.

July 24: Traded left-hander Wandy Rodriguez to Pittsburgh for left-hander Rudy Owens, outfielder Robbie Grossman and left-hander Colton Cain.

July 27: Claimed right-hander Chuckie Fick off waivers from St. Louis.

July 28: Claimed outfielder/first baseman Steve Pearce off waivers from Baltimore.

July 29: Sent third baseman Chris Johnson to Arizona for infielder Bobby Borchering and outfielder Marc Krauss.

• All-Star Jose Altuve leads NL second baseman in average at .304, two points ahead of Arizona’s Aaron Hill.

• Outfielder Fernando Martinez, who was claimed off waivers from the Mets on Jan. 11, was promoted from Triple-A on Aug. 10. During a June stint with the major league club, he landed on the disabled list for 18 days with a concussion. Martinez is 7-for-44 with the Astros this season, but he produced a .314 average with 13 homers and 62 RBIs in 341 at-bats for Oklahoma City.

Jordan Lyles is the youngest active starting pitcher in the majors. He was born Oct. 19, 1990. Toronto’s Henderson Alvarez (April 18, 1990) ranks second. Miami’s Nate Eovaldi (Feb.13, 1990) is third. The Astros have the youngest active roster overall, at an average age of 26.4. Kansas City (26.5) and Colorado (26.8) are next.

Lucas Harrell (10-9) has logged more innings than any NL rookie and ranks second in wins to Arizona’s Wade Miley (14-8).

• With 50-year-old Roger Clemens pitching for the independent Sugar Land Skeeters on Saturday, there is speculation he could appear with the Astros before the end of the season.

• Reliever Rhiner Cruz (1-1, 6.90 ERA), a Rule 5 selection from the Mets, appears poised to last the season with the Astros and become Houston’s property.

Last series results

Houston won, 3-0, at Minute Maid Park, April 30-May 2 (AP game recaps)

Astros 4, Mets 3: Jordan Schafer had two hits and scored twice, including the go-ahead run on a single by Jed Lowie in the eighth inning. More

Astros 6, Mets 3: Chris Snyder hit a three-run home run and Jed Lowrie had a two-run shot. Lowrie's homer, off Jon Niese, which hit the inside of the foul pole in left field in the first inning, got things going for the Astros. More

Astros 8, Mets 1:Chris Johnson homered in consecutive at-bats among his four hits and drove in a career-high six runs to back up another solid outing by Wandy Rodriguez. Johnson's first homer of the season, off Chris Schwinden (0-1), was a three-run shot to the Crawford Boxes in left field that put Houston up 3-0 in the second inning. More

Series preview: Mets vs. Marlins

August, 6, 2012

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The Mets face (l to r) Wade LeBlanc, Nathan Eovaldi and Josh Johnson during the midweek series against the Marlins.
METS (53-56, third place/NL East) vs. MIAMI MARLINS (49-60, fifth place/NL East)

Tuesday: LHP Jon Niese (8-5, 3.72) vs. LHP Wade LeBlanc (1-1, 1.35), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Chris Young (3-5, 4.22) vs. RHP Nathan Eovaldi (2-7, 4.66), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: RHP R.A. Dickey (14-3, 2.82) vs. RHP Josh Johnson (7-7, 3.85), 12:10 p.m. ET

Marlins short hops

Jose Reyes takes a career-high 24-game hitting streak into the series against the Mets. It’s the longest hitting streak in the majors this season, topping a 23-game streak by the Yankees’ Robinson Cano from June 24 to July 20. Reyes has the fourth-longest hitting streak in Marlins history, trailing only Luis Castillo’s franchise-record 35-game streak in 2002 as well as Emilio Bonifacio’s 26-game streak in 2011 and Kevin Millar’s 25-game streak in 2002. Reyes is hitting .371 (36-for-97) with eight doubles, two triples and four homers during the streak.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Reyes is the first reigning batting champ with a 20-plus-game hitting streak the following season since Nomar Garciaparra in 2000. His streak is the longest by a reigning batting champ since Wade Boggs had a 25-gamer in 1987. And Reyes is the first reigning NL champ with a streak of this length since Stan Musial had a 24-gamer in 1952.

• Reyes moved to the No. 3 slot in the order on July 27, with the second baseman Bonifacio moving into Reyes’ leadoff slot and Carlos Lee shifting from third to cleanup. Bonifacio suffered a sprained left thumb Friday and has landed on the DL, but Reyes remains third. Nick Green was promoted from Triple-A New Orleans. Rookie Donovan Solano started during the weekend at second base.

Sarah Glenn/Getty Images
Jose Reyes takes the longest hitting streak in the majors this season into Citi Field on Tuesday.

Reyes and Bonifacio are the first Marlins tandem with 25-plus steals apiece since 2002, when Castillo (48 steals), Andy Fox (31) and Eric Owens (26) all exceeded that total.

• In their latest fire sale, the Marlins shipped Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers with Randy Choate on July 25 for Nathan Eovaldi and minor leaguer Scott McGough. Ramirez is owed $15.5 million in 2013 and $16 million in 2014.

First baseman Gaby Sanchez was dealt to Pirates six days later with minor leaguer Kyle Kaminska for outfielder Gorkys Hernandez and a draft pick. Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez landed in Detroit for right-hander Jacob Turner and minor leaguers Rob Brantly and Brian Flynn and a swap of draft picks. Edward Mujica was dealt to the Cardinals.

• Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (.284, 19 HR, 50 RBIs) began a rehab assignment Thursday after recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. He should return for the series against the Mets.

• Eovaldi faced the Mets in his final start with the Dodgers. He allowed one run on seven hits and a walk while striking out seven in a 96-pitch effort that lasted only 4 1/3 innings at Citi Field.

• The Marlins acquired Lee from the Astros on July 4 for Matt Dominguez and minor leaguer Rob Rasmussen. Lee, who is playing first base, has an 11-game hitting streak. Houston picked up the $9 million owed to Lee, less the prorated major league minimum.

Heath Bell, who is in the first season of a three-year, $27 million deal, has not worked in a save chance since allowing three runs in a blown save at St. Louis on July 8. Steve Cishek is 5-for-5 in save chances since that point.

• Left-hander Wade LeBlanc was acquired from the Padres in a Nov. 22 trade for John Baker. He made 16 starts at New Orleans before joining Miami’s bullpen on July 1. He will be making his second Marlins start, as his audition to remain a starter continues. LeBlanc allowed one run in 4 1/3 innings while throwing 71 pitches at Atlanta on Wednesday.

LeBlanc displaced from the rotation Carlos Zambrano, who last Monday made his first relief appearance since Aug. 4, 2010.

• Center fielder Justin Ruggiano (.340) started Sunday for the first time in five days. He had been dealing with back spasms. The 30-year-old former Ray, a nine-year minor leaguer, was acquired from Houston on May 26 after playing in 39 games for Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Last series results

Miami won, 2-1, at Marlins Park, May 11-13 (AP game recaps)

Marlins 6, Mets 5: Greg Dobbs’ two-out single in the ninth inning scored Emilio Bonifacio from second base with the winning run. The Marlins scored twice in the ninth off Frank Francisco to win for the ninth time in 10 games. Francisco blew his second save in 10 chances. His ERA rose to 6.59. More

Mets 9, Marlins 3: David Wright pulled an RBI single in the first inning, then sent three subsequent hits to the opposite field with a variety of trajectories. The net result: Three singles, one homer and three RBIs for Wright to help the Mets beat Ricky Nolasco. It was the fourth consecutive multi-hit game for Wright, hiking his NL-leading average to .402. R.A. Dickey (5-1) pitched six innings and sent the Marlins to only their second loss in the past 11 games. More

Marlins 8, Mets 4: Giancarlo Stanton's two-out slam capped a comeback Sunday by the Marlins, who scored six times in the ninth inning to beat an angry Frank Francisco. The Marlins trailed 4-2 when Emilio Bonifacio led off the ninth with his second triple of the game against the struggling Francisco (1-3). John Buck walked and pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs followed with an RBI single. Francisco was then replaced, and he walked slowly toward plate umpire Todd Tichenor, hollering angrily. Manager Terry Collins stepped between Tichenor and Francisco, who was ejected even though he was already out of the game. Manny Acosta replaced Francisco, and Jose Reyes' sacrifice fly made the score 4-all. After a popup, Hanley Ramirez walked and Austin Kearns was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Stanton's pink Mother's Day bat then closed out the victory, launching the first pitch over the left-center wall near the animated home run sculpture. More

Mets morning briefing 5.3.12

May, 3, 2012
Chris Schwinden lasted only four innings and served up two homers in a game for the second time on the six-game road trip. Meanwhile, Manny Acosta, who combined with Schwinden to surrender an 11-run inning in Denver, also again struggled. As a result, the Mets lost to the Astros, 8-1, Wednesday and were swept in the three-game series. The Mets finished their trip 2-4. It marked the Mets' final visit to Houston before the Astros relocate to the American League West.

"I think that series in Colorado -- and it's not an excuse, because there's a lot of teams that have to play in Colorado -- but I think that series took a lot out of us," said David Wright, who went 4-for-10 with two walks in Houston. "And then, coming here, I don't want to say we weren't prepared, because we were prepared. We just didn't match the energy and the execution that we had in Colorado. You know, we knew we were going to have some ups and downs, especially with a lot of the young guys that we have on this roster playing right now. But this is what we need to fix if we want to become the team that we think we are capable of becoming. There are way too many inconsistencies right now. It seems like we play great for a series and then poorly for a series. And we're going to have to straighten that out."

Thursday's news report:

Terry Collins offered no assurance Schwinden would remain in the rotation after a second straight underwhelming appearance in the spot vacated by Mike Pelfrey, who underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery Tuesday. Mets officials have an off-day Thursday to sort through the options. In Schwinden's two starts in Pelfrey's absence, the Rockies and Astros combined to score 26 runs in those games. Wright did say that Schwinden was sick.

Jeremy Hefner, who tossed three scoreless innings during the doubleheader against the San Francisco Giants on the last homestand, would be one logical alternative. Miguel Batista is in the bullpen as a long reliever/spot starter and could always take over the role, especially since the Mets are going to soon need to open a bullpen spot for D.J. Carrasco anyway. Heck, Carrasco did log three innings for Class A St. Lucie in one rehab appearance last week.

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

Chris Young may be ready in a month, but he is not scheduled to proceed to a minor league game for his next outing. Young threw a 75-pitch simulated game Monday. His fastball velocity was about 85 mph, according to one Mets official.

• Collins adamantly said last week that Matt Harvey and Jeurys Familia are staying put at Triple-A for the majority of the season, not considerations to plug Pelfrey's rotation spot. And that's the proper call. Read my take here.

• Harvey's latest outing at Triple-A was cut short Wednesday because of a 23-minute rain delay. He tossed four innings, too short to qualify for the win in Buffalo's 5-2 victory against Syracuse. Harvey allowed two runs on three hits, two walks and three strikeouts. He threw 68 pitches (36 strikes). Newly installed Mets rules prevent a minor league starter from returning to the mound after a rain delay if he already has logged two innings. Writes Mike Harrington in the Buffalo News about the hoopla surrounding Harvey:

Harvey said he's trying to keep an even keel in preparing for each outing but is aware there's a lot more external noise in Triple-A. "You really do everything you can to not pay attention to it," Harvey said. "It's there so I'm not going to completely try to avoid it. You can bring it in a little and use it as fire to succeed and do the best I can."

"Matt just needs to throw quality start after quality start," [Wally] Backman said. "If he goes out there and does that eight or nine times in a row, it's going to make people wonder and think. But I don't think [a callup] is going to happen right now. It's still a learning process."

Read Wednesday's full minor league recap here.

Tim Byrdak and Astros slugger Carlos Lee jawed during Wednesday's game.

• Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Wade Miley topped Kirk Nieuwenhuis for NL Rookie of the Month. Miley faces the Mets on Friday at Citi Field.

Lucas Duda was due to return for the series finale in Houston after a two-game absence because of the flu, but the right fielder was pulled from the starting lineup shortly before the first pitch. Duda was limited to a pair of pinch-hitting appearances in the series. He walked on Monday and struck out Tuesday. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Record.

• Before his ties to the Mets, Rusty Staub originally played in Houston. Actually, the Astros first were known as the Colt .45s when Staub arrived in the majors in 1963. Staub actually will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Friday's Astros home game, as Houston -- like the Mets -- celebrates 50 years of baseball existence.

Here's Staub's observation as the Astros move to the American League, severing the annual home-and-home series with the Mets: “In the early years the teams were always compared -- which city was going to be better in the long run,” Staub told Roger Rubin in the Daily News about the Astros and the Mets. “The Mets went for credibility with names, but Houston looked better with a group of young players like Joe Morgan, me, Sonny Jackson and Dave Giusti. We changed owners and all of us ended up getting traded. Then the Mets changed philosophies and went young with Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman, and it sent them to that incredible 1969 World Series.”

Mark Winegardner in ESPN The Magazine tells the story of how Bobby Bonilla and the Mets came to strike that deal that now pays the former outfielder $1,193,248.20 per year for 25 years. He also discusses how Bonilla wondered about the security of future payments as Fred Wilpon and family went through the Bernard Madoff trials and tribulations. Writes Winegardner:

Last July, in her New York office, a financial planner by the exquisitely apt name of Jennifer Prosperino received her weekly call from a longtime client. He was a semiretired man in Florida who'd grown up evading gunfire in the South Bronx, where he'd lived in firetrap apartment buildings with junkies in the hallways. He slept with a baseball bat in his bed, dreaming of a better life. His first question for Prosperino was the one he always asked: "Am I going to be okay?" Days earlier, the client, employed part time by his former union, had received a check from the New York Mets for $1,193,248.20 -- the first of 25 annual, identical payments he is guaranteed from a club he last played for in 1999. That means Bobby Bonilla, 49, will make more money than 17 players on the Mets' Opening Day roster.

TRIVIA: Which player has the most homers in Citi Field's three seasons as a Diamondback?

Wednesday's answer: Art Howe's hitting coach with the Mets in 2003 was Denny Walling. Vern Ruhle served as the pitching coach.

Byrdak jaws with Lee, downplays episode

May, 2, 2012

US Presswire/Getty Images
Carlos Lee and Tim Byrdak, former teammates with the Astros, jawed during Wednesday's game.
Tim Byrdak did not appreciate jawing from the Houston Astros dugout while the southpaw appearance in the Mets' lopsided, 8-1 loss Wednesday afternoon. So he returned the verbal firing at former teammate Carlos Lee.

Still, Byrdak downplayed the exchange afterward. Astros players told The Houston Chronicle they thought Byrdak was quick pitching.

"It's no big deal," Byrdak said. "He said he was only kidding around. I heard somebody say something, and I just didn't appreciate it. It's one of those things where I'll kid around in here, but I don't take [expletive] from nobody out there. But he told [Josh] Thole after the game he was just goofing around and stuff like that. I didn't hear what he said. I just know somebody was yelling. That's all it was."

Astros manager Brad Mills told the Chronicle: "There's going to be a big discussion always about when a pitcher quick-pitches. Always. Nothing was being said to him. It was being said to the umpire, and then Tim took offense to us saying something to the umpire and he started yelling. It really didn't become much at all. ... I don't see anything happening down the road at all. It's kind of funny more than anything else."

Said Lee to the newspaper: "I saw him upset and I just started screaming at him. I don't even know what I started screaming, but I started screaming. I didn't even see the play. I didn't see what happened. I saw everybody yelling and I'm like 'I'm going to yell too.'"

Series preview: Mets at Astros

April, 30, 2012

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The Mets face (l to r) Bud Norris, J.A. Happ and Wandy Rodriguez during the final trip to Houston with the Astros an NL member.
METS (13-9, third place/NL East) vs. HOUSTON ASTROS (8-14, fifth place/NL Central)

Monday: RHP R.A. Dickey (3-1, 4.44) vs. RHP Bud Norris (1-1, 5.84), 8:05 p.m. ET

Tuesday: LHP Jon Niese (2-0, 2.81) vs. LHP J.A. Happ (1-1, 4.70), 8:05 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Chris Schwinden (0-0, 11.25) vs. LHP Wandy Rodriguez (2-2, 1.72), 2:05 p.m. ET

Astros short hops

• The Astros, who debuted as a member of the National League alongside the Mets in 1962, originally as the Colt .45s, move to the American League West next season as part of the conditions of Jim Crane's purchase of the team from Drayton McLane. Crane received a $65 million purchase credit to balance the leagues at 15 teams apiece.

As for Astros fans’ negative reaction to the AL move, Crane told The Houston Chronicle: “I think it's calmed down considerably once people understand that was our destiny. That's the way baseball had decided -- whoever owned the Astros was going to be in the American League. You can argue anything I guess, but what they did does make some sense for baseball. When you look at the two Texas teams, it evens out that, keeps the Rangers from traveling more. Our TV partner Comcast feels it's a stronger deal for us with the East Coast teams like Detroit and Cleveland and some of the old traditional teams -- the Yankees and Boston. And we're going to do better on the network because of that.

“The downside that we'll see is the DH and a little more travel. And we'll try to get games scheduled so that when we get getaway games they'll be in the afternoon, so you're not going to see that many late-night games.”

Brad Barr/US Presswire
Rhiner Cruz, a Rule 5 pick from the Mets, is off to a solid start in Houston's bullpen.

• The Astros have lost six straight series, the latest secured with a 6-5 loss at Cincinnati in Sunday’s rubber game.

• Diminutive second baseman Jose Altuve is among the league’s hottest hitters. The 5-foot-5 Altuve went 3-for-5 Sunday to lift his average to .373. That trails only Matt Kemp (.425) and David Wright (.397) in the National League. Altuve, who turns 22 next Sunday, is the shortest player in the majors this season. He has runner-up Alexi Amarista of the Los Angeles Angels beat by two inches. Altuve had been the second-youngest too, behind Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Drew Hutchison. But 19-year-old Bryce Harper and 20-year-old Mike Trout just made their major league debut/return. Altuve began last season at Class A Lancaster, but made his major league debut July 20 after jumping from Double-A.

• The Astros acquired shortstop Jed Lowrie and right-hander Kyle Weiland from the Boston Red Sox on Dec. 14 for right-handed reliever Mark Melancon, Houston’s 2011 saves leader with 20. Lowrie opened the season the disabled list with a sprained right thumb. He made his Astros debut April 13. Weiland (0-3, 6.62 ERA) landed on the DL with shoulder bursitis, and Jordan Lyles was promoted for a spot start Sunday. Lyles was returned to the minors postgame.

• Catcher Jason Castro, the 10th overall pick in the 2008 draft, out of Stanford, missed last season while recovering from right knee surgery to repair a torn ACL. He also missed two games last week with a neck issue after a plate collision with Milwaukee’s Mat Gamel. Castro returned Friday. Opponents have been successful in all 13 steal attempts against Castro this season.

Carlos Lee left Friday’s game in the first inning with a left ankle sprain, which he suffered pursuing a low throw from third baseman Chris Johnson that eluded him at first base. X-rays were negative, but Lee (.273, 2 HR, 13 RBIs) likely will remain sidelined at least early in the Mets series. Lee exclusively has played first base this season, after splitting time evenly between that position and left field a season ago. Matt Downs has filled in at first base in Lee’s absence. J.D. Martinez is now the full-time left fielder.

• Backup infielder Marwin Gonzalez spent the weekend on paternity leave, but was activated for Monday’s series opener in the roster spot Lyles held for a day.

Wandy Rodriguez has a 1.72 ERA in five starts.

Bud Norris allowed seven runs in his last start, including two-run homers to Milwaukee’s Travis Ishikawa and Corey Hart.

• Closer Brett Myers is 4-for-4 in save chances.

• Right-hander Rhiner Cruz (1-0, 2.08 ERA) is Rule 5 pick from Metsm who is drawing rave reviews from scouts because of his 98 mph fastball from a “weird,” low arm slot. Cruz, who was not protected on the Mets’ 40-man roster, opened eyes with Cibao in the Dominican Winter League, before the December draft. He posted a 1.47 ERA in 18 1/3 innings over 21 relief appearances in winter ball. Cruz has not appeared since last Monday because of a twisted an ankle. Cruz, 25, had control issues last season between Class A St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton in the Mets organization. He walked 45 and hit seven batters in 71 2/3 innings.

Fernando Martinez, who was claimed off waivers by the Astros from the Mets during the offseason, is hitting .318 with four homers and 21 RBIs in 22 games for Triple-A Oklahoma City. He primarily has played left field, while being assigned to DH the past two games.

• Ex-Brave Jordan Schafer was ejected Sunday after disputing a caught-stealing call by ump Marvin Hudson in the second inning. Before that, the 25-year-old center fielder extended his streak of reaching base at least once to 22 games, the longest to open a season by an Astro since Ricky Gutierrez had a 23-game streak in 1998. Denis Menke owns the franchise record -- 25 games in 1969.

• Ex-Mets/Astros outfielder Richard Hidalgo is scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Monday’s series opener.


Dickey vs. Astros (career: 1-2, 3.82 ERA)
Travis Buck .667, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 PA
Jason Castro .667, 3 PA
Jed Lowrie .500, 1 RBI, 3 PA
Matt Downs .500, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 PA
Jordan Schafer .429, 1 K, 7 PA
Carlos Lee .381, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 2 K, 21 PA
Chris Johnson .286, 1 RBI, 14 PA
Brian Bixler .200, 1 K, 5 PA
Chris Snyder .000, 1 BB, 1 K, 6 PA

Niese vs. Astros (career: 1-1, 1.80 ERA)
Brian Bixler .333, 2 K, 6 PA
Chris Johnson .333, 1 RBI, 6 PA
Carlos Lee .250, 1 RBI,1 BB, 9 PA
Jordan Schafer .000, 2 K, 8 PA
Jason Castro .000, 3 PA
Chris Snyder .000, 1 K, 2 PA

Schwinden vs. Astros (career: never faced)

Norris vs. Mets (career: 1-1, 4.85 ERA)
Daniel Murphy .333, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 K, 6 PA
Justin Turner .333, 1 K, 3 PA
Josh Thole .250, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, 10 PA
Ike Davis .250, 1 BB, 2 K, 9 PA
Scott Hairston .200, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 6 PA
David Wright .000, 3 BB, 4 K, 12 PA
Andres Torres .000, 1 K, 3 PA

Happ vs. Mets (career: 2-2, 4.82 ERA)
Mike Nickeas .500, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 PA
David Wright .462, 3 HR, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, 15 PA
Andres Torres .333, 1 RBI, 1 K, 3 PA
Scott Hairston .333, 1 K, 3 PA
Daniel Murphy .286, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K, 7 PA
Justin Turner .200, 1 RBI, 5 PA
Ike Davis .000, 1 RBI, 2 PA

Rodriguez vs. Mets (career: 3-2, 2.91 ERA)
Scott Hairston .462, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K, 15 PA
Justin Turner .333, 3 PA
David Wright .316, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K, 21 PA
Andres Torres .000, 1 BB, 1 K, 3 PA
Ike Davis .000, 1 BB, 1 K, 3 PA
Josh Thole .000, 1 BB, 3 PA

Last series results

Mets won, 2-1, at Minute Maid Park, May 13-15, 2011 (AP game recaps)

Mets 6, Astros 4: David Wright hit a go-ahead homer to cap a four-run eighth inning that rallied the Mets. Wright's two-run shot was the last of three late homers by the Mets that helped them overcome a 4-0 deficit for their sixth win in eight games. Jason Bay got New York going with a solo shot in the seventh and pinch-hitter Fernando Martinez cut it to 4-3 with a long, two-run drive in the eighth. Jose Reyes walked and, with two outs, Wright homered off reliever Jeff Fulchino (0-1) into the Crawford Boxes in left field to put New York on top. It was the sixth home run of the season for the slumping Wright, who had been given the previous day off in Colorado to rest a sore neck and back.

Astros 7, Mets 3: Carlos Lee delivered his 2,000th hit with an RBI single during a four-run first inning. Lee also hit one of three Astros homers. J.A. Happ (3-4) pitched six innings for the win, scattering five hits and three walks. Michael Bourn tripled to open the game against knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey (1-5) and scored on a groundout by Clint Barmes. Hunter Pence and Lee followed with singles, and three more runs scored on a double by Brett Wallace and singles by Chris Johnson and Bill Hall. Dickey allowed six hits in the first inning, then held the Astros in check until the sixth, when Hall and pinch hitter Matt Downs hit solo homers. Dickey pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowed 11 hits, didn't walk a batter and struck out two. Lee became the 17th active player to reach 2,000 hits, and he is the ninth active player to have at least that many hits while also belting 300 or more home runs. The Mets got one run in the third when Jose Reyes doubled and scored on a single to right field by Justin Turner, then added another in the fourth, when Daniel Murphy led off the inning with his third homer of the season. Reyes had an RBI single off reliever Mark Melancon in the ninth. Carlos Beltran sat out the game with swelling in his right eye.

Mets 7, Astros 4: Justin Turner homered and drove in a career-high five runs and Jason Pridie hit a go-ahead single and stole home for the Mets. Chris Capuano (3-4) allowed six hits and two runs in five innings. He struck out six. Aneury Rodriguez (0-2) didn't allow a hit until the fifth, but finished with five earned runs and four walks in his third major league start. Francisco Rodriguez pitched a perfect ninth for his 12th straight save. He has not allowed a run in 14 appearances since April 14.

Astros 9, Mets 5: Pelf rocked; winless in 9

March, 18, 2012
Carlos Lee had a two-run double and three-run homer and Jed Lowrie added a two-run double versus Mike Pelfrey, all in the first two innings, and Houston beat the Mets, 9-5, Sunday afternoon at Osceola County Stadium.

The Mets head into an organization-wide off-day Monday winless in their past nine Grapefruit League games.

Pelfrey, making his third spring-training start, allowed eight earned runs on eight hits and four walks in 2 2/3 innings while tossing 80 pitches (47 strikes). He struck out four batters, after having not fanned any in his first two Grapefruit League outings, which spanned seven innings.

The eight runs allowed by Pelfrey were one shy of his regular-season career high, done twice in 2009, against the Atlanta Braves and Pittsburgh Pirates.

“It’s bad execution,” Pelfrey said. “Obviously I’ve been up a lot. And the ball doesn’t sink when it’s up. The other part is, like Carlos Lee there, it was right down the middle.”

The Mets tendered the arbitration-eligible Pelfrey a contract last offseason. The right-hander then settled with the organization for $5.7 million. Pelfrey is under the Mets’ control through the 2013 season, but will be a logical non-tender candidate next December if he does not improve on last season’s performance, which included a 4.74 ERA and career-high 21 homers allowed.

After registering only 87 mph in his previous outing, Pelfrey said he overthrew the ball Sunday, trying to up his velocity. The staff had asked him to throw harder to get his arm strong for the season.

Pelfrey said he ended up “yanking” his sinker as a result -- meaning he did not get on top of the baseball to drive it downward. Instead, Pelfrey explained, he created more of a Frisbee action by getting on the side of the baseball and not finishing the pitch. It stayed flat and in the middle of the strike zone.

That’s what happened when Pelfrey grooved to Lee a down-the-middle two-seam fastball that was intended to be an inside pitch, resulting in the three-run homer. Pelfrey said he missed the intended target by six inches.

Still, Pelfrey said, he was unalarmed. He typically has horrendous spring trainings. Two years ago, he allowed three homers in a game to the Washington Nationals in Viera. That year, he ended up dominating the Tampa Bay Rays at the Trop in his final spring-training start and then opened the season 9-1.

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Rapid Reaction: Astros 7, Mets 3

May, 14, 2011

Recap | Box score | Photos

R.A. Dickey

Starting Pitcher
New York Mets


2011 Season Stats
9 1 5 18 28 5.08
WHAT IT MEANS: R.A. Dickey continues to struggle to rediscover the 2010 success that prompted the Mets to award him a two-year, $7.8 million contract.

Dickey surrendered six runs, matching a season high, as the Mets lost to the Astros, 7-3, on Saturday. The knuckleballer was chased with one out in the sixth, after Bill Hall and pinch-hitter Matt Downs had solo homers in the inning. Dickey had surrendered four first-inning runs as six of Houston’s first seven batters produced hits.

The 11 hits allowed by Dickey matched his career high, which he also surrendered May 13, 2004, with Texas against Tampa Bay. Dickey is winless in seven starts since April 3, his first start of the season.

IT'S A HIT: Carlos Lee notched the 2,000th hit of his career in the first inning off Dickey. There are 17 active players who have achieved that milestone. Among current Mets, Johan Santana has surrendered the most hits to Lee (14).

Lee's 2,001st hit, a solo homer on the first pitch of Ryota Igarashi's relief appearance, gave Houston a 7-2 lead in the seventh.

TURNER CLASSIC: With the Mets only trailing 4-2 in the fifth, second baseman Justin Turner had a highlight-reel defensive play to keep the deficit from worsening. Turner dove to his right to field Chris Johnson's hard grounder and threw to first for the inning's final out, preventing Brett Wallace from scoring.

Turner, who is getting everyday playing time at second base with Daniel Murphy moving to first base in Ike Davis' absence, had driven in the Mets' opening run with a single in the third that scored Jose Reyes. Murphy homered an inning later for the other run.

Bench coach Ken Oberkfell, formerly the manager at Triple-A Buffalo, had lobbied for Turner to make the team out of spring training.

ALL RIGHT: With Carlos Beltran scratched with right eye swelling, Fernando Martinez made his first major league start this season. Martinez, who homered the previous day as a pinch-hitter, doubled while going 1-for-4.

SEEING DOUBLE: Reyes, who entered the day tied for second in the National League in doubles, one behind Beltran, produced his 13th two-bagger.

K-ROD TRACKER: Francisco Rodriguez did not appear. He has finished 14 of the Mets' 39 games. K-Rod needs to finish 41 of the team's remaining 123 games for his contract to vest at $17.5 million for 2012. He is on pace for 58 games finished, three over the threshold for the contract clause to take effect.

WHAT'S NEXT: Chris Capuano (2-4, 4.93 ERA) opposes right-hander Aneury Rodriguez (0-1, 5.50) in Sunday's 2:05 p.m. ET rubber game as the Mets attempt to win their third straight series. Rodriguez has made two starts since succeeding ex-Met Nelson Figueroa in Houston's rotation.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 6, Astros 4

May, 13, 2011
WHAT IT MEANS: Fernando Martinez and David Wright each slugged two-run homers in the eighth inning as the Mets rallied for a 6-4 win.

Wright’s long ball -- his sixth of the season but first since going deep twice against Arizona on April 24 -- came off reliever Jeff Fulchino after sitting two days to rest an ailing lower back.

Martinez had delivered a pinch-hit two-run homer off starter Bud Norris earlier in the inning to pull the Mets within 4-3. It was Martinez’s second major league homer. His other long ball came June 30, 2009 at Milwaukee off Todd Coffey.

It was the second pinch-hit homer by the Mets this season. The other was produced by Daniel Murphy at Washington on April 27.

Pat Misch benefited from the outburst to pick up his first major league win since Oct. 3, 2009. The Mets improved to 2-16 when trailing after seven innings. The four-run deficit was the largest they overcame this season.

Francisco Rodriguez

Relief Pitcher
New York Mets


2011 Season Stats
18 1 0 10 22 0.96
K-ROD TRACKER: Francisco Rodriguez converted his third save of the season and 26th of his career of more than one inning after inheriting a runner on second and two out in the eighth from Taylor Buchholz, who was being used in that role rather than Jason Isringhausen. (Izzy only had pitched twice in the past week.)

After three straight clean outings, Rodriguez did allow a single to Brian Bogusevic to place runners on the corners in the eighth, but he struck out fellow pinch-hitter Jason Michaels to strand runners on the corners and preserve the one-run lead.

Jason Pridie’s RBI double in the ninth gave K-Rod a two-run cushion when he returned to the mound.

Rodriguez has now converted 11 of 12 save chances.

He has finished 14 of the Mets’ 38 games. K-Rod needs 41 games finished in the remaining 124 games for his contract to vest at $17.5 million for 2012. He is on pace for 60 games finished, five beyond the number required to trigger the vesting option.

Dillon Gee

Starting Pitcher
New York Mets


2011 Season Stats
7 2 0 13 22 4.44
OH, GEE: Dillon Gee, in his first start since Chris Young opted for season-ending surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his right shoulder, wiggled out of jams until it caught up to him in a three-run sixth.

After surrendering Carlos Lee’s single, plunking Brett Wallace and surrendering an RBI double to Chris Johnson, Terry Collins pulled Gee. Ryota Igarashi allowed both inherited runners to score, the latter on an error by Murphy at first base, as Houston took a 4-0 lead.

Gee’s final line: 5+ IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 6 K, 1 HBP.

His next start is Thursday at Citi Field against the Washington Nationals.

Gee did snap the longest active hitting streak in the National League twice in consecutive starts -- Andre Ethier at 30 games, then Hunter Pence at 15 games.

BAY WATCH: Jason Bay delivered his second homer of the season, a solo shot in the seventh against Norris, to get the Mets on the scoreboard.

Bay, who entered the game 5-for-his-last-42 (.119), had been robbed in the fourth inning on a shot down the left-field line that would have given the Mets a 2-1 lead. Lee tracked down the smoked liner with a stellar running catch as Wright and Carlos Beltran were stranded in scoring position.

It was further bad luck at the plate for Bay. On Monday, he smoked a shot to deep center off Rafael Betancourt at Coors Field, only to watch it caught near the wall. Talk about injustice. A half-inning earlier that night in Denver, Colorado’s Chris Iannetta had produced a cheapie homer inside the left-field foul pole.

The usually lumbering Lee also had robbed Josh Thole of an extra-base hit off Norris with a catch in the left-center gap in New York on April 20 that prevented Jose Reyes from scoring. Houston ended up winning that game, 4-3.

WHAT’S NEXT: R.A. Dickey opposes Houston left-hander J.A. Happ in Game 2 of the series, Saturday at 4:05 p.m. ET.



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