New York Mets: Cole Hamels
After consecutive 14-inning games, the Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 4-3, Sunday afternoon courtesy a tiebreaking two-run homer in the 11th by Lucas Duda against Phillippe Aumont.
The Mets tied a franchise record with their third straight extra-inning game. It has now happened four times, most recently with three straight 10-inning affairs at Houston from July 31 through Aug. 2 in 2001.
Josh Edgin earned the win after striking out the side in the 10th. Jenrry Mejia recorded the save despite surrendering a solo homer to Marlon Byrd with one out in the bottom half.
Ouch: Juan Lagares left Sunday's game in the 10th inning with right rib-cage pain and appears headed to the disabled list.
Deep thoughts: Ryan Howard produced a two-run homer against Jonathon Niese in the fourth to stake Philadelphia to a 2-1 lead. It was Howard’s 40th homer against the Mets, more than any other active player. Teammates Chase Utley (31) and Jimmy Rollins (28) are next on the list, followed by Atlanta’s Dan Uggla and Washington’s Adam LaRoche (24 apiece).
Sloppy play: The Mets evened the score at 2 in the sixth on an unearned run against Cole Hamels. After a leadoff double, Eric Campbell advanced to third base on Rollins’ throwing error to first base on Chris Young’s grounder. That put Campbell in position to score on Curtis Granderson’s ensuing sacrifice fly.
The Mets had a chance to take the lead in the seventh after more Phillies sloppiness. Lagares reached on an error by third baseman Reid Brignac. Daniel Murphy then hit into a would-be 4-6-3 double play. However, second baseman Cesar Hernandez's flip to Rollins at second base was wide and Lagares was safe there. The Mets eventually stranded two baserunners when Campbell and Young consecutively struck out.
The Phillies had more sloppiness against Niese the following half-inning. With Hernandez on second base and one out, Domonic Brown -- pinch-hitting for Hamels -- singled to left field to advance Hernandez to third base. But Brown got caught between first and second and was tagged out. Niese then stranded Hernandez at third base by retiring Ben Revere.
Niese departed after eight innings and 91 pitches with the score tied at 2 when his spot came up to lead off the ninth. He likely would have been able to continue pitching had he batted in the eighth as planned. Instead, with Niese at the plate, Ruben Tejada was caught stealing to end that frame, delaying Niese’s at-bat until the ninth.
What’s next: The teams complete the five-game series at 7:05 p.m. Monday. Bartolo Colon (4-5, 4.73 ERA) opposes right-hander Roberto Hernandez (2-2, 3.76).
Getty ImagesThe Mets are due to face Hiroki Kuroda and Vidal Nuno in the Bronx.
FIRST PITCH: Bring on the Yankees! (And the outrage over what gift the Mets will give retiring Derek Jeter!)
After halting their five-game losing streak with a dramatic win Sunday against the Philadelphia Phillies, the “True New Yorker”-cheered Mets face their Bronx rivals for the next four games.
First up are two games at Yankee Stadium. Then the site shifts to Citi Field.
Monday in the Bronx, ex-Yankee Bartolo Colon (2-5, 5.36 ERA) opposes right-hander Hiroki Kuroda (2-3, 4.43).
The Mets swept the four games from the Yankees in 2013, but are 40-53 against the Bombers lifetime in the regular season.
Monday’s news reports:
• Down three runs in the bottom of the ninth, the Mets ultimately rallied for a 5-4 win against the Phillies on Sunday at Citi Field. Ruben Tejada delivered a walk-off RBI single in the 11th with the bases loaded. Wilmer Flores had been unavailable Sunday because he and Gonzalez Germen were suffering from an illness that is making its way through the clubhouse. Eric Campbell notched his first major-league hit, in the fourth inning against Cole Hamels.
“The energy level is unbelievable,” Terry Collins said postgame Sunday about the clubhouse atmosphere. “It hasn’t been that high in a long time, even when we were playing good. They knew things hadn’t been going good. We got big hits from some guys who have been struggling. That’s all going to add up in the end. This win may really be the win that gets us going.”
Said Jonathon Niese, who received a no-decision: “Obviously that was much-needed. … I was saying it during the game: This is going to be the game that turns this thing around. Hopefully that’s the case and we can just build off of this one.”
Still, Collins acknowledged the hitters need to perform better. Tejada snapped an 0-for-17 skid and Chris Young snapped an 0-for-18 skid during the game.
“We’ve got to get it going throughout the lineup,” Collins said. “I said in spring training we can’t survive with two or three guys hitting. We’ve got to spread it through the lineup for us to be really, really good. We’ve got to get it going. You look at the last six days and there’s an area where we struggled really bad. Some of those guys have got to start producing. I’m not saying hit homers, but get some hits.”
Columnist David Lennon in Newsday suggests Sunday’s win will help the Mets regain some self-esteem. Columnist Bill Madden in the Daily News revisits the Sunday comeback.
Read game recaps in the Philadelphia Daily News, Post, Daily News, Newsday, Times, Star-Ledger, Record and at MLB.com.
• Collins said Jeurys Familia is “real close” to taking over the closer’s role. Read more in the Daily News.
• Sandy Alderson refused to speak to the media Sunday about Jenrry Mejia’s status for Wednesday’s start or any other topic. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Newsday.
• Jeter, entering his final Subway Series, is nostalgic, writes George King in the Post. Read more in the Daily News.
• Collins suggested suddenly buried Eric Young Jr. merits more playing time after going 3-for-6 with two runs scored Sunday.
• Anthony McCarron in the Daily News notes E.Y. Jr. and now-Yankee Jacoby Ellsbury led their leagues in steals last season.
• CC Sabathia, who had been due to face the Mets on Thursday, instead landed on the disabled list. Alfredo Aceves is expected to make the start in Sabathia’s place.
• Kevin Plawecki threw out three would-be base stealers and Tyler Pill won for the first time in more than a year as Binghamton beat Harrisburg, 2-1. Read the full minor-league recap here.
• Mets pitchers are 0-for-63 at the plate this season. Jay Schreiber in the Times suggests they channel their inner Dae-Sung Koo during the Subway Series. Koo doubled against Randy Johnson and scored -- with a weighted ball in his jacket pocket -- at Shea Stadium on May 21, 2005.
• Tim Teufel’s son Shawn, a former Mets farmhand, will pitch for the independent Rockland Boulders.
• Daniel Barbarisi in the Journal previews the Subway Series.
• From the bloggers … Blogging Mets thinks the fact that Mets pitchers have not yet gotten a hit is a non-story. … NY Mets Life examines if Terry Collins is the right man for the job.
BIRTHDAYS: Hall of Famer Yogi Berra, who finished his playing career with the club and also managed them from 1972 through ’75, turns 89. ... Mark Clark is 46. ... Jack Egbert is 31.
TWEETS OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: Who will win the Subway Series?
Good for Ruben Tejada. He was crestfallen Wednesday in Miami when he was told he'd be benched. Everyone deserves a moment. #Mets— Mike Vaccaro (@MikeVacc) May 11, 2014
Trailing by three runs in the bottom of the ninth, and with Philadelphia Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon unavailable, the Mets got a two-run homer from Daniel Murphy against Antonio Bastardo and a run-scoring groundout from Juan Lagares against Roberto Hernandez to send the game to extra innings.
The Mets ultimately beat the Phillies, 5-4, in 11 innings on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field to snap a five-game losing streak and avoid getting swept in a second straight series.
Ruben Tejada plated the winning run with a one-out single against Jeff Manship with the bases loaded. It was Tejada's third career walk-off RBI.
The Mets improved to 17-19.
The Mets’ bats had been moribund in the clutch entering the ninth inning, including being 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
Seemingly poised for a big first inning against Cole Hamels after David Wright’s RBI single staked the Mets to a 1-0 lead and placed runners on the corners with none out, the Amazin’s instead failed to plate another run. Chris Young struck out, Eric Campbell grounded back to the pitcher and Lagares struck out.
They loaded the bases in the fourth with one out, only to have Jonathon Niese strike out and Eric Young Jr. ground into a fielder’s choice.
In the sixth, with two runners in scoring position and two outs, Curtis Granderson pinch-hit for Niese and struck out.
In the seventh, after a one-out double by Murphy, Hamels struck out Wright looking and, with pitch No. 133, coaxed a flyout to center field from Chris Young.
In the eighth, pinch hitter Travis d’Arnaud struck out to strand two on base.
The Mets entered the bottom of the ninth trailing, 4-1, after Chase Utley produced a run-scoring triple against Jose Valverde in the top half.
The Mets are 4-for-33 with the bases loaded this season. Mets pitchers are 0-for-63, extending their MLB record to open a season.
The Phillies had broken a 1-all tie in the fourth by putting the ball in play. Campbell, in his first big-league start, fielded Domonic Brown’s grounder to first base and threw home trying to catch Ryan Howard. The throw was up the third-base line, Anthony Recker missed the tag and the Phillies had the lead. Wil Nieves followed with a run-scoring groundout.
Niese’s final line: 6 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. He threw 97 pitches (63 strikes).
Snapped: Chris Young snapped an 0-for-18 drought with a ninth-inning double. He scored the tying run.
It’s a first: Campbell produced his first major-league hit with a leadoff single in the fourth against Hamels.
What’s next: The Subway Series, beginning with two games in the Bronx.
Bartolo Colon (2-5, 5.36 ERA) is due to face Hiroki Kuroda (2-3, 4.43) in Monday’s 7:05 p.m. opener at Yankee Stadium. CC Sabathia, the originally scheduled Thursday starter for the Yankees, instead has landed on the disabled list with right-knee inflammation.
FIRST PITCH: The Mets have lost a season-high five straight as well as eight of nine. They also now occupy sole possession of last place in the National League East.
Can Jonathon Niese stop the slide?
Niese (2-2, 1.82 ERA) opposes left-hander Cole Hamels (0-2, 7.02) in Sunday’s 1:10 p.m. series finale as the Mets look to avoid getting swept for a second straight series, as they did in Miami.
Hamels has a 7-14 record and 4.65 ERA in 27 career starts against the Mets. The Mets roughed him up for six runs in 4 2/3 innings two weeks ago in Philly. Hamels then allowed five runs on 10 hits and a walk against the Toronto Blue Jays, including surrendering homers to Edwin Encarnacion and Colby Rasmus. Overall, Hamels needs one win for 100 in his career.
Sunday’s news reports:
• Terry Collins would not commit Saturday to Jenrry Mejia making his next start, and appears to prefer 23-year-old Rafael Montero getting promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas for Wednesday’s outing opposite Masahiro Tanaka and the Yankees at Citi Field. Of course, Sandy Alderson -- who picked Mejia over Daisuke Matsuzaka out of spring training, which was not Collins’ preference -- would need to sign off on bouncing Mejia from the rotation. Would the GM allow a prospect to debut in the Subway Series (and before the Super 2 deadline)? That seems out of character. In fact, a source tells columnist John Harper in the Daily News about Alderson's thinking on Montero: "not yet."
After tossing 5 1/3 no-hit innings Friday (with three walks) at Salt Lake, Montero is 4-1 with a 3.67 ERA and .203 opponent batting average in eight Pacific Coast League starts.
Read more in the Post, Newsday and at MLB.com.
• Eric Campbell joined the Mets on Saturday and received No. 29, formerly donned by Ike Davis. He delivered a tiebreaking sac fly while pinch hitting with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth against left-hander Jake Diekman. Campbell became the first player in franchise history with a sac fly in his first big-league plate appearance. Ken Boswell in 1967 had a sac fly in his MLB debut, but it came later in the game.
Campbell had an eventful second plate appearance. With the score tied at 4, one out and two in scoring position in the eighth, Mike Adams threw the first pitch of an intentional walk. Chase Utley then came to the mound with Carlos Ruiz and the Phillies -- realizing Bobby Abreu had grabbed a helmet and planned to subsequently pinch hit -- reversed course and pitched to Campbell, who proceeded to strike out.
Eric Campbell made his major league debut Saturday with a sacrifice fly and strikeout off the bench.
Josh Satin, who had been 3-for-28 this season in sporadic use, was optioned to Las Vegas. Campbell figures to start Sunday against Hamels.
Read more in Newsday.
• A half-inning after the Mets stranded the bases loaded, Ryan Howard delivered a two-out RBI single in the ninth against Kyle Farnsworth and Philadelphia beat the Mets, 5-4, Saturday night at Citi Field. At three games under .500, the Mets (16-19) have matched their 0-3 start for their season low-water mark.
After consecutive singles to open the bottom of the eighth, Chris Young -- hitless in 14 at-bats -- had a successful sac bunt. Campbell then struck out, Wilmer Flores walked and Abreu, pinch-hitting for Travis d’Arnaud, grounded back to Adams as the score remained tied at 4.
Scott Rice had inherited a one-run lead for the seventh from Dillon Gee and surrendered a game-tying RBI double to Utley.
Gee’s scoreless streak ended at 16 innings with two runs by the Phillies in the first. He allowed three runs in six innings and tossed only 81 pitches before departing with a 4-3 lead in what became a no-decision. Collins preferred having Rice face the Utley/Howard portion of the Phillies lineup in their fourth plate appearances.
David Wright snapped a career-high 136 at-bat homerless drought with a two-run homer in the first inning against Kyle Kendrick. Wright finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs, but popped out in foul territory against Jonathan Papelbon with Daniel Murphy at second base to end the game.
Mets pitchers remained hitless and are now 0-for-61 to open the season.
Read game recaps in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Post, Daily News, Times, Newsday, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.
• Noah Syndergaard surrendered five runs (four earned) in six innings for Las Vegas, including a first-inning three-run homer to Nick Franklin. He struck out 10. Matt Koch, Randy Fontanez and Beck Wheeler combined on the shutout as St. Lucie beat Palm Beach, 2-0. John Gant, Dawrin Frias and Robert Coles combined on the shutout as Savannah beat Charleston, 1-0. 2012 first-round pick For the Gnats, Gavin Cecchini returned to the lineup two days after departing with a knee injury. Savannah snapped Yankees prospect Caleb Smith’s scoreless streak at 23 1/3 innings. Read the full minor-league recap here.
• Jon Hamm, who plays advertising executive Don Draper on “Mad Men,” is a St. Louis Cardinals fan in real life. Hamm was in New York on Friday promoting his role as a sports agent in the new Disney movie, “Million Dollar Arm.” Writes Anthony McCarron in the Daily News:
“Oh, I hated the Mets with a passion that kills and still do,” Hamm said last week while promoting his new movie, “Million Dollar Arm,” which opens Friday, May 16.
But, Hamm acknowledges, the Mets -- at least the late ’60s version -- are the “perfect team for Don Draper to root for. They’re brand new. They represent nothing but possibility.
“Don would never be a Yankee fan. That’s a frontrunner. He’s an underdog guy, if he’s anything.”
Speaking of Don Draper and the ’69 Mets, columnist Mike Vaccaro addresses that topic in the Post.
Read more in the Times and Newsday.
• Kevin Burkhardt (Class of 1997) will give William Patterson University’s commencement address Wednesday at the Izod Center, writes Phil Mushnick in the Post.
• The Yankees will honor Joe Torre, Goose Gossage, Tino Martinez and Paul O’Neill with plaques in Monument Park this season. So what about the Mets honoring their past heroes? Writes David Lennon in Newsday:
The franchise has retired only three numbers in addition to Jackie Robinson's No. 42 -- Casey Stengel's 37, Gil Hodges' 14 and Tom Seaver's 41 -- but [Mike] Piazza seems to be next in line.
Piazza's No. 31 has not been issued by the Mets since he left after the 2005 season, and he was inducted into the team's Hall of Fame last year. But the Mets appear to be waiting on Piazza's campaign for Cooperstown, and he fell 74 votes shy of the 75 percent needed (429) for induction in his second year.
Carter's No. 8, Keith Hernandez's No. 17 and Willie Mays' No. 24 also have been mostly kept out of circulation, so they remain possibilities.
In the meantime, the Mets rely on a seven-person committee to decide on their own Hall of Fame, which has 27 inductees. Who will follow Piazza? David Wright? That would be a bit of a wait.
• Columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post suggests the Mets' season appears snowballing out of control.
• Omar Quintanilla cleared waivers and accepted a demotion to Vegas. Quintanilla, who was replaced by Wilmer Flores on Friday, had the right to decline the assignment and declare free agency.
• There have been 122 players to play for both the Mets and Yankees, writes Anthony Rieber in Newsday. There are five slated to participate in this week’s Subway Series: Abreu, Bartolo Colon, Farnsworth, Curtis Granderson and Carlos Beltran.
• The Chicago White Sox promoted former Mets closer Frank Francisco from Triple-A Charlotte on Saturday.
• The Los Angeles Angels released ex-Mets left-handed reliever Robert Carson from Triple-A Salt Lake, where he had a 10.34 ERA and had allowed 23 hits and 13 walks in 15 2/3 innings.
• From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear encounters a Mets fan existential crisis.
BIRTHDAYS: Walt Terrell, who was traded to the Detroit Tigers for Howard Johnson on Dec. 7, 1984, turns 56.
TWEETS OF THE DAY:
My child is already sick of this pen pic.twitter.com/RAClnsgq25— Casey Stern (@CaseyStern) May 11, 2014
YOU’RE UP: Who should start Wednesday against the Yankees -- Jenrry Mejia, Rafael Montero, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Carlos Torres, Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard?
With each passing loss that Loyalty Oath is becoming a Loyalty Dare. #Mets— Mike Vaccaro (@MikeVacc) May 11, 2014
Getty ImagesThe Mets face Roberto Hernandez, Kyle Kendrick and Cole Hamels this weekend at Citi Field.
Friday: RHP Jenrry Mejia (3-0, 5.23) vs. RHP Roberto Hernandez (2-1, 4.50), 7:10 p.m. ET
Saturday: RHP Dillon Gee (3-1, 2.51) vs. RHP Kyle Kendrick (0-3, 3.58), 7:10 p.m. ET
Sunday: LHP Jonathon Niese (2-2, 1.82) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (0-2, 7.02), 1:10 p.m. ET
Phillies short hops
• Jimmy Rollins tweaked his right groin muscle Sunday against the Washington Nationals. He has yet to return to shortstop. In a home-and-home four-game series against Toronto, Rollins pinch-hit Monday and Tuesday in Philly. He then served as the designated hitter on Wednesday and Thursday in the American League ballpark.
Rollins is 28 hits shy of matching the Phillies’ all-time record, held by Mike Schmidt with 2,234. Richie Ashburn ranks second with 2,217 hits as a Phillie, from 1948-59.
• Roberto Hernandez formerly was known as Fausto Carmona. He signed with the Phillies as a free agent for one year at $4.5 million on Dec. 12. After spending seven seasons with the Cleveland Indians, Hernandez went 6-13 with a 4.89 ERA in 32 appearances (24 starts) with the Tampa Bay Rays last season.
• Ex-Met Marlon Byrd faces the Mets at Citi Field for the first time since signing with the Phillies for two years, $16 million on Nov. 12. Byrd homered last Tuesday against Jonathon Niese in the first meeting between the clubs since his defection. He went 2-for-4 Thursday in Toronto to up his season totals to .317/.348/.516.
• The Phillies have been held to one run or fewer in four of their past eight games, beginning with the Mets’ 6-1 win at Citizens Bank Park last week.
Except for Byrd, they are getting woeful offensive production from their outfield. Center fielder Ben Revere (.283/.295/.317) did not start Thursday, with Tony Gwynn Jr. instead getting the nod. Soon, Byrd could shift to center field, displacing Revere from the starting lineup. That likely would coincide with Darin Ruf returning from a season-opening DL stint. Ruf (strained left oblique) has started a rehab assignment. Ruf had 14 homers in 251 at-bats last season.
Left fielder Domonic Brown is hitting .226 with one homer and 11 RBIs in 115 at-bats.
• Cole Hamels needs one win for 100 in his career. He followed up the outing in which he allowed six runs in 4 2/3 innings against the Mets by surrendering five runs on 10 hits and a walk in six innings against the Jays on Tuesday. Hamels surrendered homers to Edwin Encarnacion and Colby Rasmus in that outing as his ERA swelled to 7.02. Hamels has made three starts overall since returning from a season-opening trip to the disabled list for biceps tendinitis.
• Closer Jonathan Papelbon has tossed 12 straight scoreless innings.
Drew Hallowell/Getty ImagesCole Hamels gave himself a harsh critique after losing to the Mets on Tuesday.
FIRST PITCH: The Mets sit at four games over .500 for the first time since July 14, 2012. And they now have 15 wins, their most in April since 2007.
Now, Bartolo Colon attempts to keep the Amazin’s rolling Wednesday night. Although the game may end up a washout given the dire weather forecast, Colon (2-3, 4.50 ERA) is scheduled to oppose right-hander Kyle Kendrick (0-2, 3.52) at 7:05 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park.
Wednesday’s news reports:
• Jonathon Niese overcame rainy weather and allowed one run in seven innings and the Mets beat the Phillies, 6-1, Tuesday night. Cole Hamels, who was charged with all six runs, fell to 7-14 with a 4.65 ERA in his career against the Mets. He walked four, including Niese to force in a run, in the fourth.
“Sometimes when you pitch, you have to battle the elements, and the elements definitely got the best of me today,” Hamels told reporters postgame, as quoted in the Star-Ledger. “Just not being able to locate pitches or throw strikes or even apply a plan of attack to hitters, when you’re not able to execute, it creates a serious issue. It led to a very poor performance. I’m truly embarrassed.
“I didn’t give anybody a chance. Balls weren’t being put in play because I wasn’t allowing them to be put in play. It’s an embarrassment because I’m not allowing my team to get in the game. Even for the fans who stayed today, it’s pretty embarrassing. The type of game I went out there and pitched is not the type of game I’d like to credit myself on. It was very poor.”
Byrd, who homered against Niese for Philadelphia’s lone run, said pregame that he appreciated the opportunity the Mets gave him last season when his career was on the ropes. Byrd had Lucas Duda work with him on hitting early this past offseason in Los Angeles.
Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Times, Journal, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record and at MLB.com.
• The Mets intend to activate Juan Lagares from the disabled list on Thursday, for the series opener at Colorado. Terry Collins indicated he plans to rotate his four primary outfielders once Lagares returns. Lagares had a pinch-hit double for Las Vegas on Tuesday night. He is due to start for the 51s again on Wednesday as he returns from a pulled right hamstring. Read more in Newsday and at MLB.com.
• 1986 hero Mookie Wilson appeared on “The Daily Show” with Mets fan Jon Stewart. “Who would have thought that that would be the last championship the Mets ever won?” quipped Stewart to Mookie as the appearance concluded. Watch here.
• The Mets emailed a letter to fans, signed by ’86 and ’69 Mets including Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez, asking the fans to sign a letter and write a note supporting the team, which will be presented to players.
• Duda reportedly filed a report with police alleging he was the victim of theft, including the loss of a knock-off Breitling watch. Duda declined to comment Tuesday.
• Assistant GM John Ricco tells Ken Davidoff in the Post that Jacob deGrom and Rafael Montero beginning to work in relief at Triple-A is "not that far off."
• Savannah’s Kevin McGowan and Robert Coles combined to blank Delmarva, 4-0. Read the full minor-league recap here.
• From the bloggers … Mets Police wonders if the Open Letter from Keith and Ron is actually an overreaction to the recent survey suggesting the Mets are not the most popular team in Queens. … The Eddie Kranepool Society writes about the 50th anniversary of Shea Stadium and how it's also the 50th anniversary of the author becoming a Mets fan.
BIRTHDAYS: Left-hander Bob Hendley, who finished his career with the Mets, was born on this date in 1939.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
PHILADELPHIA -- True New Yorkers will relish this: The Mets are four games over .500 for the first time since July 14, 2012.
After an 88-minute delay at the start, the Mets scored six runs against a wild Cole Hamels, and Jonathon Niese limited the Phillies to four hits in seven innings en route to a 6-1 win on a rainy Tuesday night at Citizens Bank Park.
The Mets improved to 15-11. They are 14-5 in Philly since the start of the 2012 season.
Daniel Murphy went 3-for-5 with an RBI. He extended his hitting streak to 10 games and extended his streak of consecutive successful steals to 28, within five of matching Kevin McReynolds for the franchise record.
Hamels fell to 7-14 with a 4.65 ERA in his career against the Mets. That is his most losses against any club. The ERA is his highest against any current National League member, although all of Hamels’ 10 starts against the Houston Astros (4.90) came before they moved to the American League.
Hamels departed after Ruben Tejada’s two-out, two-run single in the fifth staked the Mets to a 6-1 lead. The southpaw surrendered eight hits and five walks.
Four of the walks came in the fourth inning, including a bases-loaded free pass to Niese that forced in a run as the Mets took a 3-0 lead.
Josh Satin, who entered the game with a .125 average, perhaps imperiling his big-league roster spot, contributed an RBI single earlier in the fourth.
Murphy actually was thrown out on the basepaths, but it was not considered a caught stealing. When a pitch from Hamels bounced away from catcher Carlos Ruiz in the third, Murphy broke for second and was thrown out. That was considered a fielder’s choice.
Ex-Met Marlon Byrd gave Philadelphia its first hit with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, on a solo homer to left field against Niese.
What’s next: Weather-permitting, the Mets send Bartolo Colon (2-3, 4.50 ERA) to the mound at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday. Colon opposes right-hander Kyle Kendrick (0-2, 3.52).
Getty ImagesThe Mets face Kyle Kendrick in Game 2 of the series, after Cole Hamels in the opener.
Tuesday: LHP Jonathon Niese (1-2, 2.45) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (0-1, 3.00), 7:05 p.m. ET
Wednesday: RHP Bartolo Colon (2-3, 4.50) vs. RHP Kyle Kendrick (0-2, 3.52), 7:05 p.m. ET
Phillies short hops
• Cole Hamels made his season debut Wednesday. He allowed two runs on six hits in six innings while tossing 86 pitches at Dodger Stadium. He had opened the season on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis. Hamels averaged 91.4 mph with his fastball, consistent with last year’s velocity. He is 7-13 with a 4.44 ERA in 26 career starts against the Mets.
• Ex-Met Marlon Byrd signed a two-year, $16 million deal on Nov. 12 to play right field. He is hitting .269 with two homers and 16 RBIs through 93 at-bats.
• Chase Utley ranks second in the NL in batting average at .360, trailing only Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon (.402). Utley became the first Phillie since Von Hayes in 1989 to produce 20 hits in his first 40 at-bats of a season.
Rollins, historically a leadoff man, has been a fixture in the No. 2 hole this season, with center fielder Ben Revere leading off. Howard largely remains the cleanup hitter, although he was placed No. 5 a couple of times during the opening week against left-handed pitching.
Rollins briefly clashed with manager Ryne Sandberg during spring training, when Rollins was held out of games for three days over apparent manager concerns about his “dedication,” to use the Philadelphia Inquirer’s term.
• After batting .204 with no RBIs in his first 14 games, catcher Carlos Ruiz has been on a tear. Ruiz enters the Mets series hitting .500 (11-for-22) with six extra-base hits, seven RBIs and eight runs scored in six games. Ruiz signed a three-year, $26 million deal on Nov. 18 to remain a Phillie after receiving strong interest from the Boston Red Sox.
• Closer Jonathan Papelbon has made 10 straight scoreless relief appearances and is 8-for-8 in saves during that span.
Overall, though, the Phillies have an NL-worst 5.14 bullpen ERA. Already, three members of the Opening Day bullpen have been demoted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley: Justin De Fratus (7.20 ERA), Brad Lincoln (11.57) and B.J. Rosenberg (7.11).
Now active with the big-league club: Mike Adams, Shawn Camp and Jeff Manship. Adams opened the season on the disabled list still recovering from shoulder surgery last July to repair his right labrum and rotator cuff. Camp and Manship (who has a career 6.44 ERA) were signed as minor-league free agents during the offseason.
• Left fielder Domonic Brown is hitting .435 (10-for-23) with a homer, five RBIs and two walks against left-handed pitching this season.
• Lefty hitters are 3-for-their-last-30 against left-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo since last June 27.
• A.J. Burnett, who will not pitch in the Mets series, has a 0.83 ERA in three starts since learning he has a hernia, which he will wait until after the season to have surgically repaired.
• Third baseman Cody Asche, 23, went 3-for-4 with a homer on Opening Day. He since is hitting .173 (9-for-52) with no homers and four RBIs in 20 games (14 starts). Now, Asche has only started two of the Phillies’ past six games. Freddy Galvis has started three games and Jayson Nix once at third base during that span.
• Galvis dealt with a MRSA infection late in spring training. He required hospitalization to treat the staph infection in his leg.
FIRST PITCH: The season is down to single digits.
The Mets have nine games remaining in their 2013 campaign, beginning with tonight’s 7:05 matchup between Dillon Gee (11-10, 3.47 ERA) and right-hander Tyler Cloyd (2-5, 5.06) at Citizens Bank Park.
At 69-84, the Mets currently would pick eighth in the draft.
The bad news?
If the Mets finish with a little surge, they could end up outside of the 10 worst records and have an unprotected pick. That means, if they sign an elite free agent, they would have to forfeit their first-round pick, which they have been averse to doing under Sandy Alderson and Paul DePodesta.
Right now, the first unprotected pick belongs to the San Francisco Giants. And their record, 71-83, is only 1½ games better than the Mets.
Saturday’s news reports:
• David Wright did not outwardly show any rust in his first game since Aug. 2. The captain homered on the first pitch at which he swung, delivering a two-run homer against Cole Hamels. And the Mets held on to beat the Phillies, 6-4, in Friday’s series opener. Wright moved into sole possession of second place on the franchise’s all-time home run list at 221, passing Mike Piazza. Terry Collins said Friday afternoon that he hoped Wright would play in eight of the final 10 games as the third baseman returns from a strained right hamstring.
Read recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Times, Star-Ledger, Record and MLB.com.
• Lucas Duda appears headed to winter ball in Venezuela, although no deal is finalized.
• Jordany Valdespin and Cesar Puello’s 50-game suspensions related to Biogenesis will be fully served within days. Because the Mets have the 40-man roster room, the team intends to continue to carry Valdespin into the offseason.
• Shortstop Wilfredo Tovar joined the Mets on Friday after traveling from his native Venezuela. The intention is to get the righty-hitting Tovar his first major league start Sunday, against southpaw Cliff Lee. Read more in the Post.
• Wilmer Flores may get a second major league start at second base Sunday. Read more in the Star-Ledger.
• Chris Jones in ESPN The Magazine speaks with Tim Byrdak about his motivation to return to the majors after requiring shoulder surgery.
• From the bloggers … Faith and Fear reflects on how many Giants fans and so few Mets fans came to be at Citi Field this past week. … John Delcos at Mets Report suggests Wright’s return is partly a thank you to the fans.
BIRTHDAYS: Mets relievers Scott Rice and Greg Burke celebrate birthdays today. Rice is 32. Burke is 31. … Infielder Joaquin Arias, now with San Francisco, turns 29.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
PHILADELPHIA -- Welcome back, David Wright.
In his first at-bat since suffering a strained right hamstring on Aug. 2, the captain produced an opposite-field two-run homer in a three-run first inning against Cole Hamels. The Mets held on to win the series opener 6-4 at Citizens Bank Park on Friday night.
The rest of the top 10: Howard Johnson, 192; Dave Kingman, 154; Carlos Beltran, 149; Todd Hundley, 124; Kevin McReynolds, 122; Edgardo Alfonzo, 120; and Ed Kranepool, 118.
Wright has a flair for dramatics in Philly after injury-related absences. Last season, returning to the lineup with a broken pinkie after sitting four days, Wright also homered in his first at-bat, against Vance Worley.
Wright now has 18 homers in Philly, the most by a visiting player in the 10-year history of Citizens Bank Park. That homer total matches Wright’s 18 at Atlanta’s Turner Field for his career high in a road ballpark.
He finished Friday’s game 2-for-5.
Dice play: Staked to a 5-0 lead, Daisuke Matsuzaka surrendered four fourth-inning runs, albeit two unearned, courtesy of an error by left fielder Eric Young Jr. and a botched rundown.
His final line: 6 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K.
The play that ended Matsuzaka’s outing: With the Mets leading 5-4, Cody Asche was thrown out for the final out of the sixth inning trying to stretch a double to right field into a triple.
The Mets produced six runs on 10 hits in seven innings against Hamels.
Milestone looms: LaTroy Hawkins produced his 99th career save.
What’s next: Dillon Gee (11-10, 3.47 ERA) opposes right-hander Tyler Cloyd (2-5, 5.06) at 7:05 p.m. Saturday.
Mets fans learned just how slow that feels on Wednesday night.
Philadelphia retook a one-game lead over the Mets for third place in the NL East.
Matsuzaka already had thrown 82 pitches through three innings, but somehow had kept the Phillies off the scoreboard by twice stranding the bases loaded.
His tightrope walk ended an inning later, with Jimmy Rollins delivering a game-tying RBI double.
Tied at 1, Matsuzaka also loaded the bases in the fifth, then forced in Philadelphia’s second run by plunking John Mayberry Jr. with one out.
Terry Collins summoned Robert Carson for the southpaw’s first major league appearance since June 9. He struck out pinch hitter Darin Ruf, but then surrendered a two-run single to opposing pitcher Cole Hamels as the Phillies took a 4-1 lead.
Matsuzaka’s final line: 4.1 IP, 6 H 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 2 HBP.
The last Mets pitcher to throw 110-plus pitches while failing to complete five innings: Oliver Perez, on Sept. 16, 2007, also against Philadelphia. That was game No. 3 of the Mets’ coughing up of a seven-game division lead with 17 to play.
Family ties: Eric Young Jr. stole two bases, Nos. 30 and 31 of the season. In reaching the 30-steal plateau for the first time in his career, Young and father Eric Young Sr. became the fifth father-son combination to each have a 30-steal season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The other families: Sandy Alomar Sr. and Roberto Alomar, Bobby Bonds and Barry Bonds, Jose Cruz Sr. and Jose Cruz Jr., and Maury Wills and Bump Wills.
What’s next: The Mets complete a four-game series with Philadelphia with a Thursday matinee. Carlos Torres (2-2, 2.96 ERA) takes Matt Harvey’s turn in the rotation. Torres opposes rookie right-hander Ethan Martin (2-2, 6.33) at 1:10 p.m.
USA TODAY SportsThe Mets face Cole Hamels (Saturday), Kyle Kendrick (Friday) and Cliff Lee (Sunday) in the second-half-opening series.
Friday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (4-6, 3.33) vs. RHP Kyle Kendrick (8-6, 3.68), 7:10 p.m. ET
Saturday: RHP Zack Wheeler (3-1, 3.54) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (4-11, 4.05), 1:10 p.m. ET
Sunday: RHP Matt Harvey (7-2, 2.35) vs. LHP Cliff Lee (10-3, 2.86), 1:10 p.m. ET
Phillies short hops
• The Phillies are 6-3 but averaging only 3.6 runs a game since losing Ryan Howard to left knee surgery. The debridement surgery is expected to cost Howard six to eight weeks. Rookie Darin Ruf has handled first base in Howard’s absence. Ruf slugged 38 homers last season with Double-A Reading. He has reached base safely in 18 straight games at the major league level.
GM Ruben Amaro has said the Phillies will shop for a fill-in center fielder. John Mayberry Jr. has handled the position the past two games. Prospect Cesar Hernandez has moved from second base to center field in the minors to provide another option.
• First-time All-Star Domonic Brown is third in the National League with 23 homers, trailing Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez (25) and Pittsburgh’s Pedro Alvarez (24). Brown’s 67 RBIs rank fourth.
• Cole Hamels has a 1.57 ERA with 19 strikeouts and one walk in his last three starts.
• Cliff Lee is the only active left-hander to pitch in four All-Star Games.
• The Phillies could be buyers or sellers depending upon the direction their season takes before July 31. They reached .500 on Sunday for the first time since June 7, when they were 31-31. Before the first-half-closing win, they had spent only five days at or above .500 this season. They have won five of their past six series.
Potentially on the block if things go south: centerpiece players Chase Utley, Jonathan Papelbon, Carlos Ruiz and Lee as well as Delmon Young and Michael Young. Utley and Ruiz are eligible for free agency after the season. Lee is owed a combined $50 million in 2014 and ’15, and also has a $12.5 million buyout owed if a $27.5 million club option for 2016 is not exercised. Papelbon is signed at $13 million a season through 2015. He also has a vesting option at that amount for 2016.
• Kyle Kendrick limited the Washington Nationals to one run in seven innings in a win in his last start, despite four errors committed by his fielders, including three by Utley.
• Since June 17, Papelbon has five blown saves in 12 chances. Manager Charlie Manuel told SiriusXM that Papelbon was dealing with occasional hip soreness. Papelbon nonetheless has reached 20 saves for the eighth straight season. That is the longest active streak in the majors and the eighth-longest in major league history. Mariano Rivera holds the record with 15 straight 20-plus save seasons, from 1997-2011.
• Jimmy Rollins has gone 156 at-bats without a homer.
• Infielder John McDonald was acquired from the Cleveland Indians on June 27 for a player to be named or cash.
• Backup catcher Erik Kratz was activated from the disabled list Sunday after missing 4½ weeks with a left knee injury.
• Manuel has 995 career wins. He is due to become the 59th manager in major league history to reach the 1,000-win plateau. There are seven active managers at that level: Dusty Baker, Bruce Bochy, Terry Francona, Davey Johnson, Jim Leyland, Mike Scioscia and Buck Showalter.
FIRST PITCH: After winning a rubber game in Atlanta, the Mets now can clinch their second straight series win, with a victory at Citizens Bank Park today.
Dillon Gee (5-7, 4.56 ERA), who has produced four straight solid starts despite battling elbow tendinitis, opposes rookie right-hander Jonathan Pettibone (3-3, 4.40) at 4:05 p.m.
The Mets (29-41) have not won consecutive series against different opponents since opening the season with a 4-2 record by beating the Miami Marlins and San Diego Padres. The four-game sweep against the Yankees technically was two series wins since there were two games apiece in Queens and the Bronx.
Saturday’s news reports:
• Jonathon Niese has a partially torn rotator cuff, an exam in New York on Friday revealed. Niese will rest and do physical therapy for two weeks before being reexamined by team doctor David Altchek. The hope is the injury will begin to heal and Niese can avoid surgery.
Greg Burke was promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas to fill the roster spot. The Mets will need to make a roster move Tuesday when Zack Wheeler returns to face the Chicago White Sox.
Niese’s absence resolves who gets bounced from the rotation, and means Wheeler’s first home start now lines up for June 30. Wheeler’s final first-half start should come at the San Francisco Giants, who traded the prospect to the Mets on July 28, 2011 for Carlos Beltran.
Carlos Torres, who has tossed 5 1/3 scoreless relief innings since a promotion from Las Vegas, now becomes the primary rotation insurance.
Read more in the Post, Journal, Star-Ledger, Times, Newsday, Record and MLB.com.
• Juan Lagares drifted backward in center field to corral Carlos Ruiz’s bases-loaded shot for the final out of the fifth, then delivered the go-ahead RBI double the following half-inning as the Mets beat Philadelphia, 4-3 Friday night. Cole Hamels suffered his 11th loss, matching the most in a season in his career. He is the first Phillies pitcher since Wayne LeMaster and Claude Passeau in 1937 to have 11 losses before July 1, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Philadelphia Inquirer, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record and MLB.com.
• Ike Davis has four homers in his past two games with Triple-A Las Vegas and has upped his average to .333 in 11 games with the Pacific Coast League club.
• Michael Salfino in the Journal charts All-Star Games in which the host team did not have a starter voted into the game, which is a fate that could befall the Mets if David Wright does not top Pablo Sandoval:
2012 Kansas City, reserve: Billy Butler
2011 Arizona, reserves: Justin Upton, Miguel Montero
2010 Los Angeles (AL), reserve: Torii Hunter
2005 Detroit, reserve: Ivan Rodriguez
2003 Chicago (AL), reserves: Carl Everett, Esteban Loaiza, Magglio Ordonez
2002 Milwaukee, reserves: Jose Hernandez, Richie Sexson
1996 Philadelphia, reserve: Ricky Bottalico
1994 Pittsburgh, reserve: Carlos Garcia
• Columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post suggests the timing of Wheeler’s arrival is perfect.
• Jayce Boyd went 3-for-4 and Dustin Lawley homered as a ninth-inning rally lifted St. Lucie past Palm Beach, 5-3. LJ Mazzilli went 2-for-3 with two RBIs in Brooklyn’s 4-2 win against Aberdeen. Hansel Robles made his first minor league appearance since dealing with a shoulder strain as the Gulf Coast League season opened. Read the full minor league recap here.
• Mike Kerwick in the Record talks with Torres about his chaotic return to the Mets.
• Travis d’Arnaud’s running is limited to in a pool for a couple of more days as he returns from a broken left foot.
• The Mets are looking to trade Collin Cowgill, but otherwise will attempt to get him to Las Vegas as a non-40-man-roster player, assistant GM John Ricco said.
• LaTroy Hawkins missed Friday’s game to attend a funeral, according to the Post.
• Lenny Dykstra has been released from prison.
• “Mad Men” mocked the Mets. Writes Neil Best in Newsday:
On a recent “Mad Men,’’ the character Arnold Rosen tells his “friend’’ (long story) Don Draper that he has been meaning to invite him to a game and often has access to Mets tickets. “Well, I’m glad you didn’t,’’ Draper says.
Jon Hamm, who plays Draper, is a Cardinals fan. He told the Sporting News he was pleased by the dig at the Mets, who finished 24 games behind the pennant-winning Cards in '68. One year later Draper might have felt differently about Mets tickets, but Rosen might not have been offering.
• From the bloggers … Faith and Fear in Flushing hopes Friday night's fling with Lagares isn't just a Juan-night stand. … John Delcos at Mets Report wonders if Niese’s injury had roots in the cold April weather in Minneapolis and Denver.
BIRTHDAYS: Former catcher Ron Hodges turns 64. … Willie Harris, whose last major league season came last year, is 35.
TWEET OF THE DAY:
YOU’RE UP: Do you feel sorry for Cole Hamels having a career-high-matching 11 losses before the end of June?
#MetsWin when I grow up I want my beard to look like Parnell's! This is Justin Turner from Port St Lucie signing off! Night folks— Justin Turner (@redturn2) June 22, 2013
The rookie center fielder glided backward to take away a potential tiebreaking hit from Carlos Ruiz that ended the fifth. Then, a half-inning later, the 24-year-old Lagares put the Mets in the lead for good as part of a career-high-matching three-hit night.
Final score: Mets 4, Phillies 3 on Friday night at Citizens Bank Park.
The Mets (29-41) have won four of six games on this 11-game road trip, which will include stops in Atlanta, Philadelphia and Chicago (AL) as well as a cameo in Colorado.
Scott Rice, Carlos Torres and Bobby Parnell combined for three scoreless relief innings.
With Jeremy Hefner facing a bases-loaded, two-out jam and with the score tied at three, Lagares retreated in center field and ran down Ruiz's shot for the fifth inning's final out. Then, in the top of the sixth, Lagares gave the Mets the lead with an RBI double against Cole Hamels.
Lagares finished 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles. He was starting for the fifth time in six games. He should continue to see playing time given his performance and a continued string of opposing left-handed pitching, including John Lannan on Sunday in Philly and Chris Sale and John Danks against the Chicago White Sox in the two-game series that follows.
Eric Young Jr. had a big game Friday, too. With the Mets trailing 3-0, Young doubled to lead off the fourth for the Mets' first hit against Hamels. Young then scored on David Wright's single. An inning later, Young evened the score at three with a two-run single.
Hamels was ultimately charged with four runs on seven hits and three walks (one intentional) in six innings. He was charged with his MLB-leading 11th loss.
As the Mets officially returned to a five-man rotation with Jonathon Niese sidelined, Hefner limited Philadelphia to three runs (two earned) on 10 hits and a walk in six innings and departed with a 4-3 lead. One of the runs was unearned because second baseman Daniel Murphy flubbed a two-out grounder in the second inning that allowed Philadelphia's third run of that frame to score.
Hefner (2-6, 3.89 ERA) won for only the second time this season. The Mets have allowed eight unearned runs to score with Hefner pitching over his past three starts.
What's next: Dillon Gee (5-7, 4.56 ERA) opposes right-hander Jonathan Pettibone (3-3, 4.40 ERA) at 4:05 p.m. Saturday. Gee, despite battling elbow tendinitis, has a 1.53 ERA and has struck out 32 and walked four over his past four starts.
Getty ImagesThe Mets face (l to r) Cole Hamels, Jonathan Pettibone and John Lannan this weekend.
Friday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (1-6, 3.96) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (2-10, 4.40), 7:05 p.m. ET
Saturday: RHP Dillon Gee (5-7, 4.56) vs. RHP Jonathan Pettibone">Jonathan Pettibone (3-3, 4.40), 4:05 p.m. ET
Sunday: RHP Matt Harvey (6-1, 2.16) vs. LHP John Lannan (0-1, 5.49), 1:35 p.m. ET
Phillies short hops
• Cole Hamels’ 10 losses are tied with the Angels’ Joe Blanton for the major league lead. Hamels is the first Phillie with 10 losses before the All-Star break since Kyle Abbott in 1992.
• Left-hander John Lannan faced his former club, the Washington Nationals, on Monday in his first major league start in two months. Lannan allowed two runs in five innings. He had been on the DL since an April 17 appearance at Cincinnati with a strained tendon in his right knee. The Long Beach, L.I., native signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract with Philadelphia on Dec. 18.
• Carlos Ruiz was activated from the DL on Tuesday after missing four weeks with a strained right hamstring.
• Jonathan Papelbon blew his first two saves of the season in a three-day span against the Nationals this week.
• Rookie Jonathan Pettibone’s rotation spot may be in jeopardy. Carlos Zambrano tossed seven scoreless innings for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Tuesday. He will make another minor league start Sunday, but can opt out if he is not promoted by July 1. Zambrano is 3-0 with a 0.95 ERA in five minor league starts over three different levels. He signed with Philadelphia on May 15. Pettibone is coming off an outing at Colorado in which he surrendered seven runs (six earned) on 10 hits and a walk in three innings.
• Left fielder Domonic Brown is hitting .135 with no extra-base hits in 37 at-bats over his past 10 starts.
• Third baseman Michael Young notched his 1,000th RBI on Wednesday, on a two-run homer against Washington’s Gio Gonzalez. He is the 18th active player to reach that threshold.
• Ben Revere has a 10-game hitting streak during which he is hitting .391. Revere has spent the past seven games in the leadoff spot.
• Cliff Lee, who potentially could be traded, has a 1.97 ERA in his last nine starts and has won seven straight decisions. He is owed $25 million a season in 2014 and ’15, and has a $27.5 million club option for 2016 with a $12.5 million buyout.