New York Mets: Don Mattingly

Morning Briefing: West doormats arrive

May, 23, 2014
May 23
5:34
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: The Mets swept the Arizona Diamondbacks April 14-16 in Phoenix.

Now, they look to continue their success against the National League West cellar dwellers this weekend at Citi Field.

Arizona arrives in Queens with an 18-31 record and on a three-game losing streak after getting swept in St. Louis. The D-backs already have endured six losing streaks of at least three games this season, ESPN Stats & Information notes.

Bartolo Colon (3-5, 5.34 ERA) opposes rookie right-hander Chase Anderson (2-0, 5.06) in Friday’s 7:10 p.m. series opener.

Friday’s news reports:

Juan Lagares delivered a tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh and the Mets salvaged the finale of their series with the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 5-3 win Thursday at Citi Field. Albeit benefiting from a pair of unearned runs, the Mets snapped Zack Greinke’s streak of allowing two or fewer runs in 21 straight starts -- the longest such streak in MLB history. Jenrry Mejia pitched for a second straight day for the first time since 2010 to earn his second save.


Adam Hunger/USA TODAY SportsYasiel Puig had the catch of the day, racing into right-center and diving to rob Wilmer Flores.


Eric Campbell, starting in the majors for the first time in left field, contributed a sacrifice fly and also made a dazzling eighth-inning catch to initiate a double play.

Jonathon Niese had surrendered a game-tying two-run homer to ex-Met Justin Turner in the top of the seventh. Pitching coach Dan Warthen had noticed Niese elevating his pitches that inning and had planned to go to the mound if Turner had reached base.

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

Curtis Granderson doesn’t understand why fans boo. “I’ve always wanted to know why someone would boo, because in the next second they’ll cheer,” Granderson told Jim Baumbach in Newsday. “So which one is it? You like your team or dislike your team? You call yourself a fan and then you’ll boo? …

“I understand you’re a fan, but at the same time, you aren’t playing. I can see you getting that intense as a player or [if you] have played. But if you’re just a fan and watching, enjoy the excitement of the game that is in front of you win, lose or draw, whatever the case is.”

• Columnist John Harper in the Daily News says play the kids. Writes Harper:

It makes sense, since this team can’t be considered a contender, even at a time when parity throughout MLB has lowered the bar for such status.

Of course, it also speaks to a failure by the Mets’ brass to do more in the offseason, specifically in terms of upgrading the offense, which is why the season is careening in the wrong direction.

• Jared Diamond in the Journal notes two members of the bullpen, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Mejia, view themselves as starters in exile. “Looking in from the outside, it may seem that I have become more comfortable,” Matsuzaka told Diamond through an interpreter. “But, for me, it’s still a daily struggle.”

• Read more on Mejia in the Star-Ledger and Daily News.

Travis d’Arnaud has been cleared for baseball activities as he rebounds from a concussion. Terry Collins expects d’Arnaud to have a rehab assignment before being activated from the concussion DL. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Journal, Record, Newsday and at MLB.com.

• Collins has resolved to use Campbell in the middle infield, at least on occasion.

• Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has no problems with the dimensions of Citi Field.

Dillon Gee (lat) will need to pitch in a rehab game as soon as Sunday to ensure he only misses three turns in the rotation.

• Jesse Spector in the Sporting News ranks Sandy Alderson the 23rd-best GM in baseball.

• Howard Megdal at Capital New York suggests Mets brass did not like a tweet read on-air on WOR regarding team ownership.

• TV critic Bob Raissman in the Daily News wonders which SNY analyst will lose it on-air watching the Mets.

• Alex Panteliodis earned the win in his season debut and left-handed reliever Chase Huchingson returned from a 50-game suspension in St. Lucie’s 6-4 win against Clearwater. Savannah’s Miller Diaz, Akeel Morris and Tyler Vanderheiden combined to shut out Lexington, 4-0. Read the full minor-league recap here.

David Wright met with a 12-year-old afflicted with a rare skin disorder before Thursday’s game, Eli Rosenberg writes in the Daily News.

From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear can't help but notice Yasiel Puig.

BIRTHDAYS: Vic Black, who has a 1.45 ERA and seven saves in eight chances with Las Vegas, turns 26. Black has allowed 12 hits and 17 walks (one intentional) in 18 2/3 innings.

TWEETS OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Will the Mets beat up on the Diamondbacks this weekend?

Mattingly: Nothing wrong with Citi Field

May, 22, 2014
May 22
5:32
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Citi Field has been kind to Don Mattingly and his Los Angeles Dodgers. So it probably shouldn't come as a surprise that Mattingly would be kind to Citi Field.

His Dodgers had won eight of their last nine games there, entering play Thursday night. They scored 13 runs in the first two games of this week's series with the New York Mets, hitting four home runs.

So no, Mattingly doesn't think there's anything wrong with the way the Mets' ballpark plays.

"It looks big, and it probably plays really big when it's cold," the Dodgers' manager said. "But I like it. It seems fair. Oakland plays a lot bigger than this. If you hit it here, it'll go.

"To me, this is a ballpark you can win with, if you're going with pitching."

He meant that the home team should be able to win with it, something the Mets have struggled to do. They entered play Thursday with a 9-14 home record, and while their OPS in away games was .700, their home OPS (.610) was the worst in the majors.

The ballpark's dimensions have once again become a popular topic of conversation, with people asking whether the team should consider moving the fences in for what would be the second time at the six-year-old park.

Mattingly, not surprisingly, doesn't think it's necessary. His team has had no problem here.

Series preview: Mets at Dodgers

August, 12, 2013
8/12/13
12:26
AM ET

Getty ImagesThe Mets face (l to r) Ricky Nolasco, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Chris Capuano at Dodger Stadium.
METS (54-61, third place/NL East) vs. LOS ANGELES DODGERS (67-50, first place/NL West)

Monday: RHP Jenrry Mejia (1-1, 1.96) vs. RHP Ricky Nolasco (8-9, 3.65), 10:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Matt Harvey (9-3, 2.09) vs. LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (11-3, 2.99), 10:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Dillon Gee (8-8, 3.82) vs. LHP Chris Capuano (4-6, 4.50), 10:10 p.m. ET

Dodgers short hops

• The Dodgers are 37-8 since June 22, matching the best 45-game stretch in franchise history. They also posted that record in 1899 and 1953.

The turnaround spared manager Don Mattingly getting fired, he said last week while revealing a late-May meeting with team president Stan Kasten. The Dodgers were a season-low 12 games under .500 before their current 45-game surge.

"Stan was really honest. He didn't want to do anything but he said, 'Donnie, at some point I got to do something,'" Mattingly said, as quoted by ESPNLosAngeles.com. "I understood it. I was fine with that. I understand. At some point you need a change of voice, a different voice."

Hanley Ramirez (.359, 11 HR, 37 RBIs) continues to experience pain in his right shoulder a week after diving into the stands during a catch attempt at Wrigley Field. He has not started any of the past seven games. The disabled list is a consideration, although the Dodgers lost some backdating ability when Ramirez was used as a pinch hitter Friday. Nick Punto and Dee Gordon have shared the shortstop duty with Ramirez banged up.


Brian D. Kersey/Getty ImagesYasiel Puig is a leading candidate for NL Rookie of the Year.


• First baseman Adrian Gonzalez departed Sunday’s game in the ninth inning with dizziness. Gonzalez leads the Dodgers in homers (16) and RBIs (72).

Ricky Nolasco was acquired from the Miami Marlins on July 6 for Angel Sanchez, Steve Ames and Josh Wall. Nolasco is 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA in six starts since joining L.A. He has exceeded 5 2/3 innings only once since arriving, in his Dodgers debut at Arizona.

• Cuban defector Yasiel Puig, a 22-year-old rookie, is hitting .441 (15-for-34) with 12 walks in 10 August games. Puig became the first player since Joe DiMaggio in 1936 to have 70 or more hits and 10 homers in his first 50 major league games.

Writes ESPN.com’s Dave Schoenfield: “Puig got two hits in his debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 3, then hit two homers the next game, and has been a lightning rod ever since for his play on the field and for his on-field antics that have upset opponents -- a brawl, a bat flip, a confident attitude, a spikes-high slide that Dusty Baker complained about. He plays the game with the flair of someone who escaped Cuba and enjoys displaying his talent for the entire world.”

• Former San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson, returning from Tommy John surgery, signed with the Dodgers and is working his way back. He tossed a perfect inning Sunday with Triple-A Albuquerque. He has another minor league appearance scheduled for Tuesday, the day before he is eligible to be activated from the disabled list. The Mets, including pitching coach Dan Warthen, flew to California to watch Wilson during the offseason, and were disappointed Wilson was not further along in his rehab from the elbow surgery at that point.

• Center field Matt Kemp has been sidelined since injuring his left ankle sliding into home plate on June 21. He shagged fly balls and took batting practice Sunday, signaling a return is getting closer.

• Closer Kenley Jansen had retired 27 straight batters -- the equivalent of a perfect game -- before surrendering a single to St. Louis’ David Freese on Thursday. Jansen became the first Dodger to retire 27 straight since Greg Maddux retired 32 straight from Aug. 13-19, 2006, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

• Ex-Met Chris Capuano allowed five runs on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings against the Rays on Friday. The southpaw had combined to toss 13 scoreless innings over his previous two starts, against the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs.

• Reliever Carlos Marmol was acquired from the Cubs on July 2 for reliever Matt Guerrier. Marmol made his Dodgers debut 20 days later, after a minor league stint.

A.J. Ellis sees the most pitchers per plate appearance in the NL.

• Third baseman Juan Uribe became the victim of a hidden-ball trick by the Rays when he stepped off third base Saturday.

• L.A. acquired Drew Butera, a former Mets farmhand, from the Minnesota Twins for a player to be named and assigned the catcher to Albuquerque.

Series preview: Mets at Giants

July, 8, 2013
7/08/13
1:54
AM ET

USA TODAY SportsThe Mets face (l to r) Tim Lincecum, Barry Zito and Matt Cain during a three-game series in San Francisco.
METS (37-48, fourth place/NL East) vs. SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS (40-47, fourth place/NL West)

Monday: RHP Matt Harvey (7-2, 2.27) vs. RHP Tim Lincecum (4-9, 4.66), 10:15 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Dillon Gee (6-7, 4.45) vs. LHP Barry Zito (4-6, 4.44), 10:15 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Zack Wheeler (2-1, 4.29) vs. RHP Matt Cain (5-5, 4.85), 3:45 p.m. ET

Giants short hops

• The Giants placed catcher Buster Posey, second baseman Marco Scutaro and pitcher Madison Bumgarner on the NL All-Star team, which will be managed by San Francisco skipper Bruce Bochy. Hunter Pence is on the five-man NL ballot for additional fan voting. A year after having four starters selected to the game, including Pablo Sandoval over David Wright, the Giants will have none in the opening lineup at Citi Field on July 16.

Angel Pagan is likely out for the season after undergoing left hamstring surgery in late June. The ex-Met signed a four-year, $40 million deal in September. Pagan originally was injured on May 25, when his inside-the-park homer lifted the Giants past Colorado. He aggravated the tear during a rehab game. Fellow ex-Met Andres Torres primarily has played center field in Pagan’s absence. Torres was forced to leave Friday’s game with a right calf cramp, but since has returned.


Daniel Shirey/USA TODAY SportsAndres Torres has taken over for injured fellow ex-Met Angel Pagan in center field.


• Posey has been starting at first base more frequently of late because of leg tightness.

• San Francisco was no-hit by Cincinnati’s Homer Bailey last Tuesday. The Giants last had been no-hit in 2003, by Kevin Millwood of the Philadelphia Phillies. Since the move to San Francisco, the Giants have been no-hit 11 times. The others to accomplish the feat against them: Warren Spahn (1961), Sandy Koufax (1963), Ryan Washburn (1968), Jerry Reuss (1980), Charlie Lea (1981), Mike Scott (1986), Terry Mulholland (1990), Kevin Gross (1992) and Kevin Brown (1997).

• San Francisco has lost 11 of 13 and 16 of 21. The Giants have scored two runs or fewer in 12 of their past 16 games. They are 2-for-their-last-36 with runners in scoring position.

• Scutaro, in a 5-for-34 slump, recently has dealt with back problems. Also slumping: Pence is 0-for-his-last-22. Sandoval is 5-for-45 since returning from the DL for a foot injury. The Big Panda is homerless in his last 24 games. Brandon Crawford is 7-for-his-last-58 with no extra-base hits or RBIs in his past 18 games.

• The Giants got caught batting out of order Saturday. After the third hitter, Posey, delivered an RBI double in the first inning, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly informed umpires Posey was listed as the cleanup hitter, so it really had been Sandoval’s turn to bat. Sandoval was ruled out, the runner returned to third and Posey had to bat again. He flied out.

Tim Lincecum is winless since June 4. He is 0-for-4 with a 4.45 ERA in his past five starts.

Matt Cain enters the series off an outing against the Dodgers in which he allowed eight runs while recording only seven outs. Cain had produced a 1.82 ERA in his previous five starts and had been unbeaten in his past 11 starts against the Dodgers. Cain had retired the final 20 batters he faced against the Colorado Rockies in his previous start.

Santiago Casilla should return to the bullpen this week, after two more rehab appearances. Casilla had mid-May surgery to remove a bone cyst near his knee.

• Closer Sergio Romo allowed a three-run double in the ninth inning Sunday as San Francisco lost its rubber game to Los Angeles. Romo had mocked Hanley Ramirez after earning a save Saturday.

Mike Kickham was demoted Sunday, after going 0-3 and surrendering 16 earned runs in 10 1/3 innings as a starter. His 13.94 ERA is the highest ever by a Giants starter in his first three outings. The decision coincided with Chad Gaudin’s return from the disabled list.

• The Giants had scout Lee Elder watching Minnesota Twins relievers, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Ryan Vogelsong suffered a broken right hand getting hit by a pitch May 20. He may resume throwing next week.

• Outfielder Gregor Blanco snapped an 0-for-25 drought Saturday with a three-hit game.

Series preview: Mets vs. Dodgers

April, 22, 2013
4/22/13
9:15
AM ET

USA TODAY Sports
The Mets face (l to r) southpaws Clayton Kershaw, Ted Lilly and Hyun-Jin Ryu this week at Citi Field.
METS (9-8, third place/NL East) vs. LOS ANEGELES DODGERS (8-10, fourth place/NL West)

Tuesday: LHP Jonathon Niese (2-1, 3.80) vs. LHP Clayton Kershaw (2-2, 1.88), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Matt Harvey (4-0, 0.93) vs. LHP Ted Lilly (0-0, -.--), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (0-2, 7.07) vs. LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (2-1, 4.01), 1:10 p.m. ET

Dodgers short hops

• Los Angeles had eight starting pitchers in spring training, but the surplus is depleted. Aaron Harang was traded to the Colorado Rockies, then flipped to the Seattle Mariners, when L.A. seemed like it had a ton of depth. Zack Greinke suffered a broken left collarbone in the altercation with San Diego’s Carlos Quentin (which devolved into Padres president Tom Garfinkel having to apologize for an insensitive comment.) Fill-in Chris Capuano suffered a strained left calf. And now Chad Billingsley landed on the DL Sunday with elbow pain.

Ted Lilly makes his season debut Wednesday, after three minor league starts during which he allowed 24 hits and 15 runs (13 earned) in 17 innings. Lilly is returning from labrum surgery on his left shoulder. He missed the final 118 games of last season. Lilly was ready out of spring training and was upset when he did not make the Opening Day roster.


Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports
Zack Greinke suffered a broken left collarbone courtesy of Carlos Quentin.


Stephen Fife made his season debut Sunday in Baltimore, plugging another rotation spot.

Clayton Kershaw publicly said he did not want to negotiate a contract extension in-season, but the sides are believed to have continued talking hush-hush beyond Opening Day.

Kershaw became the second-youngest Dodger to reach 1,000 career strikeouts on Wednesday, at 25 years, 29 days. Fernando Valenzuela accomplished that feat at age 24 years, 303 days.

Kershaw enters the Citi Field outing off a loss to San Diego in which he matched a career high by surrendering three homers. Still, Kershaw has been exceptional this season. He is not getting run support. L.A. has scored a combined seven runs in his four starts.

Kershaw is 5-0 with a 1.37 ERA in six career starts against the Mets.

• The Dodgers acquired catcher Ramon Hernandez from the Rockies on April 6 for Harang. The trade brought in a backup for A.J. Ellis that will allow 25-year-old catcher Tim Federowicz to get regular playing time in Triple-A. All three were on the active roster this weekend in Baltimore, but that is expected to change.

Hyun-Jin Ryu was named to seven straight South Korean All-Star teams before joining the majors this season. He is viewed as a No. 3 of 4 starter. The Dodgers paid a $25.7 million posting fee to Ryu’s South Korean club, plus owe him $36 million in salary over six years.

Hanley Ramirez, who is on the disabled list after undergoing right thumb surgery, may return quickly -- by the end of the month -- after initial projections of mid-May. Ramirez suffered the injury in the final game of the Dominican Republic’s World Baseball Classic championship run, while diving awkwardly for a groundball.

L.A. has not announced whether Ramirez will play shortstop or third base when he returns, although the educated guess is shortstop. Both spots having gaping voids. Shortstop Justin Sellers is hitting .174. Third baseman Luis Cruz is hitting .087.

• The Dodgers took on $250 million in payroll in the Aug. 25, 2012 mega-trade with the Boston Red Sox that brought in Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Nick Punto.

• Cuban defector Yasiel Puig -- who signed for $42 million -- is hitting .333 with three homers and nine RBIs through 48 at-bats with Double-A Chattanooga. The 22-year-old right fielder may eventually make Andre Ethier expendable -- or, perhaps, Matt Kemp … if Kemp continues to struggle. Puig is briefly sidetracked in the Southern League because of a sprained left thumb.

• The struggling Kemp -- who finished second in MVP balloting just two years ago, behind Ryan Braun -- injured his shoulder last August in Colorado and had left surgery for a partially torn labrum in October. He had only one Cactus League homer and has not gone deep this season. Kemp is signed through 2019.

• The Dodgers’ most common batting order:

Crawford, lf
Mark Ellis, 2b
Kemp, cf
Gonzalez, 1b
Ethier, rf
Ellis, c
Cruz, 3b
Sellers, ss

• The Dodgers snapped a six-game losing streak with a 7-4 win Sunday at Baltimore. Kemp, who started the season slowly, went 3-for-5 to lift his average to .235. He produced his sixth RBI.

• Manager Don Mattingly appears on the hot seat. His 2014 option has not been picked up.

View from L.A.: TC and Donnie Baseball

June, 28, 2012
6/28/12
9:04
PM ET

Adam Rubin
Terry Collins chats with Dodgers manager Don Mattingly during batting practice Thursday at Dodger Stadium. L.A. has not scored in its past 30 innings.

Mets morning briefing 5.7.11

May, 7, 2011
5/07/11
9:51
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Andre Ethier extended his hitting streak to 30 games, and can match the Dodgers franchise record on Saturday. But the Mets got the victory, topping Los Angeles in the series opener, 6-3, behind a three-run homer from Jason Pridie and Ike Davis' solo shot.

On walking Davis ahead of Pridie's game-tilting long ball, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told reporters: “Your last thought is a three-run homer there, especially in this ballpark. There were some balls that were crushed that didn’t go out tonight.”

Saturday's news reports:

Steve Cohen, who is named in reports as the frontrunner to buy a minority share of the Mets, likely would be scrutinized by Major League Baseball, the Times reports. Writes Richard Sandomir:

Cohen, who used to shun the spotlight, is a hedge fund manager whose profits have been consistently lucrative and whose trading records are now being examined as part of a discovery request by federal prosecutors in an insider-trading investigation. ... Cohen’s background, which includes a nasty divorce from his first wife, and financial wherewithal have been vetted by baseball. But if he advances to a deal with the Mets, he will face a final level of approval, from Commissioner Bud Selig. Selig alone rules on the sale of minority interests in teams. ...

Selig’s recent experience with another hedge fund manager, Andrew Herenstein, led to a change in policy. Herenstein became involved in the tangled and troubled finances of the Texas Rangers a year ago when he acquired more than $100 million in team debt. That led baseball, concerned about the lack of transparency that prevails in the hedge fund world, to require hedge funds to seek approval before doing things like buy debt.

• Read game stories in the Star-Ledger, Times, Record, Daily News, Post and Newsday.

Angel Pagan reinjured his troublesome left oblique and will not return to the Mets on Saturday as planned, or in the near future. Read more in Newsday, the Record and Star-Ledger.

Dillon Gee may -- may -- get Sunday's start.

• Record columnist Bob Klapisch says Mattingly, who worked under Joe Torre, is handling the Dodgers' ownership saga well. Writes Klapisch:

Mattingly is embarrassed -- what Dodger employee wouldn’t be? -- but here’s where the years of mentoring from Joe Torre come in handy. Mattingly is acting as the buffer between McCourt and his players, reminding them that the franchise’s Enron-like crisis has nothing to do with the wins and losses, even if the Dodgers are struggling to reach .500. “Don’t let this become an excuse,” is the line Mattingly has repeated to his players, a message delivered without a gimmick or agenda.

Daily News columnist Filip Bondy also opines about Mattingly. Writes Bondy:

Mattingly has been receiving his paychecks. "Direct deposit," he said.

Brian Costa of The Wall Street Journal speaks with Doug Mirabelli, the former personal catcher of Tim Wakefield, to discuss catching the knuckleball in the wake of Josh Thole's recent issues. Mirabelli even told Costa to pass along the message that Ronny Paulino should feel free to call him if he needs any tips. Writes Costa:

Doug Mirabelli ... twice led the majors in passed balls. And he is regarded as the best knuckleball-specialist catcher of all-time. When he was first traded to Boston in 2001, Mirabelli said he was so nervous about catching Wakefield, he would lose sleep the nights before games. But he became adept at catching him in two ways. The first had to do with technique. Rather than holding his glove out like a target, Mirabelli would start with it between his knees, keeping his hand loose. He would also tilt his body toward first base, making it easier for him to reach over to his right with his glove, which he wore on his left hand. The second part was mental. "You just have to be able to free your mind," Mirabelli said by phone from Traverse City, Mich., where he works as a real estate agent. "Once I was able to let go of the fact that passed balls were going to be part of my game and I wasn't going to be able to catch all of them, it allowed me to relax a little bit, which in turn lessened my amount of passed balls."

Lenny Dykstra has been indicted on charges that could keep him in prison for as long as 60 years if fully convicted. Read more in the Daily News.

BIRTHDAYS: A pair of cup-of-coffee Mets celebrate birthdays. Catcher Brook Fordyce (three games in 1995) turns 41. Reliever Manny Hernandez (one perfect inning in 1989) turns 50. ... Dick Williams, the Hall of Fame manager of the 1973 Athletics, who beat the Mets in the World Series, turns 82. -Mark Simon

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
14 4.02 143 190
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .298
HRL. Duda 28
RBIL. Duda 86
RD. Murphy 76
OPSL. Duda .827
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.49
SOZ. Wheeler 180