New York Mets: Greg Dobbs

Series preview: Mets at Nats

May, 16, 2014
May 16
9:00
AM ET

USA TODAY SportsThe Mets are due to face Tanner Roark, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmermann this weekend at Nationals Park.
METS (19-21, fourth place/NL East) at WASHINGTON NATIONALS (21-19, second place/NL East)

Friday: LHP Jonathon Niese (2-2, 2.17) vs. RHP Tanner Roark (2-1, 3.65), 7:05 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Bartolo Colon (2-5, 5.84) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (3-3, 3.97), 4:05 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Zack Wheeler (1-3, 4.53) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (2-1, 3.59), 1:35 p.m. ET

Nationals short hops

• Injuries have seriously struck the Nats, with five Opening Day starters already having spent time on the disabled list this season.


Nick Wass/Associated PressBryce Harper required surgery to repair a ligament tear in his left thumb after this April 25 slide into third base.


Left fielder Bryce Harper underwent surgery on April 29 to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb. Harper (.289, 1 HR, 9 RBIs in 83 at-bats) is expected to be sidelined until July. He suffered the injury on a headfirst slide while tripling.

Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman broke his right thumb while getting picked off diving back into second base on April 12.

Adam LaRoche (.319, 5 HR) landed on the DL on Sunday with a right quadriceps strain.

Three others integral players are back after recovering from maladies:

Catcher Wilson Ramos, who suffered a broken hamate bone in his left hand on Opening Day at Citi Field, returned May 7 after missing 32 games.

Right-hander Doug Fister, acquired during the offseason in a salary dump by the Detroit Tigers, has made two starts since opening the season on the disabled list with elbow inflammation and a lat-muscle strain.

Denard Span spent a week in mid-April on the concussion DL.

Anthony Rendon has shifted from second base to third base in Zimmerman’s absence, with Danny Espinosa handling second base full time. Tyler Moore was promoted from Triple-A Syracuse to handle first base. Moore, who had been demoted basically coinciding with Ramos coming off the DL last week, returned after spending only three days in the minors. Minus Harper, four players have started in left field: Nate McLouth, Kevin Frandsen, Scott Hairston and Zach Walters.

McLouth, who signed a two-year, $10.75 million deal in December to defect from the Baltimore Orioles, is one of the few bench players struggling to handle the larger role. Originally signed as the fourth outfielder, he is hitting .117 with one homer and one RBI in 60 at-bats.

• The Nats have outscored opponents by 38 runs from the seventh inning onward, the best differential in the majors. They have outscored opponents 19-3 in the ninth inning.

• Nats relievers have a collective 2.28 ERA, which ranks third in the majors. Closer Rafael Soriano (1.18 ERA, eight saves) lost a career-best 25-inning scoreless streak Saturday, when he suffered his lone blown save this season, at Oakland. Drew Storen has a 0.568 WHIP -- with six hits and one walk allowed in 12 1/3 innings.

• The Nats signed lefty-hitting Greg Dobbs to a minor-league deal for potential pinch-hitting duty. Dobbs, 35, was released by the Miami Marlins after opening the season 1-for-13 with four strikeouts. Miami ate his $1.7 million contract. Dobbs has not yet been added to the big-league roster.

• After consecutive scoreless efforts (including a rain-shortened four-inning outing opposite L.A.’s Zack Greinke), Jordan Zimmermann allowed five runs in 5 2/3 innings at Arizona on Monday while pitching on two extra days of rest. For his career, Zimmermann has a 2.99 ERA on standard rest and 3.89 ERA with extra rest. Zimmermann will have an extra day of rest before facing the Mets on Sunday.

• Subtract a May 3 outing at Philadelphia in which he allowed two homers and seven runs and Tanner Roark otherwise has a 2.45 ERA in six starts this season.

Series preview: Mets at Marlins

May, 5, 2014
May 5
9:00
AM ET

Getty Images/Associated PressThe Met face Nate Eovaldi, Henderson Alvarez and Tom Koehler during a three-game series at Marlins Park.
METS (16-14, third place/NL East) at MIAMI MARLINS (16-15, fourth place/NL East)

Monday: LHP Jonathon Niese (2-2, 2.20) vs. RHP Nate Eovaldi (2-1, 2.58), 7:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Bartolo Colon (2-4, 5.65) vs. RHP Henderson Alvarez (1-2, 3.28), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Zack Wheeler (1-3, 5.13) vs. RHP Tom Koehler (3-2, 2.41), 12:40 p.m. ET

Marlins short hops

Giancarlo Stanton went deep twice Sunday, giving him National League leads with 10 homers and 36 RBIs. Stanton’s 31 RBIs in March/April set the franchise record, passing Moises Alou (30, in April 1997).


Mike Ehrmann/Getty ImagesGiancarlo Stanton leads the NL in homers and RBIs.


• The Marlins improved to an MLB-best 14-5 at home after winning a series from the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. Miami has won six of seven home series, with the lone loss coming to the Washington Nationals (April 14-16).

Miami has 21 homers in 19 home games. They had 36 long balls during the entire 2013 season at Marlins Park. Miami is an MLB-worst 2-10 on the road.

The Braves suspected the Marlins were somehow cheating during a recent series, but could not prove it. Wrote Carroll Rogers in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

[Braves manager Fredi] Gonzalez said he changed signs five times during the course of [Aaron] Harang’s outing and went to multiple signs even with no runners on base. The hits kept coming regardless.

Gonzalez said he wondered if [catcher Evan] Gattis was giving away signs, but then figured that wouldn’t account for the disparity in the Marlins home/road splits in general. Entering play Thursday, the Marlins were hitting .307 while scoring 6.3 runs per game at Marlins Park. They were hitting .215 with 2.7 runs per game on the road.

“Yeah, you have this conspiracy theory, but at the end, we came up with nothing,” Gonzalez said. “It wasn’t like we saw a guy with the (binoculars), like Mick Billmeyer (former Phillies bullpen coach) in Colorado. At the end of the day, they didn’t miss the pitches. They were right there.”

Rafael Furcal, who signed a one-year, $3.5 million contract on Dec. 5 after missing all of last season, remains on the disabled list with the Marlins. The 36-year-old Furcal departed a rehab game Friday with Double-A Jacksonville with a groin issue. He originally landed on the DL to open the season with a left hamstring strain. Adeiny Hechavarria has started every game at shortstop for Miami this season.

• Stony Brook University product Tom Koehler, who struggled against the Mets at Citi Field (4 ER in 5 IP), tossed seven scoreless innings against the Dodgers on Friday, allowing only three hits.

• Closer Steve Cishek suffered a blown save at Citi Field on April 25, which snapped his streak of successful save conversions at 33, a Marlins franchise record.

• Center fielder Marcell Ozuna is hitting .395 (17-for-43) in 10 career games against the Mets.

• Third baseman Casey McGehee has 20 RBIs this season, the most in the majors without a home run.

Nate Eovaldi’s fastball has averaged 96.0 mph this season. Only Kansas City’s Yordano Ventura (96.7 mph) has averaged more.

Greg Dobbs was designated for assignment last Tuesday, clearing a spot for Ed Lucas, who returned from the disabled list. Dobbs had been 1-for-13 as a lefty pinch hitter. He had signed a $1.7 million extension for 2014.

• Right-hander Jacob Turner returned from the disabled list Saturday and entered the rotation, pushing Kevin Slowey to the bullpen.

• Former Mets farmhand Alonzo Harris, who signed with the Marlins at the end of spring training after being released by the Mets, again has been released. Harris hit .094 (3-for-32) at Class A Jupiter.

Rapid Reaction: Marlins 8, Mets 4 (10)

June, 9, 2013
6/09/13
4:46
PM ET
NEW YORK -- If only the Miami Marlins played the Mets every day.

The Mets failed to protect an eighth-inning lead and were swept for the second straight weekend by the Marlins, this time with an 8-4 loss in 10 innings Sunday at Citi Field before an announced paid crowd of 21,747.

After Bobby Parnell allowed consecutive singles to open his second inning of work, Daniel Murphy errantly fielded Adeiny Hechavarria’s grounder to allow the go-ahead run to score from second base. Robert Carson entered and surrendered a sacrifice fly to Greg Dobbs and two-run homer to Miguel Olivo as the Marlins ultimately posted four runs in the 10th. Parnell was charged with three runs (two earned).

At least this time it did not take 20 innings, like Saturday’s loss.

Miami is 8-3 against the Mets and 10-41 against the rest of baseball this season.

The Mets (23-35) matched their season low-water mark at 12 games under .500, although they're still seven games ahead of the Marlins for fourth place in the National League East.

Fried rice: Scott Rice, summoned for his MLB-leading 34th relief appearance to begin the eighth with the Mets leading 4-3, surrendered a game-tying leadoff homer to Derek Dietrich and departed. Lefty batters had been hitting .143 (9-for-63) against Rice with one extra-base hit -- an April 5 double by Miami’s Rob Brantly -- before Dietrich’s homer.

Shouldering the load: Jonathon Niese, who missed his last rotation turn with a shoulder issue, then had his rotation reentry delayed by rain, allowed three runs (two earned) on eight hits and one walk while striking out four in 6 2/3 innings. He threw 103 pitches in what became a no-decision.

Niese made his first start since May 27.

The southpaw departed with a 4-3 lead in the seventh after allowing consecutive two-out singles to opposing pitcher Tom Koehler and Juan Pierre. LaTroy Hawkins entered and retired 31-year-old rookie Ed Lucas on a groundout to strand both inherited runners.

Niese had taken a 4-1 lead into the sixth, when he surrendered a two-run double to Marcell Ozuna. The second run was unearned because Juan Lagares misplayed the ball in right-center. Niese did strand Ozuna at third base to preserve the one-run lead. He retired Logan Morrison on a shallow flyout and coaxed a groundout to third from Justin Ruggiano.

Wright stuff: David Wright, who entered Sunday hitting only .200 (13-for-65) over his last 16 games, broke a 1-all tie in the third with a two-run double against Koehler.

Murphy, in his first start in the cleanup spot this season, followed with a run-scoring groundout as the Mets took a 4-1 lead. Murphy’s solo homer in the second accounted for the Mets’ opening run.

JV caliber: After bunting for a base hit in the first, Jordany Valdespin made the final out at third base that inning when he was caught stealing with Murphy at the plate.

In a pinch: Terry Collins used Justin Turner as a pinch hitter for Ike Davis for a second straight day.

Welcome back: Kirk Nieuwenhuis made his return as a pinch hitter in the 10th. He struck out.

What’s next: After an off-day Monday, the Mets welcome the St. Louis Cardinals. In Tuesday’s series opener, Jeremy Hefner (1-5, 4.36 ERA) opposes phenom Michael Wacha (1-5, 4.36) in the right-hander’s third major league start.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 7, Marlins 6

May, 1, 2013
5/01/13
3:44
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WHAT IT MEANS: Jordany Valdespin was “El Hombre” Wednesday afternoon.

With the Mets in danger of getting swept by the lowly Miami Marlins, Valdespin produced a pinch-hit three-run homer in the sixth against Marlins reliever A.J. Ramos to stake the Mets to a one-run lead.

John Buck added a two-run double an inning later -- which it turned out the Mets would desperately need -- and the Amazin’s narrowly held on to salvage the finale, 7-6, at Marlins Park. The Mets (11-15) snapped a six-game losing streak.

Scott Atchison, protecting a 7-4 lead in his second inning of work in the seventh, surrendered three straight one-out singles. On the third of those hits, by Justin Ruggiano, Donovan Solano and Greg Dobbs had stopped in scoring position. But the ball got by left fielder Lucas Duda and both restarted and scored as the Marlins pulled within 7-6 with the pair of unearned runs.

The Mets had failed to protect one-run leads with three outs to go three times in the first two games of the series. This time, they stranded the potential tying run at third base in consecutive late innings and eked out a win.

Atchison left Ruggiano at third base in the seventh by getting Chris Valaika to fly out. An inning later, after Nick Green doubled against LaTroy Hawkins and reached third with two outs, Scott Rice entered and retired Juan Pierre on a groundout.

Bobby Parnell, who was upset he went unused Tuesday in a game Brandon Lyon uncorked a game-ending wild pitch, this time handled the ninth. Parnell retired the Marlins 1-2-3 on seven pitches for his third save.

SPIN-SANITY: Valdespin had set a franchise record with five pinch-hit homers a season ago. He had been 1-for-10 with a single, RBI and four strikeouts this season as a pinch-hitter before Wednesday’s three-run shot.

Six of Valdespin’s 10 career homers have come as a pinch hitter, which is one reason Terry Collins uses to justify using Valdespin in that role rather than as a more frequent starter.

That pinch-hit homer total does not include his walk-off grand slam last Wednesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, which came two innings after Valdespin entered that game as a pinch hitter and then took over in center field, also for Juan Lagares.

This afternoon, Ramos had inherited two baserunners with two outs from left-handed starter Wade LeBlanc. The righty reliever’s insertion prompted Collins to counter with the lefty-hitting Valdespin for the righty-hitting Lagares.

GEE FIZZ: Dillon Gee surrendered four runs on nine hits and two walks in five innings. He was pulled with his pitch count at a modest 70 after Valdespin provided the 5-4 lead. Gee’s ERA ballooned to 6.16.

WRIGHT STUFF: David Wright and Buck each had three hits. Wright scored three times.

Wright put the Mets in position for Valdespin’s three-run shot to be meaningful. He pulled the Mets within 3-1 with a solo homer in the fourth. And Wright doubled to lead off the sixth against LeBlanc and scored on Marlon Byrd’s two-out single to make it 4-2.

Wright has three homers this season. The other two came against Juan Nicasio in Colorado on April 16.

WHAT’S NEXT: After an off-day in Atlanta, the Mets play a weekend series against the first-place Braves at Turner Field. Shaun Marcum (0-2, 7.94 ERA), who pitched in relief on Monday, starts Friday night’s series opener opposite left-hander Mike Minor (3-2, 3.13).

Series preview: Mets at Marlins

April, 28, 2013
4/28/13
9:50
PM ET

Associated Press/Getty Images
The Mets face (l to r) Jose Fernandez, Kevin Slowey and Wade LeBlanc during their series in Miami this week.
METS (10-13, fourth place/NL East) vs. MIAMI MARLINS (6-19, fifth place/NL East)

Monday: RHP Matt Harvey (4-0, 1.54) vs. RHP Jose Fernandez (0-2, 4.50), 7:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (0-2, 5.12) vs. RHP Kevin Slowey (0-2, 2.43), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Dillon Gee (1-4, 5.96) vs. LHP Wade LeBlanc (0-4, 6.20), 12:40 p.m. ET

Marlins short hops

• Right fielder Giancarlo Stanton finally homered Saturday, in his 75th plate appearance of the season. Stanton, who led the National League in slugging percentage in 2012, added two more homers Sunday. He went RBI-less in his first 12 games of the season, but has produced nine RBIs in his past seven games.


Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports
Giancarlo Stanton has belted three homers in his past two games.


• Shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (bruised right elbow) is due to begin a rehab assignment Monday with Class A Jupiter and is not expected to be activated until after the Mets series. Chris Valaika started four straight games at the position before Nick Green got the nod Sunday. Green homered for the first time since 2009.

• Rookie Jose Fernandez has allowed nine runs in nine innings over his past two starts. He has been kept on a tight pitch count. He has thrown 80, 85, 79 and 79 pitches in his four major league starts. Fernandez, who allowed only two homers in 138 1/3 minor league innings (all in Class A), surrendered his first big league long ball Tuesday against the Minnesota Twins. Oswaldo Arcia took the 20-year-old Fernandez deep.

Fernandez, a Cuban defector, was taken with the 14th overall pick in the 2011 draft out of high school in Tampa. The Mets selected outfielder Brandon Nimmo one pick earlier. Besides Fernandez, three of the other first 100 picks in that ’11 draft have reached the majors: right-hander Trevor Bauer, third overall, UCLA, Arizona Diamondbacks; right-hander Dylan Bundy, fourth overall, Owasso (Okla.) H.S., Baltimore Orioles; and outfielder Jackie Bradley, 40th overall, University of South Carolina, Boston Red Sox.

• Owner Jeffrey Loria created another stir when he was accused in a report of dictating which game of a day-night doubleheader Fernandez pitched in Minnesota. Loria denied a role.

• Ex-Minnesota Twins right-hander Kevin Slowey is winless through five starts despite a 2.43 ERA. The Marlins have scored a total of six runs in Slowey’s five outings. Slowey did not appear in the majors last season. He made eight Triple-A starts with the Cleveland Indians in 2012 before being diagnosed with a stress fracture in his rib cage.

Mike Redmond, the first-year Marlins manager, caught Slowey’s major league debut on June 1, 2007. Slowey limited Bob Geren’s Oakland Athletics to one run in six innings in an eventual 3-2, 10-inning win.

• Stony Brook University product Tom Koehler joined the Marlins’ bullpen on April 19, replacing John Maine, who was designated for assignment. Maine, in his first major league duty since 2010 with the Mets, allowed 15 hits and 10 earned runs in 7 1/3 innings spanning four appearances.

• Closer Steve Cishek has three losses and a blown save and has allowed runs in six of 11 appearances this season. He earned his third save Sunday despite surrendering a homer to the Cubs’ Dioner Navarro.

• Rookie Joe Mahoney is day to day with right hamstring tightness. Mahoney had taken over for plug Greg Dobbs at first base in Casey Kotchman and Logan Morrison’s absences before this hamstring issue arose. Mahoney is a waiver claim from the Baltimore Orioles. He played at Triple-A Norfolk in 2012. The 26-year-old Mahoney was activated from the DL on April 17 after recovering from an oblique injury.

Series preview: Mets vs. Marlins

April, 4, 2013
4/04/13
9:49
PM ET

USA TODAY Sports
The Mets face (l to r) right-handers Alex Sanabia, Ricky Nolasco and Jose Fernandez this weekend.
METS (2-1, second place/NL East) vs. MIAMI MARLINS (0-3, fifth place/NL East)

Friday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (0-0, -.--) vs. RHP Alex Sanabia (0-0, -.--), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: LHP Jonathon Niese (3-5, 2.70) vs. RHP Ricky Nolasco (0-1, 3.00), 1:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: LHP Aaron Laffey (0-0, -.--) vs. RHP Jose Fernandez (0-0, -.--), 1:10 p.m. ET

Marlins short hops

Jose Fernandez, the 14th overall pick in the 2011 draft out of high school in Tampa, will make his major league debut Sunday. The 20-year-old right-hander went a combined 14-1 with a 1.75 ERA in 25 Class A starts last season between Greensboro and Jupiter.

The Marlins opted to use the rookie with Nathan Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez on the disabled list, both with shoulder inflammation.

Fernandez arrived in the U.S. from Cuba by boat as a refugee in 2008. In preparation for Sunday’s start, Fernandez threw a simulated game Tuesday in D.C., with first-year manager Mike Redmond and hitting coach Tino Martinez acting as batters. Both are not that far removed from major league careers.


Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports
John Maine made the Marlins' Opening Day roster. He last pitched in the majors in 2010 with the Mets.


• Ex-Met John Maine made Miami’s Opening Day roster as a reliever. He did not appear during the season-opening series at D.C., so his first major league action since his Mets days may come this weekend at Citi Field. Maine last threw a big league pitch on May 20, 2010 in Washington. It was after that abbreviated outing that pitching coach Dan Warthen called Maine a “habitual liar” with respect his truthfulness about injuries. Maine went 2-0 with a 2.63 ERA in six games during spring training. He struck out nine and walked nine in 13 2/3 innings.

• Fellow ex-Met Jon Rauch signed a one-year, $1 million free-agent contract with the Marlins on Feb. 5.

• Miami, which completed its latest fire sale during the offseason, mustered only one run while getting swept in a season-opening three-game series at Nationals Park. The Marlins became the first team to total no more than one run in the team's first three games since the 1988 Orioles (also one run), according to ESPN Stats & Information. The '88 Orioles opened that season 0-21.

• Third baseman Placido Polanco batted cleanup the first two games of the season. He had never started a game in that slot previously in his 16-year career.

• First baseman Casey Kotchman will land on the disabled list Friday, two days after straining his left hamstring. He becomes the third first baseman the Marlins have lost this season. Logan Morrison (knee surgery) is on the 60-day DL, while Joe Mahoney is on the 15-day DL with an intercostal strain. Among the flurry of moves last season, the Marlins traded first baseman Gaby Sanchez to the Pittsburgh Pirates last July 31.

Greg Dobbs should handle the bulk of the first-base duty for now, while Austin Kearns and rookie Chris Valaika may see action at the position, too.

Giancarlo Stanton, the lone remaining threat in Miami’s lineup, led the NL in slugging percentage (.608) and finished second to Ryan Braun in homers last season, with 37. Stanton now has 93 career homers, matching Frank Robinson for fifth-most in MLB history before turning 23. The only players with more: Mel Ott (115), Eddie Mathews (112), Tony Conigliaro (104) and Alex Rodriguez (95).

• Catcher Miguel Olivo signed with Miami on March 29 after playing in 21 games for the Cincinnati Reds during spring training. Jeff Mathis suffered a broken right clavicle early in spring training.

• In the Nov. 19 trade that sent Jose Reyes, John Buck, Emilio Bonifacio, Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson to Toronto, the Marlins received minor leaguers Anthony DeScalfani, Jake Marisnick and Justin Nicolino as well as Alvarez, Yunel Escobar, Adeiny Hechavarria and Mathis. Reyes bristled during spring training at Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria, after Loria denied advising Reyes days before the trade to buy a house in Miami.

Alex Sanabia, 24, will make his first major league appearance since Sept. 24, 2011 in the series opener. He went 6-7 with a 4.06 ERA in 17 starts last season at Triple-A New Orleans, where he also had three DL stints.

Frank on loss: 'I was fighting out there'

May, 11, 2012
5/11/12
11:20
PM ET
Frank Francisco said he gave it his best effort. But there was no doubt his second blown save in 10 chances this season deflated a clubhouse that arrived in Miami off the sky-high feeling of sweeping the Phillies with their ninth, 10th and 11th comeback wins of the season.

Francisco allowed a leadoff double to Giancarlo Stanton in the ninth and a game-tying single with one out to Emilio Bonifacio. After Bonifacio swiped second base, the Mets lost, 6-5, when Greg Dobbs singled with two out.

“That’s baseball,” Francisco said. “That’s going to happen. Hopefully it’s the last time. I can’t put that in my mind because I know how baseball goes. I don’t feel bad. I feel bad because we lost. But, personally, I know I was fighting out there. I leave everything I have out there for my team. We lost. But I don’t feel bad.”

As for the leadoff double by Stanton, Francisco did not second-guess himself.

“I haven’t seen the replay. I don’t know,” Francisco said. “I thought it was a good pitch. I got him out there before. And just like that, he won. I thought that was the right pitch. And when I got in my mind a certain pitch, I die with that pitch. And that’s what I did. I thought that was the right pitch -- fastball in.”

He rejected the suggestion that things snowballed after that.

“I was fighting out there with everything I have,” Francisco said. “Every time I go out there I leave everything out there. After the first hit, I got the next guy out. And they tied the game and I got the next guy out. I was fighting.”

As for the final blow by Dobbs, Francisco said: “The last hit was a broken-bat single. You only can control where you throw the ball. You cannot control the results. I think I made a good pitch. I jammed him. But it ended up in a bad spot.”

Ike Davis lamented his role in the Marlins’ late rally. Davis committed an error trying to field Jose Reyes' grounder to lead off the bottom of the eighth. Reyes eventually scored against Bobby Parnell to pull the Marlins within 5-4.

“I had a lot more time, so I just should have got in front of it and knocked it down,” Davis said. “But it took a higher bounce than the one before and just got a little bit on my wrist and I missed it. … I was out of position, really, on it. I should have just knocked it down.”

Davis acknowledged Reyes’ speed was a factor in him rushing to field the ball.

(Read full post)

Mets morning briefing 8.31.11

August, 31, 2011
8/31/11
9:03
AM ET
Mike Pelfrey took a scoreless effort into the seventh inning when the outing unraveled, keeping him winless in his past 16 starts against the Marlins. The Mets lost to Florida, 6-0, as a four-game winning streak ended.

Wednesday's news reports:

Terry Collins said Justin Turner and Ruben Tejada will split time at second base about 50-50 with Jose Reyes back and manning shortstop, although the manager called his decision on any given day a "feel" thing. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Collins compared Tejada to Florida's Omar Infante and suggested that if Reyes departs as a free agent, Tejada has the mental makeup to take over at shortstop for the Mets. "His mental makeup is so far beyond his years," Collins said. Read more in Newsday and the Record.

• Pelfrey regretted a snafu with Turner in Florida's five-run seventh. Turner wanted a pickoff throw to second base, showing open glove as he broke for the bag. Pelfrey instead delivered to the plate. Javier Vazquez bunted. And Turner, stuck by second base, could not get to first base in time to be in position for a throw from David Wright that would have retired Vazquez. That loaded the bases with the game scoreless. Read game reports in the Star-Ledger, Times, Daily News, Post and Newsday.

Eli Shalomoff, who was struck by a foul ball off the bat of Greg Dobbs during Game 1 of Monday's doubleheader, was released Tuesday night, Elmhurst Hospital assistant director of public affairs Atiya Butler told Newsday. The 12-year-old received a visit from Dobbs earlier in the day. According to the Palm Beach Post, relaying info from Dobbs, the boy was diagnosed with a concussion, broken nose and sinus bone and needed eight stitches. Dobbs told the South Florida newspaper the boy is primarily a soccer fan. "He wants to try out for hockey," Dobbs said. "But he’s not that big of a Mets fan. He’s more of a Yankees fan."

• The first-year Rockland Boulders of the indepedent Can-Am League announced Howard Johnson and son Glen would play with the team Sept. 4 and 5. "The most exciting thing is I get a chance to do something most dads never get a chance to do," HoJo told the Daily News, referring to playing alongside his son. "But I really just hope that I make contact." The 50-year-old Johnson plans to play first base, even though he needs knee-replacement surgery. Read the full details at the team's web site.

Nick Evans' modest five-game hitting streak since taking over at first base with Lucas Duda moving to right field came to an end Tuesday, but Evans appreciates the playing time. "I’m getting the chance to get some at-bats in a row, and the more you get in a row, the more comfortable you’re going to feel,” Evans told Andrew Keh in the Times.

• Rosters expand Thursday (Sept. 1), but Dan Martin in the Post writes not to expect an influx. Collins said most of the players who would have been summoned -- the likes of Lucas Duda, Jason Pridie and Nick Evans -- already were needed earlier and called up. "If we were breaking the whole thing up next year, it would be a different story," the manager added, alluding to how Turner and Tejada need to play second base. "Then, you just throw the call-ups out there, but that's not the case. And players like Willie Harris and Scott Hairston, who do thankless jobs and do them well, deserve to play." Still, it speaks volumes that 40-year-old Miguel Batista gets Thursday's start.

BIRTHDAYS: Hideo Nomo turns 43. ... Outfielder Claudell Washington, who played for the 1980 Mets, was born on this date in 1954.

Collins: Tejada-Turner 'probably' 50-50

August, 30, 2011
8/30/11
4:39
PM ET
In Jose Reyes' first game back with the Mets, for Monday's doubleheader nightcap, Ruben Tejada started at second base. Day 2 brings Justin Turner starting at that position Tuesday.

Terry Collins said "probably" the distribution will continue 50-50 "right now," although the manager said it will be based on "feel" who would start any particular day.

Collins said he did not need to get Tejada particularly acclimated to Reyes for 2012 double-play work because, frankly, he cannot be sure Reyes will re-sign.

"I don't want to form a relationship that can't be broken," Collins said.

Regardless, Collins did say he would like to see Tejada's steal totals increase. And that will be a point of emphasis in spring training.

Tejada has stolen only five major league bases, and attempted only seven swipes, in 149 games over two seasons. His minor league totals are similarly underwhelming. After notching 18 steals in his first pro season in 67 games in 2007, Tejada slipped to eight in '08. He had 19 in '09 with Double-A Binghamton, but only five in 10 attempts over the past two seasons with Triple-A Buffalo.

Collins noted Tejada is not a speed demon. But the manager added that even Jeff Bagwell stole 31 bases in 1997 with the Houston Astros because he had the proper approach. And the stolen base "has to be" part of Tejada's game.

"He's athletic enough to steal bases," Collins said.

Collins added that running will be a point of emphasis overall in spring training. He already has a post-it note to remind himself. Collins said he counted at least four instances in recent days in which Mets failed to take extra bases.

SPECIAL VISIT: The Marlins' Greg Dobbs visited the 12-year-old boy who was struck by a foul ball off his bat in Game 1 of Monday's doubleheader at the hospital before Tuesday's game. Dobbs told Florida reporters the boy received eight stitches on his nose and had a broken sinus bone.

ON TURN: After contemplating pushing back Chris Capuano a day because he threw 122 pitches in a two-hit shutout his past start, the southpaw will start on his regularly scheduled day Wednesday opposite Chris Volstad. That means Miguel Batista gets slotted into Jon Niese's spot on Thursday, with R.A. Dickey coming back on short rest Friday in D.C.

REST OF THE STORY: Collins reiterated he does plan for Reyes to average about two games off a month -- which translates to about 150 games a season -- in a bid to keep him healthy. Adding in each team gets about two days off a month too, Collins concluded Reyes should get about four days off a month. "In baseball terms, that's pretty good rest," Collins said.

CLOSE CALL: After Bobby Parnell was used in both games of Monday's doubleheader, Collins said Jason Isringhausen likely would close Tuesday. Collins said he could have held Parnell back from Game 2 once the Mets opened a four-run lead, but Parnell had already warmed and he would have gone in had another reliever allowed baserunners anyway.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 5, Marlins 1

August, 29, 2011
8/29/11
10:21
PM ET


Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: Jose Reyes played in his first major league game since pulling himself Aug. 7 with a left hamstring strain.

Reyes, who had appeared in three rehab games with Double-A Binghamton, went 1-for-4 and committed an error.

He quickly had to test the leg muscle, retreating for a second-inning bloop over his head off the bat of Bryan Petersen that ultimately fell in shallow left field for a single. In the sixth, Reyes dropped a throw at second base from Nick Evans, who was trying to initiate a double play, and was charged with an error as both runners were safe.

The Mets nonetheless swept the doubleheader and put 5 games between themselves and the last-place Marlins.

After Manny Acosta recorded four outs, Bobby Parnell worked the ninth, as he did in Game 1 of the doubleheader. Parnell was deprived of his second save of the day -- and fourth of his career -- when Mike Nickeas' RBI single in the eighth scored Evans and extended the lead to four runs.

SECOND THAT: Ruben Tejada scored the first two Mets runs, each time giving the Amazin’s a lead.

Starting at second base, a position he will now share with Justin Turner with Reyes’ return, Tejada produced his first career major league triple in the fourth inning. Tejada then scored the opening run on David Wright's grounder to third base. Greg Dobbs fired the ball into the Mets' dugout. Wright reached second on the two-base error and was credited with an RBI.

Dobbs evened the score at 1 in the sixth on a solo homer off Dillon Gee.

But a half-inning later, Tejada beat out an infield single and scored on Angel Pagan's two-out bloop single to left-center. After Evans (2-for-4) singled, extending his hitting streak to five games, Willie Harris also singled to score Pagan and give the Mets a 3-1 lead.

Gee then departed. His line: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. He threw 101 pitches (70 strikes).

Evans is 10-for-19 in his past five games.

Harris started in left field over Jason Bay, who is in a 2-for-41 rut. Bay, who was returning from a jammed right shoulder after a three-day respite, started Game 1.

Wright also picked up an RBI double in the seventh.

WHAT'S NEXT: The five-game series continues Tuesday with Mike Pelfrey (7-10, 4.60 ERA) opposing Marlins right-hander Javier Vazquez (7-11, 4.63).

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.296 9 54 74
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 27
RBIL. Duda 81
RD. Murphy 74
OPSL. Duda .817
WB. Colon 13
ERAJ. Niese 3.55
SOZ. Wheeler 173