New York Mets: Cole Hamels

Series preview: Mets vs. Phillies

August, 28, 2014
Aug 28
11:45
PM ET

Associated PressThe Mets face David Buchanan, Jerome Williams and A.J. Burnett at Citi Field this weekend.
METS (62-72, fourth place/NL East) vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (61-72, fifth place/NL East)

Friday: RHP Jacob deGrom (6-6, 3.13) vs. RHP David Buchanan (6-7, 4.21), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Bartolo Colon (12-10, 3.82) vs. RHP Jerome Williams (2-5, 6.71), 7:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Dillon Gee (5-6, 3.77) vs. RHP A.J. Burnett (7-14, 4.30), 1:10 p.m. ET

Phillies short hops

• Manager Ryne Sandberg reportedly has been having difficulty with veteran players treating him disrespectfully. The latest incident occurred Monday, when Cole Hamels began walking off and did a “handoff” of the baseball to Sandberg before the manager reached the mound to remove the southpaw, according to CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury. Kyle Kendrick reportedly pulled the same antics a couple of weeks earlier and subsequently apologized.

• The Phillies arrive at Citi Field coming off a three-game sweep of the Washington Nationals that capped a 7-2 homestand.

• Right-hander Jerome Williams was claimed off waivers by the Phillies from the Texas Rangers on Aug. 10. Williams, 32, is 2-0 with a 1.77 ERA in three starts since the change of scenery. He began the season with the Houston Astros and was released on July 8.

A.J. Burnett was 0-6 with a 7.41 ERA in his first seven starts after the All-Star break. He then limited the Nats to one run on three hits while striking out 12 in seven innings Monday.

Ben Revere's .310 batting average ranks second in the National League. With his next steal, Revere will become the 12th different player in Phillies history with a 40-steal season. The last was Jimmy Rollins in 2008.

• Ex-Met Marlon Byrd's 24 homers rank fifth in the league.

Ryan Howard's 81 RBIs rank fourth.

• Closer Jonathan Papelbon has 33 saves in 36 chances. Papelbon notched his 100th save as a Phillie on Tuesday. He had 219 with the Boston Red Sox. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first closer in major league history to produce 200 saves with one team and 100 saves with a team in the other league.

• Phillies president David Montgomery, 68, has taken a leave of absence from the ballclub as he attempts to recover from jaw cancer surgery. Former GM Pat Gillick will fill in during Montgomery’s absence.

• The Phillies and Dodgers completed the trade on Thursday that sent Roberto Hernandez to L.A. Philadelphia obtained right-hander Victor Arano, who was pitching for Class A Great Lakes.

• Infielder Freddy Galvis was recalled Saturday from Triple-A, where he had been optioned on May 9. He is hitting .085 (4-for-47) at the major league level this season … and that’s with a two-hit game Tuesday.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 2, Phillies 1 (11)

August, 9, 2014
Aug 9
11:31
PM ET
PHILADELPHIA -- Terry Collins started Lucas Duda against a left-handed pitcher to gauge his aptitude in those situations as the Mets answer questions for 2015. In extra innings, Duda delivered a clutch hit against a southpaw.

Duda delivered a tiebreaking, bases-loaded, one-out single against Antonio Bastardo and the Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 in 11 innings on Saturday night.

The Mets improved to 7-1 at Citizens Bank Park this season.

The victory came after the Phillies inducted former manager Charlie Manuel into their Wall of Fame in a pregame ceremony that involved such greats as Jim Bunning, Steve Carlton and Mike Schmidt.

Jeurys Familia produced his second save of the season, with Collins as promised staying away from Jenrry Mejia, who had worked the previous two days and is dealing with a tight calf. Familia did allow a pair of two-out baserunners. He had recorded a five-out save on May 28 against Pittsburgh.

Duda also had a fifth-inning single against Cole Hamels.

Solid showing: Dillon Gee got back on track after an underwhelming start to the second half.

Gee, who entered with a 6.85 ERA in four starts since the All-Star break, took a scoreless effort into the seventh inning, when he surrendered a two-out game-tying solo homer to Carlos Ruiz.

Gee’s final line in a no-decision: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 HR.

Gee entered Saturday with a career 7.11 ERA in 12 appearances (11 starts) against the Phillies.

One key proved keeping Ryan Howard in check. Howard entered the game hitting .450 with six homers in 20 career at-bats against Gee, but went 0-for-3 with a strikeout Saturday.

Silent night: The Mets were hitless against Hamels until Curtis Granderson's leadoff bunt single in the fourth. The Amazin’s missed several chances to hand more than a 1-0 lead to Gee.

The game’s opening run came on Wilmer Flores' fielder’s choice with the bases loaded and none out in the fifth. The Mets failed to produce any additional runs that inning, with Gee popping out in foul territory on a bunt and Granderson flying out.

The Mets also placed runners on the corners with one out in the sixth, but Duda grounded into a double play. Juan Lagares had a one-out double into the right-center gap in the seventh, but Flores flied out and Gee struck out.

What’s next: Zack Wheeler (7-8, 3.48 ERA) opposes right-hander Kyle Kendrick (5-11, 4.74) at 1:35 p.m. Sunday. Wheeler is 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA in his past seven starts.

Morning Briefing: den Dekker day

August, 9, 2014
Aug 9
5:40
AM ET
PHILADELPHIA

FIRST PITCH: With a pledge to play younger, homegrown players to determine their readiness to contribute in 2015 now in effect, the Mets continue a series at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday at 7:05 p.m.

Dillon Gee (4-4, 3.73 ERA) opposes left-hander Cole Hamels (6-6, 2.42).

Terry Collins, who sat Lucas Duda in New York against Hamels, said Duda will start against the southpaw this time. Part of the Mets’ gauging players for next season is determining Duda’s aptitude against left-handed pitching.

Duda is 1-for-13 with seven strikeouts and five walks in his career against Hamels.

This will be Duda’s second straight start against a southpaw. He went 0-for-3 against Gio Gonzalez in D.C.

Saturday’s news reports:

Chris Young was designated for assignment after Friday’s game, as the Mets prepare to eat what remains of his one-year, $7.25 million contract. Matt den Dekker, who leads the Pacific Coast League with a .334 average, planned to take a redeye and join the Mets on Saturday in Philly. Collins said den Dekker will regularly start in left field, with Kirk Nieuwenhuis seeing action at all three outfield positions and serving as a lefty pinch hitter. Eric Young Jr. primarily will start against southpaws.

The den Dekker promotion is consistent with the Mets’ commitment to now give Wilmer Flores a serious look as a shortstop, to gauge his ability to handle the role in 2015.

Read more on the dumping of Young and the change of focus in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Journal, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.

Bartolo Colon watched from the clubhouse as a four-run ninth-inning lead nearly slipped away, but he ultimately notched win No. 200 as the Mets beat the Phillies, 5-4, Friday. Colon became the third Dominican-born pitcher to reach that plateau, joining Juan Marichal and Pedro Martinez. Jenrry Mejia kept a promise to Colon by stranding the tying run at third base. Meija’s calf remained tight, but he pitched through the issue.

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

Jeremy Hefner will be sent to New York to be examined by team doctors after experiencing a forearm issue during Wednesday’s minor-league start with Class A St. Lucie. Hefner is unsure if the injury is linked to the Tommy John surgery he underwent last August.

• Collins has no intention of dropping David Wright from the No. 3 hole.

• Danny Muno had a two-run double in a five-run eighth as Las Vegas rallied to beat Albuquerque, 9-6. Ivan Wilson had a grand slam in Kingport’s 16-10 win against Bristol. Jeff Diehl had a go-ahead two-run double in Brooklyn’s 4-2 win against Mahoning Valley. Read the full minor-league recap here.

Matt Harvey is scheduled for his third mound session on Saturday.

Daisuke Matsuzaka (elbow) should pitch in a rehab game early next week.

• Lloyd Carroll in the Queens Chronicle weighs in on the Mets.

BIRTHDAYS: The late Tommie Agee was born on this date in 1942. ... Pat Mahomes turns 44. ... Minor-league left-hander T.J. Chism turns 26. ... Savannah first baseman/DH Matt Oberste is 23.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Will Matt den Dekker demonstrate he can excel at the major league level?

Series preview: Mets at Phillies

August, 7, 2014
Aug 7
11:38
PM ET

Getty ImagesThe Mets will face A.J. Burnett, Cole Hamels and Kyle Kendrick in the opening three games of the series, as they did July 28-30 in New York.
METS (54-61, fourth place/NL East) vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (52-63, fifth place/NL East)

Friday: RHP Bartolo Colon (10-9, 4.12) vs. RHP A.J. Burnett (6-11, 4.16), 7:05 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Dillon Gee (4-4, 3.73) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (6-6, 2.42), 7:05 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Zack Wheeler (7-8, 3.48) vs. RHP Kyle Kendrick (5-11, 4.74), 1:35 p.m. ET

Monday: LHP Jonathon Niese (5-8, 3.41) vs. RHP David Buchanan (6-5, 4.39), 1:05 p.m. ET

Phillies short hops

• After no activity at the non-waiver trade deadline, the Phillies scratched 33-year-old Roberto Hernandez from his scheduled start on Thursday. Hernandez (formerly Fausto Carmona) instead was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for two players to be named from the low minors. Hernandez, owed $1.5 million the remainder of this season, was 6-8 with a 3.87 ERA in 23 appearances (20 starts) for the Phillies.


Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY SportsRoberto Hernandez was traded to the Dodgers on Thursday.


Sean O'Sullivan was promoted from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, which was playing at Toledo, and made it in time to take the start. The journeyman right-hander surrendered three homers in six innings and departed trailing 5-1, but Ryan Howard's grand slam capped a fifth-run eighth as the Phillies rallied to complete a three-game sweep of the Houston Astros.

• The Phillies announced Thursday that a Grade 2 strain of the left elbow will prevent Cliff Lee from pitching again this season. Lee does not intend to undergo surgery. He received an opinion from Mets doctor David Altchek and has been treated with platelet-rich plasma therapy. Lee essentially is owed $37.5 million next season -- $25 million in salary, plus a $12.5 million buyout of a $27.5 million team option for 2016. David Buchanan took Lee's rotation spot.

Chase Utley's homer Wednesday, his 10th of the season, made him the fifth second basemen in major league history to produce double-digit long balls in 11 straight seasons, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Jeff Kent (1997-2008) and Bobby Doerr (1939-51, minus 1945 while serving in World War II) had 12-season streaks. Lou Whitaker (1982-92) and Joe Gordon (1938-50, minus two years of military service) had 11-season streaks.

• Center fielder Ben Revere produced his fourth four-hit game of the season Wednesday, matching the major league high. The only Phillie with more four-hit games in a season in the past three decades was Shane Victorino, who had five in 2009. After a two-hit game Thursday, Revere is now hitting .385 since June 26.

A.J. Burnett lasted only 1 2/3 innings in his last start. He was ejected for the first time in his major league career after allowing five runs (one earned) against Washington and arguing with plate umpire Chris Guccione about the strike zone.

• With his 94th save as a Phillie on Thursday, closer Jonathan Papelbon tied Tug McGraw for fifth on the club’s all-time list. Papelbon’s 87.0 save-conversion percentage is tops in Phillies history among relievers with at least 100 chances. Jose Mesa ranks second at 86.8 percent. Papelbon reportedly has cleared waivers, which allows the Phillies to trade him to any team this month.

Antonio Bastardo on Tuesday became the only major league pitcher since 1900 to have two separate games notching at least six outs, with all of the outs recorded via strikeout. His other such appearance came April 8, 2011 at Atlanta.

• Left fielder Domonic Brown pinch hit Thursday, but has not started in the past nine games because of a tonsil infection.

Grady Sizemore has hit safely in 15 of 19 starts since joining the Phillies. After going 1-for-3 Thursday, he is hitting .333 (27-for-81) with the club. Sizemore started in center field on Opening Day for the Boston Red Sox. He hit .216 with two homers in 185 at-bats before being designated for assignment on June 17. He was released the following day.

• The Chicago Cubs reportedly claimed Cole Hamels but have no intention of trading for him. Ex-Met Marlon Byrd reportedly also was claimed, with the 48-hour period to negotiate a deal expiring Friday.

• The Phillies signed Tony Gwynn Jr. to a minor-league contract a week after releasing him from the big-league squad.

Morning Briefing: Aw-Phil defeat

July, 30, 2014
Jul 30
5:25
AM ET
FIRST PITCH: Since allowing six runs and lasting only two innings against the Oakland Athletics on June 25, Zack Wheeler has been on a tear.

Wheeler has allowed one earned run and completed at least six innings in each of his last five starts.

If Wheeler can duplicate that feat in Wednesday’s 12:10 p.m. rubber game against the Philadelphia Phillies, he will become the first Mets pitcher since R.A. Dickey in May/June 2012 to go six straight starts logging at least six innings and surrendering no more than one earned run in each outing.

Wheeler (5-8, 3.64 ERA) opposes right-hander Kyle Kendrick (5-10, 4.87) in the series finale at Citi Field.

Wednesday’s news reports:

Cole Hamels tossed eight scoreless innings and Jimmy Rollins, Grady Sizemore and Chase Utley homered as the Phillies beat the Mets, 6-0, Tuesday. Dillon Gee was charged with five earned runs in 6 2/3 innings, although the bulk of the damage came when Josh Edgin inherited the bases loaded from Gee and surrendered a grand slam to Utley.

Gee now has a 7.11 career ERA against the Phillies -- the highest mark against any team he has faced multiple times.

Gee also has an 8.10 ERA in three second-half starts. He suggested he was frustrated with Tuesday’s result because he felt like he improved from the previous two outings. He did not blame fatigue for his contribution to the seventh-inning meltdown, but said: “It seems like I haven’t thrown over 80 pitches in three months.”

Edgin said about Utley’s slam: “No offense to anyone here, but I left it right down the middle of the plate and put it out there for him to hit it. He did.”

Hamels has struggled during his career against the Mets, which now spans 30 starts. His scoreless effort Tuesday was his first against the Mets since his first-ever meeting against the club, on Aug. 14, 2006 as a rookie.

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

• Terry Collins is tiring of inquiries about why Wilmer Flores does not play more frequently. Read more in Newsday.

• With Sandy Alderson having joked on Monday that acquiring a player with a $20 million salary might lead to David Wright, Curtis Granderson and “22 dwarfs” on the roster, Zach Braziller in the Post compiled a list of the top money-themed jokes by the GM during his Mets tenure.

On the Daisuke Matsuzaka and Masahiro Tanaka signings, Alderson said in January: “We each signed Japanese pitchers this week. They’re paying $155 million and we’re paying our guy month to month.”

And who could forget the tweet that started it all from back on the eve of spring training in 2012? It read: “Will have to drive carefully on trip; Mets only reimburse for gas at a downhill rate. Will try to coast all the way to FL.”

• Columnist Anthony Rieber in Newsday suggests forgetting about Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline. Instead, he suggests the Mets’ winter activity will be far more relevant. Writes Rieber:

Because for the first time in a long time, we're starting to buy into the notion that the Mets are only a piece or two away from being a contender -- if the Wilpons can pony up the dough this winter to get a big-time shortstop and outfielder to complement the young players manager Terry Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen have done a nice job developing this season.

Always the big question with the Mets, right? Dollars and sense. Are the Wilpons ready, willing and financially able to allow Alderson to make bold trades or free-agent signings?

• Columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post enumerates reasons why the Mets can be competitive during the season’s final two months.

• Check out a sneak peak of the Citi Field scenes from Sharknado 2 here. It will be televised at 9 p.m. Wednesday on Syfy.

• Dilson Herrera had a solo homer in the eighth and walk-off sacrifice fly an inning later as Binghamton beat New Hampshire, 4-3. Rob Whalen is now 6-0 with a 1.65 ERA in the South Atlantic League after Savannah’s 8-3 win against Lexington. Casey Meisner earned his first win in 364 days as Brooklyn beat Lowell, 4-1. Read the full minor-league recap here.

Matt Harvey took batting practice Tuesday for the first time since Tommy John surgery.

• Marc Carig in Newsday writes that Jacob deGrom is making a case for NL Rookie of the Year.

• Will Sammon in Newsday discusses Juan Lagares' plate discipline.

BIRTHDAYS: Ex-Met Clint Hurdle, now manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, turns 57. ... Casey Stengel was born in 1890. ... Ellis Valentine was born on this date in 1954.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Who is your least-favorite Phillie?

Rapid Reaction: Phillies 6, Mets 0

July, 29, 2014
Jul 29
9:46
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Sell!

Cole Hamels tossed eight scoreless innings and Jimmy Rollins, Grady Sizemore and Chase Utley homered as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the New York Mets 6-0 on Tuesday at Citi Field.

The Mets dropped to 51-56.

Rollins broke a scoreless tie in the third with a solo shot against Dillon Gee. Sizemore’s homer, which he wrapped inside the right-field foul pole, came an inning later and was his first long ball in 14 games with the Phillies. After Gee departed with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh, Josh Edgin surrendered a grand slam to Utley.


Frank Franklin II/Associated PressGrady Sizemore circles the bases after a fourth-inning homer against Dillon Gee.


Among active MLB leaders in homers against the Mets, the top three are all Phillies now that Chipper Jones has retired. Ryan Howard has 40 career long balls against the Amazin’s, followed by Utley now with 32 and Rollins now with 29.

Hamels was making his 30th career start against the Mets. He produced his first scoreless effort since his first matchup with the Mets -- an eight-scoreless-inning performance as a rookie on Aug. 14, 2006.

The southpaw retired the final 13 batters he faced in a 109-pitch effort. He entered the start with a 7-14 record and 4.38 ERA in his career against the Mets.

Among active major league pitchers, only Tim Hudson has made more starts against the Mets. Now with the San Francisco Giants, Hudson is scheduled to make No. 32 on Monday, in the finale of a four-game series at Citi Field.

Gee (4-4, 3.77 ERA) suffered his third straight defeat. He has now been charged with 15 earned runs in 16 2/3 innings in three starts since the All-Star break.

His final line after Utley’s slam became: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 2 HR.

Gee has allowed five homers in the three second-half starts. He had allowed one homer in his previous six outings.

What’s next: The teams conclude their three-game series Wednesday at 12:10 p.m. Zack Wheeler (5-8, 3.64 ERA) opposes right-hander Kyle Kendrick (5-10, 4.87) in the rubber game. Wheeler has allowed one earned run and completed at least six innings in each of his past five starts.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 4, Phillies 3 (11)

June, 1, 2014
Jun 1
5:06
PM ET
PHILADELPHIA -- The Mets won! And it only took 11 innings to do it!

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).

Morning Briefing: Next stop -- Bronx!

May, 12, 2014
May 12
5:47
AM ET

Getty ImagesThe Mets are due to face Hiroki Kuroda and Vidal Nuno in the Bronx.
NEW YORK

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?

Rapid Reaction: Mets 5, Phillies 4 (11)

May, 11, 2014
May 11
5:32
PM ET
NEW YORK -- They may not be very good, but they don’t roll over.

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.

Morning Briefing: Dive at five

May, 11, 2014
May 11
5:45
AM ET
NEW YORK

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."


Brad Barr/USA TODAY SportsTerry Collins apparently advocates Rafael Montero as Wednesday's starter against the Yankees.


Mejia reiterated he is leery of bullpen work because he believes it contributed to his Tommy John surgery. “I worry about my arm,” Mejia told reporters. “I want to have a long career. … I don’t want to get hurt again.”

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.


Courtesy of New York Mets
Eric Campbell made his major league debut Saturday with a sacrifice fly and strikeout off the bench.


Campbell initially was in Saturday’s starting lineup as the first baseman, but Lucas Duda said he had recovered enough from a suspected case of food poisoning and was a late addition to the lineup in Campbell’s place.

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:


ESPNActor Jon Hamm is a big St. Louis Cardinals fan.


He’s from St. Louis and grew up loving the Cardinals and Ozzie Smith and is still close to Ted Simmons’ son, a childhood friend. The ‘82 World Series is his favorite baseball memory.

“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: YOU’RE UP: Who should start Wednesday against the Yankees -- Jenrry Mejia, Rafael Montero, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Carlos Torres, Jacob deGrom or Noah Syndergaard?

Series preview: Mets vs. Phillies

May, 8, 2014
May 8
10:36
PM ET

Getty ImagesThe Mets face Roberto Hernandez, Kyle Kendrick and Cole Hamels this weekend at Citi Field.
METS (16-17, fourth place/NL East) vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (15-18, fifth place/NL East)

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.


Kathy Willens/Associated PressJimmy Rollins has been dealing with a groin issue.


Freddy Galvis has started three of the past four games at shortstop, with Jayson Nix starting the other game. After going hitless in three at-bats Thursday, Galvis is hitting .048 (2-for-42) this season.

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.

Morning Briefing: Hamels 'embarrassed'

April, 30, 2014
Apr 30
5:45
AM ET

Drew Hallowell/Getty ImagesCole Hamels gave himself a harsh critique after losing to the Mets on Tuesday.
PHILADELPHIA

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: YOU’RE UP: Are you getting excited about the Mets’ play?

Rapid Reaction: Mets 6, Phillies 1

April, 29, 2014
Apr 29
11:26
PM ET

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.


H. Rumph Jr./Associated PressJon Niese limited Philadelphia to one run in seven innings.


Niese’s final line: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR.

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).

Series preview: Mets at Phillies

April, 28, 2014
Apr 28
12:30
PM ET

Getty ImagesThe Mets face Kyle Kendrick in Game 2 of the series, after Cole Hamels in the opener.
METS (14-11, second place/NL East) at PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (13-12, fourth place/NL East)

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.


Charlie Neibergall/Associated PressThe Phillies are no longer the team to beat, but Jimmy Rollins remains the shortstop.


Jimmy Rollins and Utley have started 1,090 games together as a double-play combination, the most among active shortstop/second-base pairings. Similarly, Utley and Ryan Howard are the active leaders in games started alongside each other at second and first base, at 965.

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.

Morning Briefing: And down the stretch ...

September, 21, 2013
9/21/13
8:00
AM ET
PHILADELPHIA

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 1 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: YOU’RE UP: What should the Mets do with Jordany Valdespin once his suspension is served?

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
12 4.01 132 172
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .301
HRL. Duda 26
RBIL. Duda 76
RD. Murphy 73
OPSL. Duda .824
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.45
SOZ. Wheeler 163