New York Mets: Colorado Rockies

Morning Briefing: It's safe, Nats leave town

August, 15, 2014
Aug 15

FIRST PITCH: Sharknado? No. Just the Washington Nationals.

After a woeful series against the D.C. ballclub, the Mets now entertain the Chicago Cubs in a four-game wraparound series at Citi Field.

Zack Wheeler (7-8, 3.53 ERA) opposes left-hander Travis Wood (7-9, 4.86) in Friday’s 7:10 p.m. opener.

Read the Mets-Cubs series preview here.

Friday’s news reports:

• Terry Collins ruled out Matt Harvey pitching in games in 2014 and told the ace during a phone conversation Thursday to stop pushing so hard and jeopardizing next season. “Back off,” the manager told Harvey. Collins also told Harvey not to do radio interviews during Mets games. Sandy Alderson also spoke with Harvey.

Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post writes:

He has become the 2.0 version of Manny being Manny. Oh, that is just Harvey being Harvey.

The Mets insist it is not malicious by Matt Harvey, mostly just immaturity or defiance, and they claim the defiance betrays a stubbornness and resolve that will serve him well back on the mound as an ace in New York.

This is spin greater than you will find on Harvey’s slider. Mets officials have mainly mastered the eye roll when it comes to this behavior. But there is a weariness that has set in, as well, when Harvey, say, was told he could have a few days off after enduring some knee pain during his rehab and -- next thing they knew -- he had posted an Instagram photo with his buddies vacationing in Cape Cod. During the season. Terry Collins said he talked to Harvey about how bad that looked.

Read more in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger and at

Adam LaRoche and Bryce Harper homered against Dillon Gee and the Mets were swept by the Nationals with a 4-1 loss Thursday. Washington has won 11 straight games at Citi Field -- the longest winning streak by a visiting team against the Mets in franchise history. Gee walked a batter ahead of both homers. The Mets went 0-for-17 with runners in scoring position in the series.

After the Mets were swept, Collins addressed the players and told them the season is not lost.

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

• Countering a report that Collins is “likely” to return as manager barring a Mets collapse, Sherman in the Post asserts Collins in Queens in 2015 is far from assured.

“I like Terry. I have a good relationship with him,” David Wright told the Daily News. “Terry has my back and I have his.”

• Mark Simon at has a baseball-themed Q&A with Mets fan and comedian Jerry Seinfeld.

• Stephen Hayes in Newsday discusses the improvements Wheeler has made.

• A day after the Colorado Rockies announced shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will have season-ending hip surgery for a torn labrum, outfielder Carlos Gonzalez is done for the season, too. Gonzalez will undergo surgery Monday to repair a left patella tendon tear, Nick Groke writes in the Denver Post.

• The Mets re-signed 40-year-old Bobby Abreu to a minor-league contract and have assigned him to Triple-A Las Vegas. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• The Mets inked 16-year-old Venezuelan infielder Kenny Hernandez for a reported $1 million signing bonus.

• Sunday is the one-year anniversary of Travis d'Arnaud's major league debut, notes Joe Lemire in the Journal.

• Although Jacob deGrom feels good and expects to reenter the rotation next Saturday at Dodger Stadium, he has yet to return to a mound.

• Matt Reynolds homered twice, including a solo shot in the top of the 12th, but Chasen Bradford allowed two runs in the bottom half as Iowa beat Las Vegas, 6-5. Jayce Boyd went 3-for-4 with three RBIs in Binghamton’s 9-4 win against Erie. Beck Wheeler walked the bases loaded and forced in the winning run by hitting a batter in St. Lucie’s 9-8 walk-off loss at Fort Myers. Logan Taylor tossed 8 2/3 scoreless innings as Savannah blanked Greenville, 4-0. Ivan Wilson homered twice in Kingsport’s 5-3 win against Bristol. Read the full minor-league recap here.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear makes the case for informed impatience where Met progress is concerned. ... Blogging Mets ventures into Alderson's head.

BIRTHDAYS: Oliver Perez turns 33. ... Duffy Dyer is 69. ... Kingsport Mets right-hander Gaby Almonte is 22.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Would you be concerned about acquiring Troy Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzalez given their injury histories?

Morning Briefing: Deadline day!

July, 31, 2014
Jul 31
FIRST PITCH: It’s a day of rest for the Mets, aside from early wakeup calls for those participating in third-base coach Tim Teufel’s charity golf tournament in Greenwich, Conn.

So the focus turns to GM Sandy Alderson. The non-waiver trade deadline is 4 p.m. Thursday.

Mets insiders have suggested the very likely scenario is the team stands pat, but stay tuned.

The Mets return to Citi Field on Friday to open a four-game series against the San Francisco Giants. Jonathon Niese (5-6, 3.23 ERA) opposes right-hander Ryan Vogelsong (5-8, 4.45) in the opener.

Thursday’s news reports:

Zack Wheeler limited Philadelphia to two runs in 6 2/3 innings and Daniel Murphy launched a tiebreaking three-run homer en route to an 11-2 victory against the reeling Phillies on Wednesday at Citi Field. Lucas Duda produced three RBIs and has now driven in a run in a career-best six straight games.

Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY SportsThe Mets celebrate after Wednesday's 11-2 win against the Phillies.

Murphy’s opposite-field shot against Kyle Kendrick in the fifth made it 5-1. “I hit the ball that way,” Murphy quipped about the frequency he goes to left field. “It just doesn’t ever go that far.”

On Duda, David Wright said: “It’s just amazing the transformation in such a short time period where he’s become one of the more dangerous hitters in the National League. It’s been fun to watch, because every time he picks up the bat you think he’s going to hit the ball hard. And most of the time he does.”

Terry Collins complimented Wheeler, who has a 1.63 ERA over his past six starts. “You saw a guy battle really without his best command,” the manager said.

Even Jeurys Familia had an RBI single.

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

Matt Harvey told he expects to get on a mound next week for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery on Oct. 22, 2013.

Harvey told Mike Puma in the Post he still would like to make a cameo in the majors before the season ends, even though it is clear that’s highly unlikely. “Even if it was one inning out of the bullpen, I would be happy,” Harvey said.

The expectation is Harvey will pitch in the fall instructional league in Port St. Lucie, Fla., which spans late September and early October. He told Puma a brief appearance in the Arizona Fall League is likely, too.

Marc Carig in Newsday reports the initial Harvey mound session actually could occur as soon as Friday.

• Columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post advocates the Mets acquiring outfielder Matt Kemp from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Writes Kernan:

Matt Kemp would be moved by the Dodgers if the price were right, and, yes, the price is always an issue with the Mets. Kemp is owed $107 million over the next five years. Kemp would be a great fit for the Yankees, too, if they wanted to go there.

• Jon Heyman at notes any Mets pursuit of Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez would have to wait until the winter. Heyman portrays CarGo as more realistic for the Mets. Writes Heyman:

Ultimately, the Mets don't see themselves as likely to land Tulowitzki -- "he wants to be a Yankee" one Mets person said, stating what has becoming obvious -- so Gonzalez will presumably be the main focus of talks once they hook up.

• A Mets insider told there was one scenario, although it seemed unlikely to materialize, in which the Mets could acquire an “intriguing” outfielder before 4 p.m. It’s not clear who that is, though.

Nick Piecoro in The Arizona Republic reports there’s buzz the Diamondbacks’ Gerardo Parra is available. Parra, earning $4.85 million this season, has one more year of arbitration eligibility before becoming a free agent following the 2015 season.

• Mets chief operating Jeff Wilpon served on a three-member arbitration panel trying to determine how much the Washington Nationals should be paid for their TV rights by the regional sports network MASN. The principal owner of that network is the Baltimore Orioles.

As a concession for entering O’s territory when the Nats relocated from Montreal for the 2005 season, the Nats agreed to discounted rights fees through 2011. Since then, however, there has been a squabble about how much the Nats should receive from MASN.

Despite a reported favorable ruling for the Nats by the arbitration panel that included Wilpon, the issue apparently still could be headed to court, irking commissioner Bud Selig. Read the full story in The Hollywood Reporter.

• Michael Fulmer tossed six scoreless innings and St. Lucie beat Dunedin, 4-3. Wuilmer Becerra had a two-run triple as Kingsport beat Danville, 8-3. 2014 first-round pick Michael Conforto went 3-for-3 with two RBIs in Brooklyn’s 9-4 win against Auburn. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Read more on Wheeler in the Post and Newsday.

• Read more on Duda in the Record and Daily News.

• Read more on Familia in the Star-Ledger.

• The Giants recently signed Dan Uggla after he was released by the Atlanta Braves. There are conflicting reports about Uggla’s status, but it appears he will not be a Giant when the club arrives at Citi Field on Friday. Uggla is 0-for-11 with a walk and has committed three errors since joining San Francisco. Writes Henry Schulman in the San Francisco Chronicle:

Dan Uggla is still a Giant, but probably won’t be when the team gets to New York. I got indications earlier today that Uggla was going to be cut loose. reported that he and (incorrectly, [Tyler] Colvin) were released, but Giants officials say there was no roster move with Uggla.

In any event, it seems Uggla’s tenure with the Giants might conclude with three errors, no hits and a few more days of service time applied to his big-league pension.

One spot likely will go to Brandon Belt, who is expected to be activated in New York. Another could foretell a trade, but none was imminent when I left the ballpark around 6 p.m.

• Read a review of Sharknado 2 in Rolling Stone. One line from Wednesday's premiere pleased Mets fans: "You don't mess with a Mets fan on the 7 train." (See clip on Vine here.)

From the bloggers …NY Mets Life gives Alderson some pointers on what the Mets should do at the deadline.

BIRTHDAYS: Billy Wynne, who made his major league debut with the Mets in 1967 and was traded the following offseason in a deal that returned Tommie Agee, was born on this date in 1943.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Who should be the ideal (but realistic) acquisition target for the Mets before the trade deadline?

Morning Briefing: 2 days until deadline

July, 29, 2014
Jul 29
FIRST PITCH: On a roll, the Mets turn to Dillon Gee on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. to face the Philadelphia Phillies.

Gee (4-3, 3.49 ERA) has allowed 10 runs in 10 innings in two starts since the All-Star break. He opposes left-hander Cole Hamels (5-5, 2.72).

Tuesday’s news reports:

• Sandy Alderson said the Mets consummating a deal before Thursday’s 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline is “unlikely.” The GM went on to suggest that trading Bartolo Colon might be more sensible during the offseason, when teams may view the $11 million owed to Colon in 2015 a bargain relative to the price of a comparably talented free-agent pitcher.

Whether for Colon, Phillies starter A.J. Burnett or otherwise, scouts from the Detroit Tigers, Toronto Blue Jays and Milwaukee Brewers were among those in attendance at Citi Field on Monday.

Writes columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post on the trade topic:

Let’s make this perfectly clear. Don’t trade any of the young pitchers, Mets. There is too much to lose. Dealing Bartolo Colon, however, for an offensive piece is a must.

Read more in the Post, Journal, Star-Ledger, Record and at

• Jeff Passan at Yahoo! Sports reports the Mets would be willing to trade Noah Syndergaard in a deal for Troy Tulowitzki. Writes Passan:

Icon SMIThere are conflicting reports about what the Mets would be willing to surrender in a deal for Troy Tulowitzki.

The St. Louis Cardinals expressed significant interest in him last offseason. They continue to reach out to the Rockies, as have the New York Mets, who are prepared to offer top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard in a deal for the 29-year-old. And the response is: Not yet. We’re not ready to deal him. We want to hear it from him.

Which is to say: We want him to be the bad guy, not us. It’s a ludicrous way to run a business, of course, and it highlights how little confidence the Rockies have in themselves to make the sort of a deal that reinvigorates and reenergizes a ballclub in desperate need of both.

Columnist David Lennon in Newsday has a different understanding, at least with respect to Syndergaard. Writes Lennon:

Tulowitzki is everything the Mets need -- a power bat for the middle of the lineup and a Gold-Glove caliber shortstop. What could be more perfect? But there also is a reluctance to plow headfirst into such a trade, a feeling that after stockpiling so much pitching talent, it's not a deal that has to get done tomorrow.

That's why the Mets -- for now -- are holding back on including Noah Syndergaard in any package, for Tulo or otherwise, according to a source. Syndergaard is the name at the top of every team's wish list, and as long as the Mets won't budge on that demand, it's going to take longer to work around such an obstacle for a player like Tulowitzki -- if a compromise can be struck at all.

Brian D. Kersey/Getty ImagesJacob deGrom is co-NL Player of the Week.

Jacob deGrom shared the NL Player of the Week Award with Miami Marlins closer Steve Cishek. Given deGrom and the Mets’ overall success of late, Alderson indicated there are no immediate plans to dislodge deGrom from the rotation, even though an 185-inning cap is creeping closer. Read more in the Post, Daily News and Star-Ledger.

• Colon took a scoreless effort into the eighth inning and Juan Lagares snapped an 0-for-17 drought with an opposite-field two-run double to cap a four-run first inning as the Mets beat the Phillies, 7-1, Monday at Citi Field. Travis d'Arnaud had a three-run homer and doubled twice as the Mets exceeded three runs for the first time in 10 games. With 56 games remaining, the Mets (51-55) trail the first-place Washington Nationals by 7 games. The Amazin’s are six games back of the second wild-card position, which is shared by the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants.

In what was his final start before the non-waiver trade deadline, Colon notched career win No. 199. On Sunday with the Mets -- or elsewhere, in the less-likely scenario he is traded -- Colon will try to join Juan Marichal (243) and Pedro Martinez (219) are the only Dominican-born pitchers to reach the 200-win plateau. Martinez notched No. 200 as a Met back in 2006.

Colon became only the second major league pitcher in the last five years to reach 10 wins in a season at age 41 order older, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Andy Pettitte won his 10th game last season when he was eight days older than Colon’s age Monday.

“I’m happy here,” Colon said through an interpreter regarding the trade deadline. “I would like to stay here, but it’s really not up to me.”

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

• Read more on d’Arnaud in the Star-Ledger.

Dana Eveland took a line drive to the left elbow and was forced to depart in the ninth inning. X-rays were negative.

Daisuke Matsuzaka's elbow injury, which landed him on the DL on Friday, is not severe. Matsuzaka should resume tossing a baseball within days, Terry Collins said.

• Alderson said he has “absolutely no recollection whatsoever” of a conversation with Tony La Russa during their Oakland days in which La Russa allegedly conveyed concerns about players using steroids. Read more in the Daily News, Newsday and Star-Ledger.

• Kevin Plawecki went 2-for-4 with an RBI in his return from vertigo and John Lannan tossed six scoreless innings in his season debut in Triple-A as Las Vegas beat Salt Lake, 5-3. Albert Cordero’s single in the 12th plated Gavin Cecchini as St. Lucie beat Dunedin, 7-6. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Tim Rohan in the Times profiles the introverted Lucas Duda.

• Mets bench coach Ricky Bones will serve as the pitching coach for Margarita in Venezuela during the winter season, a source told Binghamton manager Pedro Lopez will serve as the bench coach for Dave Hudgens with Caracas.

• Will Sammon in Newsday catches up with Marlon Byrd, who could be traded by the Phillies in the next two days.

• Displeased with his ejection Sunday, Vegas pitching coach Frank Viola tweeted:

Amazing, my contemporaries are going into the Hall, and I'm getting tossed by kids who don't know a thing about the game. #gamegoingtohell

He then added in another tweet:

Tossed out of my 2nd AAAgame in a month! Can'topen mouth, otherwise I'm gone!;Still haven't said anything wrong, but been tossed twice!;BS!!

BIRTHDAYS: Felix Mantilla, who played 141 games for the original '62 Mets, was born on this date in 1934.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Do you believe Sandy Alderson that the Mets likely will make no deals by Thursday’s 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline?

Morning Briefing: Trade talk or hot air?

July, 26, 2014
Jul 26
FIRST PITCH: The Mets continue their series against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday at Miller Park at 7:10 p.m. ET.

Jonathon Niese (5-5, 3.13 ERA) opposes right-hander Wily Peralta (11-6, 3.58).

Saturday’s news reports:

• Team insiders told that the Mets have engaged in limited dialogue involving Bartolo Colon and Daniel Murphy with other clubs, but there has not been anything substantive. That does not preclude a trade materializing before Thursday’s 4 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline.

Regarding a big-ticket item such as Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzalez, a team insider severely tempered the suddenly rampant fan enthusiasm. The source said the Mets worked hard over a few years to build up their young pitching and are unlikely to part with multiple high-level pitching prospects in one deal.

David Wright nonetheless told Mike Puma in the Post: “It’s going to be a tough call when we do get to the point, which I think is very soon, of what are you willing to give, because [the Rockies] are not going to be giving these guys away. What are you willing to give to obtain that? And that is kind of an open-ended question.”

Read more in Newsday.

• After being blanked through eight innings, the Amazin’s scored three runs in the final frame against ex-Met Francisco Rodriguez, highlighted by Lucas Duda's go-ahead two-run homer, en route to a 3-2 win against the Brewers. Duda has accounted for all three second-half homers by the Mets.

Murphy produced three hits, but also had two errors, including a costly grounder through his legs in the sixth, when Milwaukee broke a scoreless tie against Zack Wheeler. Wheeler ultimately was charged with two runs (one earned) in 6 2/3 innings. It marked Wheeler’s fifth straight start allowing one earned run while completing at least six innings.

The Mets last overcame a ninth-inning deficit of at least two runs on May 11, against the Philadelphia Phillies. That day, the Mets scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth en route to a 5-4, 11-inning victory.

With 59 games remaining, the Mets (49-54) trail the first-place Washington Nationals by 8 games. The Amazin’s are six games back in the wild card, with four non-playoff teams -- St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Miami -- ahead of them.

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

Daisuke Matsuzaka, who looked uncomfortable after leaving his appearance Thursday in Milwaukee, is due to have an MRI of his right elbow on Saturday in New York. He remains active … for now. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Record, Daily News and at

Kirk Nieuwenhuis had three hits, including a go-ahead three-run homer in the seventh, as Las Vegas rallied to beat Salt Lake, 11-6. Greg Peavey limited Trenton to one run in eight innings as the B-Mets won, 6-1. Matt Bowman originally was due to start for Binghamton, but ended up getting summoned to Las Vegas after Darin Gorski fractured a foot. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes about Matt Garza's performance against the Mets in the series opener:

On Thursday, Matt Garza threw eight innings after lasting just one-third of an inning in his previous start in Washington. He became the first pitcher since the Mets' Bobby Jones in 1997 to pitch one-third of an inning or less and then eight innings or more in consecutive starts. Jones didn't retire a batter in a loss at Atlanta on Sept. 17, 1997, and then threw eight innings in a victory at Florida on Sept. 22, 1997.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear reflects on how the Mets fan mindset can adjust when the Mets finally begin to win consistently.

BIRTHDAYS: No one to ever play for the Mets was born on this date, but Mick Jagger, Sandra Bullock and Kevin Spacey all celebrate birthdays on July 26.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Did you prematurely write off Zack Wheeler?

Morning Briefing: Wheels up!

July, 25, 2014
Jul 25
FIRST PITCH: Zack Wheeler has allowed one run and completed at least six innings in each of his last four outings.

He looks to keep that production going and get the Mets back on track Friday at Miller Park. Wheeler (5-8, 3.78 ERA) opposes right-hander Yovani Gallardo (5-5, 3.79) at 8:10 p.m. ET.

Friday’s news reports:

• The Mets have told the Colorado Rockies they would want in if the club is willing to trade Troy Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzalez, Joel Sherman reports in the Post.

Tulowitzki is owed $20 million a season through 2019 and $14 million in 2020. CarGo is signed for $16 million in 2015, $17 million in 2016 and $20 million in 2017.

Of course, John Harper in the Daily News had just written Wednesday why Tulowitzki will NOT be coming to the Mets or Yankees.

Dillon Gee surrendered six runs over the opening three innings and the Mets ultimately lost to the Brewers, 9-1, in Thursday’s series opener. Gee now has a 9.00 ERA in two starts since a prolonged layoff during the All-Star break.

The Mets are averaging 2.1 runs and 5.3 hits per game and have a .168 team batting average in seven games since returning from the All-Star break. Matt Garza, who had been knocked out by the Washington Nationals after recording only one out Saturday, limited the Mets to one run on two hits in eight innings. The lone damage came on a solo homer by Lucas Duda in the seventh.

Daisuke Matsuzaka allowed a pair of home runs in two relief innings and appeared to be injured when he reached the dugout after the seventh, but Terry Collins said postgame that he was unaware of any issue.

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

• Although Ruben Tejada felt fine a day after getting beaned with a 94 mph fastball from Taijuan Walker, the Mets promoted Wilmer Flores and started him at shortstop on Thursday. Kirk Nieuwenhuis was optioned to Las Vegas to clear the roster spot. Tejada should be back at shortstop Friday. Read more in the Journal, Times, Star-Ledger, Newsday and at

Curtis Granderson returned to the lineup Thursday after missing two games with a flu-like illness.

• Colon Plaia’s ninth-inning solo homer lifted Savannah to a 2-1 win against Augusta. Josh Prevost, Kelly Secrest and Paul Paez combined for four scoreless relief innings as Brooklyn beat Vermont, 7-2. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Tom Seaver tells the Daily News that Derek Jeter should be the first unanimous Hall of Fame selection.

BIRTHDAYS: Former Mets closer Billy Wagner turns 43.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Do you believe the Mets are serious contenders if the Rockies trade Troy Tulowitzki or Carlos Gonzalez?

Report: Mets inquire about Tulo, CarGo

July, 24, 2014
Jul 24
The Mets have told the Colorado Rockies they would like to be involved with trade discussions if and when Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez become available, the Post's Joel Sherman reports.

Writes Sherman:

But keep in mind Tulowitzki has indicated he has become frustrated playing his prime mainly in non-contention. And there is belief if he were to request a trade, ownership would strongly consider fulfilling his wishes. However, Tulowitzki has a no-trade provision, wears No. 2 in honor of Derek Jeter and is thought to be considerably more interested in being a Yankee than a Met. And Colorado already has expressed interest to the Yankees in their top pitching prospect, Luis Severino.

Plus, sources say the Cardinals -- owners of arguably the deepest farm system in the sport -- are enamored with Tulowitzki and would move significant pieces to land him. In fact, the market will be deep if Tulowitzki comes onto it, because he is viewed as one of the 10 best players in the majors.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 5, Rockies 1

May, 4, 2014
May 4
DENVER -- The Mets took an early lead Sunday at Coors Field … and held it!

A day after blowing a six-run lead, Dillon Gee tossed six scoreless innings and the Mets beat the Colorado Rockies, 5-1, to avoid getting swept in the four-game series.

Despite the Rockies entering the series finale averaging an MLB-best 7.8 runs per game at home, Gee became the fourth starting pitcher in Mets history to toss six or more scoreless innings at Coors Field. He joined Johan Santana (2012), Mike Pelfrey (2010) and Pete Harnisch (1995). Gee has tossed a career-high 16 consecutive scoreless innings.

Gee needed help from Carlos Torres and Scott Rice.

Doug Pensinger/Getty ImagesDillon Gee tossed six scoreless innings Sunday at Coors Field.

Showing faith in his starting pitcher -- or, perhaps more aptly, reluctance to use his overworked and erratic bullpen -- Terry Collins allowed Gee to take the mound for the seventh with his pitch count at 105. Gee proceeded to allow consecutive singles to Michael McKenry and Corey Dickerson to open the frame and was pulled.

Torres recorded a pair of outs. And with Gee’s two runners in scoring position, Rice entered and coaxed a flyout to center field from lefty-hitting Charlie Blackmon to preserve the 5-0 lead.

The lone run came in the ninth inning on Justin Morneau's solo homer against Jeurys Familia.

The bullpen had logged a combined 11 1/3 innings the first three games of the series.

Gee has wanted to gain the faith from Collins to be trusted in late spots since being pulled in Arizona on April 16 with his pitch count at 72 after seven scoreless innings.

Gee has now completed six innings in 27 of his past 29 starts. He is 3-1 with a 0.67 ERA (2 ER in 27 IP) in his past four starts.

Sunday’s line: 6+ IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. He threw 113 pitches (68 strikes).

The performance was desperately needed after Bartolo Colon, Zack Wheeler and Jenrry Mejia each failed to complete five innings in the series.

The Mets (16-14) actually moved to within a game of the first-place Atlanta Braves, who have lost six straight. Of course, the Mets also are only a half-game out of last place in the congested National League East.

Juan Lagares, inserted into the starting lineup after Eric Young Jr. was scratched with a bruised right cheekbone, went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and extended his hitting streak to 13 games.

Lagares opened the game with a single and scored on Curtis Granderson’s two-out single against Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin. Lagares and Daniel Murphy had back-to-back two-out doubles in the fourth as the lead swelled to 4-0.

Lagares had four doubles in the four-game series. He was activated from the disabled list Thursday after a pulled right hamstring healed.

Granderson has hit safely in five straight games.

Stop, Forrest: The good news: Murphy followed up Saturday’s four-hit game with a two-hit performance Sunday. The bad news: His aggressiveness on the bases is borderline recklessness.

Murphy, trying to draw a throw home on a fake tag-up in the first inning, was caught straying too far off third base and was retired 7-5-6 when the ball was cut off. On Friday, Murphy had been caught stealing at third base with David Wright batting, similarly depriving the Mets of a potentially big first inning.

What’s next: The Mets head to Miami to complete a three-city trip. Jonathon Niese (2-2, 2.20 ERA) opposes right-hander Nate Eovaldi (2-1, 2.58) in Monday’s 7:10 p.m. series opener. The Marlins are an MLB-best 14-5 at home this season.

Morning Briefing: Rocky Mountain low

May, 4, 2014
May 4

FIRST PITCH: Suddenly, the Mets need a quality performance from Dillon Gee to avoid getting swept in a four-game series at Coors Field and avoid dropping to .500 for the first time since April 22.

Gee (2-1, 2.88 ERA) opposes Colorado Rockies right-hander Jhoulys Chacin in Sunday’s 4:10 p.m. ET game. Chacin is making his season debut after dealing with a right shoulder strain. He went 14-10 with a 3.47 ERA in 31 starts last season.

Sunday’s news reports:

Doug Pensinger/Getty ImagesKyle Farnsworth walks off the field after surrendering a game-ending two-run homer to Charlie Culberson.

Kyle Farnsworth surrendered a walk-off two-run homer to Charlie Culberson and the Mets lost to the Rockies, 11-10, Saturday night. The Mets led 6-0, but Jenrry Mejia surrendered eight fifth-inning runs, capped by a one-out grand slam by Nolan Arenado. It marked the second straight season the Mets had blown a six-run lead at Coors Field.

Terry Collins suggested leaving Mejia in to face Arenado made sense, since Arenado had hit groundballs the previous two at-bats. “Arenado did not have particularly good swings on Jenrry Mejia,” Collins said. “I thought he could get another groundball out of him.”

Opponents are now hitting .438 against Mejia the third time through the order this season, which raises the question of whether Mejia might instead be better in a late-inning role.

As for Culberson’s decisive homer, Farnsworth said: “Fastball up and away. It just came middle, I guess. He put a good swing on it.”

The Mets dropped to 15-14.

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

Daisuke Matsuzaka has a right-calf injury, but downplayed the severity.

Juan Lagares is now the “everyday” center fielder, Collins said, while allowing for periodic rest to avoid Lagares irritating his right hamstring.

Collins nonetheless said he would “try” to get Eric Young Jr. in Sunday’s lineup, after E.Y. Jr. was on the bench for three straight games.

Read more in the Star-Ledger, Record, Daily News and at

David Wright has not homered since Opening Day, when he went deep in the 10th inning against Washington’s Jerry Blevins. Wright has gone a career-high 115 at-bats without a long ball.

Wright nonetheless had three hits and an intentional walk Saturday to lift his season average to .275, albeit with a .333 slugging percentage.

“To me, you expect results when you do things you're supposed to do right,” Wright told Marc Carig in Newsday. “And when you don’t get those results, I think it’s easy to try to hit the ball extra hard next time. Sometimes you can get yourself into a bit of a hole. …

“There were some balls that I hit at Citi Field that quite frankly, I hit very well. They catch them on the track in right-center. You try to tell yourself to keep with the plan and they’ll start falling. But it’s only natural in the next at-bat to instinctively try to hit it even more hard.”

• Outfield prospect Jared King proposed to his girlfriend Maggie Watson at Savannah’s game Saturday.

• Pitching prospect Rob Whalen has been hospitalized with an infection on his pitching hand.

• Matt Clark scored the tiebreaking run on a wild pitch as Binghamton won the opener of a doubleheader against Portland. Luis Cessa allowed one run on two hits in five innings as St. Lucie salvaged a doubleheader split with a 5-1 win in its nightcap at Bradenton. Gavin Cecchini went 3-for-6 as Savannah beat Rome, 12-2. Read the full minor-league recap here.

Matt Harvey’s rehab from Tommy John surgery is set to advance to throwing on flat ground at 120 feet.

Lucas Duda started at first base against a left-handed pitcher Saturday and likely will be doing that more in the future, according to Collins.

• Marc Carig in Newsday suggests one reason the Mets kept Duda over Ike Davis is that the speed of balls off Duda’s bat is among the elite in the league, rivaling Joey Votto’s. Writes Carig:

The Mets noticed the trend playing itself out last season, when [Sandy] Alderson said Duda finished “in the upper echelon” of big-league hitters.

According to the team’s internal metrics, the number of Duda’s batted balls above 100 mph was more than double the league average. It was enough to make him second among National League first basemen in exit speed, behind only the Reds’ Joey Votto.

Of course, nobody is mistaking Duda for Votto, a perennial MVP contender. But the Mets believe Duda is capable of bridging that gap in production.

• A former Mets massage therapist has been accused of sexually abusing two female trainers, Julia Marsh reports in the Post.

• Sal Cacciatore in Newsday gets fan reaction to the Mets’ “True New Yorkers” pitch.

• Reigning NL batting champ Michael Cuddyer was eligible to come off the DL on Saturday to face the Mets, but remains day-to-day as he mends a left hamstring strain, writes Nick Groke in the Denver Post. No. 1 Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario is dealing with the flu and did not play Saturday, Groke also writes.

• Tyler Kepner in the Times catches up with ex-Met Collin McHugh, who is 2-0 with a 0.59 ERA in two starts for the Houston Astros.

From the bloggers ... NY Mets Life suggests the Mets need to allow Matt Harvey to be Matt Harvey.

BIRTHDAYS: Miguel Cairo turns 40. ... Robinson Cancel is 38. ... Manny Aybar is 42.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets consider using Jenrry Mejia as closer (or, at least, in a late-inning reliever) and place Daisuke Matsuzaka or a Triple-A arm in the big-league rotation?

Rapid Reaction: Rockies 11, Mets 10

May, 4, 2014
May 4
DENVER -- It happened again!

For the second straight season, the Mets coughed up a six-run lead en route to a loss at Coors Field.

It ended painfully, too. After Juan Lagares drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth against ex-Met LaTroy Hawkins, Kyle Farnsworth could not hold the lead. Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off two-run homer as the Colorado Rockies beat the Mets 11-10 on Saturday night.

The Mets have lost 21 of 29 games at Coors Field since 2007.

This time, Jenrry Mejia surrendered eight fifth-inning runs, capped by a grand slam from Nolan Arenado, as the Rockies turned a 6-0 deficit into an 8-6 lead. Unbelievably, Mejia threw only 19 pitches in that inning while surrendering eight runs and recording one out.

During a snowy, frigid series in Denver last season, the Mets lost the second game of an April 16 doubleheader to the Rockies in extra innings after taking an 8-2 lead into the bottom of the fifth.

Doug Pensinger/Getty ImagesAnthony Recker consoles Jenrry Mejia during a rocky outing at Coors Field.

This marked the second straight start for Mejia in which he squandered a large lead in the middle innings, perhaps validating those who suggest he is better suited for late-inning relief. Staked to a 5-1 lead last Saturday at Citi Field, Mejia was charged with five sixth-inning runs against the Miami Marlins, and the Mets lost in extra innings.

Mejia’s line: 4.1 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 2 HR. His ERA swelled to 5.23. He was hurt by Lucas Duda’s drop of a potential double-play turn in the eight-run fifth. Mejia had held the Rockies scoreless until Ryan Wheeler’s leadoff homer in the fifth.

He received a no-decision when Chris Young and Curtis Granderson had run-scoring hits in the sixth that pulled the Mets even at 8. Young also had a game-tying RBI single in the eighth, a half-inning after Daisuke Matsuzaka had surrendered a sacrifice fly to Jordan Pacheco. Granderson (2-for-4, 2 RBIs, HBP) has hit safely in four straight games.

Mets starting pitchers had logged at least five innings in each of the team’s first 26 games -- the last remaining MLB team to reach that threshold in every game this season. Since then, however, they have failed to reach that threshold in three straight games in Colorado. Bartolo Colon went 4 2/3 innings in the series opener. Zack Wheeler went four innings Friday.

Wright stuff: David Wright loves hitting at Coors Field. He went 3-for-5 with an intentional walk, RBI and two runs scored Saturday and is now hitting .391 (52-133) in his career at the ballpark.

Wrecker: The Mets fell to 6-1 in games started by Anthony Recker, but don’t blame the backup catcher. He had an RBI single in a three-run first inning against left-hander Franklin Morales and added an RBI double in his next at-bat as the Mets built a 6-0 lead after three innings.

One hit wonder: Mejia went 0-for-3 at the plate and Matsuzaka struck out bunting to give the Mets a record for hitting futility. Mets pitchers are 0-for-48 -- the worst start to a season in MLB history (since 1900), according to SNY. The previous record: Pitchers with the St. Louis Browns opened the 1914 season hitless in 45 straight at-bats.

Medical attention: Matsuzaka received a visit from trainer Ray Ramirez before surrendering the seventh-inning sac fly to Pacheco that had given the Rockies a 9-8 lead. Matsuzaka completed the inning and allowed only the one run in 2 2/3 innings.

Mile(high)stones: Troy Tulowitzki recorded his 1,000th career hit. ... With the grand slam, Arenado extended his hitting streak to 23 games, longest active in the majors. ... Daniel Murphy had a four-hit game.

What’s next: Dillon Gee (2-1, 2.88 ERA) faces right-hander Jhoulys Chacin in Sunday’s 4:10 p.m. ET series finale as the Mets try to avoid getting swept. Chacin will be making his 2014 debut after opening the season on the disabled list with a right-shoulder strain.

Saturday's Mets-Rockies lineups

May, 3, 2014
May 3
DENVER -- Here are the lineups for the Mets' 8:10 p.m. ET game against the Colorado Rockies on Saturday at Coors Field.

Eric Young Jr. sits for a third straight day since Juan Lagares' return from the DL.

Lagares, cf
Daniel Murphy, 2b
David Wright, 3b
Chris Young, lf
Curtis Granderson, rf
Anthony Recker, c
Lucas Duda, 1b
Ruben Tejada, ss
Jenrry Mejia, rhp

Charlie Blackmon, rf
Drew Stubbs, cf
Carlos Gonzalez, lf
Troy Tulowitzki, ss
Nolan Arenado, 3b
Ryan Wheeler, 1b
Jordan Pacheco, c
DJ LeMahieu, 2b
Franklin Morales, lhp

The Rockies promoted catcher Michael McKenry from Triple-A and optioned right-hander Chad Bettis.

Rapid Reaction: Rockies 10, Mets 3

May, 2, 2014
May 2
DENVER -- The New York Mets arrived in Colorado as the only team in the majors to have its starting pitcher log at least five innings in every outing. Two days later, they've now had back-to-back games with their starting pitcher failing to reach that threshold.

Zack Wheeler surrendered a career-high seven runs in four innings and the Mets lost to the Colorado Rockies 10-3 Friday night at Coors Field. It was the shortest outing of Wheeler’s career.

Wheeler’s line: 4 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 1 K. His ERA swelled to 5.13.

The first five Rockies reached base in a four-run first inning -- with a walk and a swinging bunt by Wilin Rosario for a base hit contributing to the damage, along with Justin Morneau's RBI double.

Bartolo Colon had allowed seven runs in 4 2/3 innings in the series opener.

After posting a 15-11 record in April, the Mets are now 0-2 in May.

Deep thoughts: Curtis Granderson produced a two-run homer against Jorge De La Rosa in the sixth inning that pulled the Mets within 7-3. It was Granderson’s second home run, and eighth and ninth RBIs of the season. His other long ball came April 5 against Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto.

Granderson went 75 at-bats between home runs -- the eighth-longest drought of his career, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He last had a longer streak in 2010 -- 87 at-bats, in his first season with the Yankees.

Granderson also had an eighth-inning single to lift his batting average to .156. He has only one other two-hit game as a Met -- on April 3 against Washington.

Juan-derful: Juan Lagares had his second straight two-hit game since returning from the disabled list. Lagares followed up two doubles Thursday with a 2-for-5 performance that included one more double.

The end: Daniel Murphy’s streak of successful steal attempts ended at 28. In an ill-advised first-inning attempt that took the Mets out of a potential big inning, Murphy was caught by De La Rosa trying to take third base with none out and David Wright batting.

Murphy’s streak was the second longest in franchise history. Kevin McReynolds had 33 straight successful steal attempts from 1987 through '89.

What’s next: Jenrry Mejia (3-0, 3.49 ERA) opposes left-hander Franklin Morales (3-1, 4.40) at 8:10 p.m. ET Saturday.

Friday's Mets-Rockies lineups

May, 2, 2014
May 2
DENVER -- Here are the lineups for the Mets' 8:40 p.m. ET game against the Colorado Rockies on Friday at Coors Field.

Eric Young Jr. sits for a second straight game since Juan Lagares returned.

Carlos Gonzalez sits for the Rockies with a bruised finger but expects to return to the lineup Saturday.

Lagares, cf
Daniel Murphy, 2b
David Wright, 3b
Chris Young, lf
Curtis Granderson, rf
Josh Satin, 1b
Travis d'Arnaud, c
Ruben Tejada, ss
Zack Wheeler, rhp

Charlie Blackmon, cf
Nolan Arenado, 3b
Troy Tulowitzki, ss
Justin Morneau, 1b
Wilin Rosario, c
Corey Dickerson, lf
Brandon Barnes, rf
D.J. LeMahieu, 2b
Jorge De La Rosa, lhp

Colorado placed Josh Rutledge on the DL with a viral infection and recalled Ryan Wheeler from Triple-A Colorado Springs.

FIRST PITCH: The Mets finished April with a 15-11 record.

May did not get off to a good start Thursday.

Now, Zack Wheeler has a chance to begin remedying that. Wheeler (1-2, 3.99 ERA) opposes Colorado Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa (2-3, 5.23) at 8:40 p.m. ET Friday at Coors Field.

Friday’s news reports:

• Richard Sandomir in the Times reports that Mets tickets sold are marginally up and SNY ratings are down in 2014. Writes Sandomir:

As for the Mets, the number of tickets sold through 16 dates is up 3.4 percent to 27,058 a game, a nice lift after a steady decline in attendance since the team moved into Citi Field in 2009. Still, the number of viewers on SNY has fallen 4 percent to 180,000 a game.

Because the disparity between tickets sold and the number of people at the ballpark is sometimes glaring, TV ratings might be a more accurate measurement of fan interest. As such, the drop in ratings on SNY suggests how much work the Mets still have to do to get all of their fans on board again. The 15-11 start helped, but they need to keep playing solid baseball.

Chris Humphreys/USA TODAY SportsBartolo Colon allowed seven runs in 4 2/3 innings Thursday at Coors Field.

Bartolo Colon surrendered seven runs in 4 2/3 innings and the Mets lost to the Rockies, 7-4, Thursday. Travis d’Arnaud had a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth. Read game recaps in the Denver Post, Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Times and at

Juan Lagares returned from the disabled list and had a two-hit game. Lagares replaced Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who received praise from Terry Collins as he was demoted to Las Vegas. Eric Young Jr., who did not start Thursday, ultimately could end up as the fourth outfielder with Lagares’ return. Read more in the Journal and Newsday.

Lucas Duda was inserted in the cleanup spot for only the third time this season Thursday.

• Rockies first-base coach Eric Young Sr. and E.Y. Jr. have a family reunion this weekend at Coors Field. Read more in the Post.

LaTroy Hawkins said he initially expected to return to the Mets for 2014, but the Mets did not make an offer competitive with the Rockies’ $2.5 million bid. Read more in the Journal, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and Daily News.

• Rockies slugger Carlos Gonzalez left Thursday’s game in the fourth inning with a bruised left index finger. He had homered in the first inning. CarGo told Rockies reporters this injury is not as serious as a ligament strain he suffered to his right middle finger last July. “It’s just, when you get jammed, it hurts really bad,” Gonzalez said, according to “But it’s something that will go away, not like last year. Last year was a ligament. That was a tough one, when you have to play with a bad finger like that. This one, it happens.”

• Jacob deGrom (4-0) limited Reno to one run in 5 1/3 innings and shaved his Pacific Coast League ERA to 1.89. Las Vegas won, 19-2. Jairo Perez homered twice and Cam Maron and T.J. Rivera also went deep in St. Lucie’s 11-0 win against Bradenton. Rob Whalen improved to 4-0 as Savannah beat Delmarva, 6-1. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• The Mets are “not optimistic” about Wilmer Flores being able to handle shortstop, Mike Puma writes in the Post. Flores had six errors in April at shortstop with Vegas. He actually has not manned the position for a week because of a jammed finger that mostly has limited him to pinch-hitting.

BIRTHDAYS: Infielder Eddie Bressoud was born on this date in 1932.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Do you believe the Mets will have similar success in May as they did in April?

Rapid Reaction: Rockies 7, Mets 4

May, 1, 2014
May 1
DENVER -- The Mets had been the only team in the majors to have their starting pitcher complete five innings in every outing this season. That came to an end Thursday, as Bartolo Colon had an unsightly outing for the second time this season.

This time, the Colorado Rockies tagged Colon for seven runs in 4 2/3 innings en route to a 7-4 series-opening win against the Mets at Coors Field.

Travis d'Arnaud produced a two-out, three-run homer in the ninth.

The Mets had mustered only four hits through eight innings despite Terry Collins juggling the batting order, including installing Lucas Duda as the cleanup hitter.

Juan Lagares’ two-out RBI double in the eighth in his return from the disabled list ensured the Mets would avoid the second shutout at Coors Field in team history. The lone instance remains May 9, 2001, when Mike Hampton did the honors in his first season after deciding Denver-area schools were more attractive.

The Mets did not leave Philadelphia until after midnight ET and did not get to their hotel until after 3 a.m. MT Thursday despite Wednesday’s game being called in the early afternoon.

Colon’s line: 4.2 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 1 HBP. His ERA swelled to 5.65.

Opposing pitcher Juan Nicasio drove in three of the runs. He had a two-out, two-run single into the right-field corner in the second inning as the Rockies grabbed a 3-0 lead. Nicasio added a sacrifice fly during a three-run fourth. He became the first pitcher to produce three RBIs against the Mets since Washington’s Tommy Milone on Sept. 3, 2011.

Colon had surrendered nine runs in five innings at Anaheim on April 13.

Nicasio contributed seven scoreless innings. He dominated the Mets at hitter-friendly Coors Field despite entering the game with a 5.27 ERA.

At one point, Nicasio retired 12 straight batters, until pinch hitter Eric Young Jr.’s one-out walk in the sixth. The Mets went without a hit from Chris Young's one-out single in the second until Duda's one-out single in the seventh.

Lagares had two of the Mets’ seven hits in his first game since April 14.

Car-Gone: Carlos Gonzalez, who opened the scoring with a first-inning solo homer against Colon, departed the game in the fourth for a pinch hitter. The Rockies announced Gonzalez had a bruised left index finger and is day-to-day.

What’s next: Zack Wheeler (1-2, 3.99 ERA) opposes left-hander Jorge De La Rosa (2-3, 5.23) at 8:40 p.m. ET Friday.
DENVER -- After successfully completing last season as Mets closer once Bobby Parnell suffered the herniated disk in his neck, LaTroy Hawkins expected to return to Queens in 2014.

"I thought I had a good chance of being back in New York," Hawkins said Thursday afternoon. "I sure did."

Instead, Hawkins accepted a $2.5 million offer from the Rockies that includes a team option for 2015. The Mets did not come close to that offer, despite Hawkins posted a 2.93 ERA and 13 saves in 72 appearances at age 40 last season.

Asked if it was surprising the Mets would not go to that salary figure, Hawkins replied: "I don't know what to say about that. I have much respect for Sandy [Alderson] and the Wilpons. I can't answer that question. ... I told them what [the Rockies' offer] was and the numbers just didn't work out. I've been playing a long time. Nothing surprises me. I'm not surprised by anything. But everybody has decisions to make. They've got business decisions. It's just one of those things where it didn't work out.

"I wish the Mets the best, Sandy the best, the Wilpons the best. They were nothing but great to me. That's for damn sure. So I can't complain. Not at all."

Hawkins said he is particularly grateful to the Mets because he had no other offers during the 2012-13 offseason, when he signed with the Mets. In fact, he planned to retire rather than accept a minor-league deal in Queens. Larry Reynolds, his agent, convinced him to go to spring training with the Mets.

"Everything happens for a reason. The Mets were the only team that offered me," Hawkins said. "So I have nothing but great things to say about Sandy and the Wilpons. They were the only offer I had. The only offer. It's cool. It's part of the process. When people tell you you're about done, it doesn't mean that you're done.

"There was a point where I wasn't going to take a minor-league deal. ... I'm glad I didn't [retire], but I was very close."

With the Rockies, Hawkins is 9-for-9 in save conversions. He suggested part of his success is attributable to unseasonably mild temperatures for Rockies games in April. He has successfully saved 19 straight dating to last season with the Mets.

"I got into a groove last year, and hopefully I can stay in that groove for a whole season," Hawkins said. "It would be nice."



Bartolo Colon
11 3.85 125 161
BAD. Murphy .297
HRL. Duda 22
RBIL. Duda 66
RD. Murphy 69
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.49
SOZ. Wheeler 145