Nick Evans had a three-run homer and four RBIs and Bobby Parnell notched his second major league save as the Mets beat the Phillies, 7-4, Wednesday afternoon to snap a five-game losing streak. The Mets are off Thursday before playing host to the Atlanta Braves this weekend at Citi Field.
Thursday's news reports:
• Jose Reyes begins a rehab assignment Thursday with Double-A Binghamton, weather-permitting. Reyes is scheduled to play three straight rehab games with the B-Mets, take Sunday off, then be activated from the disabled list Monday.
• Ronny Paulino will have a potentially broken toe examined in New York on Thursday. The best-case scenario is Paulino avoids the DL and serves as a pinch-hitter. He would need a pinch-runner, as Chris Capuano did for Paulino on Wednesday when the injured catcher walked in the seventh inning.
Jon Niese landed on the DL on Wednesday with an intercostal muscle strain on his right side, but hopes to return by season's end -- no guarantee. Mike Nickeas replaced the southpaw on the roster, since Paulino is unable to catch for the time being no matter what the DL fate.
Scott Hairston (left oblique) is due to be placed on the DL before Friday's game. So if Paulino lands on the DL, that's three players in a three-day span lost.
• The Mets need as many as two starters from Triple-A Buffalo during next week's series against the Marlins, but rainouts are forecast, potentially alleviating the need to use two of three from Miguel Batista, Pat Misch and Chris Schwinden. Insiders predict the 40-year-old Batista, who was released by the St. Louis Cardinals earlier this season, may be with the Mets as soon as this Friday's series opener against the Braves and is the best option to start. (The Post says a Sunday rainout against the Braves could be made up during a series in Atlanta in September, with the Mets as home team one game, although the more likely scenario is a mutual Sept. 8 off-day.)
Batista, meanwhile, allowed four runs on nine hits, including a pair of homers, in 5 2/3 innings in his past start, but the newly promoted Nickeas said: "That line can be taken with a grain of salt a little bit because it was in Columbus. The couple of homers that they hit, it's a small park, and the wind was blowing out. I would say they actually didn't hit him that hard. They just hit homers there."
Nickeas went on to say Batista has "a lot" left at age 40.
"His velocity has been good," Nickeas said. "His command has improved steadily since he started."
• Phillies broadcaster Gary Matthews Sr. called the Mets "crybabies" as the result of Mike Pelfrey complaining to Placido Polanco in-game about trying to get hit. Matthews went on to say that's why the Mets lose. Pelfrey responded that he did not care, and that he was called worse by a Mets fan in the bullpen warming up before Wednesday's start.
The Daily News' Andy Martino tweets this exchange he had with Matthews in the press box/broadcast area after Matthews' on-air comments:
Just ran into Gary "Sarge" Matthews in hallway. He said: "Tell them the Sarge said it -- The Mets are crybabies. That's why they lose." Then he doubled back and make a crying motion with hands on face. Said: "Make sure you have tears, like this."
• Parnell did have a save in 2009, but that was because he pitched the final three innings of a 9-0 win against the Cardinals. So polishing off Wednesday's win by protecting a three-run lead, albeit with two walks, felt particularly satisfying -- and nervewracking -- for Parnell.
• Evans had a big game and may see some semi-regular playing time, since Lucas Duda should be used more so in right field than first base during the season's final month.
• Every year fans get frenzied over a high-profile player getting placed on waivers and then pulled back in August. Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes via Twitter (@TroyRenck): "I have learned the Rockies put a claim in on David Wright. ... Not sure who was awarded claim. ... Mets not interested in moving him. But it does show, as I have written, Rox really like Wright. If he becomes available, they will make play for him this winter. Teams put players on waivers to see who claims them to set groundwork for future trades, etc. 99 percent of time amounts to nothing. But it can give a team a starting point in trade talks. ... AGAIN, Mets have made clear they are NOT moving Wright. If changes, Rox will act."
Bottom line: If you only placed on waivers players you intended to trade, you would be telegraphing who you intended to trade. The most logical players to trade -- Jason Isringhausen, Tim Byrdak and Hairston -- all cannot be moved this month. All three were claimed and then pulled back by the Mets, a source told ESPNNewYork.com.
• Terry Collins is under control through 2013, including a team option, and there's really no issue about whether he's going to be around. But the Daily News writes:
His contract expires after next season, and a man can become a lame duck quickly in New York. If the Mets finish poorly, and begin 2012 with a cluster of losses, it could be Willie Watch, or Jerry Watch, all over again. Unless ... There remains a solid possibility that the Mets, even after they probably finish below last year's 79-83 record, will endorse Collins by exercising his 2013 contract option this fall or winter. A high-ranking Mets source said yesterday that there have been "no internal discussions" about picking up the Collins option, but predicted those discussions would happen in the next "three to four weeks," and did not rule out the possibility of guaranteeing that third year shortly after the season ends.
BIRTHDAYS: Pedro Feliciano, whose signing with the Yankees last offseason netted the Mets the 44th overall pick in the draft, which was used for Oklahoma prep right-hander Michael Fulmer, turns 35. ... Catcher Choo Choo Coleman was born on this date in 1937. ... Gary Matthews Jr. turns 37.