New York Mets: Carlos Torres

Rapid Reaction: Astros 3, Mets 1

September, 26, 2014
Sep 26
10:27
PM ET
NEW YORK -- For the sixth straight year, the Mets' win total will start with a "7." It could be 77, or 78, or 79.

It won't be 80.

That much is certain, after the Mets began their final-weekend series with a 3-1 loss to the Houston Astros on Friday night. Curtis Granderson's fourth-inning home run gave the Mets their only run. They had only five hits.

The Astros scored all their runs in the sixth inning against Carlos Torres, who took over when Jonathon Niese had to leave because of an elevated heart rate. Torres had help, because Anthony Recker dropped a throw at home plate to allow Jose Altuve to score Houston's second run. Altuve would have been out on a nice relay throw by Wilmer Flores.

Niese questions: The Mets' starter finished his season with 5 1/3 shutout innings, leaving Niese with a 3.40 ERA that matches the best of his career (also 3.40 in 2012). But Niese left Friday's start one out into the fifth inning because of an elevated heart rate, the same issue that forced him from games in both 2011 and 2012.

When Niese had the problem before, doctors first recommended a heart procedure known as ablation. But Niese visited experts at the Cleveland Clinic, who told him they believed the procedure wasn't needed.

Granderson Citi: Granderson is having a nice September, but it's certainly notable that his fourth-inning home run off Brad Peacock on Friday night was his first homer at home since the All-Star break. In Granderson's first season with the Mets, 13 of his 20 home runs have come on the road.

Altuve watch: It's hard to remember that this is an interleague series, the first time the Mets and Astros have met since Houston moved to the American League in 2013. So the Mets could have an impact on the AL batting race. Altuve began the night with a six-point lead over the Tigers' Victor Martinez.

Altuve went 1-for-4 (with a single off Torres), which dropped his average from .343 to .342.

Family affair: Astros reliever Kevin Chapman, who is Matt den Dekker's first cousin, entered the game in the fifth inning to face Daniel Murphy with two on and two out. Chapman, who is left-handed, remained in the game to face the four lefties in the middle of the Mets lineup ... including den Dekker.

It was the first time the two had met in a major-league game. The result? den Dekker walked.

Chapman told the Houston Chronicle that he and den Dekker are almost like brothers. They're close to the same age, and grew up about a mile apart in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

What's next: With Jacob deGrom shut down for the season, the Mets give Rafael Montero (1-3, 4.38) another start in Saturday night's 7:10 p.m. ET start. Right-hander Samuel Deduno (2-6, 4.66) starts for the Astros.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 4, Braves 2

September, 20, 2014
Sep 20
10:03
PM ET
ATLANTA -- Dilson Herrera's first big league season looks like it is ending a week early.

Herrera departed Saturday’s game after beating out an infield single in the sixth inning. He officially was diagnosed with a right quadriceps strain.

Herrera, who limped off the field, earlier had delivered a two-run homer against reliever David Hale in the second inning. That shot, along with a scoreless effort into the eighth inning from Jonathon Niese, helped lift the New York Mets to a 4-2 win against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.

If his season is over, the 20-year-old Herrera hit .220 (13-for-59) with three homers and 11 RBIs.

The Mets improved to 75-80, surpassing their win total for each of the past two seasons and leapfrogging the Marlins for third place.

The second-place Braves dropped to 76-78. It marks their first time at two-plus games under .500 in September since finishing the 2008 season at 72-90.

Niese carried a shutout bid into the eighth, when he allowed three straight one-out singles as the Braves loaded the bases. Freddie Freeman then greeted Josh Edgin with a two-run single as Atlanta pulled within 4-2. Carlos Torres replaced Edgin and coaxed a groundout from Justin Upton as the runners advanced. With two in scoring position, Chris Johnson then grounded out to first base.

Toned down: Jenrry Mejia allowed a one-out single but recorded the save. He had a sedate celebration afterward -- merely pointing to the sky.

Ouch 2: Braves starter Mike Minor surrendered a first-inning sacrifice fly to Lucas Duda and departed after the frame with left shoulder discomfort.

What’s next: The Mets complete their season series with the Braves on Sunday at 1:35 p.m. as Jacob deGrom's Rookie of the Year campaign continues. DeGrom (8-6, 2.68 ERA) opposes right-hander Ervin Santana (14-9, 3.74). DeGrom matched a major league record by striking out the first eight batters he faced against the Miami Marlins in his most recent start. The Mets are 9-9 against the Braves this season entering the finale.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 4, Nats 3

September, 12, 2014
Sep 12
10:21
PM ET
NEW YORK -- The longest-ever winning streak by a visiting club against the Mets ended Friday.

The Mets beat the Nationals, 4-3, Friday to snap Washington’s 12-game Citi Field winning streak.

Dillon Gee failed to hold a three-run lead, with Anthony Rendon eventually evening the score in the fifth on a replay-awarded solo homer. Juan Lagares delivered a tiebreaking RBI double against Gio Gonzalez a half-inning later to restore the Mets’ lead.

Gee, who allowed a season-high nine hits, departed with two baserunners aboard and one out in the sixth. Carlos Torres entered and coaxed an inning-ending double-play grounder from Asdrubal Cabrera.

Torres also induced an inning-ending double play in a scoreless seventh. Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia followed with scoreless frames, although Mejia allowed the tying run to reach scoring position.

The Nats nonetheless have out-homered the Mets 32-6 in the past 13 meetings in Queens. Washington is 26-5 at Citi Field since Sept. 12, 2011.

Travis d'Arnaud produced a three-run double in the first against Gonzalez, although an E-2 allowed the third run to score. It was d’Arnaud’s first hit in 10 at-bats this season with the bases loaded. Gonzalez also surrendered three first-inning runs against the Mets on May 17.

Payback? Albeit on an 0-2 count, Gonzalez hit the second batter of the game. Lagares was drilled on the left side -- the same spot where Jayson Werth was struck Thursday, which led to Bartolo Colon's ejection. Lagares has been hit by pitches seven times this season. Three of those plunkings have come against the Nats.

What’s next: Zack Wheeler (10-9, 3.38 ERA) opposes right-hander Doug Fister (13-8, 2.53) at 7:10 p.m. Saturday.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 2, Rockies 0

September, 10, 2014
Sep 10
10:05
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Reaching .500 may not be an insurmountable goal after all.

The playoffs? That still seems too ambitious.

Rafael Montero tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings and earned his first major league win as the Mets completed a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies with a 2-0 victory Wednesday at Citi Field.

With their seventh win in their past eight games, the Mets improved to 71-75. They have not been this close to .500 since Aug. 2 (53-57).

The Pittsburgh Pirates, who occupy the second wild-card spot, won 6-3 in Philadelphia, so the Mets remain 5 back with 16 games remaining.

The Mets won despite mustering five hits. Eric Young Jr. had three of the hits, including a run-scoring triple in the second for the game’s opening run. Juan Lagares provided a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the seventh.

For those into run differential, the Mets are back in the black at plus-one for the season.

The Mets tossed consecutive shutouts for the first time since June 29-30, 2012 at Dodger Stadium.

Jenrry Mejia tossed a perfect ninth to record the save.

Spot shine: Despite a high pitch count and effort that included issuing four walks, Montero took a no-hit bid two outs into the fifth inning. Opposing pitcher Tyler Matzek then doubled over Young’s head in left field to place two in scoring position. Montero rebounded. He coaxed a flyout from Charlie Blackmon that stranded two in scoring position.

Still nursing a 1-0 lead in the sixth, Montero allowed a leadoff double to Drew Stubbs and single to Justin Morneau that placed runners on the corners with none out. He struck out Nolan Arenado and then departed with his pitch count at 106.

Fellow rookie Dario Alvarez entered and retired Corey Dickerson on a squibber that moved Morneau to second base. Carlos Torres entered and retired Michael McKenry to leave both runners in scoring position.

Montero’s final line: 5.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 7 K.

Terry Collins said pregame that it is undecided whether Montero would get another start this month. The Mets promoted him in part to gauge his ability in a relief role. And the Mets are reluctant to have their incumbent starting pitchers work with more than one extra day of rest between outings. Monday already is a team off-day.

Quiet night: In his first game at third base in more than three years, Daniel Murphy had no grounders he was required to field.

What’s next: If the Mets are going to make it interesting over the final 16 games, they’ll have to make noise against the first-place Washington Nationals. Two series remain between the teams, including a four-game set at Citi Field that opens Thursday. Bartolo Colon (13-11, 3.96 ERA) opposes right-hander Tanner Roark (12-10, 2.97) in the opener.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 4, Marlins 3

September, 3, 2014
Sep 3
10:18
PM ET
MIAMI -- The Mets have clinched the season series against the Miami Marlins.

Travis d'Arnaud delivered a tiebreaking RBI double against Bryan Morris in what became a two-run eighth and the Mets held on to beat the Marlins 4-3 in Wednesday’s rubber game.

The Mets are 10-6 against Miami this season. A three-game series remains in New York from Sept. 15-17.

What? Carlos Torres batted with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the eighth and the Mets leading 4-2. He struck out. Terry Collins did not have Jeurys Familia available and undoubtedly felt he needed to have Torres –-- who finished the seventh -- work the bottom of the eighth as well.

Torres then surrendered a solo homer to Giancarlo Stanton in the bottom half as Miami pulled within a run.

The alternative was to pinch hit for Torres and use Dana Eveland or Erik Goeddel in the eighth.

Debutant: With the Mets clinging to a 2-1 lead in the seventh, Collins inserted left-hander Dario Alvarez with a runner on third base and two outs in his major league debut. Alvarez surrendered a game-tying RBI single to lefty-hitting Christian Yelich as the Marlins pulled even and handed Jacob deGrom a no-decision.

Lefty batters hit .181 against Alvarez this season in the minors, although that primarily came at low-A Savannah.

deLightful: DeGrom made it through six innings before his pitch count reached 114. The rookie right-hander surrendered only one run.

DeGrom allowed a pair of baserunners in each of the first three innings and nearly escaped completely unscathed.

With Yelich on second and Donovan Solano on first and none out in the third, deGrom coaxed a 6-4-3 double play from Stanton as Yelich advanced to third base. Casey McGehee then hit a chopper back toward the mound. The ball glanced off the glove of the leaping deGrom and ricocheted toward second baseman Dilson Herrera. He barehanded it and threw to first base, but Lucas Duda was unable to scoop the baseball. The infield hit plated Yelich.

DeGrom sliced his ERA to 2.87.

Kirk! Kirk Nieuwenhuis, inserted in the lineup over Curtis Granderson for the second time in four games, produced a two-run homer in the fourth against Tom Koehler that gave the Mets a 2-1 lead. Nieuwenhuis also walked three times (once intentionally).

The Mets improved to 14-2 in Nieuwenhuis’ starts this season.

Golden sombrero: A day after going 3-for-4 with two extra-base hits and three RBIs and feeling “dangerous” at the plate, David Wright went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts.

Welcome back: Josh Satin pinch hit for deGrom in the seventh. In his first major league at-bat since May 9, Satin flied out to right field.

What’s next: The Mets take a day off on the road Thursday, then resume play with a weekend series in Cincinnati. Untraded Bartolo Colon (12-11, 4.01 ERA) opposes right-hander Alfredo Simon (13-9, 3.28) in Friday’s 7:10 p.m. opener.

Rapid Reaction: Marlins 9, Mets 6

September, 1, 2014
Sep 1
4:43
PM ET
MIAMI -- The Mets aimed to reduce the late-season workload on heavily used rookie Jeurys Familia. But with the score tied in the eighth, Terry Collins turned to Familia on Labor Day at Marlins Park.

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.

Morning Briefing: Mets draw Kazmir, A's

August, 19, 2014
Aug 19
5:30
AM ET
NEW YORK

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?

Torres fills void, lacks support in defeat

August, 18, 2014
Aug 18
5:33
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Although he eventually received a no-decision in Monday’s 4-1 loss to the Cubs, Carlos Torres deserved praise for contributing five scoreless innings in place of Bartolo Colon after having worked on Sunday in relief.

Torres became the first major league pitcher since Oakland’s Mike Mohler in 1993 to have a scoreless effort as a starting pitcher on no days of rest. Mohler tossed 3 1/3 innings. The last starting pitcher on no rest to contribute five-plus scoreless innings was Philadelphia’s Bruce Ruffin, who pitched eight scoreless innings in 1991.

It actually was Torres’ first scoreless start since he notched his first major league win -- on Sept. 3, 2009, in his third career game, while pitching for the White Sox.

Torres, who threw 86 pitches, found out he was starting in place of Colon about four hours before the scheduled 12:10 p.m. first pitch. Colon was scratched so he could travel to the Dominican Republic to be with his gravely ill mother.

Asked about his mindset pitching multiple innings with no rest, Torres said: “You start with one, and hope you get through one. And then you go from there.”

Said manager Terry Collins: “He’s done an amazing job. That’s really a tough assignment, especially when he pitched yesterday, to come back and have to start a game the next day. He gave us five quality innings. He ran out of gas. We couldn’t give him any help.”

Rapid Reaction: Cubs 4, Mets 1

August, 18, 2014
Aug 18
3:04
PM ET
NEW YORK -- The Mets lost to the Cubs, 4-1, Monday afternoon at Citi Field and matched franchise history in the process.

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.


Kathy Willens/Associated PressCarlos Torres' five scoreless innings went for naught in a 4-1 loss to the Cubs.


Javier Baez added a two-run homer against Jenrry Mejia in the ninth. Mejia has allowed seven earned runs in his past 7 2/3 innings.

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.

Rapid Reaction: Nats 4, Mets 1

August, 14, 2014
Aug 14
10:03
PM ET
NEW YORK -- The Mets made history Thursday, and not good history.

With a 4-1 victory in the series finale, the division-leading Washington Nationals won their 11th straight game in Queens. That's the longest-ever winning streak by a visiting team against the Mets. The Atlanta Braves won 10 straight games at Shea Stadium in 1991 and '92.

The Nats are 25-4 at Citi Field since September 2011. They now lead the Mets (57-65) by 10½ games in the NL East.

Adam LaRoche and Bryce Harper produced two-run homers against Dillon Gee as Washington grabbed a 4-0 lead.

LaRoche, who went deep on an 0-2 offering, now has 27 career homers against the Mets. Among active players, that trails only a trio of Phillies -- Ryan Howard (40), Chase Utley (33) and Jimmy Rollins (30).

Three of Harper's six homers this season have come against the Mets.

The Nats have 29 homers during their 11-game Citi Field winning streak.

Gee’s line: 6 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 K's, 2 HR. He is 0-4 with a 5.60 ERA in six starts since the All-Star break.

The Mets' lone run against Stephen Strasburg, which was unearned, came in the fourth when Daniel Murphy reached on an infield single, advanced to second on an error, ill-advisedly stole third and scored on Lucas Duda's sacrifice fly.

The Amazin's went 0-for-17 with runners in scoring position in the series. After placing runners at first and second base with none out in the sixth, Murphy grounded into a double play and David Wright struck out.

Streaking: Wright produced a hit for the 13th straight game with a first-inning single against Strasburg. It matches the longest hitting streak by a Met this season. Juan Lagares had an identical streak April 5 through May 4.

However, during Wright's 13-game hitting streak, he has only one extra-base hit: a double last Thursday against Washington’s Craig Stammen in D.C.

Back to work: In his first action since suffering the loss Sunday and revealing he had a hernia, Jenrry Mejia tossed a perfect ninth. … Carlos Torres, who surrendered a homer in each of his past four appearances, recorded four outs without issue. Torres inherited the bases loaded with two outs in the seventh from Josh Edgin and struck out Ian Desmond.

What’s next: The Chicago Cubs make their lone 2014 visit to Citi Field for a four-game wraparound series. Zack Wheeler (7-8, 3.53 ERA) opposes left-hander Travis Wood (7-9, 4.86) in Friday's 7:10 p.m. opener. Wheeler is 4-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his past eight starts.

Montero returns, but doesn't look ready

August, 12, 2014
Aug 12
11:32
PM ET
NEW YORK -- The crazy part is that Rafael Montero didn't give up home runs in Las Vegas.

Everyone gives up home runs in Las Vegas. The ball flies in the Pacific Coast League.

Montero allowed just four home runs in 74 Triple-A innings there this season. But he has now given up eight homers in 25 innings for the New York Mets. He surrendered three more in five-plus innings Tuesday, in the Mets' 7-1 loss to the Washington Nationals.

[+] EnlargeRafael Montero
AP Photo/Bill KostrounRafael Montero, still searching for his first major league win.
The 23-year-old Montero has plenty more to work on if he's going to become a successful big-league starter. His pitch count tends to soar way too quickly for a pitcher who built a reputation in the minor leagues as a strike-thrower.

But the biggest issue at the moment is that he can't seem to keep the ball in the ballpark.

"I know he's not afraid to throw it over the plate," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "But you've got to make better pitches. You see he's got weapons to be successful, but he's got to learn to use them better."

Montero is with the Mets for the second time this season. He's theoretically here for two starts while Jacob deGrom is on the disabled list, and Collins said Tuesday night that he expects Montero to remain in the rotation for his next start.

But the Mets would like to think Montero is more than just a two-start fill-in. He's not as highly touted as Noah Syndergaard (who was passed over for this assignment and started for Las Vegas on Tuesday), but he is supposed to be someone who can help the team at some point.

He can't do ithat if the results are always going to be like this.

Montero has made five big-league starts, and has a 6.12 ERA. The Mets have yet to win a game he has started.

And he's given up eight home runs.

"When you're throwing it in the middle of the plate, you're going to get hit," Collins said.

Montero didn't seem overly bothered.

"I felt good going in," he said through an interpreter. "I still feel OK."

Why all the home runs, when he wasn't giving up very many in Vegas (never more than one in a game there)?

"The batters here are a little better," Montero said.

Fair enough, but if he wants to pitch here, Montero is going to need to be a little better, too.

Is Torres tipping? Carlos Torres also gave up another home run Tuesday, the sixth he has allowed in the past 10 innings he has pitched. Torres has allowed a homer in each of his past four appearances.

"We talked about maybe seeing if he's tipping his pitches," Collins said. "Because he's getting hit way too hard."

Morning Briefing: What next?

August, 11, 2014
Aug 11
5:25
AM ET
PHILADELPHIA

FIRST PITCH: After a ninth-inning meltdown capped the squandering of a five-run lead, the Mets now need a victory Monday to avoid a split of their four-game series against the last-place Philadelphia Phillies.

Jonathon Niese (5-8, 3.41 ERA) opposes right-hander David Buchanan (6-5, 4.39) at 1:05 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park.

Monday’s news reports:

Jacob deGrom will be examined in New York on Monday and has been scratched from Tuesday’s scheduled start against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field because of shoulder soreness. DeGrom does not believe the issue is serious.


Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY SportsJacob deGrom's shoulder is due to be examined Monday in New York.


Assistant GM John Ricco suggested Carlos Torres could make a spot start if deGrom is only going to miss one rotation turn, with Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard candidates if deGrom’s absence requires a DL stint. However, Terry Collins suggested Torres may be needed in the bullpen on Monday because other relievers have been heavily used.

Montero, who has produced two straight scoreless appearances with Triple-A Las Vegas and already has appeared at the major league level, would appear more likely among the call-up options. Sandy Alderson did not reply to an inquiry from ESPNNewYork.com.

Read more in the Post, Daily News, Journal, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and at MLB.com.

Jenrry Mejia revealed he has a hernia that will require surgery. He hopes to take medication and pitch with the discomfort for the remainder of the season, but it is possible he is shut down before then and undergoes the procedure sooner. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Daily News and at MLB.com.

• Mejia failed to hold a one-run lead in the ninth and the Phillies rallied for a 7-6 win against the Mets on Sunday at Citizens Bank Park. The Mets suffered their 11th walk-off loss of the season. No other team has suffered more than eight, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Zack Wheeler produced a quality start, but expressed disappointment with his high pitch count (112 in six innings). Wilmer Flores' failure to throw out Ben Revere on a two-out grounder in the seventh proved costly. Terry Collins explained several managerial moves afterward, including intentionally walking Chase Utley with the count already full to get to Ryan Howard for the walk-off RBI single.

Read game recaps in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Post, Daily News, Newsday, Times, Star-Ledger, Record and at MLB.com.

• Read more on Flores in Newsday.

• Pitching coach Dan Warthen tells columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post that John Smoltz offered advice to Wheeler during a June 30-July 2 series in Atlanta, which coincided with the beginning of Wheeler’s current streak of eight straight quality starts. “I do give credit to John for a couple of comments he made to him,” Warthen told Davidoff. “[It] really pumped him up. And he’s been outstanding since.”

Daisuke Matsuzaka (elbow inflammation) is due to make a rehab start for Class A St. Lucie on Monday. Matsuzaka then should be set to return from the DL.

Jeremy Hefner, who had a forearm issue arise as he returns from Tommy John surgery, is due to be examined in New York.

Bobby Abreu officially has been released by the Mets.

• Logan Verrett notched his 10th win as Vegas beat Albuquerque, 7-5. Steven Matz and Randy Fontanez combined on the shutout as Binghamton blanked Harrisburg, 3-0. Stefan Sabol had a game-tying RBI triple and scored the go-ahead run on Yeixon Ruiz’s single as Savannah beat Augusta, 6-4, in a rain-shortened game. Amed Rosario had a tiebreaking two-run double in Brooklyn’s 5-2 win against Batavia. Read the full minor-league recap here.

From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear takes note of some unusual Met stability.

BIRTHDAYS: Double-A infielder Wilfredo Tovar turns 23. ... Right-hander John Mitchell was born on this date in 1965.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should Jenrry Mejia shut down his season now and undergo hernia surgery?

Spot candidate Torres may be needed in pen

August, 10, 2014
Aug 10
7:18
PM ET
PHILADELPHIA -- Assistant GM John Ricco speculated the Mets could use Carlos Torres for a spot start Tuesday if rookie Jacob deGrom will only miss one rotation turn with shoulder soreness.

lastname
deGrom
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Torres
However, Terry Collins noted there may be an issue with Torres’ availability on Tuesday.

After Sunday’s 7-6 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, Collins said he may end up needing to use Torres in relief on Monday, which would disqualify him from spot-start consideration.

That’s because Collins expects Jenrry Mejia to be unavailable for the matinee series finale against the Phillies. Vic Black and Josh Edgin potentially may be unavailable, too.

“We’ll just see,” Collins said. “We may need Torres tomorrow.”

The alternative, presumably, would be using Rafael Montero or Noah Syndergaard. Montero is listed as Monday’s starter and Syndergaard as Tuesday’s start for Triple-A Las Vegas. Neither has yet to be officially scratched.

As for his level of concern about deGrom, who is due to be examined Monday in New York, Collins said: “He’s not concerned about it. The trainers really aren’t. I’m not overly concerned, except that he’s a young kid who has got a sore shoulder. And that scares me. So we’re going to go get it checked and let the professionals tell us how it is.”

Morning Briefing: Colon milestone looms

August, 8, 2014
Aug 8
5:25
AM ET
WASHINGTON

FIRST PITCH: Bartolo Colon may not be going anywhere until the offseason anyway, but whether he is eligible to be traded this month remains to be determined.

ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports that while Curtis Granderson is currently on waivers, the Mets have not yet put Colon through the process.

If a player is claimed, the Mets can dump the contract on that team, work out a trade, or pull the player back. Pulling the player back makes him ineligible to be dealt this month. If a player clears waivers, he can be dealt without restriction in August.


David Goldman/Associated PressBartolo Colon takes his second crack at career win No. 200 on Friday in Philly.


Meanwhile, Colon (10-9, 4.12 ERA) again bids for his 200th career win Friday. He opposes Philadelphia Phillies right-hander A.J. Burnett (6-11, 4.16) at 7:05 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park, in the opener to a four-game series.

With a victory, Colon would become the third active pitcher to reach the 200-win plateau, joining Tim Hudson (213 career wins) and CC Sabathia (208). Colon also would become the third Dominican-born pitcher, joining Juan Marichal (243) and Pedro Martinez (219).

Two pitchers have notched No. 200 as a Met: Orel Hershiser and Martinez.

Read the Mets-Phillies series preview here.

Friday’s news reports:

Carlos Torres surrendered a walk-off two-run homer to Bryce Harper in the 13th as Washington beat the Mets, 5-3, in Thursday’s rubber game. Torres has allowed five homers in eight innings over his last seven relief appearances.

Jenrry Mejia tossed one inning, but no more, because of calf stiffness.

Jacob deGrom had a quality start (three runs in six innings). The NL Rookie of the Month for July came away with a no-decision as his five-game streak of winning starts ended.

Juan Lagares departed on a double-switch in the eighth, and Terry Collins expressed no reservations.

David Wright says the Mets -- now 54-61, nine games back in the division and eight games back in the wild card -- need to take things one game at a time.

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

• Read more on Mejia’s cranky calf in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Newsday and at MLB.com.

• Columnist Mike Vaccaro in the Post wonders about Collins’ future. The manager is under contract for next season. Writes Vaccaro:

Too many games have played out this way, truth be told, with him making some truly head-scratching decisions. Look, if most of them worked, you would salute his gut and his guts, and he would be praised for some unconventional thinking. But that’s the chance you take. And plays like [Eric] Young [Jr.]’s offer further evidence that Collins probably went too far to the other side after spending his early managerial years as a self-admitted tyrant. There seems little to fear inside the Mets clubhouse.

At this point, he deserves the rest of the season. He deserves another job in the organization, back in player development, where his true talent lies. But when Harper’s ball sailed over the Samuel Adams sign, it effectively ended the Mets for 2014, and put everyone on the clock for 2015. That ticking starts in the manager’s office.

• Columnist John Harper in the Daily News pronounces the Mets’ season over. Columnist David Lennon in Newsday agrees.

Writes Harper:

Can we officially be done with the silly talk that has lingered about the Mets making some late-season run at the playoffs?

Writes Lennon:

The Mets can stop the pretending now.

• After three straight solid outings, Noah Syndergaard allowed four runs (two earned) on seven hits and four walks in a 102-pitch effort that lasted five innings Thursday. Jayce Boyd’s two-run double in the eighth broke a scoreless tie as Binghamton blanked Richmond, 3-0. Cam Maron had three errors in addition to producing a pair of doubles as Fort Myers beat St. Lucie, 6-2. Martires Arias tossed six scoreless innings in Brooklyn’s 4-0 win against Mahoning Valley. Dowling College product Tyler Badamo earned his first professional win as the GCL Mets beat the GCL Cards, 5-3. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Critic Bob Raissman in the Daily News wonders why Gary, Keith and Ron objected to Tuesday’s SNY extensive coverage of Matt Harvey's mound session in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

BIRTHDAYS: John Hudek was born on this date in 1966.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets promote Noah Syndergaard now?

Torres' struggles continue in defeat

August, 7, 2014
Aug 7
7:40
PM ET

Luis M. Alvarez/Associated PressBryce Harper celebrates a walk-off two-run homer against Carlos Torres on Thursday.
WASHINGTON -- What’s happened to Carlos Torres?

Once one of the most dependable and versatile pitchers the Mets possessed, the 31-year-old Torres is now in a major rut.

Torres walked leadoff man Ian Desmond and surrendered a walk-off two-run homer to Bryce Harper on Thursday afternoon as the Washington Nationals beat the Mets, 5-3, in 13 innings.

Torres did not record an out.

He has now surrendered eight earned runs -- and five homers -- in eight innings over his past seven appearances. He had produced a 2.88 ERA and has surrendered only four homers in 59 1/3 innings through July 12.

“He’s just having a tough time keeping it in the park,” Terry Collins said.

After starting Harper with a cutter in for a ball, Torres aimed to throw a two-seam fastball down and away.

“It just didn’t move that much, unfortunately,” Torres said.

Torres lamented a spike in his walks of late more than the recent hits he has surrendered. He has now issued four walks in three innings spanning his last four appearances.

“Realistically, I don’t think the hits are as much of a problem as the walks,” Torres said. “I think it was the Giants game I ended up walking the pitcher, [Madison] Bumgarner. My cutters were out of the zone. Today I walked Desmond. The Phillies game was a fluke. I walked three or four dudes in that game (actually, two). The time before I think I walked a guy also. I think that’s the bigger problem than the hits themselves.

“Nonetheless the hit cost us the game today.

"The team played extremely well. They did everything they could do for 12 innings. I didn’t give them a chance to make a play.”

Torres said the at-bat against Desmond got away from him because he tried to make Desmond miss out of the strike zone rather than pitch to contact after getting ahead in the count.

“I don’t usually walk people,” Torres added about his recent body of work. “That’s why I’m a little shocked by it, too.”

Of course, it’s entirely possible Torres’ heavy workload over the past two seasons is catching up with him. Torres' 67 1/3 relief innings lead the National League.

“I know he’s real frustrated about it,” Collins said about Torres’ struggles. “I know we all are, because he’s a huge part of our bullpen -- a very, very big part of our bullpen. Right now he’s struggling as bad as I’ve seen him.”

The rubber-game loss means the Mets are now nine games behind the first-place Nats.

“We need to beat this team,” Torres said. “So, for me personally, it’s frustrating, because I cost us the game.”

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
15 4.09 151 202
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187