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Mets morning briefing 5.4.11

The Mets left the bases loaded in the ninth when Josh Thole grounded into a double play, and Taylor Buchholz served up a homer to Aubrey Huff an inning later, as the Mets lost to the San Francisco Giants, 7-6, in 10 innings. Next up: Tim Lincecum, the third Cy Young winner the Mets draw in a four-game span, joining Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee.

Wednesday's news reports:

Jose Reyes reached base six times in the series opener -- three times via hit, and three times because of walks. And Newsday columnist Ken Davidoff wonders if Reyes was auditioning for the San Francisco Giants, who -- Tuesday's 7-6 win notwithstanding -- have struggled offensively. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval is out for a month after having surgery to repair a broken bone at the base of his right hand, which has moved Miguel Tejada from shortstop to third base, and Mike Fontenot to shortstop. Even when Sandoval returns and Tejada heads back to shortstop, that's not perfect. The range-challenged Tejada is hitting .200 with one homer as the replacement for Juan Uribe, who left for the Dodgers as a free agent. Writes Davidoff about a potential trade with the Giants:

The defending World Series champions looked like the sort of team that just might need such a jolt, particularly at shortstop. Now, we're admittedly getting ahead of ourselves. A deal of this magnitude wouldn't occur until June at the earliest. The Mets (12-17) have to make sure that they're not meant to contend in 2011 before they start auctioning off Reyes, Carlos Beltran and Francisco Rodriguez . However, we're not quite making an immense, two-month leap, either. The Mets don't look like they can hang in there. The Giants (14-15), dragged down once again by a grisly-looking lineup -- this game notwithstanding -- possess an elite pitching staff that should keep them in the race for the National League West title and the NL wild card.

Davidoff also identifies the Brewers, Angels, Tigers and Reds as potential landing spots for Reyes.

Daily News columnist John Harper has a similar take on Reyes and the Giants. Writes Harper:

One thing for sure: the Giants, a team desperately in need of a shortstop, have to be at the top of any list of potential trade targets. Losers of eight of their last 12 games, even after defeating the Mets, 7-6, in 10 innings, the champs still have those golden arms that carried them to the title last year, but they may not be enough to overcome an anemic offense. Or as Giants manager Bruce Bochy said after losing three of four games to the Nationals in Washington, D.C. over the weekend, scoring a total of four runs in the series: "We're awful right now. And we know it."

Elizabeth Quinones, originally from West Babylon, Long Island, sang "God Bless America" as the Mets invited 4,000 members of the military to attend the game for free. "It's definitely a joyous moment," Quinones, a retired Marines Corp. sergeant, told Newsday's Barbara Barker. "I'm proud of the president for doing what he had to do, and I'm proud of our country. We lost a lot of people in 9/11, so it means a great deal to America that we captured this individual."

Mookie Wilson tells the Star-Ledger's Steve Politi there was no comparison in emotions between the first game back in New York after Sept. 11 and Tuesday night, both times when he served as first-base coach. “I remember how odd it felt,” Wilson tells Politi about the Sept. 21, 2001 game. “Here we are, getting ready to play a baseball game in the midst of one of the greatest tragedies to ever happen in this country. We didn’t know if it was right. We felt a little uneasy about doing it. But once the seats filled up, then we began to realize it was good. It was okay. And it did a lot of good.”

• Also read about the Mets' ticket donation to military members in the Times.

• Among absent players, GM Sandy Alderson told reporters: Angel Pagan (rib cage muscle) should be activated from the DL Saturday, after playing three games with Class A St. Lucie. Jason Bay will spend a second day on the paternity list to be with his wife Kristen for the birth of their third child. He is due to return Thursday. Bobby Parnell (finger numbness) has resumed tossing a baseball, but needs to see a cardiologist before being cleared to step on a mound.

• As for Jenrry Mejia, who is headed for Tommy John surgery to repair a completely torn medial collateral ligament in his pitching elbow, a second opinion with Dr. James Andrews may wait until next week because of the specialist's availability. "Any time you lose a prospect like that, it hurts -- [especially] given the fact that he was close," Alderson said. "He was somebody that we expected to see late this year, certainly next year. This throws that timetable off completely. At the same time, if it was going to go, maybe it's better it goes now and not three years from now."

Read more on Mejia in the Daily News, Star-Ledger, Post and Newsday.

• Thole, who left the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth by hitting into an inning-ending double play and also struggled behind the plate, may get consecutive days off or more, although that would require Ronny Paulino catching Thursday's day game after a night game, when left-hander Jonathan Sanchez pitches. Thole already has seven passed balls this season, four more than any other catcher, although that has a lot to do with catching knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. (Thole missed other pitches Tuesday, too, such as one offering from Jason Isringhausen.) "I don't feel like I need a mental blow," Thole countered. "I mean, it's only May. Geez. I better not be asking for days [off]." Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Read game stories from the 7-6 loss in the Record, Times, Daily News, Post and Newsday.

• The Wall Street Journal looks at the daily Mets art created by Joe Petruccio of Manalapan, N.J.

BIRTHDAYS: Mets bench coach Ken Oberkfell turns 55. ... Ex-Met Manny Aybar turns 39. ... Former infielder Miguel Cairo turns 37. ... Also of note, former Brave Eddie Perez turns 43. Often-forgotten from the 1999 NLCS, Perez won MVP honors by going 10-for-20 with two home runs in a six-game triumph over the Mets. -Mark Simon