New York Mets: Chicago White Sox

Morning Briefing: From snow to 90s

June, 27, 2013

Adam RubinThis was the scene as Matt Harvey threw in the snow at Coors Field in April. Now, it's supposed to be in the mid-90s.

FIRST PITCH: What a difference two months makes. The Mets make a cameo appearance in Denver today for the makeup of a postponed game from a snowy April series. The forecast: a high of 94 degrees this afternoon -- 65 degrees warmer than the last visit.

Jeremy Hefner (2-6, 3.89 ERA) opposes right-hander Tyler Chatwood (4-1, 2.22) in the 6:10 p.m. ET start.

Hefner intended to fly ahead of the Mets to Denver yesterday afternoon, to no avail. Matt Harvey and Dillon Gee did fly directly from Chicago to New York so they can be well-rested for their weekend assignments.

Eric Young Jr. makes his return to Colorado, where he played parts of five major league seasons, after originally being drafted in the 30th round in 2003 by the Rockies. He arrives with a .414 average through 29 at-bats as a Met.

“It’s going to be my first time being on the visiting side when it comes to playing against the Rockies,” Young said. “I’m sure a lot of emotion is going to be involved. But, at the same time, I’m very excited. I’ve been with the organization for nine -- almost 10 -- years, and it’s my first time going against them.”

Read the Mets-Rockies series preview here.

Thursday’s news reports:

Shaun Marcum tossed eight scoreless innings and earned his first Mets win after an 0-9 start and the Amazin’s beat the White Sox, 3-0, Wednesday at U.S. Cellular Field for a split of their two-game series.

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

• Despite stellar numbers at Coors Field, David Wright is due for a day off today.

• The Mets are stalling Ike Davis’ promotion in part because of a string of lefties they continue to face, including at least two against Washington this weekend as well as a pair against Arizona to open next week.

Ruben Tejada should begin a rehab assignment later this week in the Gulf Coast League, and also will make a stop at Las Vegas before being activated from the DL. The way Omar Quintanilla has performed, including slick fielding plays Wednesday night, Tejada is not assured of being the full-time shortstop upon his return from the quadriceps injury.

• Right-handers Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard have been selected to represent the Mets in the Futures Game, which will be held at 2 p.m. on July 14 at Citi Field. Brandon Nimmo is one of five U.S. team finalists that fans can elect to the game. (Vote here.) Mookie Wilson and Edgardo Alfonzo will manage the squads.

• Double-A Binghamton placed five players in the Eastern League All-Star Game: outfielder Cesar Puello, infielders Allan Dykstra and Josh Rodriguez, and right-handers Logan Verrett and Jeff Walters. The game will be played July 10 in New Britain, Conn.

• Kevin Plawecki had a tiebreaking two-run double in the eighth as St. Lucie beat Palm Beach, 7-4. Read the full minor league recap here.

Jonathon Niese is confident he will not need surgery for a partially torn rotator cuff, although that will be for Mets doctors to determine next week in a follow-up exam that will include another MRI.

• Terry Collins will adjust the Mets’ rotation to close the first half, if need be, to ensure Harvey can start the All-Star Game if selected. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Daily News and Newsday.

Zack Wheeler and Dan Warthen will work during a bullpen session today at Coors Field on eliminating pitch-tipping by the rookie. “I was totally unaware of it,” Wheeler told reporters Wednesday afternoon. “Never done it before. I haven’t seen video or anything of last night, so I really don’t know what I was doing.” Read more in the Record, Journal, Star-Ledger and Newsday.

• Citi Field’s All-Star Game menu was showcased Wednesday at the stadium. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

From the bloggers … Metsmertized says Wright is on a Hall-of-Fame trajectory when compared with Chipper Jones, Andre Dawson and Ryne Sandberg during their age-30 seasons. … John Delcos at Mets Report believes the team is rushing Wheeler. … Faith and Fear in Flushing finds the Go-Go Mets highly watchable and somewhat plausible.

BIRTHDAYS: Chris Woodward turns 37. … Jeff Conine is 47.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: How should Terry Collins divvy the playing time between Ruben Tejada and Omar Quintanilla once Tejada returns from the DL?

Rapid Reaction: Mets 3, White Sox 0

June, 26, 2013

CHICAGO -- Shaun Marcum is a winner.

After nine consecutive losing decisions to open his Mets career, Marcum tossed eight scoreless innings and surrendered only four hits as the Mets split a two-game series with the Chicago White Sox in a a 3-0 win on Wednesday at U.S. Cellular Field.

Marcum’s 0-9 start had been the third worst in franchise history to begin a season. Anthony Young began the 1993 season at 0-13 and Bob Miller began the inaugural 1962 season at 0-12.

The eight innings matched Marcum’s season high, which he also tossed in a hard-luck 2-1 loss to the Miami Marlins on June 8.

Marcum last tossed eight scoreless innings on May 12, 2008, with Toronto against Cleveland.

Bobby Parnell notched his 13th save with a scoreless ninth.

The Mets did not muster their first baserunner until Eric Young Jr.’s leadoff single in the fourth against White Sox left-hander John Danks.

Sloppy fielding by Chicago an inning later opened the door for a three-run frame.

After singles by Josh Satin and Andrew Brown put both in scoring position with one out, Juan Lagares sent a sharp grounder to shortstop, which Alexei Ramirez missed for an E-6. Satin and Brown both scored. Young followed with a run-scoring infield single as the Mets grabbed a 3-0 lead.

Forever Young: Young finished 3-for-4. He is hitting .414 (12-for-29) as he makes a cameo Thursday against his former employer, Colorado, which traded him to the Mets for Collin McHugh last week.

Not zimmo: John Buck went 0-for-4 with four K's.

What’s next: The Mets make up a postponed game from April on Thursday in considerably balmier Colorado. Jeremy Hefner (2-6, 3.89 ERA), who flew to Denver this afternoon, opposes right-hander Tyler Chatwood (4-1, 2.22 ERA) at 6:10 p.m. ET. The Mets then take a red-eye flight home for a weekend series with the Washington Nationals.

Wednesday's Mets-White Sox lineups

June, 26, 2013
CHICAGO -- Here are the lineups as the Mets face the Chicago White Sox in the finale to a two-game interleague series.

Eric Young Jr., lf
Daniel Murphy, 2b
David Wright, 3b
Marlon Byrd, rf
Josh Satin, 1b
John Buck, c
Andrew Brown, dh
Juan Lagares, cf
Omar Quintanilla, ss

Shaun Marcum, rhp

White Sox
Alejandro De Aza, cf
Alexei Ramirez, ss
Alex Rios, rf
Adam Dunn, 1b
Dayan Viciedo, lf
Jeff Keppinger, dh
Brent Morel, 3b
Gordon Beckham, 2b
Tyler Flowers, c

John Danks, lhp

Morning Briefing: Marcum still searching

June, 26, 2013

FIRST PITCH: And now Shaun Marcum needs to prevent a sweep.

Marcum (0-9, 5.76 ERA) again searches for his first Mets win when he opposes left-hander John Danks (1-4, 5.40) in the finale to the two-game series at 8:10 tonight at US Cellular Field.

The Mets then fly to Colorado for a makeup game -- with the exception of Matt Harvey and Dillon Gee, who will travel directly to New York in advance of their weekend starts against the Washington Nationals.

Only two pitchers in Mets history have endured more winless decisions to begin a season than Marcum. Anthony Young opened the 1993 season with an 0-13 record. Bob Miller began the inaugural 1962 season at 0-12.

Wednesday’s news reports:

Zack Wheeler allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings and labeled his second major league start “bad,” while pitching coach Dan Warthen acknowledged Wheeler tipped pitches by using different arm angles. The Mets nonetheless tied the score on a dropped pop-up by second baseman Gordon Beckham with two outs in the top of the ninth. But LaTroy Hawkins surrendered a run in the bottom half as the White Sox survived to beat the Mets, 5-4, Tuesday night.

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

• Harvey will appear in the ESPN The Magazine “The Body Issue,” which hits newsstands July 12. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger and Daily News.

William Perlman/The Star-Ledger/USA TODAY SportsCollin Cowgill has been traded to the Angels.

• The Mets traded Collin Cowgill, who had been designated for assignment, to the Los Angeles Angels for Class A outfielder Kyle Johnson. Johnson, a 2012 draft pick from Washington State University, will report to low-A Savannah.

• The Mets officially have rearranged their rotation. Harvey goes Friday against the Nats, with Gee on Saturday, then Wheeler on Sunday in his home debut.

Greg Burke was demoted before Tuesday’s game to clear the roster spot for the addition of Wheeler.

• Michael Fulmer, working back from spring-training surgery to repair a torn meniscus, tossed six scoreless innings in a Gulf Coast League game Tuesday. Rainy Lara tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings in St. Lucie’s 4-0 win against Bradenton. Read the full minor league recap here.

• Terry Collins suggested Ike Davis’ minor league stint may continue into next week. The Mets will face a pair of left-handers this weekend against the Nats, then potentially two more in the following series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Mets ideally want to maximize Davis’ potential to succeed by promoting him coinciding with a string of right-handed opposing pitchers. Davis was 0-for-4 with a strikeout and intentional walk Tuesday against Salt Lake.

• Mookie Wilson and Edgardo Alfonzo will serve as the managers for the Futures Game, which will be held as part of the All-Star festivities at Citi Field on July 14.

BIRTHDAYS: Infielder Luis Hernandez, who played in 17 games with the Mets in 2010, turns 29. … Right-hander Jason Middlebrook is 38.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: How do you think Zack Wheeler will do against the Washington Nationals on Sunday at Citi Field?

Rapid Reaction: White Sox 5, Mets 4

June, 25, 2013
CHICAGO -- Luis Castillo, Part II. And this time in the Mets’ favor.

Zack Wheeler was spared his first major league loss when second baseman Gordon Beckham dropped a would-be game-ending popup in traffic near the mound with two outs in the top of the ninth, allowing David Wright to score the tying run from second base.

For the third time on this road trip, however, the Mets lost in walk-off fashion.

Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated PressZack Wheeler ended up with a no-decision despite allowing four runs in 5 1/3 innings.

Alexei Ramirez produced a two-out run-scoring single against LaTroy Hawkins in the bottom of the ninth as the Mets lost to the Chicago White Sox, 5-4, Tuesday night at US Cellular Field.

The Mets had lost on walk-off homers in Atlanta courtesy of Freddie Freeman and Philadelphia courtesy of Kevin Frandsen.

Wheel deal: Wheeler is going to want to forget his second career major league start.

Pitching on two extra days of rest and with a between-starts itinerary that involved joining Triple-A Las Vegas, Wheeler surrendered four runs on four hits, three walks and hit a batter in 5 1/3 innings. The damage could have been worse, but Carlos Torres entered and stranded a pair of inherited runners.

He departed trailing 4-3.

The rookie right-hander had tossed six scoreless innings in his major league debut against the Atlanta Braves last Tuesday.

The Sox took the one-run lead in the fifth, on Alejandro De Aza's run-scoring groundout and Ramirez's sacrifice fly narrowly ahead of Marlon Byrd's strong throw from right field.

Smooth Sailing: Stolen bases by Eric Young Jr. and Wright in the first helped produce two runs and Andrew Brown's leadoff homer in the fifth staked the Mets to a 3-2 lead. But White Sox left-hander Chris Sale -- taken in the same first round as Matt Harvey in 2010 -- otherwise mostly had his way with the Mets.

Sale had retired 10 straight batters, eight via strikeout, before surrendering the long ball to Brown. He then retired another six straight after the homer.

The southpaw finished with 13 Ks, the most by a pitcher against the Mets since John Smoltz had 15 on April 10, 2005. (That was the first win for the “New Mets” after an 0-5 start. Smoltz led Pedro Martinez, 1-0, into the eighth inning, when Carlos Beltran's two-run homer ignited a five-run inning and gave Willie Randolph his first managerial victory.)

What's next: Shaun Marcum (0-9, 5.76 ERA), still in search of his first Mets win, opposes left-hander John Danks (1-4, 5.40) at 8:10 p.m. ET Wednesday in the conclusion of the two-game interleague series.

Tuesday's Mets-White Sox lineups

June, 25, 2013
CHICAGO -- Here are the lineups as the Mets face the Chicago White Sox in the Windy City for the first time since 2002.

Eric Young Jr., lf
Jordany Valdespin, 2b
David Wright, 3b
Marlon Byrd, rf
Josh Satin, 1b
John Buck, c
Andrew Brown, dh
Juan Lagares, cf
Omar Quintanilla, ss

Zack Wheeler, rhp

White Sox
Alejandro De Aza, cf
Alexei Ramirez, ss
Alex Rios, rf
Adam Dunn, 1b
Dayan Viciedo, lf
Conor Gillaspie, 3b
Jeff Keppinger, dh
Gordon Beckham, 2b
Tyler Flowers, c

Chris Sale, lhp

Morning Briefing: Zack Wheeler Day

June, 25, 2013
FIRST PITCH: Zack Wheeler makes his second major league start as the Mets open a two-game series on the South Side of the Windy City against the Chicago White Sox.

Wheeler, who tossed six scoreless innings in his major league debut a week ago against the Atlanta Braves, opposes left-hander Chris Sale (5-6, 2.69 ERA) at 8:10 p.m. ET. Wheeler aims to cut down his walk total after issuing five bases on balls in his victorious first big league start.

Still, pitching coach Dan Warthen told the Post: “When you throw six shutout innings in Atlanta, that’s pretty damn good. At that particular time he had B.J. Upton hitting behind [Freddie] Freeman, and Freeman was swinging the bat extremely well, so we didn’t care whether we walked him. So there was a couple of the walks that were almost intentional. So now we’re down to really three walks that truly happened against him throwing poor pitches.”

The only other time the Mets played the White Sox in Chicago came in 2002, in a Bobby Valentine versus Jerry Manuel managerial matchup. Joe McEwing, now the White Sox’s third base coach, played for that Mets squad.

Read the series preview here.

Tuesday’s news reports:

Julie Jacobson/Associated PressIke Davis has five homers in his past four games with Triple-A Las Vegas.

Ike Davis probably can do without the distinction, but he has been named Pacific Coast League Player of the Week after slugging four homers in a two-day span at Tucson. Zach Lutz instead received a promotion last weekend when Lucas Duda landed on the disabled list. Davis should return to the Mets as soon as Thursday at Colorado. Davis is a lifetime .375 hitter (9-for-24) at Coors Field. And the Rockies are expected to throw a right-hander, Tyler Chatwood, that day. Davis, incidentally, homered again last night as part of a 2-for-3 game with a walk against Salt Lake. Read more in the Post.

• Marc Carig in Newsday profiles Wheeler. Writes Carig:

Zack Wheeler wanted to fit in, so he did what he had always done and followed the lead of his older brothers. On his first day at a new high school in a new town, he slipped on a jersey and baggy jeans, the kind that his brothers used to wear.

"Then I come out here and everybody's wearing polos and they're like frat kids," Wheeler said earlier this year, not far from the Georgia high school from which he started his journey to the major leagues. "Everybody was making fun of me."

Eventually, he made the transition, just as he has done at every stop since that first day at East Paulding High School in Dallas, Ga. And Tuesday, when he arrives for his start against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, the 23-year-old again will depend upon his adaptability.

Writes columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post:

Getty ImagesMatt Harvey and Zack Wheeler can give the Mets a formidable one-two punch atop the rotation.

In the post-steroids era, the value of two power starters cannot be understated. A true power pitcher in this generation of wild swingers is worth his weight in baseball gold, and to have two of them would catapult any team to success -- even the Mets.

Read columnist Bill Madden’s take in the Daily News.

Read more on Wheeler in the Record, Star-Ledger and Daily News.

David Wright’s recent surge has coincided with production from Marlon Byrd hitting behind him -- which means pitchers cannot be as willing to pitch around the captain. Writes Jared Diamond in the Journal:

From 2006 through 2009, when Wright hit in a lineup that also featured Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado, Wright saw a strike on 50 percent of the pitches he faced. He compiled a .911 OPS over that span.

When Wright's protection dried up, so did the pitches to hit. From 2010 through 2012, he saw a strike just 44.8 percent of the time, with the likes of Jason Bay, Ike Davis and Lucas Duda often hitting behind him. He posted an .845 OPS in those years.

In recent weeks, Wright started seeing strikes again, in large part because teams respect Byrd's power. He and Wright lead the team with five homers apiece in June. Wright attributed a portion of his success to Byrd, saying, "I'm seeing better pitches to hit. No question."

• The Mets have signed 35-year-old right-hander Giancarlo Alvarado to a minor league contract, the Post’s Mike Puma reported. The Puerto Rico-born Alvarado, pitching for Saltillo, is 0-2 with a 4.03 ERA in eight appearances (seven starts) in the Mexican League. He is coming off an outing in which he allowed 10 runs (six earned) in 4 1/3 innings.

• Erik Goeddel tossed seven scoreless innings as Binghamton beat Portland, 3-0. Pedro Feliciano with the B-Mets and Tim Byrdak with Class A St. Lucie each tossed scoreless innings. Read the full minor league recap here.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear in Flushing writes that a pack of 2012 Las Vegas 51s baseball cards turned out to hold a valuable Mets lesson. … The Eddie Kranepool Society suggests this season is starting to get a bit of a 1968 feel as Matt Harvey is starting to give off a Seaver-esque aura that is rubbing off on his teammates.

BIRTHDAYS: Carlos Delgado turns 41. … Alejandro Pena is 54. … Aaron Sele is 43. … Kane Davis turns 38.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Can the Mets make a run at .500?

Series preview: Mets at White Sox

June, 24, 2013

USA TODAY SportsThe Mets face lefties Chris Sale and John Danks in Chicago.
METS (30-42, fourth place/NL East) vs. CHICAGO WHITE SOX (31-42, fifth place/AL Central)

Tuesday: RHP Zack Wheeler (1-0, 0.00) vs. LHP Chris Sale (5-6, 2.69), 8:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Shaun Marcum (0-9, 5.76) vs. LHP John Danks (1-4, 5.40), 8:10 p.m. ET

White Sox short hops

• Second baseman Gordon Beckham returned from the disabled list June 3 after missing nearly two months with a fractured hamate bone in the base of his left hand. He underwent April 16 surgery. Beckman has pronounced lefty-righty splits: He is hitting .394 (26-for-66) against right-handed pitching and .045 (1-for-22) against left-handed pitching this season.

Bob Levey/Getty ImagesGordon Beckham returned this month after surgery to address a broken bone in the base of his hand.

• First baseman/DH Adam Dunn slugged his 20th homer Sunday, which ranks third in the AL, trailing only Chris Davis (27) and Edwin Encarnacion (21) and tied with Miguel Cabrera. Dunn, however, is hitting only .193 with a .293 on-base percentage.

Dunn now has 426 career homers, tied with Billy Williams for 46th all time. Ahead of Dunn is teammate Paul Konerko, whose 429 homers are two shy of matching Cal Ripken Jr. for 42nd all time.

David Wright, Derek Jeter and Konerko are the only current captains in MLB.

• Ex-Met Jeff Keppinger has only six walks and a .250 on-base percentage, but his average has started to climb. Keppinger is hitting .321 in 23 games (20 starts) since May 18, lifting his season average to .232. Keppinger has split time with lefty-hitting Conor Gillaspie at third base since Beckham’s return.

John Danks surrendered a career-high four homers against the Minnesota Twins in his most recent outing. He allowed six runs and 12 hits in five innings. Danks made his season debut May 24 after recovering from left shoulder surgery performed last summer.

• The White Sox have lost 18 of their last 25 games. Still, they are 16-14 at home this season.

• Reliever Jesse Crain’s streak of 29 straight scoreless appearances ended Sunday at Kansas City when he allowed three runs in the bottom of the eighth and was tagged with a blown save. The right-hander’s scoreless streak spanned 29 innings.

• Lefty Chris Sale was the 13th overall pick in the 2010 draft, out of Florida Gulf Coast University. The Mets selected Matt Harvey seventh overall in that first round.

Sale had reached the sixth inning in nine straight starts before giving up four runs and eight hits in five innings at Minnesota last week. He was grazed in the arm and chin by a comebacker off the bat of Oswaldo Arcia in that start. Sale is 0-4 in four starts in June, despite logging 26 1/3 innings and producing a 3.08 ERA.

Jake Peavy is on the DL with a fractured rib on his left side. He may return in roughly three weeks.
FIRST PITCH: The Mets will see no shortage of left-handers during a four-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates that opens at 7:10 tonight at Citi Field. And that should mean more Juan Lagares, Andrew Brown and Marlon Byrd and not very much of Jordany Valdespin.

Southpaw Jeff Locke (3-1, 3.21 ERA) faces Dillon Gee (2-4, 6.16) in the series opener. Left-handers Wandy Rodriguez and Francisco Liriano -- the latter in his Pirates debut -- start the following two days before the Mets see 25-year-old right-hander Jeanmar Gomez on Mother’s Day opposite Matt Harvey.

Thursday’s news reports:

• The Mets lost to the White Sox, 6-3, Wednesday at Citi Field to split a two-game series against Robin Ventura’s crew. Jeremy Hefner (0-4) surrendered a homer to the game’s first batter, Alejandro De Aza, and ultimately was charged with four earned runs on eight hits and a walk in six innings.

Mike Stobe/Getty Images
The Mets fell to 0-6 in games started by Jeremy Hefner this season.

The Mets are now winless in Hefner’s six starts this season, although they have scored a combined 10 runs while he has been in those games. The Mets are now 0-7 in the game after Harvey pitches.

Lucas Duda had a solo homer against Jake Peavy in the second inning to even the score at 1. Duda now has seven homers, but only 11 RBIs.

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

• Hefner acknowledged before Wednesday’s start he would be on thin ice if Zack Wheeler were promoted now. “If it was right now, if he came up today, then yeah I would probably be the one that gets sent down,” Hefner told Jorge Castillo in the Star-Ledger. “I’m realistic enough to know that, but I can’t control that.” Wheeler next pitches for Triple-A Las Vegas on Saturday.

• After delivering a pinch-hit single in the eighth, Justin Turner remained in the game in left field -- his first outfield action since limited exposure in 2006 with Class A Billings. Turner, who had one spring-training appearance in the outfield in March, did not have any chances Wednesday -- just a homer over his head off the bat of Alex Rios. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Harvey discussed Tuesday’s flirtation with a perfect game with Mike Lupica on ESPN New York 98.7. Listen to the podcast here.

Seth Wenig/Associated Press
After 24 hours to enjoy his near perfection Tuesday, Matt Harvey is back to being all business.

Benjamin Hoffman in the Times assesses the likelihood of Harvey throwing a no-hitter. Writes Hoffman:

Bill James once devised a method of determining how many no-hitters a pitcher could be expected to have pitched based on how often he allowed hits and how many games he started. While the method was somewhat accurate, with [Nolan] Ryan expected to have thrown the most, the same calculations effectively showed how hard it is to predict a no-hitter. Besides Ryan, the only pitchers reasonably expected to have thrown even one no-hitter over the course of their careers were Walter Johnson, Tom Seaver, Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens.

Clemens, who twice struck out 20 batters in a game, never threw a no-hitter at any level despite finishing his career with a higher expected no-hit total (1.07) than Sandy Koufax (0.92), who threw four.

Using the James method, it would take hundreds of starts for Harvey to be expected to throw a no-hitter regardless of how well he pitches, but his incredibly low hits per nine innings, which outpaced any of the pitchers at the top of James’s list, makes each of his starts intriguing as long as his current magic lasts.

Ron Darling, comparing Dwight Gooden with Harvey to columnist Bob Klapisch in the Record, said: “The results are about the same in their ability to win at-bats even in a hitter’s count. But whereas Doc was Baryshnikov, Harvey is more workmanlike. With Doc, it was all about the strikeouts; Harvey can defeat you in different ways because he has more pitches.”

Read more thoughts on Harvey’s outing after time to reflect in the Times, Newsday and Star-Ledger. By the way, Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was among who texted Harvey after the dominating performance against the Sox.

• Cody Derespina in Newsday recreates the timeline of Mets PR man Jay Horwitz’s tweets about Harvey’s supposed intention to skip last night’s Mets game to watch the Rangers at MSG. Horwitz was joking, but some on Twitter took him literally. Read more in the Daily News.

Frank Francisco worked a scoreless inning with two walks for Class A St. Lucie on Wednesday. Francisco, nearing activation from the disabled list after experiencing spring-training elbow inflammation, pitched for the third time in four days.

• Cesar Puello homered twice, Logan Verrett came within an out of his third career complete game and Jeff Walters produced his Eastern League-leading ninth save in Binghamton’s 3-1 win against Trenton. Aderlin Rodriguez had a walk-off single that plated T.J. Rivera as St. Lucie beat Daytona, 6-5, in 10 innings. Zach Lutz produced a three-run homer and Kirk Nieuwenhuis also went deep after replacing ejected Collin Cowgill, but starter Carlos Torres surrendered nine runs in four innings as Las Vegas lost to Round Rock, 9-5. Wally Backman also was ejected by the first-base ump after Cowgill was ruled out to end the fifth inning.

• White Sox left-hander Hector Santiago, who tossed seven scoreless innings opposite Harvey on Tuesday, talks in the Star-Ledger about his Newark roots. Santiago’s favorite player growing up: fellow southpaw John Franco.

From the bloggers … Mike Baxter discusses the Mets' hitting approach with Metsmerized Online. … Mets Police offers some unofficial rules for Saturday’s Banner Day. … Faith and Fear reports on one Mets fan who experienced his own kind of perfection at Citi Field Tuesday. … John Delcos at Mets Report writes that it isn’t important for Harvey to pitch a no-hitter -- just to pitch.

BIRTHDAYS: Jerry Buchek, an infielder in the late ’60s with the Mets, was born on this date in 1942.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: What is the one change you would immediately make to the 25-man roster if you were in charge?

Wednesday's Mets-White Sox lineups

May, 8, 2013
Here is the Mets lineup for the second game of this two-game interleague series with the Chicago White Sox, first pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m.:

Jordany Valdespin, CF
Daniel Murphy, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Lucas Duda, LF
John Buck, C
Mike Baxter, RF
Ike Davis, 1B
Ruben Tejada, SS
Jeremy Hefner, P

And here's the White Sox lineup:

Alejandro De Aza, LF
Alexei Ramirez, SS
Alex Rios, RF
Conor Gillaspie, 3B
Paul Konerko, 1B
Dewayne Wise, CF
Tyler Greene, 2B
Tyler Flowers, C
Jake Peavy, P

Rapid Reaction: Mets 1, White Sox 0 (10)

May, 7, 2013
WHAT IT MEANS: Matt Harvey pitched nearly perfectly against Robin Ventura’s club -- retiring 27 of 28 batters. He received the cruelest of no-decisions.

Pitching for the first time since being named NL Pitcher of the Month for April, and with three extra days of rest thanks to a rainout in Atlanta, Harvey retired the first 20 Chicago White Sox batters he faced.

Adam Rubin
Robin Ventura, Fred Wilpon and John Franco chat during batting practice.

The perfect-game bid ended in the narrowest of fashions. With two outs in the seventh, Alex Rios sent a grounder deep into the hole at shortstop. Ruben Tejada fielded it and went airborne for a throw as his momentum carried him toward left field. First-base ump Mark Carlson properly called Rios safe by a hair and the perfect-game and no-hit bids ended.

That was the only batter who reached in nine innings against Harvey, but the Mets also failed to score. So when Bobby Parnell entered for the 10th, Harvey was saddled with a no-decision despite shaving his ERA to 1.28.

The Mets ultimately won in walk-off fashion, 1-0 in the 10th, when pinch-hitter Mike Baxter singled against Nate Jones to score Ike Davis. Davis had walked to open the inning and advanced to second on a sac bunt by Juan Lagares. It was Baxter's first career walk-off hit.

The last MLB pitchers to log nine or more innings, allow no runs and one or fewer hits and get a no-decision: Travis Wood (Cincinnati, 2010), Ben Sheets (Milwaukee, 2004), Miguel Batista (Arizona, 2002), Ryan Rupe (Tampa Bay, 1999), Francisco Cordova (Pittsburgh, 1997) and Alan Benes (St. Louis, 1997).

Harvey's 6 2/3 perfect innings marked the longest perfect stretch by a Met since Rick Reed against Tampa Bay at Shea Stadium on June 8, 1998. Reed also was perfect for 6 2/3 innings, until Wade Boggs doubled.

Harvey -- who pitched the first inning with blood running from his nose -- finished with a career-high 12 strikeouts. It was his second double-digit strikeout performance of the season (also April 3 against San Diego) and fourth of his career. His previous career high had been 11 strikeouts in his major league debut last July 26 at Arizona.

He required only 105 pitches to complete nine innings. He had been annoyed with his most recent outing in Miami, when he tossed a career-high 121 pitches in 5 1/3 innings against the Marlins.

Newark’s Hector Santiago matched the zeroes Harvey was putting up before departing with his pitch count at 111 for the bottom of the eighth in a 0-0 game. The Mets left four runners on base over the first two innings and mustered only four hits against Santiago.

WHAT’S NEXT: The two-game series comes to a close Wednesday as Jeremy Hefner (0-3, 4.34 ERA) opposes right-hander Jake Peavy (3-1, 3.38) at 7:10 p.m.

Tuesday's Mets-White Sox lineups

May, 7, 2013
Here are the lineups as the Mets face the Chicago White Sox for the first time ever in Queens on Tuesday night.

Ruben Tejada, ss
Daniel Murphy, 2b
David Wright, 3b
John Buck, c
Lucas Duda, lf
Andrew Brown, rf
Ike Davis, 1b
Juan Lagares, cf
Matt Harvey, rhp

White Sox
Alejandro De Aza, lf
Jeff Keppinger, 2b
Alex Rios, rf
Adam Dunn, 1b
Conor Gillaspie, 3b
Alexei Ramirez, ss
Tyler Flowers, c
Dewayne Wise, cf
Hector Santiago, lhp

Series preview: Mets vs. White Sox

May, 7, 2013

Getty Images
The Mets face Hector Santiago and Jake Peavy during their first series against the White Sox in 11 years.
METS (12-16, fourth place/NL East) vs. CHICAGO WHITE SOX (13-17, fifth place/AL Central)

Tuesday: RHP Matt Harvey (4-0, 1.56) vs. LHP Hector Santiago (1-1, 2.29), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (0-3, 4.34) vs. RHP Jake Peavy (3-1, 3.38), 7:10 p.m. ET

White Sox short hops

Jake Peavy was scratched from Monday’s start against Kansas City with back spasms, but threw a bullpen session and declared he would instead be ready to face the Mets on Wednesday at Citi Field. Peavy last pitched April 26.

• Mets doctor David Altchek is due to perform season-ending surgery on Gavin Floyd for a tear of the flexor muscle near his right elbow on Tuesday in New York. The Sox also are missing rotation member John Danks, who is planning to return later this month from shoulder surgery after not being deemed ready out of spring training. Hector Santiago has stepped into the rotation. Santiago hails from Newark. He is a prep product of Bloomfield (N.J.) Tech. Santiago had been the long man to open the season. He was in the mix to fill in for Danks out of spring training, but that job instead went to Dylan Axelrod.

Ed Zurga/Getty Images
Ex-Met Joe McEwing is the third-base coach on Robin Ventura's staff.

• The Sox are not setting the table for their middle-of-the-order hitters. Leadoff man Alejandro De Aza ranks last in the American League in on-base percentage from the leadoff spot at .286. Ex-Met Jeff Keppinger ranks last among No. 2 hitters in OBP in the AL at .202. De Aza does have five homers.

• Closer Addison Reed had converted 17 straight save chances dating to last season before suffering a blown save Sunday on a game-tying two-run double by K.C.’s Billy Butler.

The Sox’s bullpen had been projected to be a major strength, but instead has struggled. The relief corps has an MLB-high eight losses despite a 3.38 ERA. Reed along with fellow flamethrowers Nate Jones and ex-Met/import Matt Lindstrom were supposed to dominate the final two innings, with Jones initially projected as a co-closer type. Right-hander Jesse Crain and left-hander Matt Thornton were supposed to shore up the seventh inning as a tandem before going to the kids late in games.

• First baseman/DH Paul Konerko went 0-for-5 Monday, dropping his average to .225 with four homers and 15 RBIs. That is an atypically slow start for Konerko. Over the previous three seasons he has averaged hitting .304 with 32 homers and 97 RBIs a season.

• Ex-Met Robin Ventura has been viewed as a breath of fresh air as White Sox skipper -- the anti-Ozzie Guillen. Injuries have undermined Ventura’s Sox in his second season at the helm. Second baseman Gordon Beckham broke the hamate bone in his left hand and is still a few weeks away from returning. Power-hitting left fielder Dayan Viciedo is on the disabled list with a sprained oblique and is just starting a rehab assignment.

• The lone other meeting between the Mets and White sox came June 10-12, 2002 in Chicago. Flushing is the last National League venue the Sox had never visited.

Morning briefing: Harvey vs. Ventura, Sox

May, 7, 2013

Tim Heitman/USA TODAY Sports
Robin Ventura visits Flushing today as manager of the Chicago White Sox.
FIRST PITCH: Matt Harvey, pitching with three days of extra rest, aims to go to 5-0 when he faces Robin Ventura and Joe McEwing’s Chicago White Sox at Citi Field tonight at 7:10.

From ESPN Stats & Information:

Harvey has allowed more than one run in only one of his past eight starts, dating to last season. His only prior interleague start was eight innings of two-hit ball against the Minnesota Twins on April 13.

Ventura played only three seasons for the Mets (1999-2001), but made quite an impact. David Wright, Dave Kingman and Ventura share the club record for the most six-RBI games in Mets history with three. Ventura also hit five grand slams with the Mets, one shy of Mike Piazza’s club record.

Of course, that does not include Ventura’s “grand-slam single” in the 15th inning of Game 5 of the 1999 National League Championship Series against the Braves to cap an epic comeback win.

The White Sox are actually playing the Mets in New York for the first time.

Harvey opposes Newark's Hector Santiago tonight. Harvey originally was supposed to line up to face fellow 2010 first-round pick Chris Sale, but Sale's start moved up a day to Monday in K.C. after Jake Peavy needed to be delayed due to back spasms.

Tuesday’s news reports:

• Harvey last pitched last Monday in Miami. He is unconcerned about the extra rest as well as logging a career-high 121 pitches against the Marlins. His last offering in Miami registered 96 mph. "I feel like I can go out there 120, 130 pitches each time and my body can handle it," Harvey said. (Terry Collins said that pitch count will not be the norm.) Writes Jared Diamond in the Journal:

Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander led baseball with six complete games last season and still averaged only 114.2 pitches per start. No other pitcher even averaged 110. Harvey is averaging 104.5 so far this year.

Last season, the Mets curtailed Harvey's season after 169 1/3 innings between the majors and minors. They say they won't limit him this season, but their actions suggest they remain at least somewhat concerned about their phenom's workload.

After Harvey's 121-pitch outing last week, the Mets planned to give him an extra day of rest so he could recover. Harvey said he didn't need it and wanted to start on his regular rotation.

Read more in the Star-Ledger and Newsday.

Courtesy of New York Mets
Zack Wheeler has shaved his ERA to 4.00 with Las Vegas.

• In his past two starts with Triple-A Las Vegas, Zack Wheeler has limited opponents to one run, eight hits and two walks while striking out 12 in 12 innings.

“Outstanding -- the best he’s pitched all year,” 51s manager Wally Backman told Mike Puma in the Post. “He’s turning the corner. That is what we have seen the last two starts. If we see that a couple of more starts, he’s going to be pushing the door open himself, forcing the issue for sure. … He’s showed excellent command the last couple of starts. Before he was missing up and out of the strike zone, arm side, all the time and [Sunday] he never missed one time up and out of the zone arm side.”

• Sandy Alderson tells Kristie Ackert in the Daily News about Ike Davis: “I don't think he's happy with what has happened to date. We would have hoped for a better performance to this point, but the evidence is he can do it. And he could do that again this season. We'll see what transpires. But Ike is a big part of the team. We expect him to come around soon.”

Read more on Davis’ slow start in the Post.

• 2011 first-round pick Brandon Nimmo was batting .414 for low-A Savannah through April 23. He now is in an 0-for-20 rut with the Gnats and actually has not played since April 29 because of a hand injury.

"We want him to go through this," Savannah manager Luis Rojas told Clint Robus in Newsday. "This is part of his development, and this is the part where he's going to ... figure out a lot more things."

Said Nimmo about the slump: "I knew this was going to happen. So I'm not too surprised."

• Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post notes there is one player from the Johan Santana swap with the Twins that is contributing big time. That is Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez, who leads the NL with a .368 average. Gomez along with Philip Humber, Kevin Mulvey and Deolis Guerra went to Minnesota on Feb. 2, 2008 for Santana.

• Wright had six steals in April -- on pace for a 30-steal season. He had one 30-30 season in his career -- in 2007. "When the situation presents itself, I feel like I have the ability to take a base here and there," he told Mike Kerwick in the Record. "But I’m not going to steal bases for the sake of trying to get a certain [number of] bases or for the sake of doing it. I’m going to do it for a reason."

• St. Lucie right-hander Hansel Robles returned from an upper-back injury to limit Daytona to one run in five innings in a 6-2 win Monday. Frank Francisco pitched for the second straight day for the Florida State League club, allowing one hit in a scoreless inning. Read the full minor league recap here.

• It’s a safe bet Bobby Parnell will not lose his closer’s job once Francisco is activated from the disabled list. Read a profile of Parnell’s adaption to that role from Anthony DiComo at

• The Mets’ Saturday postponement in Atlanta will be made up on June 18 as part of a split doubleheader at Turner Field. It now becomes a five-game series against the Braves.

Edgardo Alfonzo, Kevin Burkhardt and 92.3 Now's Ty Bentli will judge Saturday’s Banner Day at Citi Field.

From the bloggers … Blogging Mets checks in to see how several ex-Mets are doing with their new teams so far this season.

BIRTHDAYS: Brook Fordyce, who was drafted by the Mets in the third round out of high school in Connecticut in 1989 and made his major league debut with the club six years later, is 43.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Where does Robin Ventura factor in among your favorite Mets of all time?

What if the Mets did trade David Wright?

October, 29, 2012
AP Photo/Tony TribbleHow chagrined would David Wright be if he were traded?

There are probably conversations taking place this week between David Wright and his reps with Sandy Alderson and his crew, trying to get a handle on the Mets future plans, with the intention of making Wright a long-term offer.

The hope is that the sides will come to an agreement, one that will probably be worth well more than $100 million.

But what if the groups emerge from these meetings without a contract?

Then, the Mets would have to look into trading Wright.

The team that would take Wright on a one-year deal, without the promise of re-signing, would have to be one that thinks his acquisition betters their chances at playing in the 2013 World Series.

It would have to be one that can absorb Wright’s salary for next season.

And the team would have to be one with enough talent at positions of Mets need (outfield, catching, pitching depth, not to mention a replacement for Wright) to pique their interest.

There are three teams that we can’t see the Mets sending Wright to, even though a personnel fit may exist: the division-rival Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies and the crosstown-rival New York Yankees.

But what other teams might give Alderson a call?

Here are a few guesses:

Arizona Diamondbacks
The conversation starts with …The Diamondbacks have a spare outfielder in 25-year-old Gerardo Parra, who has put up good defensive numbers at the corner positions and has stolen 15 bases in each of the last two seasons.

Parra is two years removed from a good season, one in which he posted a .357 on-base percentage, .784 OPS and 2.8 WAR.

The Diamondbacks have a potential replacement for Wright in Chris Johnson (.281 BA, 15 home runs), whose 132 strikeouts and 31 walks (and an 0.7 WAR) may be a turnoff for Mets management.

The alternative to Johnson would be Matt Davidson, a 21-year-old who rated borderline top-100 in both Keith Law’s and Baseball America’s prospect rankings last spring. Davidson had 20 and 23 home runs the last two seasons, the latter with Double-A Mobile.

The conversation gets intriguing if …It includes one of the Diamondbacks top pitching prospects- Archie Bradley, Trevor Bauer, or Tyler Skaggs. The three were all ranked ahead of Zack Wheeler in Keith Law’s preseason Top 100 prospects ranking from 2012 spring training.

The one caution: the Diamondbacks shut down both Bauer and Skaggs at the end of the season because of drops in their velocities.

Chicago White Sox
The conversation starts with …an understanding that the White Sox may not have the pieces to make this kind of trade. One of the pieces would probably be centerfielder Alejandro De Aza, who had a .349 on-base percentage and 26 steals last season.

The conversation gets intriguing if …the White Sox show a willingness to move some of their young arms, such as Jose Quintana, who had a 2.04 ERA in his first 10 appearances in 2012 before fading and finishing with a 3.76 ERA, or closer Addison Reed (29 saves, 4.75 ERA).

Cincinnati Reds
The conversation starts with ...the combination of centerfielder Drew Stubbs and starting pitcher Mike Leake, but that's not too appealing considering they were worth a combined 0.4 WAR last season.

The conversation gets intriguing if ...the Reds open the door to some of their more appealing names. Homer Bailey and Todd Frazier seem like unrealistic asks (unless the Reds were in immediate position to sign Wright long-term), but catching prospect Devin Mesoraco would seem to have significant value if the Mets deem him ready for everyday work.

Los Angeles Angels
The conversation starts with …remembering that last year there were reports that the Mets were interested in outfielder Peter Bourjos and pitcher Garrett Richards.

Despite posting a 4.8 WAR in 2011, Bourjos, a defensive stud, was demoted to a fourth-outfielder role in 2012 due to the presence of Mike Trout, Vernon Wells and (now free-agent) Torii Hunter. When Bourjos did play (he also had a hip injury), his offensive numbers were terrible, including a .606 OPS, down from .765 in 2011.

The 24-year-old Richards has a 4.87 ERA and 1.58 WHIP in 85 major-league innings. The Angels primarily used him out of the bullpen last season.

The conversation gets intriguing if…it includes Jordan Walden, the former Angels closer, who lost his job early in 2012 and missed time due to a bicep injury. Walden’s appeal is his velocity. His fastball peaks at 99 miles-per-hour, but he doesn’t have an effective second pitch. He threw his slider for strikes less than half the time last season.

Los Angeles Dodgers
The conversation starts with …the thinking that this might be a tougher fit than dealing with the White Sox.

Beyond Matt Kemp, the Dodgers roster is crowded with expensive players (such as Hanley Ramirez) that the Mets probably wouldn’t want and young players (like Dee Gordon) who play positions at which the Mets don’t have a need. At 31 years old, A.J. Ellis, who recorded a .373 on-base percentage, would be the most appealing major leaguer and realistic get for the Mets.

The conversation gets intriguing if …The Dodgers offer up No. 1 pitching prospect Zach Lee, one of the few blue-chippers left in the organization after the deals for Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, and Carl Crawford.

Who would you want in a package for David Wright?

Share your thoughts in the comments section



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