New York Mets: Devin Mesoraco

Morning Briefing: Welcome home

September, 8, 2014
9/08/14
9:37
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: The days are running out on the 2014 season. Heck, one team already held a retirement ceremony over the weekend.

As for the Mets, they've got games to play, with their final extended homestand of the season beginning Monday night at Citi Field against the Rockies. The dream of a 90-win season -- or was it just a "challenge"? -- ended long ago, and even the goal of ending this string of losing seasons would require a miracle 13-6 finish. Oh, and forget about seeing Noah Syndergaard, because the Mets didn't include him on their final list of September call-ups.

But there are games to be played, and the Rockies, the Nationals and the Marlins will all be at Citi Field during this 10-game homestand.

First up, Jonathon Niese (8-10, 3.68 ERA) starts Monday against Colorado right-hander Jordan Lyles (6-2, 4.35).

Monday's news reports:

Zack Wheeler had great stuff ("A-plus stuff," manager Terry Collins said), but still needed help to get a 4-3 win over the Reds on Sudnay. Read game stories in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record and MLB.com.

Jenrry Mejia survived a two-run ninth inning for his 24th save, striking out Devin Mesoraco to leave the bases loaded. Mark Simon of ESPN Stats & Info reports that it was just the fifth time in Mets history they ended a one-run win with a bases-loaded strikeout. The last to do it was John Franco, against the Marlins in 1998. Franco did it twice, with Danny Frisella and Jeff Reardon doing it once each. Mejia was just the third Mets closer to get a save while allowing two runs and four hits. Franco did it against the Padres in 1994, and Luis Ayala did it against the Marlins in 2008.

• So, why no Syndergaard? The Mets decided against pitching him out of the bullpen, and didn't have a spot open to start him. Bobby Abreu and Gonzalez Germen got call-ups. Rafael Montero, who joined the Mets on Sunday, will get a spot start Wednesday before settling into the bullpen. Read more in the Post, Newsday, Star-Ledger and MLB.com.

• Binghamton advanced to the Eastern League finals with a winner-take-all victory in Sunday's Game 5 against Portland. The finals begin Tuesday at Richmond.

BIRTHDAYS: Injured closer Bobby Parnell turns 30 on Monday. ... Don Aase is 60.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU'RE UP: Are you upset with the decision not to call up Noah Syndergaard?

Series preview: Mets vs. Reds

April, 4, 2014
4/04/14
8:45
AM ET

Getty ImagesThe Mets face Mike Leake, Johnny Cueto and Alfredo Simon this weekend at Citi Field.
METS (0-3, fifth place/NL East) vs. CINCINNATI REDS (1-2, third place/NL Central)

Friday: RHP Jenrry Mejia (0-0, -.--) vs. RHP Mike Leake (0-0, -.--), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Dillon Gee (0-0, 5.40) vs. RHP Johnny Cueto (0-1, 1.29), 1:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: LHP Jonathon Niese (0-0, -.--) vs. RHP Alfredo Simon (0-0, -.--), 1:10 p.m. ET

Reds short hops

• Cincinnati opened the season with an MLB-high eight players on the disabled list. The most gruesome injury occurred to flame-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman, who was struck by a line drive off the bat of Kansas City’s Salvador Perez on March 19. Chapman suffered eye and nose fractures and also a mild concussion. He had a plate and screws inserted to stabilize the bones near his left eye.


Mark Sheldon/Associated PressAroldis Chapman is taken off the field after being struck by a March 19 line drive.


Also opening the season on the DL: right-handers Mat Latos (Oct. 11 elbow surgery and Feb. 14 knee surgery), Jonathan Broxton (Aug. 23 forearm surgery) and Brett Marshall (finger tendon), left-hander Sean Marshall (shoulder), catcher Devin Mesoraco (oblique), infielder Jack Hannahan (shoulder) and free-agent infielder/outfielder signee Skip Schumaker (shoulder).

Alfredo Simon, who has 19 career saves, steps into the rotation as the fifth starter until Latos returns. Latos tossed four innings for Double-A Pensacola in a rehab start Thursday.

• Bryan Price, 51, is the first-year manager of the Reds. He served the previous four seasons as the team’s pitching coach under Dusty Baker.

J.J. Hoover may take the lead in a closer-by-committee scenario until Broxton and then Chapman returns. Broxton may be back within a week. Hoover’s co-closers for now include Logan Ondrusek, Manny Parra and Sam LeCure. Hoover had 23 straight scoreless appearances last summer, a franchise record for a right-hander.

Mike Leake, still 26 year old, already has made five Opening Day rosters with the Reds. His 57 hits are the most by any MLB pitcher since his 2010 debut.

• Cincinnati opened its season by failing to score in its first 17 innings, until Chris Heisey’s walk-off single against St. Louis’ Carlos Martinez won Game 2 of the season, 1-0. Heisey had six spring-training homers, tied for the MLB lead.

• Speedster Billy Hamilton is hitless in 12 at-bats with six strikeouts to open the season. Four of the Ks came on Opening Day. He has been caught stealing only once in his big-league career -- by the Mets’ Juan Centeno last season. Hamilton is handling center field (and playing shallow to take advantage of his speed) with Shin-Soo Choo’s defection to the Texas Rangers on a seven-year, $130 million deal.

• First baseman Joey Votto, the 2010 NL MVP, notched his 1,000th career hit Wednesday.

• Toms River/Rutgers product Todd Frazier had his fourth career multihomer game Thursday.

Johnny Cueto, who made his third straight Opening Day start, was a tough-luck loser against St. Louis. He surrendered a solo homer to Yadier Molina while allowing only two other hits and a walk in seven innings in the Reds’ 1-0 loss to Adam Wainwright. Cueto made only 11 starts last season because of three disabled-list trips.

• Cincinnati experienced a combined 6 hours, 22 minutes of rain delays on Wednesday and Thursday.

• Left fielder Ryan Ludwick had a better Opening Day this season than a year ago, even though he went 0-for-4. In the 2013 opener, Ludwick tore the labrum in his right shoulder on a headfirst slide into third base. He required surgery and did not return until Aug. 12.

• Catcher Brayan Pena, who played with the Detroit Tigers in 2013, signed a two-year, $2.275 million contract in November. Incumbent catcher Ryan Hanigan was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in December.

• Right-hander Homer Bailey signed a six-year, $105 million extension with the Reds on Feb. 19. He went 11-12 with a 3.49 ERA in 32 starts last season and would have been eligible for free agency next winter.

Morning Briefing: Harvey Day at last

May, 22, 2013
5/22/13
2:31
AM ET

Seth Wenig/Associated Press
Relax everyone, Matt Harvey pitches at Citi Field today ... hopefully without the bloody nose.
FIRST PITCH: Matt Harvey gives Mets fans their once-every-five-days reprieve from an otherwise miserable season when he opposes unbeaten Cincinnati Reds right-hander Mat Latos (4-0, 2.91 ERA) at 1:10 p.m.

Since his major league debut last July 26 at Arizona, Harvey has compiled a 2.12 ERA, which ranks third in the majors during that span.

This season, Harvey’s 1.55 ERA also ranks third in the majors, trailing only the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw (1.35) and Diamondbacks’ Patrick Corbin (1.44).

The Reds will bid for a three-game sweep at Citi Field for the second straight season.

Wednesday’s news reports:

• Sandy Alderson, appearing on the SNY telecast during last night’s game, said about potentially demoting Ike Davis: “It’s hard to ignore what happened last year. No. 1, we went through the same scenario the first part of the year. It’s troubling that it’s happened again. The positive is he did so well in the second half. So I think it’s hard to ignore that. At the same time, you do have to think about what might be different this year than it was last year. … It may be he is better off going to Las Vegas for some period of time. But at this point we’re going to live with Ike for a little longer.”

Alderson added that he believes Zack Wheeler will merit consideration for a promotion after two or three more outings with Las Vegas (without stating the promotion will be after the projected Super 2 deadline, which seems like common sense). The GM also believes Travis d’Arnaud, who will wear a protective boot on his fractured left foot for another nine days, will appear in the majors this season.

Watch Alderson’s appearance here. Read more in the Post.


Kathy Kmonicek/Associated Press
Jon Niese threw 48 pitches in the first inning Tuesday.


David Wright had a two-out grounder go through his legs with the bases loaded and two runs scored in what became a 48-pitch, three-run first inning for Jonathon Niese. Niese managed to complete six innings despite the heavy first-inning workload, but the Mets again mustered no offense and lost to the Reds, 4-0, Tuesday. Collin McHugh surrendered a solo homer to Devin Mesoraco in the ninth for the lone other run.

The Mets’ three hits matched a season low. They have scored three runs or fewer in nine straight home games, matching the ninth-longest streak in franchise history.

Davis, the focus of boos, stranded two in scoring position with a fourth-inning groundout against Reds starter Mike Leake, his teammate at Arizona State. Davis is 0-for-24 with runners in scoring position in his past 18 games.

The Mets are 2-10 in their past dozen home games.

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

Jeremy Hefner appeared on “Outside the Lines” Wednesday to discuss the disaster wrought by a tornado in his former hometown of Moore, Okla. Hefner attended kindergarten and first grade at Briarwood Elementary, which was destroyed in the twister. He remains an Oklahoman. Watch the ESPN video here. Read more in the Times and Newsday.

• Columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post writes about Harvey Day:

Harvey is having fun. When he took the field for pregame stretching last night “Clique’’ by Kanye West, Jay-Z and Big Sean was blaring throughout Citi Field. To his teammates’ delight Harvey busted some moves. Clique is off the album “Cruel Summer.’’

Indeed.

On game day, Harvey is all business. From bloody noses to all kinds of weather to playing for a team that has to scale a mountain to score a run, nothing seems to stop Harvey from doing his job.


Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports
Zack Wheeler is back on the mound for Las Vegas today after missing one start.


• Wheeler is due to reenter the Las Vegas rotation today at 1:05 p.m. ET at Iowa after missing a turn. He received a cortisone injection last Wednesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan for swelling in the AC joint in his right shoulder.

• In a spot start in his Triple-A debut, Rafael Montero took a scoreless effort into the seventh and final inning of Game 1 of a doubleheader. He then allowed a leadoff homer to Brian Bogusevic and departed with the score tied at 1 after a two-out walk. Josh Edgin entered and allowed the inherited run to score as Montero was tagged with a loss in his first appearance with the 51s. Las Vegas was swept with a 6-5 loss in Game 2. The 51s scored five runs in the top of the sixth to even the score, then Gonzalez Germen surrendered the tiebreaking run in the bottom half of the inning. Read the full minor league recap here.

• Montreal has named a street in the city after the late Expo/Met Gary Carter. Read more in the Montreal Gazette.

• Due to limited demand compared with previous seasons, Mets-Yankees Subway Series tickets for next week are not skyrocketing in price on the secondary market, reports Mark La Monica in Newsday. Writes La Monica:

The combined average price for the four-game Subway Series (May 27-30) this year is $133 as of Monday, according to TiqIQ.com, a ticket reseller that aggregates ticket prices across multiple secondary markets. That's down 13 percent from 2012, 19 percent from 2011 and 34 percent from 2010.

From the bloggers … The Eddie Kranepool Society looks at fan relations at Citi Field. .. Shannon from Mets Police wonders why there is a banner of Keith Miller outside Citi Field.

BIRTHDAYS: Collin Cowgill turns 27. He is hitting .236 with two homers and six RBIs and has a .333 on-base percentage in 15 games with Las Vegas since debuting with the Pacific Coast League club on May 4.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Do you approve of the Mets’ patience with Ike Davis?

Series preview: Mets vs. Reds

June, 15, 2012
6/15/12
10:00
AM ET
Getty ImagesThe Mets face (l to r) right-handers Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey and Johnny Cueto this weekend at Citi Field.
METS (35-29, second place/NL East) vs. CINCINNATI REDS (35-27, first place/NL Central)

Friday: RHP Dillon Gee (4-4, 4.42) vs. RHP Bronson Arroyo (2-4, 3.79), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: LHP Jon Niese (4-2, 3.69) vs. RHP Homer Bailey (4-4, 4.35), 7:15 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Chris Young (1-0, 3.38) vs. RHP Johnny Cueto (7-3, 2.46), 1:10 p.m. ET

Reds short hops

Scott Rolen is scheduled for a weekend rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville before being activated Monday. He has been on the DL since May 12 with a left shoulder strain. Rutgers product Todd Frazier has started 26 of 31 games at third base in Rolen's absence, with sporadic appearances otherwise by ex-Met Miguel Cairo. Frazier's seven homers already are the fourth-most by a Reds rookie third baseman, trailing only Grady Hatton (14, 1946), Chris Sabo (11, 1988) and Edwin Encarnacion (eight, 2005).

• Closer Aroldis Chapman (seven saves) allowed his first earned run since last Sept. 10 when he surrendered consecutive doubles to Pittsburgh's Clint Barmes and Michael McKenry last Thursday. The outing also snapped a club-record eight straight appearances of one-plus innings without allowing a hit, topping Danny Graves' previous franchise record (seven in 2001). The 24 appearances without an earned run allowed to open the season topped John Hudek's franchise record (18 games in 1998).

Joe Robbins/Getty ImagesJoey Votto is one point off the lead for the top batting average in the National League.


• Manager Dusty Baker turns 63 Friday.

Joey Votto's .362 average ranks second in the National League, one point behind San Francisco's Melky Cabrera and one point ahead of Philadelphia's Carlos Ruiz. David Wright is fourth at .358. Votto signed a 10-year extension on April 4 that locks him up through 2023.

Chris Heisey left Thursday afternoon's game in the fifth inning with a groin strain. Heisey had taken over in center field for Drew Stubbs. Stubbs has been sidelined since straining an oblique swinging on June 5, although he has remained on the active roster.

• Rookie catcher Devin Mesoraco, who shares duties with Ryan Hanigan, also was pulled from the series finale against the Indians with discomfort on his side, potentially related to dehydration.

• Second baseman Brandon Phillips signed a six-year, $72.5 million contract on April 10. He went 3-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs Thursday. Phillips has four straight multi-hit games and 20 RBIs in his past 17 appearances.

• Shortstop Zack Cozart returned to the lineup Thursday after missing two games with flu-like symptoms.

• The Reds are one of only three teams to use only five starting pitchers this season. The others: the Mariners and Marlins. It marks the longest streak for the Reds without using a sixth starter since 1992, when Keith Brown broke the streak in Game No. 80, after Cincinnati exclusively used Jose Rijo, Tom Browning, Tim Belcher, Greg Swindell and Chris Hammond before that.

• Ex-Red Barry Larkin will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 22.

Bronson Arroyo leads all NL pitchers in starts (213) and innings (1,362 1/3) since he joined the Reds in 2006. He has three complete games and five other eight-inning appearances in 12 starts against the Mets.

Last series results

Mets split 1-1 at Citi Field, May 16-17, 2012 (AP game recaps)

Reds 6, Mets 3: Todd Frazier had a big audience -- and a big night in front of it. The former Rutgers player homered twice in front of about three dozen friends and family members and Brandon Phillips hit a tying single off Jon Rauch in the eighth. Pinch hitter Jay Bruce drove in the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly one out after the Reds put together three straight hits off Rauch (3-2), ending with Phillips' single. Rauch retired Chris Heisey on a popup before left-hander Tim Byrdak came on to face the lefty-hitting Bruce. After that, D.J. Carrasco entered and gave up Frazier's second homer on his first pitch. Carrasco was designated for assignment after the game. More

Mets 9, Reds 4: David Wright lined his second double of the game, a tiebreaking drive in the eighth inning that raised his major league-leading average to .411, and the Mets scored nine unanswered runs to top the Reds. Ronny Cedeño’s three-run homer capped a five-run eighth against Logan Ondrusek (3-1), a burst that began with a neatly placed bunt single by backup catcher Rob Johnson with one out. Wright was up next and, after his shot down the left-field line was inches foul, sent a one-hopper off the wall in center for a 5-4 lead. Playing despite a cold that had him sniffling, he went 2-for-2, drew three walks, scored three runs and stole a base. More

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
15 4.09 151 202
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187