New York Mets: Jake Peavy

Series preview: Mets at White Sox

June, 24, 2013
6/24/13
4:59
PM ET

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.
FIRST PITCH: The Mets will see no shortage of left-handers during a four-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates that opens at 7:10 tonight at Citi Field. And that should mean more Juan Lagares, Andrew Brown and Marlon Byrd and not very much of Jordany Valdespin.

Southpaw Jeff Locke (3-1, 3.21 ERA) faces Dillon Gee (2-4, 6.16) in the series opener. Left-handers Wandy Rodriguez and Francisco Liriano -- the latter in his Pirates debut -- start the following two days before the Mets see 25-year-old right-hander Jeanmar Gomez on Mother’s Day opposite Matt Harvey.

Thursday’s news reports:

• The Mets lost to the White Sox, 6-3, Wednesday at Citi Field to split a two-game series against Robin Ventura’s crew. Jeremy Hefner (0-4) surrendered a homer to the game’s first batter, Alejandro De Aza, and ultimately was charged with four earned runs on eight hits and a walk in six innings.


Mike Stobe/Getty Images
The Mets fell to 0-6 in games started by Jeremy Hefner this season.


The Mets are now winless in Hefner’s six starts this season, although they have scored a combined 10 runs while he has been in those games. The Mets are now 0-7 in the game after Harvey pitches.

Lucas Duda had a solo homer against Jake Peavy in the second inning to even the score at 1. Duda now has seven homers, but only 11 RBIs.

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

• Hefner acknowledged before Wednesday’s start he would be on thin ice if Zack Wheeler were promoted now. “If it was right now, if he came up today, then yeah I would probably be the one that gets sent down,” Hefner told Jorge Castillo in the Star-Ledger. “I’m realistic enough to know that, but I can’t control that.” Wheeler next pitches for Triple-A Las Vegas on Saturday.

• After delivering a pinch-hit single in the eighth, Justin Turner remained in the game in left field -- his first outfield action since limited exposure in 2006 with Class A Billings. Turner, who had one spring-training appearance in the outfield in March, did not have any chances Wednesday -- just a homer over his head off the bat of Alex Rios. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Harvey discussed Tuesday’s flirtation with a perfect game with Mike Lupica on ESPN New York 98.7. Listen to the podcast here.


Seth Wenig/Associated Press
After 24 hours to enjoy his near perfection Tuesday, Matt Harvey is back to being all business.


Benjamin Hoffman in the Times assesses the likelihood of Harvey throwing a no-hitter. Writes Hoffman:

Bill James once devised a method of determining how many no-hitters a pitcher could be expected to have pitched based on how often he allowed hits and how many games he started. While the method was somewhat accurate, with [Nolan] Ryan expected to have thrown the most, the same calculations effectively showed how hard it is to predict a no-hitter. Besides Ryan, the only pitchers reasonably expected to have thrown even one no-hitter over the course of their careers were Walter Johnson, Tom Seaver, Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens.

Clemens, who twice struck out 20 batters in a game, never threw a no-hitter at any level despite finishing his career with a higher expected no-hit total (1.07) than Sandy Koufax (0.92), who threw four.

Using the James method, it would take hundreds of starts for Harvey to be expected to throw a no-hitter regardless of how well he pitches, but his incredibly low hits per nine innings, which outpaced any of the pitchers at the top of James’s list, makes each of his starts intriguing as long as his current magic lasts.

Ron Darling, comparing Dwight Gooden with Harvey to columnist Bob Klapisch in the Record, said: “The results are about the same in their ability to win at-bats even in a hitter’s count. But whereas Doc was Baryshnikov, Harvey is more workmanlike. With Doc, it was all about the strikeouts; Harvey can defeat you in different ways because he has more pitches.”

Read more thoughts on Harvey’s outing after time to reflect in the Times, Newsday and Star-Ledger. By the way, Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was among who texted Harvey after the dominating performance against the Sox.

• Cody Derespina in Newsday recreates the timeline of Mets PR man Jay Horwitz’s tweets about Harvey’s supposed intention to skip last night’s Mets game to watch the Rangers at MSG. Horwitz was joking, but some on Twitter took him literally. Read more in the Daily News.

Frank Francisco worked a scoreless inning with two walks for Class A St. Lucie on Wednesday. Francisco, nearing activation from the disabled list after experiencing spring-training elbow inflammation, pitched for the third time in four days.

• Cesar Puello homered twice, Logan Verrett came within an out of his third career complete game and Jeff Walters produced his Eastern League-leading ninth save in Binghamton’s 3-1 win against Trenton. Aderlin Rodriguez had a walk-off single that plated T.J. Rivera as St. Lucie beat Daytona, 6-5, in 10 innings. Zach Lutz produced a three-run homer and Kirk Nieuwenhuis also went deep after replacing ejected Collin Cowgill, but starter Carlos Torres surrendered nine runs in four innings as Las Vegas lost to Round Rock, 9-5. Wally Backman also was ejected by the first-base ump after Cowgill was ruled out to end the fifth inning.

• White Sox left-hander Hector Santiago, who tossed seven scoreless innings opposite Harvey on Tuesday, talks in the Star-Ledger about his Newark roots. Santiago’s favorite player growing up: fellow southpaw John Franco.

From the bloggers … Mike Baxter discusses the Mets' hitting approach with Metsmerized Online. … Mets Police offers some unofficial rules for Saturday’s Banner Day. … Faith and Fear reports on one Mets fan who experienced his own kind of perfection at Citi Field Tuesday. … John Delcos at Mets Report writes that it isn’t important for Harvey to pitch a no-hitter -- just to pitch.

BIRTHDAYS: Jerry Buchek, an infielder in the late ’60s with the Mets, was born on this date in 1942.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: What is the one change you would immediately make to the 25-man roster if you were in charge?

Series preview: Mets vs. White Sox

May, 7, 2013
5/07/13
9:28
AM ET

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.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Carlos Torres
WINS ERA SO IP
2 2.08 11 8
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Lagares .314
HRL. Duda 3
RBIL. Duda 8
RE. Young Jr. 12
OPSJ. Lagares .816
ERAJ. Mejia 2.81
SOJ. Mejia 18

NEW YORK CALENDAR