New York Mets: Ernesto Mejia

Mets 7, Braves 6: Recker walks off

March, 20, 2014
Mar 20
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Zack Wheeler went to his offspeed pitches and found his groove after a shaky start, and the Mets ultimately beat the Atlanta Braves, 7-6, Thursday at Tradition Field on Anthony Recker's walk-off three run homer.

Wheeler was pummeled in the first inning of what became a solid 75-pitch appearance over 5 1/3 innings.

He allowed a game-opening triple to Jason Heyward, then a clean single to B.J. Upton. No. 3 hitter Justin Upton followed by smoking a shot to left-center, which Juan Lagares corralled at the wall with a highlight-reel leaping catch. Ernesto Mejia then homered beyond left fielder Chris Young’s leaping attempt to cap the two-run opening frame.

“You know just as well as I do he’s awesome to have behind you,” Wheeler said about Lagares. “He’s not scared to go get a ball in the gap, dive, go against the fence, anything. And he has a cannon. And C.Y. almost got the other one. We’ve got a good outfield, that’s for sure.”

Joel Auerbach/Getty ImagesZack Wheeler rallied after a slow start Thursday.

Wheeler’s final line: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K.

In the sixth, Wheeler turned two baserunners over to Kyle Farnsworth. He loaded the bases with a walk, but kept Atlanta off the scoreboard to preserve a 4-2 lead.

Farnsworth, who is not currently projected to make the Opening Day roster, then was charged with a pair of seventh-inning runs. The latter scored on Justin Upton’s two-run double against Scott Rice, which gave the Braves a three-run frame and a 5-4 lead.

“They were ‘ambushing’ like crazy,” Wheeler said, referring to Atlanta’s propensity to swing early in counts against him. “I’m sure everybody saw that. I had to mix it up a little bit. I threw a lot of changeups today, and it was working well for me. I tried to go without the slider today, just to do it, so I had to throw my other stuff more. I’ll probably use that [slider] a lot against them during the season. I didn’t want to give them a good look at it.”

Ouch: Lagares was drilled in the left shoulder with a pitch from John Cornely after squaring to bunt in the seventh. Lagares immediately departed the game. He had a welt there afterward, but felt fortunate because it hit the muscle. He indicated he needs to wait to see for sure, but believes he should be OK.

"I thought it was going to hit me in the face," Lagares said.

Welcome back: Ike Davis, slowed by calf injuries during camp, started his first Grapefruit League game since March 2. He finished 0-for-3, but indicated he could have hustled out of the box for a double had he produced a shot to the gap. Davis also logged six innings at first base, after only DHing in minor-league games leading into Thursday’s return.

Davis is expected to DH on Friday against the Minnesota Twins.

“The results obviously are big, but they’re not really that big,” Davis said. “I just want to get back out there and play. But actually it felt pretty good in the box today. I hit a couple of balls hard. ... Obviously I haven’t played any defense in a game in a month. The biggest thing is probably getting out there and getting used to the flow of the game on defense.”

As for his calves, Davis said: “They feel pretty good. I’m definitely tired. I haven’t done that in a while. So they’re probably going to be a little tighter than normal, but there’s no pain. So that’s a good sign.”

Meanwhile, Lucas Duda (hamstring) went 0-for-6 with a strikeout and did not run the bases after making contact.

Went to the videotape: Ruben Tejada went 3-for-3, doubling his Grapefruit League hit total. He had been 3-for-25 entering the game.

“Niño, nice game!” David Wright shouted to Tejada in the clubhouse after both departed.

Tejada said he has been watching video of 2012, when he hit .289 the season after Jose Reyes departed and bequeathed him the shortstop job.

“I watched a lot of videos from two years ago and came here and tried to do the same in the morning, early,” Tejada said. “I think it helped me a lot.”

Tejada reportedly also got a call from Reyes to offer support.

Tejada’s Thursday showing leaves Travis d’Arnaud as the regular with the quietest bat in camp. D’Arnaud, whom scouts say is not getting his hands into proper position at the start of his swing, lined out to left field and walked Thursday while finishing 0-for-2. He is batting .125 (4-for-32) in Grapefruit League play.

Eighth wonder: Terry Collins batted the pitcher eighth, with interesting early results.

It did not pan out the first turn, when the No. 8 hitter Wheeler ended up leading off the third.

The next time, it contributed to the Mets breaking a 2-all tie. The No. 7 hitter d’Arnaud walked, Wheeler bunted him to second and Lagares then drove in d’Arnaud from third base with an opposite-field single. Tejada’s third hit, an RBI single, made it 4-2 later in the frame.

Debutant: Ervin Santana logged two innings in his Atlanta Braves debut, after signing a one-year, $14.1 million deal with the club. He surrendered a first-inning sacrifice fly to Wright, but that was the first of five straight batters Santana retired to complete his initial appearance.

Black Thursday: Vic Black had a much-needed 1-2-3 eighth after struggling with control for much of camp.

What’s next: Dillon Gee and the Mets make the three-hour drive across the state to Fort Myers to face the Twins. Gee, now the expected Opening Day starter, opposes Ricky Nolasco.

Around the minors 5.18.12

May, 19, 2012
BUFFALO 5, GWINNETT 3: Slugger Valentino Pascucci and 2010 first-round pick Matt Harvey fueled the Bisons' win. Harvey got off to a shaky start, allowing back-to-back homers to Stefan Gartrell and Ernesto Mejia for a 2-0 first-inning deficit. Harvey then began a rally with his bat. In the third, he singled and Corey Wimberly walked. Fred Lewis then also singled to load the bases. A double-play groundout by Vinny Rottino forced in a run. Pascucci then homered off Braves starter Yohan Flande to give the Bisons a 3-2 lead. Rottino went 0-for-5 to lose a 20-game hitting streak. Harvey is now 4-for-10 at the plate this season. In the fifth, with the scored even at 3, Pascucci repeated his impressive strength with a two-run shot. Harvey settled down the rest of the game to strike out a season-high 11 batters. "Striking out batters is definitely a strength for Matt," manager Wally Backman said. The last time a Bisons starter struck out 11 was former Bisons and current Mets pitcher Dillon Gee on Aug. 28, 2010. Pascucci's two homers give him 48 as a Bison, putting him in sole possession of seventh place on the Herd's all-time home run list, passing Ernie Young. Box

PORTLAND 4, BINGHAMTON 0: The B-Mets stranded 10 runners, went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and were shut out for the fifth time this season. Portland starter Billy Buckner worked out of trouble in his first three innings. Binghamton put two aboard in the first, but failed to score when Juan Lagares fanned to end the inning. Lagares stranded two more in the third when he popped out to second. Portland cracked the scoreboard in the fifth against Gonzalez Germen. Jefry Marte opened the door by booting a groundball by Ronald Bermudez to start the inning. After a walk to Derrik Gibson and a sac bunt, Jeremy Hazelbaker bounced a two-run double over the third-base bag. Germen walked two more to load the bases, but escaped further harm by fanning Bryce Brentz. Germen (1-2) made it through six innings before handing off to Armando Rodriguez. Germen gave up two runs (one earned) on six hits and struck out six. In the seventh, the Sea Dogs put together three consecutive two-out hits against Rodriguez. Juan Carlos Linares supplied an RBI double and Reynaldo Rodriguez added a run-scoring triple. It was the first time this season Rodriguez has allowed more than one hit in a relief appearance. The B-Mets (19-20) continue their three-game series Saturday as Jenrry Mejia moves from St. Lucie to the B-Mets for the start. Box

ST. LUCIE 7, LAKELAND 2: Starter Chase Huchingson limited Lakeland to one run in five innings and Taylor Whitenton contributed two scoreless innings out of the bullpen. Alonzo Harris had three hits in the leadoff spot. Rafael Fernandez and Francisco Pena drove in two runs apiece. Box

AUGUSTA 4, SAVANNAH 3: For the second straight night, the Gnats stranded the tying run on second base in the ninth. The Gnats were 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position. Down 4-2 heading to the bottom of the ninth, the Gnats (24-16) rallied. Charley Thurber led off with a triple and scored on Gregory Pron’s RBI groundout. A single from Brandon Brown and a walk to Cam Maron put the tying run at second and the go-ahead run at first with one out. However, GreenJackets closer Cody Hall rebounded to strike out T.J. Rivera and Dustin Lawley to end the game. Augusta took a 2-0 lead against Savannah starter Tyler Pill in the second inning on three singles, an error, a sacrifice and an RBI groundout. Augusta added a run in the sixth for a 3-0 lead on a single, a stolen base and an RBI single. Pill allowed three runs, all earned, in six innings with no walks and five strikeouts. All eight hits against him were singles. The Gnats made it a one-run game with single runs in the sixth and eighth innings. In the sixth, Travis Taijeron walked and came home on Brian Harrison’s double . In the eighth, Aderlin Rodriguez, who was 2-for-4, crushed a solo homer. Rodriguez has hit safely in six straight games. Augusta added an insurance run in the top of the ninth that scored on a throwing error by Brown at second base. Box

Compiled from team reports



Daniel Murphy
.289 9 57 79
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187