New York Mets: Cody Ransom

Rapid Reaction: Mets 11, Padres 2

April, 1, 2013
4/01/13
4:14
PM ET



WHAT IT MEANS: The Mets’ Amazin’ Opening Day success continues.


Frank Franklin II/Associated Press
Jon Niese earned the win in his first career Opening Day start.


Jonathon Niese surrendered two runs in a 101-pitch effort over 6 2/3 innings, the Mets knocked out Edinson Volquez before he recorded an out in the fourth and Collin Cowgill capped things off with a seventh-inning grand slam as the Mets beat the San Diego Padres, 11-2, on Monday at Citi Field.

The Mets improved to 34-18 in openers, upping their MLB-best winning percentage to .654 on Day 1.

The Citi Field crowd was announced as a sellout at 41,053 -- plus another 1,000 tickets donated to Sandy relief -- although there appeared to be pockets of empty seats.

WHAT OUTFIELD? Cowgill, whose four RBIs were a career high, became the second Met to produce a grand slam on Opening Day, joining Todd Hundley (1995, off Billy Swift at Colorado). Brad Brach, who gave up Cowgill's slam, grew up in Freehold, N.J., and played college ball at Monmouth.

NIESELY DONE: Niese, the Mets’ 22nd different Opening Day starter, did some of the damage with his bat. He went 2-for-2 with a walk. That included delivering an RBI single off the glove of third baseman Cody Ransom in the second inning, which staked the Mets to a 2-0 lead.

Only two major league pitchers reached base three times in a game last season without benefit of an error: Mat Latos and Cole Hamels.

Niese hit .218 last season, tied with Tim Hudson for third among NL pitchers who had at least 60 plate appearances. Mike Leake led that category with a .295 average. Edwin Jackson ranked second, at .228.

On the mound, the damage against Niese came on a third-inning RBI single by Carlos Quentin and a homer to open the sixth by Yonder Alonso. He allowed four hits and two walks while also hitting a batter and striking out four.


Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports
Marlon Byrd had a pair of RBI singles in his Mets debut.


TWO-FER SPECIAL: Marlon Byrd contributed a pair of run-scoring singles in his Mets debut, while fellow newcomer John Buck had an RBI single.

Byrd, Buck and Ruben Tejada each notched two hits.

Byrd’s two RBIs matched his entire total in 13 games with the Chicago Cubs to open last season.

Buck -- not fleet of foot -- had scored the game’s opening run from first base on a double by Tejada into the left-field corner in the second inning.

Tejada’s contribution was particularly welcome considering his frigid spring training. After homering in his first Grapefruit League at-bat (against Washington’s Stephen Strasburg), Tejada hit .078 (4-for-51) the remainder of spring training, leading to multiple conversations with Terry Collins.

OFF AND RUNNING: David Wright produced a third-inning single, continuing his streak of at least one hit on Opening Day every season he has been in the big leagues (since 2005).

Wright also stole two bases. He joined Mookie Wilson and Darryl Strawberry as the only Mets with multi-steal games on Opening Day.

Wright ranks fifth on the franchise’s all-time steals list with 168. He trails Jose Reyes (370), Mookie Wilson (281), Howard Johnson (202) and Darryl Strawberry (191).

Wright has produced one 30-30 season in his career -- 2007, when he had 30 homers and 34 steals.

OUTTA HERE: Volquez had his shortest outing since lasting only 1 2/3 innings against the Mets last Aug. 4 in San Diego. He was charged with six runs this time. Only Mudcat Grant (1 1/3 innings, 1969 Montreal Expos) and Russ Ortiz (2 1/3, 2004 Atlanta Braves) had shorter Opening Day starts against the Mets in the franchise’s 52-season history.

DEFENSIVE SPECIALIST: After Lucas Duda drew his second walk of the game in the seventh, Kirk Nieuwenhuis pinch-ran with the Mets leading by five runs. Nieuwenhuis stayed in the game in center field, with Cowgill shifting to left field. Collins’ intention is to sub Nieuwenhuis for Duda late in games when the Mets have a lead.

SWING AND MISS: Ike Davis went 0-for-5 with four Ks -- the first Met ever with that strikeout total on an Opening Day.

DEBUTANT: In his 15th pro season, Scott Rice made his major league debut, handling the ninth. He struck out two.

WHAT’S NEXT: After an off-day, the Mets send Matt Harvey to the mound Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. against Padres left-hander Clayton Richard. The Mets had a 21-38 record against southpaw starters last season.

Series preview: Mets vs. Padres

March, 31, 2013
3/31/13
10:15
AM ET

Associated Press
The Mets face (l to r) Edinson Volquez, Clayton Richard and Eric Stults during the season-opening series.
METS (74-88, fourth place/NL East) vs. SAN DIEGO PADRES (76-86, fourth place/NL West)

Monday: LHP Jonathon Niese (13-9, 3.40) vs. RHP Edinson Volquez (11-11, 4.14), 1:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Matt Harvey (3-5, 2.73) vs. LHP Clayton Richard (14-14, 3.99), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: RHP Dillon Gee (6-7, 4.10) vs. LHP Eric Stults (8-3, 2.92), 1:10 p.m. ET

Padres short hops

Chase Headley, who finished fifth in NL MVP balloting last season and won the NL’s Gold Glove at third base, will open the season on the DL with a fractured tip of his left thumb. Logan Forsythe, who was due to fill in, is dealing with plantar fasciitis. So Cody Ransom is the Opening Day starter.

Ransom, 37, signed a minor league contract with San Diego in December. He hit a combined .220 with 11 homers and 42 RBIs in 246 at-bats with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Milwaukee Brewers last season. In 2008, Ransom became the first player in Yankees history to homer in his first two plate appearances with the club.


Andy Hayt/San Diego Padres/Getty Images
Jedd Gyorko, who had 30 homers in the minors last season, makes his major league debut against the Mets.


• Volquez will make his third straight Opening Day start, which includes 2011 with the Cincinnati Reds. Volquez made three World Baseball Classic appearances for the victorious Dominican Republic, including notching the win against the Netherlands in the semifinals. He walked six in his final Cactus League start, but nonetheless limited the Cincinnati Reds to one run and two hits in five-plus innings.

• Rookie Jedd Gyorko, a second-round pick in 2010 from West Virginia University, will make his major league debut on Opening Day. He hit a combined .311 with 30 homers and 100 RBIs in 2012 between Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A Tucson. The righty-hitting Gyorko will move to third base in place of Ransom, and lefty-hitting Alexi Amarista should start at second base, Wednesday against Harvey. The diminutive Amarista has picked up the nickname "Little Ninja."

Carlos Quentin, who had two surgeries on his right knee last year, missed more than two weeks of spring training because of soreness but returned to Cactus League action Tuesday. He is poised to start in left field.

• After dropping a season-worst 22 games under .500 on June 29, the Padres produced a 48-36 record to close last season.

• First baseman Yonder Alonso set a Padres rookie record with 39 doubles last season, passing Benito Santiago’s former mark (33 in 1987).

• Shortstop Everth Cabrera became the first Padre to lead the NL in steals when he produced 44 in 2012. He was 59 for 63 in steal attempts between Triple-A and the majors. His 24 straight successful steals in the majors set a franchise record to start a season. Cabrera is the reigning Nicaraguan Pro Sports Athlete of the Year.

• The Mets reportedly turned down a swap of Daniel Murphy for right-handed reliever Luke Gregerson last year.

• Right fielder Chris Denorfia twice has represented Italy in the World Baseball Classic. He hit .381 in five games in this month’s tournament for Mike Piazza’s squad.

• Center fielder Cameron Maybin hit .198 in his first 71 games and .286 over his final 76 games last season.

• Richard logged 218 2/3 innings last season, which ranked fourth in the NL. He also allowed an NL-high 31 homers.

• Closer Huston Street converted 23 of 24 save chances last season (95.8 percent). The only better conversion percentages in franchise history: Rod Beck (100 percent, 2003) and Trevor Hoffman (98.1 percent, 1998). Street signed a two-year, $14 million extension last July that includes a $7 million team option for 2015.

• A waiver claim last May from the Chicago White Sox, Stults went 7-1 with a 2.79 ERA in his final 10 starts last season.

• San Diego’s projected Opening Day lineup:

Denorfia, rf
Cabrera, ss
Quentin, lf
Alonso, 1b
Gyorko, 2b
Nick Hundley, c
Ransom, 3b
Maybin, cf
Volquez, rhp

Series preview: Mets vs. Diamondbacks

May, 3, 2012
5/03/12
11:50
PM ET

Getty Images
The Mets face three starters for the first time this weekend: (l to r) Wade Miley, Patrick Corbin and Trevor Cahill.
METS (13-12, third place/NL East) vs. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (13-13, second place/NL West)

Friday: RHP Dillon Gee (2-2, 4.85) vs. LHP Wade Miley (3-0, 1.29), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: LHP Johan Santana (0-2, 2.25) vs. LHP Patrick Corbin (1-1, 4.76), 4:05 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP R.A. Dickey (3-1, 4.45) vs. RHP Trevor Cahill (2-2, 3.13), 1:05 p.m. ET

Diamondbacks short hops

• Left-hander Wade Miley topped the Mets’ Kirk Nieuwenhuis for the NL Rookie of the Month honor for April, which was announced Wednesday. Miley, 25, limited opponents to a .133 average with seven walks and 15 strikeouts in 21 innings spanning five appearances (two starts). He became the third Diamondbacks player to be recognized since the monthly award’s inception in 2001, joining Gerardo Parra (May 2009) and Daniel Hudson (August 2010). Miley originally pitched in relief of shaky Josh Collmenter’s starts, logging as much as four innings an appearance. The southpaw entered the rotation when Hudson landed on the DL with a shoulder impingement. Hudson is due to throw a bullpen session for the first time early next week at Chase Field.

• Center fielder Chris Young has been on the DL since April 18 with a right shoulder injury. An MRI revealed a small tear of the ligament in the AC joint as well as a severe bruise. He has started swinging in a cage. GM Kevin Towers reportedly watched Vladimir Guerrero work out in the Dominican Republic on Monday, but there is no firm resolve to sign the veteran with Young’s absence not expected to be prolonged. Righty-hitting rookie A.J. Pollock (.120) and lefty-hitting Parra (.256) have been sharing center-field duty in Young’s absence. Pollock is a native of Hebron, Conn. He attended Notre Dame, where he was the Irish’s first MVP in consecutive seasons since Aaron Heilman in 2000 and ’01.


Lynne Sladky/Associated Press
Ex-Met J.J. Putz blew his second save of the season Wednesday, at D.C.


• Shortstop Stephen Drew began game action Monday in a minor league intrasquad game as he works back from surgery to repair a right ankle fracture he suffered last July 20 sliding on a play at the plate. John McDonald and Willie Bloomquist have shared the shortstop role minus Drew. Collectively, they have committed only two errors. McDonald’s homer on April 17 against the Pittsburgh Pirates was his first since last May 11 against the Boston Red Sox. He had been acquired with Aaron Hill from the Toronto Blue Jays last Aug. 23 for Kelly Johnson.

• Left fielder Jason Kubel signed a two-year, $16 million contract as a free agent on Dec. 12 that includes a team option for 2014. Thursday’s 0-for-4 night at Washington interrupted a streak in which the ex-Twin had hit safely in 13 of 14 games (.393, 22-for-56). Kubel leads major league outfielders in assists with six. During his Twins tenure, he had split time nearly evenly between the outfield and DH.

• Third baseman Ryan Roberts’ struggles at the plate and in field have opened the door for Cody Ransom to chip away at his playing time at the hot corner. Despite singling in three at-bats Thursday, Roberts is in a 3-for-34 rut and is hitting .167 this season. Ransom has started seven of the Diamondbacks’ past 11 games at third base.

• Syracuse-area native Patrick Corbin makes his second major league start Saturday. He won his major league debut, 9-5, at Miami on April 30, allowing three earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. Corbin was selected for the call-up over top-rated prospects Tyler Skaggs (No. 3 Baseball America) and Trevor Bauer (No. 1). Corbin supplanted the ineffective Collmenter (0-2, 9.82 ERA in four starts) in the rotation. Collmenter has moved to the bullpen, but has yet to appear in that role. Corbin had been 2-0 with a 1.67 ERA at Double-A Mobile before the promotion. He was acquired with left-hander Joe Saunders and Skaggs from the Los Angeles Angels in the July 25, 2010 trade for right-hander Dan Haren.

• Right-hander Trevor Cahill arrived from Oakland during the offseason along with left-hander Craig Breslow and cash for right-handers Jarrod Parker and Ryan Cook and outfielder Collin Cowgill.

• Hill has reached base safely in 20 straight games. His 74 homers trail only Dan Uggla and Robinson Cano for the most long balls by a second baseman since 2009.

• Ex-Met J.J. Putz had a 28-game save streak snapped April 14 at Colorado. He blew his second save chance of the season Wednesday at Washington. Putz surrendered a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth to Ian Desmond.

• Catcher Miguel Montero has thrown out seven of 14 would-be base stealers. He is backed up behind the plate by ex-Met Henry Blanco.

Matchups

Gee vs. Diamondbacks (career: 1-1, 4.91 ERA)
Paul Goldschmidt 1.000, 1 PA
Cody Ransom .500, 2 RBI, 2 PA
Justin Upton .400, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 6 PA
Miguel Montero .200, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K, 5 PA
Gerardo Parra .200, 1 RBI, 1 K, 5 PA
Lyle Overbay .167, 6 PA
Ryan Roberts .167, 1 RBI, 6 PA

Santana vs. Diamondbacks (career: 2-0, 0.62 ERA)
Miguel Montero .333, 1 K, 3 PA
Jason Kubel .333, 1 RBI, 3 PA
Justin Upton .250, 2 BB, 3 K, 6 PA
Willie Bloomquist .214, 1 RBI, 1 K, 14 PA
Henry Blanco .125, 1 BB, 3 K, 9 PA
Aaron Hill .111, 1 RBI, 1 K, 9 PA
Lyle Overbay .091, 2 BB, 8 K, 13 PA
John McDonald .077, 1 BB, 2 K, 14 PA

Dickey vs. Diamondbacks (career: 0-1, 3.86 ERA)
John McDonald 1.000, 2 PA
Jason Kubel .600, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 5 PA
Willie Bloomquist .571, 2 RBI, 7 PA
Gerardo Parra .500, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 3 PA
Aaron Hill .500, 1 RBI, 2 PA
Justin Upton .250, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K, 4 PA
Lyle Overbay .071, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, 16 PA
Henry Blanco .000, 1 K, 2 PA
Cody Ransom .000, 1 K, 2 PA

Miley vs. Mets (career: never faced)

Corbin vs. Mets (career: never faced)

Cahill vs. Mets (career: never faced)
Andres Torres .222, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 10 PA

Last series results

Arizona won, 3-0, at Chase Field, Aug. 12-14, 2011 (AP game recaps)

Diamondbacks 4, Mets 3: Ian Kennedy won his seventh straight start to become the National League's second 15-game winner. Kennedy (15-3) allowed a run on six hits in seven innings to tie Philadelphia's Roy Halladay for the most wins in the NL. Justin Upton homered, Cody Ransom doubled in two runs and Kennedy helped himself with an RBI double as Arizona pulled two games ahead of second-place San Francisco. Jason Bay went 3-for-4 with a double and RBI single in the Mets' third straight loss and ninth in 12 games. Arizona first baseman/outfielder Xavier Nady's left hand was broken when he was hit by a pitch from Dillon Gee in the second inning.

Diamondbacks 6, Mets 4: Ryan Roberts hit a three-run homer and the Diamondbacks came from behind to win for the 33rd time this season. Daniel Hudson (12-8) allowed four runs (two earned) on eight hits in eight innings. Hudson also had a run-scoring single, his 13th RBI of the year. J.J. Putz pitched a scoreless ninth for his 29th save in 33 attempts. Mike Pelfrey was hit by a line drive off the bat of Gerardo Parra leading off the fifth inning and had to leave the game with a bruised right elbow. His team led 4-2 at the time. Reliever D.J. Carrasco (1-3) came on to hit Willie Bloomquist, then Roberts followed with his 16th home run of the season on the first pitch he saw.

Diamondbacks 5, Mets 3: Justin Upton homered, Paul Goldschmidt doubled twice and Arizona earned its sixth consecutive win. Diamondbacks starter Jason Marquis, acquired in a July 30 trade from Washington, was hit on the right shin by a line drive in the third and left the game one inning later with a broken shinbone. Goldschmidt doubled and scored on Henry Blanco's double to give Arizona a 4-3 lead in the sixth inning. Zach Duke (3-4), who came on in relief of Marquis, allowed two runs and four hits over 2 2/3 innings and David Hernandez pitched the ninth for his 11th save. Chris Capuano (9-11) allowed four runs and nine hits over six innings.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.289 9 57 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187