Morning Briefing: Welcome home


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.


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