New York Mets: Homer Bailey

Series preview: Mets vs. Reds

April, 4, 2014
Apr 4

Getty ImagesThe Mets face Mike Leake, Johnny Cueto and Alfredo Simon this weekend at Citi Field.
METS (0-3, fifth place/NL East) vs. CINCINNATI REDS (1-2, third place/NL Central)

Friday: RHP Jenrry Mejia (0-0, -.--) vs. RHP Mike Leake (0-0, -.--), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Dillon Gee (0-0, 5.40) vs. RHP Johnny Cueto (0-1, 1.29), 1:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: LHP Jonathon Niese (0-0, -.--) vs. RHP Alfredo Simon (0-0, -.--), 1:10 p.m. ET

Reds short hops

• Cincinnati opened the season with an MLB-high eight players on the disabled list. The most gruesome injury occurred to flame-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman, who was struck by a line drive off the bat of Kansas City’s Salvador Perez on March 19. Chapman suffered eye and nose fractures and also a mild concussion. He had a plate and screws inserted to stabilize the bones near his left eye.

Mark Sheldon/Associated PressAroldis Chapman is taken off the field after being struck by a March 19 line drive.

Also opening the season on the DL: right-handers Mat Latos (Oct. 11 elbow surgery and Feb. 14 knee surgery), Jonathan Broxton (Aug. 23 forearm surgery) and Brett Marshall (finger tendon), left-hander Sean Marshall (shoulder), catcher Devin Mesoraco (oblique), infielder Jack Hannahan (shoulder) and free-agent infielder/outfielder signee Skip Schumaker (shoulder).

Alfredo Simon, who has 19 career saves, steps into the rotation as the fifth starter until Latos returns. Latos tossed four innings for Double-A Pensacola in a rehab start Thursday.

• Bryan Price, 51, is the first-year manager of the Reds. He served the previous four seasons as the team’s pitching coach under Dusty Baker.

J.J. Hoover may take the lead in a closer-by-committee scenario until Broxton and then Chapman returns. Broxton may be back within a week. Hoover’s co-closers for now include Logan Ondrusek, Manny Parra and Sam LeCure. Hoover had 23 straight scoreless appearances last summer, a franchise record for a right-hander.

Mike Leake, still 26 year old, already has made five Opening Day rosters with the Reds. His 57 hits are the most by any MLB pitcher since his 2010 debut.

• Cincinnati opened its season by failing to score in its first 17 innings, until Chris Heisey’s walk-off single against St. Louis’ Carlos Martinez won Game 2 of the season, 1-0. Heisey had six spring-training homers, tied for the MLB lead.

• Speedster Billy Hamilton is hitless in 12 at-bats with six strikeouts to open the season. Four of the Ks came on Opening Day. He has been caught stealing only once in his big-league career -- by the Mets’ Juan Centeno last season. Hamilton is handling center field (and playing shallow to take advantage of his speed) with Shin-Soo Choo’s defection to the Texas Rangers on a seven-year, $130 million deal.

• First baseman Joey Votto, the 2010 NL MVP, notched his 1,000th career hit Wednesday.

• Toms River/Rutgers product Todd Frazier had his fourth career multihomer game Thursday.

Johnny Cueto, who made his third straight Opening Day start, was a tough-luck loser against St. Louis. He surrendered a solo homer to Yadier Molina while allowing only two other hits and a walk in seven innings in the Reds’ 1-0 loss to Adam Wainwright. Cueto made only 11 starts last season because of three disabled-list trips.

• Cincinnati experienced a combined 6 hours, 22 minutes of rain delays on Wednesday and Thursday.

• Left fielder Ryan Ludwick had a better Opening Day this season than a year ago, even though he went 0-for-4. In the 2013 opener, Ludwick tore the labrum in his right shoulder on a headfirst slide into third base. He required surgery and did not return until Aug. 12.

• Catcher Brayan Pena, who played with the Detroit Tigers in 2013, signed a two-year, $2.275 million contract in November. Incumbent catcher Ryan Hanigan was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in December.

• Right-hander Homer Bailey signed a six-year, $105 million extension with the Reds on Feb. 19. He went 11-12 with a 3.49 ERA in 32 starts last season and would have been eligible for free agency next winter.

Series preview: Mets at Giants

July, 8, 2013

USA TODAY SportsThe Mets face (l to r) Tim Lincecum, Barry Zito and Matt Cain during a three-game series in San Francisco.
METS (37-48, fourth place/NL East) vs. SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS (40-47, fourth place/NL West)

Monday: RHP Matt Harvey (7-2, 2.27) vs. RHP Tim Lincecum (4-9, 4.66), 10:15 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Dillon Gee (6-7, 4.45) vs. LHP Barry Zito (4-6, 4.44), 10:15 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Zack Wheeler (2-1, 4.29) vs. RHP Matt Cain (5-5, 4.85), 3:45 p.m. ET

Giants short hops

• The Giants placed catcher Buster Posey, second baseman Marco Scutaro and pitcher Madison Bumgarner on the NL All-Star team, which will be managed by San Francisco skipper Bruce Bochy. Hunter Pence is on the five-man NL ballot for additional fan voting. A year after having four starters selected to the game, including Pablo Sandoval over David Wright, the Giants will have none in the opening lineup at Citi Field on July 16.

Angel Pagan is likely out for the season after undergoing left hamstring surgery in late June. The ex-Met signed a four-year, $40 million deal in September. Pagan originally was injured on May 25, when his inside-the-park homer lifted the Giants past Colorado. He aggravated the tear during a rehab game. Fellow ex-Met Andres Torres primarily has played center field in Pagan’s absence. Torres was forced to leave Friday’s game with a right calf cramp, but since has returned.

Daniel Shirey/USA TODAY SportsAndres Torres has taken over for injured fellow ex-Met Angel Pagan in center field.

• Posey has been starting at first base more frequently of late because of leg tightness.

• San Francisco was no-hit by Cincinnati’s Homer Bailey last Tuesday. The Giants last had been no-hit in 2003, by Kevin Millwood of the Philadelphia Phillies. Since the move to San Francisco, the Giants have been no-hit 11 times. The others to accomplish the feat against them: Warren Spahn (1961), Sandy Koufax (1963), Ryan Washburn (1968), Jerry Reuss (1980), Charlie Lea (1981), Mike Scott (1986), Terry Mulholland (1990), Kevin Gross (1992) and Kevin Brown (1997).

• San Francisco has lost 11 of 13 and 16 of 21. The Giants have scored two runs or fewer in 12 of their past 16 games. They are 2-for-their-last-36 with runners in scoring position.

• Scutaro, in a 5-for-34 slump, recently has dealt with back problems. Also slumping: Pence is 0-for-his-last-22. Sandoval is 5-for-45 since returning from the DL for a foot injury. The Big Panda is homerless in his last 24 games. Brandon Crawford is 7-for-his-last-58 with no extra-base hits or RBIs in his past 18 games.

• The Giants got caught batting out of order Saturday. After the third hitter, Posey, delivered an RBI double in the first inning, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly informed umpires Posey was listed as the cleanup hitter, so it really had been Sandoval’s turn to bat. Sandoval was ruled out, the runner returned to third and Posey had to bat again. He flied out.

Tim Lincecum is winless since June 4. He is 0-for-4 with a 4.45 ERA in his past five starts.

Matt Cain enters the series off an outing against the Dodgers in which he allowed eight runs while recording only seven outs. Cain had produced a 1.82 ERA in his previous five starts and had been unbeaten in his past 11 starts against the Dodgers. Cain had retired the final 20 batters he faced against the Colorado Rockies in his previous start.

Santiago Casilla should return to the bullpen this week, after two more rehab appearances. Casilla had mid-May surgery to remove a bone cyst near his knee.

• Closer Sergio Romo allowed a three-run double in the ninth inning Sunday as San Francisco lost its rubber game to Los Angeles. Romo had mocked Hanley Ramirez after earning a save Saturday.

Mike Kickham was demoted Sunday, after going 0-3 and surrendering 16 earned runs in 10 1/3 innings as a starter. His 13.94 ERA is the highest ever by a Giants starter in his first three outings. The decision coincided with Chad Gaudin’s return from the disabled list.

• The Giants had scout Lee Elder watching Minnesota Twins relievers, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Ryan Vogelsong suffered a broken right hand getting hit by a pitch May 20. He may resume throwing next week.

• Outfielder Gregor Blanco snapped an 0-for-25 drought Saturday with a three-hit game.

Mets morning briefing 8.17.12

August, 17, 2012
Matt Harvey tossed a career-high 7 2/3 innings and the Mets had enough cushion to withstand another Frank Francisco meltdown and salvage the series finale with an 8-4 win in Cincinnati on Thursday night. Ike Davis and Jason Bay homered against Homer Bailey.

Harvey, firing fastballs and working with newcomer Kelly Shoppach in the former Red Sox catcher's Mets debut, limited Cincinnati to one run on four hits and a walk while striking out eight in an 89-pitch effort. Harvey also contributed a two-run double. His 34 strikeouts through five career games are the second most in franchise history, trailing only Dwight Gooden's 36.

"Coming off five walks in one game," Harvey said, referring to last Friday's appearance against Atlanta, "that's the last thing you want to do -- and do that two times in a row. From the first inning, the get-go, I really wanted to come out and attack. Going 7 2/3, I'm happy with. There are still things I need to work on and strive to be perfect, but overall I'm pretty happy."

As for working with Shoppach, Harvey noted they were on the same page despite unfamiliarity.

"He really didn't know too, too much about me. And I didn't know too, too much about him," Harvey said. "So at that time we wanted to get things going on the right page. It was awesome. When I wanted to throw a pitch, he put [the signal] down. And if I shook once, the second pitch that he called, it was right there. I give him a lot of credit. I stuck with him the whole time."

Henny Ray Abrams/Associated Press
Johan Santana tries to snap a string of subpar performances tonight against the Nats.

Now, Johan Santana (6-8, 4.58 ERA) opposes left-hander Ross Detwiler (6-5, 3.18) tonight as the Mets open a weekend series against National League East-leading Washington. Santana will be pitching on an extra day of rest as he tries to rebound from a start in which he was charged with eight runs while recording a career-low four outs against the Braves at Citi Field.

Santana has allowed six-plus runs in each of his past four starts, tying a franchise record. The only major league pitchers to surrender six or more runs in five straight starts in the past 10 years: Baltimore's Brian Matusz and Kansas City's Sean O'Sullivan, both last season.

A loss tonight would drop Santana three games under .500 in a season for only the second time in his career. He opened 2006 with Minnesota with three straight losing decisions (en route to a 19-6 record). Santana, who is due to earn $31 million next season with a 2014 buyout, already is ticketed for his worst ERA at least since posting a 4.74 ERA in 15 appearances (four starts) with the Twins in 2001.

Santana (.658) entered the season with the third-highest winning percentage among active major league pitchers with at least 125 starts -- trailing only Jon Lester (.691) and Roy Halladay (.671). With Santana's career winning percentage having slipped to .644, Jered Weaver, Tim Hudson, CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander now have overtaken him, too.

Friday's news reports:

Sandy Alderson told Brian Costa in the Journal the past two seasons under the GM's direction have been beneficial in terms of information gathering. Writes Costa:

No one expected the Mets to be a legitimate contender this season. But nearly six years after their last playoff appearance, it is hard to say when such an expectation will be reasonable again. How close are the Mets to competing for a championship? "It's a very difficult question to answer," general manager Sandy Alderson said. Alderson views the benefit of this season largely in terms of collecting information. Some of it has been good. Some of it hasn't. Ruben Tejada, for example, has established himself as a solid everyday player at shortstop. Zack Wheeler has emerged as one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. But the struggles of Lucas Duda and Kirk Nieuwenhuis and the continued deterioration of Jason Bay leave the Mets devoid of everyday outfielders going into 2013. And Ike Davis hasn't come close to resembling the All-Star he likely would have been before an injury wrecked his 2011 season.

"I think we have a much better sense now of who our players are, who we think are going to develop into those championship-caliber players, who may not, and are in a position to act on that," Alderson said. "The last couple of years, we've done a lot of experimenting. Some things have worked out. Some haven't. But I feel a lot more confident about where we're going than I did a couple of years ago."

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Pedro Beato was traded to the Red Sox to complete the deal for Kelly Shoppach.

• The Mets completed the trade for Shoppach on Thursday, when right-hander Pedro Beato was sent to the Red Sox through the waiver process. Beato was not held in high regard, but dealing anyone who can contribute at the major league level for a pending free agent such as Shoppach would seem to verify the Mets' intent to attempt to re-sign the catcher this offseason. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• For the second time this week, Francisco had to be pulled from an appearance and Jon Rauch bailed him out. Francisco, entering with a seven-run lead in the ninth after being idle since Sunday's meltdown at Citi Field, this time allowed a homer on the first pitch of his appearance, to Ryan Ludwick. The closer proceeded to allow three more hits and a walk before being pulled with two outs and two runners aboard. Rauch struck out ex-Met Wilson Valdez for his second save this week and third as a Met. Afterward, Terry Collins suggested it's "obvious" Francisco's fastball command is lacking because of erratic use.

Said Francisco: "I'm just getting beat with everything, you know? There's nothing you can do about it. I'm struggling right now."

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

• Regarding Wednesday's bracelet flap, the Daily News' Andy Martino tweeted: "Ump supervisor Randy Marsh approached Dickey in BP & said [he] regretted [the] way [it] was handled. Should've been more discreet." Collins said that four people texted him to note that Seattle's Felix Hernandez had a larger object on the wrist on his glove hand during his perfect game the same night as Dickey pitched in Cincinnati. Read more in Newsday and the Daily News.

Zack Wheeler allowed five runs in five innings in his third Triple-A start as the Mets lost to Lehigh Valley, 5-2. "They really didn't hit me around too hard," Wheeler said. "I mean, I did let up the [solo] home run and I gave up a bunch of singles. I was just not locating very well." Said manager Wally Backman: "He didn't have good command today, and good command is a key. Those guys were swinging early, and they hurt him swinging early in the count." Read Thursday's full minor league recap here. Read more in the Post.

• While Collins has indicated Lucas Duda should return before rosters expand Sept. 1, the manager said Duda is not ready because he is still adjusting to a new, wider stance. Also on the outfield front: Collins expects Justin Turner will see some action in the outfield during spring training to increase his versatility. Because of a crowded infield, Turner's start Thursday was his first since July 31. Read more in Newsday.

TRIVIA: Name the four other starting pitchers the Mets have used this season beyond the current six in the rotation (Santana, Dickey, Harvey, Jon Niese, Chris Young and Jeremy Hefner).

Thursday's answer: Former Generation K member Paul Wilson started opposite Pedro Martinez in Cincinnati on April 4, 2005, when Willie Randolph, Carlos Beltran and "The New Mets" debuted on Opening Day in Cincinnati.

Rapid Reaction: Reds 4, Mets 1

June, 16, 2012
WHAT IT MEANS: Jon Niese surrendered a three-run homer to Jay Bruce in the first inning and the Mets stranded runners in scoring position three straight frames en route to a 4-1 loss to Cincinnati on Saturday night at Citi Field.

Niese’s line: 7 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 HR, 1 HBP.

STRANDED: The Mets actually left runners in scoring position in four of the first six innings, including a first-and-third, no-out opportunity in the second. After Scott Hairston doubled and Josh Thole moved him to third with a single, Omar Quintanilla popped out to second baseman Brandon Phillips in shallow right field, Niese’s bunt attempt resulted in a fielder’s choice that retired Thole at second base, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis flied out to end the threat.

The Mets’ lone run came on consecutive first-inning doubles by Daniel Murphy and David Wright.

HIT PARADE: A day after Wright was grazed in the stomach by Sean Marshall, likely in response to Dillon Gee plunking Joey Votto, the teams traded hit-by-pitches again. Niese plunked Bruce in the fourth inning, in the slugger’s next plate appearance after his homer. In the sixth, Homer Bailey drilled Lucas Duda in the back.

WHAT’S NEXT: Chris Young (1-0, 3.38 ERA) will try to prevent the Mets from getting swept for the second time in three series when he opposes Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto (7-3, 2.46) in Sunday’s 1:10 p.m. series finale. The Reds have not swept a three-game series in Queens since 2001, when Steve Trachsel, Al Leiter and Kevin Appier were charged with the losses and future Met Danny Graves saved all three games.

Two series ago, the Mets were swept in the Bronx. They then went to St. Petersburg, Fla., and swept the Rays.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 10, Reds 9

July, 28, 2011
WHAT IT MEANS: As Carlos Beltran donned a No. 15 San Francisco Giants uniform for the first time (manager Bruce Bochy switched to No. 16 to accommodate the newly acquired right fielder), the Mets completed their first-ever four-game sweep of the Reds in Cincinnati. At 54-51, the Mets matched a season high by climbing three games over .500.

DUDES: Lucas Duda and Jason Bay had three-run doubles in consecutive four-run innings as the Mets raced to a 9-3 lead.

After going 50 games without a two-bagger entering this series, Bay (3-for-4, walk) produced two doubles Thursday. Duda (2-for-4, walk) now has four RBIs in two starts in right field since Beltran’s departure.

Reds starter Homer Bailey, who served up both bases-clearing doubles, ultimately was charged with nine runs. That is two shy of matching the most runs ever scored by the Mets against an individual pitcher. The franchise record is 11 runs scored (10 earned) against St. Louis’ Mitchell Boggs on July 3, 2008.

WRIGHT STUFF: David Wright went 3-for-5 with an RBI. He is hitting .455 (15-for-33) with 12 RBIs in seven games since returning from the disabled list.

CLOSE CALL: A 9-3 lead got tight when the Reds scored four runs in the sixth inning and chased Chris Capuano.

Ex-Met Miguel Cairo delivered a pinch-hit three-run homer on the first pitch of Manny Acosta’s appearance to pull Cincinnati within two runs. Two of the runs from that long ball were charged to Capuano. The southpaw’s line: 5.1 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 4 K. Capuano’s season high for runs allowed remained seven, against Colorado on April 14.

Pedro Beato surrendered a seventh-inning run on an RBI double by Jay Bruce as Cincinnati pulled within 9-8.

IZZY DOES IT ... BARELY: Jason Isringhausen -- who is remaining a Met at the trading deadline along with the other remaining players, according to Sandy Alderson -- inherited a two-run lead and served up a homer to Joey Votto on the first pitch of the bottom of the ninth. Izzy nonetheless picked up his 297th career save. Bobby Parnell had tossed a 1-2-3 eighth.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Mets get a glimpse of what life is like for a pitcher after surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule on Friday. Chien-Ming Wang, who underwent the procedure from which Johan Santana is now trying to return, makes his first major league start since July 4, 2009 with the Yankees. Opposite Wang in Washington, Dillon Gee bids for his 10th win.

Only six Mets rookie have reached 10 wins as a starter: Tom Seaver (16-12 in starts in 1967), Jerry Koosman (19-12, 1968), Gary Gentry (13-12, 1969), Jon Matlack (14-10, 1972), Dwight Gooden (17-9, 1984) and Ron Darling (12-9, 1984), according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Gee, incidentally, will be honored by the Brooklyn Cyclones next Thursday. His number will be retired at MCU Park.



Carlos Torres
2 2.08 11 8
BAJ. Lagares .314
HRL. Duda 3
RBIL. Duda 8
RE. Young Jr. 12
OPSL. Duda .841
ERAJ. Mejia 2.81
SOJ. Mejia 18