New York Mets: Gordon Beckham

Morning Briefing: Marcum still searching

June, 26, 2013

FIRST PITCH: And now Shaun Marcum needs to prevent a sweep.

Marcum (0-9, 5.76 ERA) again searches for his first Mets win when he opposes left-hander John Danks (1-4, 5.40) in the finale to the two-game series at 8:10 tonight at US Cellular Field.

The Mets then fly to Colorado for a makeup game -- with the exception of Matt Harvey and Dillon Gee, who will travel directly to New York in advance of their weekend starts against the Washington Nationals.

Only two pitchers in Mets history have endured more winless decisions to begin a season than Marcum. Anthony Young opened the 1993 season with an 0-13 record. Bob Miller began the inaugural 1962 season at 0-12.

Wednesday’s news reports:

Zack Wheeler allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings and labeled his second major league start “bad,” while pitching coach Dan Warthen acknowledged Wheeler tipped pitches by using different arm angles. The Mets nonetheless tied the score on a dropped pop-up by second baseman Gordon Beckham with two outs in the top of the ninth. But LaTroy Hawkins surrendered a run in the bottom half as the White Sox survived to beat the Mets, 5-4, Tuesday night.

Read Wheeler recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Times, Journal and

• Harvey will appear in the ESPN The Magazine “The Body Issue,” which hits newsstands July 12. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger and Daily News.

William Perlman/The Star-Ledger/USA TODAY SportsCollin Cowgill has been traded to the Angels.

• The Mets traded Collin Cowgill, who had been designated for assignment, to the Los Angeles Angels for Class A outfielder Kyle Johnson. Johnson, a 2012 draft pick from Washington State University, will report to low-A Savannah.

• The Mets officially have rearranged their rotation. Harvey goes Friday against the Nats, with Gee on Saturday, then Wheeler on Sunday in his home debut.

Greg Burke was demoted before Tuesday’s game to clear the roster spot for the addition of Wheeler.

• Michael Fulmer, working back from spring-training surgery to repair a torn meniscus, tossed six scoreless innings in a Gulf Coast League game Tuesday. Rainy Lara tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings in St. Lucie’s 4-0 win against Bradenton. Read the full minor league recap here.

• Terry Collins suggested Ike Davis’ minor league stint may continue into next week. The Mets will face a pair of left-handers this weekend against the Nats, then potentially two more in the following series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Mets ideally want to maximize Davis’ potential to succeed by promoting him coinciding with a string of right-handed opposing pitchers. Davis was 0-for-4 with a strikeout and intentional walk Tuesday against Salt Lake.

• Mookie Wilson and Edgardo Alfonzo will serve as the managers for the Futures Game, which will be held as part of the All-Star festivities at Citi Field on July 14.

BIRTHDAYS: Infielder Luis Hernandez, who played in 17 games with the Mets in 2010, turns 29. … Right-hander Jason Middlebrook is 38.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: How do you think Zack Wheeler will do against the Washington Nationals on Sunday at Citi Field?

Rapid Reaction: White Sox 5, Mets 4

June, 25, 2013
CHICAGO -- Luis Castillo, Part II. And this time in the Mets’ favor.

Zack Wheeler was spared his first major league loss when second baseman Gordon Beckham dropped a would-be game-ending popup in traffic near the mound with two outs in the top of the ninth, allowing David Wright to score the tying run from second base.

For the third time on this road trip, however, the Mets lost in walk-off fashion.

Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated PressZack Wheeler ended up with a no-decision despite allowing four runs in 5 1/3 innings.

Alexei Ramirez produced a two-out run-scoring single against LaTroy Hawkins in the bottom of the ninth as the Mets lost to the Chicago White Sox, 5-4, Tuesday night at US Cellular Field.

The Mets had lost on walk-off homers in Atlanta courtesy of Freddie Freeman and Philadelphia courtesy of Kevin Frandsen.

Wheel deal: Wheeler is going to want to forget his second career major league start.

Pitching on two extra days of rest and with a between-starts itinerary that involved joining Triple-A Las Vegas, Wheeler surrendered four runs on four hits, three walks and hit a batter in 5 1/3 innings. The damage could have been worse, but Carlos Torres entered and stranded a pair of inherited runners.

He departed trailing 4-3.

The rookie right-hander had tossed six scoreless innings in his major league debut against the Atlanta Braves last Tuesday.

The Sox took the one-run lead in the fifth, on Alejandro De Aza's run-scoring groundout and Ramirez's sacrifice fly narrowly ahead of Marlon Byrd's strong throw from right field.

Smooth Sailing: Stolen bases by Eric Young Jr. and Wright in the first helped produce two runs and Andrew Brown's leadoff homer in the fifth staked the Mets to a 3-2 lead. But White Sox left-hander Chris Sale -- taken in the same first round as Matt Harvey in 2010 -- otherwise mostly had his way with the Mets.

Sale had retired 10 straight batters, eight via strikeout, before surrendering the long ball to Brown. He then retired another six straight after the homer.

The southpaw finished with 13 Ks, the most by a pitcher against the Mets since John Smoltz had 15 on April 10, 2005. (That was the first win for the “New Mets” after an 0-5 start. Smoltz led Pedro Martinez, 1-0, into the eighth inning, when Carlos Beltran's two-run homer ignited a five-run inning and gave Willie Randolph his first managerial victory.)

What's next: Shaun Marcum (0-9, 5.76 ERA), still in search of his first Mets win, opposes left-hander John Danks (1-4, 5.40) at 8:10 p.m. ET Wednesday in the conclusion of the two-game interleague series.

Series preview: Mets at White Sox

June, 24, 2013

USA TODAY SportsThe Mets face lefties Chris Sale and John Danks in Chicago.
METS (30-42, fourth place/NL East) vs. CHICAGO WHITE SOX (31-42, fifth place/AL Central)

Tuesday: RHP Zack Wheeler (1-0, 0.00) vs. LHP Chris Sale (5-6, 2.69), 8:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Shaun Marcum (0-9, 5.76) vs. LHP John Danks (1-4, 5.40), 8:10 p.m. ET

White Sox short hops

• Second baseman Gordon Beckham returned from the disabled list June 3 after missing nearly two months with a fractured hamate bone in the base of his left hand. He underwent April 16 surgery. Beckman has pronounced lefty-righty splits: He is hitting .394 (26-for-66) against right-handed pitching and .045 (1-for-22) against left-handed pitching this season.

Bob Levey/Getty ImagesGordon Beckham returned this month after surgery to address a broken bone in the base of his hand.

• First baseman/DH Adam Dunn slugged his 20th homer Sunday, which ranks third in the AL, trailing only Chris Davis (27) and Edwin Encarnacion (21) and tied with Miguel Cabrera. Dunn, however, is hitting only .193 with a .293 on-base percentage.

Dunn now has 426 career homers, tied with Billy Williams for 46th all time. Ahead of Dunn is teammate Paul Konerko, whose 429 homers are two shy of matching Cal Ripken Jr. for 42nd all time.

David Wright, Derek Jeter and Konerko are the only current captains in MLB.

• Ex-Met Jeff Keppinger has only six walks and a .250 on-base percentage, but his average has started to climb. Keppinger is hitting .321 in 23 games (20 starts) since May 18, lifting his season average to .232. Keppinger has split time with lefty-hitting Conor Gillaspie at third base since Beckham’s return.

John Danks surrendered a career-high four homers against the Minnesota Twins in his most recent outing. He allowed six runs and 12 hits in five innings. Danks made his season debut May 24 after recovering from left shoulder surgery performed last summer.

• The White Sox have lost 18 of their last 25 games. Still, they are 16-14 at home this season.

• Reliever Jesse Crain’s streak of 29 straight scoreless appearances ended Sunday at Kansas City when he allowed three runs in the bottom of the eighth and was tagged with a blown save. The right-hander’s scoreless streak spanned 29 innings.

• Lefty Chris Sale was the 13th overall pick in the 2010 draft, out of Florida Gulf Coast University. The Mets selected Matt Harvey seventh overall in that first round.

Sale had reached the sixth inning in nine straight starts before giving up four runs and eight hits in five innings at Minnesota last week. He was grazed in the arm and chin by a comebacker off the bat of Oswaldo Arcia in that start. Sale is 0-4 in four starts in June, despite logging 26 1/3 innings and producing a 3.08 ERA.

Jake Peavy is on the DL with a fractured rib on his left side. He may return in roughly three weeks.

Series preview: Mets vs. White Sox

May, 7, 2013

Getty Images
The Mets face Hector Santiago and Jake Peavy during their first series against the White Sox in 11 years.
METS (12-16, fourth place/NL East) vs. CHICAGO WHITE SOX (13-17, fifth place/AL Central)

Tuesday: RHP Matt Harvey (4-0, 1.56) vs. LHP Hector Santiago (1-1, 2.29), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (0-3, 4.34) vs. RHP Jake Peavy (3-1, 3.38), 7:10 p.m. ET

White Sox short hops

Jake Peavy was scratched from Monday’s start against Kansas City with back spasms, but threw a bullpen session and declared he would instead be ready to face the Mets on Wednesday at Citi Field. Peavy last pitched April 26.

• Mets doctor David Altchek is due to perform season-ending surgery on Gavin Floyd for a tear of the flexor muscle near his right elbow on Tuesday in New York. The Sox also are missing rotation member John Danks, who is planning to return later this month from shoulder surgery after not being deemed ready out of spring training. Hector Santiago has stepped into the rotation. Santiago hails from Newark. He is a prep product of Bloomfield (N.J.) Tech. Santiago had been the long man to open the season. He was in the mix to fill in for Danks out of spring training, but that job instead went to Dylan Axelrod.

Ed Zurga/Getty Images
Ex-Met Joe McEwing is the third-base coach on Robin Ventura's staff.

• The Sox are not setting the table for their middle-of-the-order hitters. Leadoff man Alejandro De Aza ranks last in the American League in on-base percentage from the leadoff spot at .286. Ex-Met Jeff Keppinger ranks last among No. 2 hitters in OBP in the AL at .202. De Aza does have five homers.

• Closer Addison Reed had converted 17 straight save chances dating to last season before suffering a blown save Sunday on a game-tying two-run double by K.C.’s Billy Butler.

The Sox’s bullpen had been projected to be a major strength, but instead has struggled. The relief corps has an MLB-high eight losses despite a 3.38 ERA. Reed along with fellow flamethrowers Nate Jones and ex-Met/import Matt Lindstrom were supposed to dominate the final two innings, with Jones initially projected as a co-closer type. Right-hander Jesse Crain and left-hander Matt Thornton were supposed to shore up the seventh inning as a tandem before going to the kids late in games.

• First baseman/DH Paul Konerko went 0-for-5 Monday, dropping his average to .225 with four homers and 15 RBIs. That is an atypically slow start for Konerko. Over the previous three seasons he has averaged hitting .304 with 32 homers and 97 RBIs a season.

• Ex-Met Robin Ventura has been viewed as a breath of fresh air as White Sox skipper -- the anti-Ozzie Guillen. Injuries have undermined Ventura’s Sox in his second season at the helm. Second baseman Gordon Beckham broke the hamate bone in his left hand and is still a few weeks away from returning. Power-hitting left fielder Dayan Viciedo is on the disabled list with a sprained oblique and is just starting a rehab assignment.

• The lone other meeting between the Mets and White sox came June 10-12, 2002 in Chicago. Flushing is the last National League venue the Sox had never visited.



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