New York Mets: Jayson Werth

Rapid Reaction: Mets 4, Nats 3

September, 12, 2014
Sep 12
10:21
PM ET
NEW YORK -- The longest-ever winning streak by a visiting club against the Mets ended Friday.

The Mets beat the Nationals, 4-3, Friday to snap Washington’s 12-game Citi Field winning streak.

Dillon Gee failed to hold a three-run lead, with Anthony Rendon eventually evening the score in the fifth on a replay-awarded solo homer. Juan Lagares delivered a tiebreaking RBI double against Gio Gonzalez a half-inning later to restore the Mets’ lead.

Gee, who allowed a season-high nine hits, departed with two baserunners aboard and one out in the sixth. Carlos Torres entered and coaxed an inning-ending double-play grounder from Asdrubal Cabrera.

Torres also induced an inning-ending double play in a scoreless seventh. Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia followed with scoreless frames, although Mejia allowed the tying run to reach scoring position.

The Nats nonetheless have out-homered the Mets 32-6 in the past 13 meetings in Queens. Washington is 26-5 at Citi Field since Sept. 12, 2011.

Travis d'Arnaud produced a three-run double in the first against Gonzalez, although an E-2 allowed the third run to score. It was d’Arnaud’s first hit in 10 at-bats this season with the bases loaded. Gonzalez also surrendered three first-inning runs against the Mets on May 17.

Payback? Albeit on an 0-2 count, Gonzalez hit the second batter of the game. Lagares was drilled on the left side -- the same spot where Jayson Werth was struck Thursday, which led to Bartolo Colon's ejection. Lagares has been hit by pitches seven times this season. Three of those plunkings have come against the Nats.

What’s next: Zack Wheeler (10-9, 3.38 ERA) opposes right-hander Doug Fister (13-8, 2.53) at 7:10 p.m. Saturday.

Mets not expecting retaliation from Nats

September, 12, 2014
Sep 12
4:35
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Terry Collins said he does not expect any retaliatory plunkings on Friday after Bartolo Colon drilled two batters in the series opener, including Jayson Werth on the left side, which prompted Colon to get ejected.

Collins said the Mets routinely deal with aggressive inside pitching from the Washington Nationals. So, he insinuated, they’re not exactly an innocent party anyway.

“I don’t know why there would be,” Collins said about retaliation from the Nats. “We certainly can sit down and have a debate with them if they want, because we had an issue with them drilling [Juan] Lagares the last time. They knock David [Wright] down all the time. We just keep playing.

“It was one of those things. And I’ll bet if you ask Jayson Werth was he surprised, probably the answer is no. I think the deal was the ball got a little up. I think that’s probably what bothered everybody, because certainly after you saw what happened to the two guys last night (Giancarlo Stanton and Chase Headley), if you’re going to hit somebody, you certainly don’t want it to be up around the head.”

Stanton and Headley both were sent to the hospital after beanings.

Morning Briefing: Nats still Queens kings

September, 12, 2014
Sep 12
7:46
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: The Washington Nationals remain the Mets’ daddy.

With Thursday’s series-opening win, the Nats extended their Citi Field winning streak to 12 games. That’s the longest winning streak ever by a visiting team in Queens. Washington has won 26 of its last 30 games at Citi Field.

Dillon Gee looks to snap the streak Friday. Gee (6-7, 3.74 ERA) opposes left-hander Gio Gonzalez (8-9, 3.78) at 7:10 p.m.

Friday’s news reports:

• Appearing on WFAN on Thursday, Matt Harvey predicted he would pitch on Opening Day 2015 against the Nats and earn the victory. Read more in the Post, Daily News and Newsday.

Daniel Murphy was struck in the left wrist with a fastball from Matt Thornton and departed Thursday’s game in the eighth inning with heavy swelling. X-rays were negative. Three innings earlier, Travis d'Arnaud was pulled by Terry Collins with a wrist-injury flare-up. Matt den Dekker already was out for a second straight day with a left hand bruise resulting from a hit-by-pitch against the Colorado Rockies.

Left-hander Dana Eveland is unlikely to pitch again this season because of continued elbow inflammation, the Daily News reports.

Read more on the injuries in the Record.

Bartolo Colon was ejected in the fourth inning after drilling Jayson Werth in the left side. It was the second time in the game Colon had followed surrendering a homer with hitting a batter. Despite loading the bases twice in the latter innings, the Mets went on to lose to the Nats, 6-2, in Thursday’s series opener.

“I know that Bartolo has fantastic control,” Nats manager Matt Williams told reporters postgame, via The Washington Post. “I don’t have an opinion one way or the other. All I know is that he’s got exceptional control. So, you know, we deal with it and move on.”

Said Werth: “We don’t have time for b-------.”

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

• The Mets wore first-responder caps pregame as part of their remembrance of 9/11. Earlier in the day, Jacob deGrom, John Franco and Murphy visited NYPD headquarters at 1 Police Plaza. Read more in the Post.

• Double-A Binghamton looks to complete a sweep of its best-of-five series Eastern League Championship Series against Richmond, a San Francisco Giants affiliate, on Friday night. Long Island native Steven Matz gets the assignment in Game 3 for the B-Mets. Read a preview from Lynn Worthy in the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin.

• Columnist Larry Brooks in the Post suggests the Mets play it safe innings-wise with their young arms. Jared Diamond in the Journal and Mike Vorkonuv in the Star-Ledger also address that topic.

• In a scary scene in Milwaukee, MVP candidate Giancarlo Stanton was struck in the face with a pitch. He suffered multiple facial fractures and other damage.

From the bloggers …Faith and Fear finds the Mets in the middle of more than just the standings. … John Delcos at NY Mets Report suggests if the Mets want to finish strong, they didn’t quite go about it the right way on Thursday night.

BIRTHDAYS: Luis Castillo turns 39.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Do you think Matt Harvey will start on Opening Day for the Mets next season?

Bartolo Colon can't understand ejection

September, 11, 2014
Sep 11
11:37
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Bartolo Colon pleaded ignorance as to why he was ejected in the fourth inning by plate umpire John Tumpane.

Colon was given the heave-ho Thursday after hitting Jayson Werth on the left side, one pitch after Anthony Rendon had homered. Colon also had hit Ian Desmond in the first inning one batter after serving up a homer to Adam LaRoche.

“I was surprised,” Colon said through an interpreter about his ejection, “because … I hit Desmond after the home run and nothing happened.”

Colon suggested he was merely trying to get in on Werth.

“That was a two-seam fastball that moved inside to him,” Colon said. “I was trying to pitch him inside.”

Terry Collins, who also was ejected, said he was startled Colon was flat on Thursday. The Mets had entered the game on a four-game winning streak that had sparked talk of a Hail Mary run at the wild card. Instead, the Amazin's lost 6-2.

“I was a little surprised by it all,” Collins said about being down 6-0 after 3˝ innings. “I actually thought with what’s gone on that Bart would step up and give us a good ballgame. … He just never had his good command. You don’t look up in the third inning and see 70 pitches when Bartolo Colon is pitching.”

Rapid Reaction: Nats 6, Mets 2

September, 11, 2014
Sep 11
10:21
PM ET
NEW YORK -- The wild-card dreaming probably can stop now.

Bartolo Colon had an early shower and the Washington Nationals continued their dominance at Citi Field with a 6-2 win against the Mets in Thursday’s series opener. The Amazin’s dropped 6˝ games behind the victorious Pittsburgh Pirates for the second wild-card spot with 15 games remaining.

The Nats have won 12 straight at Citi Field -- the longest winning streak ever by a visiting team in Queens. The Atlanta Braves won 10 straight at Shea Stadium in 1990 and ’91.

Washington is 26-4 at Citi Field since September 2011.

The teams participated in a pregame remembrance ceremony marking the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Jefferson Crowther threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Crowther’s son Welles saved countless lives in the World Trade Center’s South Tower, including by carrying one woman down 17 flights. He died attempting more rescues.

Uh-oh: The Mets potentially lost two players to injuries during Thursday's game.

Daniel Murphy was hit in the left wrist by a pitch from Matt Thornton in the eighth inning and departed with extreme swelling. X-rays were negative.

Travis d'Arnaud departed the game for the start of the fifth inning and was replaced behind the plate by Anthony Recker. There was no immediate word on the cause.

Recker produced a solo homer in the bottom of that frame to pull the Mets within 6-1, but struck out to leave the bases loaded in the eighth.

Yer out! Colon was ejected in the fourth inning by plate umpire John Tumpane after drilling Jayson Werth in the left side with the first pitch after Anthony Rendon had homered to give the Nats a 6-0 lead. In the first inning, Colon had surrendered a two-run homer to Adam LaRoche, then also hit the ensuing batter, Ian Desmond.

Colon entered the game with three hit batters in 27 starts this season.

Terry Collins also was ejected after confronting Tumpane.

Colon became the first Mets pitcher ejected for what was deemed intentionally hitting a batter since D.J. Carrasco on May 15, 2012 against Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun. It was in that game that Collins pulled David Wright for fear of retribution. Carrasco made an appearance the following day, served up a homer to Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier and was released. He never pitched in the majors again.

Colon’s final line: 3+ IP, 7 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 HR. His ERA swelled to 4.14.

Hello again: Daisuke Matsuzaka, who received a cortisone injection in his right elbow nine days ago, entered after Colon’s ejection and contributed three scoreless innings. It marked Matsuzaka’s first appearance since Aug. 30. He allowed one hit and three walks in a 44-pitch effort.

Not him again: Maybe the Mets should pitch around LaRoche. In addition to the two-run homer in the first, LaRoche also had an RBI single in the third. He finished 2-for-5 with two runs scored.

LaRoche is hitting .361 (13-for-36) with five homers and 14 RBIs in 10 games against the Mets this season. He is fourth among active players in homers against the Mets with 28, trailing only a trio of Phillies -- Ryan Howard (41), Chase Utley (33) and Jimmy Rollins (30).

Brain locks: The Mets had at least three gaffes during the ugly game.

With the lead just 2-0 in the bottom of the second, the Mets placed runners on the corners with none out against Tanner Roark. They came up empty, thanks in part to a mental lapse by d’Arnaud.

First, Curtis Granderson popped out in foul territory to Rendon at third base. Then, Dilson Herrera popped out to second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera. Apparently having lost track of the outs, d’Arnaud broke for second on the pop fly. He was doubled off first base.

A half-inning later, Colon fielded a comebacker off the bat of Desmond and threw to second base to try to get the lead runner. Wilmer Flores and Herrera had some confusion, no one was stationed at the bag and Colon was charged with an errant throw. That led to an unearned run.

Eric Young Jr. was thrown out attempting to go first to third on an errant pickoff throw by Roark in the sixth with the Mets trailing by five runs.

Snapped! Bobby Abreu, in his first at-bat since rejoining the Mets, pinch hit in the eighth and singled up the middle. That snapped an 0-for-22 drought as a pinch hitter in the majors.

What’s next: Dillon Gee (6-7, 3.74 ERA) opposes left-hander Gio Gonzalez (8-9, 3.78) at 7:10 p.m. Friday.

Morning Briefing: Nats own the place

August, 14, 2014
Aug 14
5:30
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: The Washington Nationals could make history Thursday at Citi Field.

In the 53-season existence of the New York Mets, no visiting team has ever won 11 straight games.

The 1991-92 Atlanta Braves, who won 10 straight at Shea Stadium, and the 2013-14 Nats currently are tied for the longest road winning streak in Queens.

The Nats have won 24 of their last 28 games at Citi Field.

Dillon Gee (4-4, 3.54 ERA) opposes right-hander Stephen Strasburg (8-10, 3.68) in the 7:10 p.m. series finale.

Gee is coming off a weekend start in Philly in which he allowed a seventh-inning solo homer to Carlos Ruiz and no other damage in what became a 2-1 win in 11 innings.

Strasburg is 1-8 with a 5.25 ERA in 12 road starts this season. His lone start against the Mets this season came on Opening Day, when Andrew Brown produced a three-run homer in the first inning and Strasburg ultimately allowed four runs in six innings.

For those still keeping track, the Mets (57-64) trail the first-place Nats by 9˝ games. They are seven games out of the second wild-card position with 41 games remaining.

They Amazin’s will need to go 24-17 the rest of the way to reach .500 and snap a five-season streak of losing seasons, which is tied with the Houston Astros for the longest active streak in the majors. The Mets need to go 33-8 to reach Sandy Alderson’s 90-win goal.

Thursday’s news reports:

• The Mets are not headed for a managerial change for the 2015 season, ESPNNewYork.com correspondent Danny Knobler reports. Jon Heyman first reported at CBSSports.com that Terry Collins, who is under contract for 2015, is “likely” to return, barring a Mets collapse. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• A defiant but respectful Matt Harvey still wants to pitch this season, he told ESPN New York 98.7 on Wednesday. The adamancy came after Harvey threw a 27-pitch session off a mound in Port St. Lucie, Fla. It also came amid the Mets saying the ace will be further slow-tracked in light of Jeremy Hefner's major setback returning from Tommy John surgery. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Newsday.

Asdrubal Cabrera had an eighth-inning solo homer against Jeurys Familia and a comeback bid fell short as the Mets lost to Washington, 3-2, Wednesday. Travis d'Arnaud homered against Rafael Soriano in the bottom of the ninth to pull the Mets within a run, but Matt den Dekker was thrown out at the plate in a play upheld on replay. The Mets are now 0-for-14 with runners in scoring position in the series.

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

• Read more about Bartolo Colon's effort in the loss in Newsday.

Daisuke Matsuzaka, who originally was expected to make a rehab start for Brooklyn, instead will make that appearance Saturday with Double-A Binghamton during a doubleheader at Reading.

Jacob deGrom is expected to resume throwing Thursday. DeGrom should miss only one more start -- Sunday against the Chicago Cubs. He then would bump Rafael Montero the following turn. DeGrom is on the DL with rotator-cuff tendinitis.

• Matt Reynolds had a pair of triples and three RBIs and John Lannan allowed three runs in six innings as Las Vegas beat Iowa, 6-4. Michael Fulmer allowed one run in six innings in the opener as St. Lucie split a doubleheader at Fort Myers. Octavio Acosta allowed one run in eight innings as Savannah beat Asheville, 4-1. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Mets minor-league right-hander Derrick Bernard received a 62-game suspension for testing positive for a metabolite of Nandrolone, a performance-enhancing drug, MLB announced. Bernard, 22, had made six relief appearances in the Gulf Coast League this season.

• Nats right fielder Jayson Werth received a cortisone shot in his right shoulder and will be active but unavailable for Thursday’s series finale. Read more at NatsInsider.com.

Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki has a torn labrum in his left hip and will undergo season-ending surgery Friday in Vail, Colo.

• Mr. Met did the Ice Bucket Challenge on Wednesday. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Daily News.

From the bloggers … Blogging Mets urges Mets fans to sign a petition to help Gil Hodges get into the Hall of Fame.

BIRTHDAYS: Mets PR czar Jay Horwitz turns 69. ... Former outfielder McKay Christensen is 39.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Will the Mets finish .500?

Wednesday's Mets-Nats lineups

August, 13, 2014
Aug 13
3:14
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Here are the lineups as the Mets face the Washington Nationals at 7:10 p.m. Wednesday at Citi Field.

Mets
Curtis Granderson, rf
Daniel Murphy, 2b
David Wright, 3b
Lucas Duda, 1b
Travis d'Arnaud, c
Matt den Dekker, lf
Juan Lagares, cf
Wilmer Flores, ss
Bartolo Colon, rhp

Nationals
Michael Taylor, cf
Asdrubal Cabrera, 2b
Anthony Rendon, 3b
Adam LaRoche, 1b
Ian Desmond, ss
Bryce Harper, rf
Wilson Ramos, c
Kevin Frandsen, lf
Jordan Zimmermann, rhp

Matt Harvey threw a 27-pitch session off a mound Wednesday.

Daisuke Matsuzaka rehab start Saturday will be with Double-A Binghamton on Saturday during a doubleheader at Reading, not with Brooklyn.

Jayson Werth (shoulder) is out of the lineup for the fourth time in five games with Washington.

Series preview: Mets vs. Nationals

August, 11, 2014
Aug 11
6:30
PM ET

Getty ImagesThe Mets are due to face Doug Fister, Jordan Zimmermann and Stephen Strasburg at Citi Field.
METS (57-62, fourth place/NL East) vs. WASHINGTON NATIONALS (63-53, first place/NL East)

Tuesday: RHP Rafael Montero (0-2, 5.40) vs. RHP Doug Fister (11-3, 2.49), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Bartolo Colon (11-9, 3.97) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (7-5, 3.06), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: RHP Dillon Gee (4-4, 3.54) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (8-10, 3.68), 7:10 p.m. ET

Nationals short hops

• Center fielder Denard Span has reached base safely via hit or walk in 36 straight games, the longest active streak in the majors, and the second-longest streak in Nationals history. Ryan Zimmerman holds the franchise record, with 43 straight games reaching base in 2008. The longest streak in the majors this season belongs to Toronto’s Jose Bautista, with 37 straight games reaching base, through May 10.

Span also has a 14-game hitting streak. He has 23 steals. That is approaching the career-high 26 steals he produced in 2010.

Stephen Strasburg is 1-8 with a 5.25 ERA in 12 road starts this season. Overall, he already has surrendered 18 homers in 2014, two more than his previous career high. Strasburg nonetheless has a National League-best 186 strikeouts.


Jonathan Ernst/Getty ImagesDenard Span has reached base in 36 straight games.


• Outfielder Steven Souza landed on the disabled list with a bruised left shoulder, which he suffered in a collision with the right-field wall Friday at Atlanta while trying to catch Freddie Freeman's homer. Outfielder Michael Taylor has been promoted. He hit a combined .315 with 22 homers and 63 RBIs with Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse this season.

Souza was filling in Friday because Jayson Werth was sidelined with right shoulder and ankle soreness for two weekend games. Werth returned to the starting lineup Sunday night.

Werth earned the NL Player of the Month award for July. He hit .337 with six homers and an NL-leading 24 RBIs during the month.

Bryce Harper created a stir Saturday in Atlanta when he partially wiped out the “A” in the dirt behind the batter’s box at Turner Field. Fans lustily booed him the remainder of the series. Harper denied intent.

Meanwhile, manager Matt Williams vehemently said last week there is no intention of demoting Harper, who recently had struggled. Williams has asked Harper to bunt less frequently.

• The Braves snapped an eight-game losing streak and won two of three weekend games against Washington to pull within 3˝ games of the first-place Nats. The middle game ended at 2:29 a.m. Sunday. It was delayed by rain at the beginning for three hours, 41 minutes.

• The Nats acquired free-agent-to-be Asdrubal Cabrera and cash from the Cleveland Indians at the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline for 24-year-old infielder Zach Walters. The intent is for Cabrera, 28, to primarily play second base, displacing switch-hitting Danny Espinosa in the lead role at that position. Cabrera, an All-Star with the Indians in 2011 and ’12, last had started at second base in 2009 (28 games). He could be a Mets candidate to sign for shortstop during the upcoming offseason.

Doug Fister is 5-0 with a 1.80 ERA when pitching on extra rest this season, which he will do again Tuesday.

• Zimmerman is expected to miss most if not all of the remainder of the regular season with a Grade 3 right hamstring strain -- the most severe of the levels. Zimmerman originally suffered the injury on July 22 at Colorado. Anthony Rendon has shifted from second to third base minus Zimmerman, which helped fuel Cabrera’s acquisition.

• The Nationals claimed left-handed reliever Matt Thornton from the Yankees last week. Thornton made his D.C. debut against the Mets last Wednesday. Thornton is under contract for next season at $3.5 million.

• Catcher Wilson Ramos did not appear in last week’s series against the Mets in D.C. He was on paternity leave for the opening two games, then went unused in the series finale.

• First baseman Adam LaRoche had a rough July, hitting .159 (14-for-88) with one homer. He then got on track against the Mets last week. LaRoche went 6-for-11 with two homers, three RBIs and three walks during the three-game series. LaRoche’s father Dave continues to fill in as pitching coach with the Brooklyn Cyclones. He is subbing for Tom Signore, who is dealing with a head-related injury, which Signore suffered getting struck with a baseball while filling in for Frank Viola with Las Vegas.

• Washington has the top run differential in the National League at plus-79.

• Closer Rafael Soriano became the 46th pitcher to notch 200 saves on July 27.

• Shortstop Ian Desmond's 70 RBIs rank fourth in the NL. Desmond launched his 19th homer of the season on Sunday.

• Struggling backup outfielder Nate McLouth landed on the disabled list last Monday with right shoulder inflammation. He has hit only .173 this season.

Rapid Reaction: Nats 5, Mets 3 (13)

August, 7, 2014
Aug 7
5:11
PM ET
WASHINGTON -- At least Jacob deGrom wasn’t tagged with the loss.

Carlos Torres, the last remaining reliever, surrendered a two-run homer to Bryce Harper in bottom of the 13th as the Mets suffered a 5-3 walk-off defeat against the Nationals in the rubber game on Thursday afternoon. Torres has surrendered at least one run in four of his past five appearances. He did not record an out.

The Mets (54-61) dropped nine games behind first-place Washington.

Off the hook: A quality start was not enough to prolong deGrom’s winning streak, but a seventh-inning rally saved the rookie right-hander from getting tagged with a loss.

With the Mets trailing 3-1, deGrom departed for pinch hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis in the seventh. The Mets evened the score that inning against Jordan Zimmermann and Drew Storen.

DeGrom’s winning streak nonetheless was snapped at five straight starts, two shy of matching the franchise rookie record shared by Jason Isringhausen (1995), Ron Darling (1984) and Dwight Gooden (1984).

DeGrom’s franchise rookie record streak of 67 1/3 consecutive innings without allowing a homer also ended. Ian Desmond produced a two-run shot in the second inning to open the game’s scoring. DeGrom had not surrendered a homer since June 5, to Travis Wood at Wrigley Field.

Desmond plated Adam LaRoche for the second time in the game on an RBI single in the fourth to stake Washington to a 3-1 lead.

DeGrom’s final line: 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR. He now is 6-5 with a 2.87 ERA for the season.

Rally time: Nieuwenhuis improved to 7-for-17 as a pinch hitter this season when he delivered a one-out single in the seventh that advanced Wilmer Flores to second and chased Zimmermann. Storen entered and uncorked a wild pitch with Eric Young Jr. batting that advanced both runners.

E.Y. Jr. then smoked a liner to right-center. Jayson Werth ran it down in the gap, but Flores tagged up and scored to move the Mets within 3-2. Curtis Granderson, in the midst of a 1-for-23 rut, then singled past Desmond at shortstop and into center field to plate Nieuwenhuis and even the score at 3.

Hit man: Daniel Murphy continued to torment Zimmermann. Murphy went 3-for-3 against the ace, including an RBI double in the third that pulled the Mets within 2-1. Murphy has 16 hits against Zimmermann, the most of any major leaguer.

Get out of the way: In only his second start since July 26, E.Y. Jr. arguably cost the Mets a run. Young stepped in front of Juan Lagares in left-center and fielded Desmond’s fourth-inning single. E.Y. Jr. casually returned the ball to the infield, allowing LaRoche to score from second base.

All aboard! The Mets take Amtrak to Philly for a four-game wraparound series. Bartolo Colon (10-9, 4.12 ERA) opposes Phillies right-hander A.J. Burnett (6-11, 4.16) in Friday’s 7:05 p.m. opener at Citizens Bank Park.

Morning Briefing: Nat-swatting

August, 6, 2014
Aug 6
5:24
AM ET
WASHINGTON

FIRST PITCH: The Mets entered their series at Washington having lost 10 of their last 11 games against the Nationals.

Now, after a victory in Tuesday’s opener, the Mets attempt to make it two in a row on Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. at Nationals Park.

Jonathon Niese (5-7, 3.24 ERA) opposes right-hander Doug Fister (10-3, 2.68).

Before the game, the Mets will visit Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

“It’s going to be a humbling experience,” Daniel Murphy said.

Wednesday’s news reports:

Zack Wheeler had a 33-pitch second inning and allowed the first two batters to reach in four of his seven innings. Yet Wheeler managed to limit Washington to one run in 6 2/3 innings as the Mets beat the Nationals, 6-1, Tuesday. Wheeler is 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA in his past seven starts.

Eric Campbell threw out Jayson Werth at the plate and Juan Lagares had another big-time catch to stymie the Nats.

The Mets now own a 54-59 record and trail first-place Washington by seven games. The Mets also are seven games out in the wild card.

Lucas Duda, starting against a left-hander, went 0-for-3 against Gio Gonzalez but contributed after the southpaw’s departure.

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

• Columnist John Harper in the Daily News believes that while the Mets might trade from their pitching surplus this offseason, Wheeler is making himself practically untouchable.

• In his first “official” mound session, Matt Harvey threw 20 pitches in Port St. Lucie, Fla., on Tuesday afternoon and pronounced the activity a success. Watch video at TCPalm.com. Read more in the Times, Daily News, Newsday, Journal and at MLB.com.

• Stan Conte, vice president of medical services for the Los Angeles Dodgers, tells Marc Carig in Newsday that 12 months appears the minimum prudent recovery time following Tommy John surgery.

"When we start seeing some of these guys with a second Tommy John, it worries me as the guy who does the rehab that we're going too fast," Conte told Carig. "I don't want the perception to be that everybody comes backs at 12 months, and if they come back at 14 months, they're behind schedule. We do this all the time. Everybody quotes the same thing. It's 12 to 18 months. But nobody pays attention to the 18 months."

• Columnist Mike Vaccaro in the Post suggests that Masahiro Tanaka and Harvey throwing on consecutive days provide hope for both New York teams.

• Mets games on SNY are the seventh-most popular programming in prime time in New York -- one of the lowest rankings for a team in its home city, according to Nielsen data compiled by Maury Brown at Forbes. Yankees games on YES rank third in NYC in prime time. Twelve teams are the most popular prime-time programming in their home cities.

Rafael Montero allowed one hit in eight scoreless innings and Matt den Dekker had another multi-hit game as Las Vegas blanked Sacramento, 3-0. Tyler Pill tossed seven scoreless innings and Brian Burgamy had four RBIs as Binghamton built a big lead and held on to beat Richmond, 9-6. Miller Diaz had a seven-inning shutout as Savannah split a doubleheader with Charleston. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Ever spot those red marks on the necks of Mets players, particularly on Daisuke Matsuzaka? Jared Diamond in the Journal speaks with players about the ancient Chinese technique of cupping therapy, which several Mets -- and other major leaguers -- employ with the team’s blessing.

Not everyone is sold it is effective, though.

"There's absolutely zero evidence that cupping has any kind of positive role in medicine," Barrie Cassileth, the chief of integrative medicine service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, told Diamond. "I cannot conceive of any benefit except a psychological benefit.”

• The Mets accidentally gave away a toy truck with a Phillies logo on the side during their last homestand, Eliot Shorr-Parks writes at NJ.com.

• Darryl Strawberry said allegations that a former teammate beheaded a cat in the mid-1980s are true, Bernie Augustine writes in the Daily News.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who had a pinch-hit RBI single in his return to the majors Tuesday, told MLB.com pregame about his season of promotions and demotions: "You try and keep it on as much of an even keel as possible. I think one thing that's really been more evident to me this year is that it kind of builds character. I think you can really take some good stuff out of it. You really learn that you can only control how you play. You learn that it's a business in baseball."

BIRTHDAYS: Wilmer Flores turns 23. ... Victor Zambrano, who once was traded for Scott Kazmir, is 39. ... Reigning South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week John Gant is 22.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Can Zack Wheeler be a No. 1 starter?

Rapid Reaction: Mets 6, Nats 1

August, 5, 2014
Aug 5
10:18
PM ET
WASHINGTON -- To say Zack Wheeler walked a tightrope would be an understatement. Regardless, he ended up barely scathed on the scoreboard … and a winner.

Wheeler faced a pair of baserunners aboard and none out in four of the seven innings he worked and had high early pitch counts (46 through two innings, 65 through three innings). Yet he somehow managed to limit Washington to one run in 6 2/3 innings as the Mets produced a 6-1 win against the first-place Nationals on Tuesday night.

The Amazin's won for only the second time in their last dozen games against the Nats. With 49 games remaining, the Mets (54-59) now trail Washington by seven games.

Wheeler issued three walks and a wild pitch in a rocky second inning, but limited the damage to one run in that frame.


Joy R. Absalon/USA TODAY SportsZack Wheeler allowed one run in 6 2/3 innings Tuesday against Washington.


He has now made seven straight starts in which he has limited his opponent to two runs or fewer while logging at least six innings in each appearance. That’s the longest single-season streak by a Mets pitcher since Masato Yoshii went eight straight outings in 1999 allowing two or fewer runs while completing at least six innings in each.

Wheeler's final line in a 109-pitch outing: 6.2 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 5 K.

Thanks! A pair of Nats plays on the bases helped Wheeler improve to 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA in his past seven starts.

A half-inning after the Mets took a 2-0 lead on Wheeler’s two-out bloop single in front of sliding right fielder Jayson Werth, Wheeler loaded the bases with three walks in the second. With No. 8 hitter Jose Lobaton batting, Wheeler then uncorked a wild pitch that got the Nats on the scoreboard and advanced Ian Desmond to third base and Asdrubal Cabrera to second base.

Lobaton then hit what should have been a run-scoring groundout to shortstop. However, the grounder struck Cabrera as he was running to third base. He was ruled out. And Desmond, who was racing home, was forced to return to third base on the dead ball. Wheeler ultimately stranded Desmond there. He ended the 33-pitch inning by coaxing a flyout from opposing pitcher Gio Gonzalez.

Still clinging to that 2-1 lead in the sixth, Wheeler surrendered a leadoff double to Werth. Adam LaRoche then singled to left field, and Nats third-base coach Bob Henley waved home Werth. Making only his second major league start in left field, natural infielder Eric Campbell threw out Werth for his second career outfield assist. A replay review initiated by the crew confirmed Travis d'Arnaud had not improperly blocked the plate.

Campbell also had an outfield assist May 22 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. That happened to be Campbell’s only other major league start in left field. That time, Yasiel Puig was doubled off second base on Hanley Ramirez's lineout.

Adding on: The Mets finally got some breathing room in the seventh.

After Gonzalez departed with a pair of Mets on base and none out, Wheeler laid down a sacrifice bunt against Drew Storen. Juan Lagares was drilled with a pitch in the left arm to load the bases. And Daniel Murphy followed with a two-run single passed Cabrera’s backhand at second base as the Mets took a 4-1 lead. Lucas Duda added an RBI single later in the frame.

Had the recently acquired Cabrera been able to field Murphy’s grounder on the arguably makeable play, the Nats may have escaped with an inning-ending double play, still only trailing by a run.

Ouch: Lagares received an escort off the field from trainer Ray Ramirez and Terry Collins after appearing to twist his left ankle -- and possibly landing on an arm -- on an inning-ending catch in the seventh that stranded a runner at third base. Lagares remained in the game.

Audition flop: Getting a rare start against a left-hander, Duda went 0-for-3 against Gonzalez with two groundouts.

Welcome back: In his return to the majors, Kirk Nieuwenhuis had a pinch-hit RBI single in the eighth against Blake Treinen that staked the Mets to a 6-1 lead.

What’s next: Jonathon Niese (5-7, 3.24 ERA) opposes right-hander Doug Fister (10-3, 2.68) at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday.

Series preview: Mets at Nats

August, 4, 2014
Aug 4
11:43
PM ET

Getty ImagesThe Mets are due to face Gio Gonzalez, Doug Fister and Jordan Zimmermann in D.C.
METS (53-59, fourth place/NL East) vs. WASHINGTON NATIONALS (60-50, first place/NL East)

Tuesday: RHP Zack Wheeler (6-8, 3.60) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (6-7, 3.88), 7:05 p.m. ET

Wednesday: LHP Jonathon Niese (5-7, 3.24) vs. RHP Doug Fister (10-3, 2.68), 7:05 p.m. ET

Thursday: RHP Jacob deGrom (6-5, 2.77) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (7-5, 3.00), 12:35 p.m. ET

Nationals short hops

• The Nats acquired free-agent-to-be Asdrubal Cabrera and cash from the Cleveland Indians at Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline for 24-year-old infielder Zach Walters. The intent is for Cabrera, 28, to primarily play second base, displacing switch-hitting Danny Espinosa in the lead role at that position. Cabrera, an All-Star with the Indians in 2011 and ’12, last had started at second base in 2009 (28 games).

Ryan Zimmerman is expected to miss a substantial amount of time with a right hamstring strain. Anthony Rendon has shifted from second to third base minus Zimmerman, which helped fuel Cabrera’s acquisition.


Alex Brandon/Associated PressDenard Span has reached base safely in 30 straight games.


• Catcher Wilson Ramos will be placed on paternity leave before Tuesday’s series opener and is due to miss the entire three-game series. Jose Lobaton and, potentially, Sandy Leon as a call-up will fill in behind the plate.

• Struggling backup outfielder Nate McLouth landed on the disabled list on Monday with right shoulder inflammation. He has hit only .173 this season. Outfielder Steven Souza, 25, has been promoted from Triple-A Syracuse to take the roster spot.

Souza holds several International League-leading totals: a.354 average, .435 on-base percentage, .601 slugging percentage and 70 RBIs. He also has 18 Triple-A homers. He went 1-for-8 with a walk in a major league cameo in April with Scott Hairston on the DL.

Souza should have a backup role considering the Nats have Bryce Harper, Denard Span and Jayson Werth as regulars. He reportedly took grounders at first base Monday, but is not expected to work there in-game anytime soon.

• Span has reached base safely via hit or walk in 30 straight games, the longest active streak in the majors, and matching the second-longest streak in Nationals history. Zimmerman holds the record, with 43 straight games reaching base in 2008. Alfonso Soriano in 2006 also reached base safely in 30 straight.

Span, a center fielder, also has 23 steals. That is approaching the career-high 26 steals he produced in 2010.

• Werth earned the NL Player of the Month award for July. He hit .337 with six homers and an NL-leading 24 RBIs during the month.

Jordan Zimmermann tossed seven scoreless innings in his last start, in an 11-0 win against the Philadelphia Phillies. He has not allowed a homer at Nationals Park in his last nine starts. The last batter to take him deep in D.C.: Miami’s Derek Dietrich, on April 9. Zimmermann has allowed one run or fewer eight times this season. He is the winningest pitcher in Nats history, with a 50-40 record.

Gio Gonzalez has been knocked out in the fourth inning in two of his past three starts. He spent part of May on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation. Gonzalez has 38 career wins apiece with the Nats and with the Oakland Athletics.

• Rendon homered Saturday, snapping the Nats’ homerless drought at nine games. It was their longest homerless drought since the team moved to D.C. from Montreal in 2005.

• Washington has the top run differential in the National League at plus-76.

Rafael Soriano became the 46th pitcher to notch 200 saves on July 27.

• Shortstop Ian Desmond’s 66 RBIs rank fifth in the NL.

• Washington lost a rainout makeup against Baltimore on Monday night.

• First baseman Adam LaRoche had a rough July, hitting .159 (14-for-88) with one homer. LaRoche’s father Dave has filled in as pitching coach with the Brooklyn Cyclones of late while Tom Signore has dealt with a head-related injury.

• Manager Matt Williams has asked Harper to bunt less frequently.

• Washington's bullpen has surrendered 18 runs in its past 20 2/3 innings.
WASHINGTON

FIRST PITCH: The Mets wrap up a weekend series in D.C. on Sunday, with Juan Lagares expected to be in the starting lineup for a second straight game.

Zack Wheeler (1-3, 4.53 ERA) opposes Washington Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (2-1, 3.59) in the 1:35 p.m. rubber game.

Sunday’s news reports:


Kathy Kmonicek/Associated PressThe Post reports Saul Katz (center) want brother-in-law Fred Wilpon to sell, too.


• Josh Kosman in the Post suggests Saul Katz tried to do more than broach selling his share of the Mets. He reportedly unsuccessfully tried to convince brother-in-law Fred Wilpon to part with a controlling interest in the team. Citing “word around Major League Baseball,” Kosman writes:

Wilpon, 74, balked at the move largely because he wants to turn over the not-so-Amazin’s to his son, COO Jeff Wilpon.

Katz, 77, has children who are not interested in running the team.

Katz denied the New York Times report that he was interested in selling his stake. “I have no intention of selling my share of the Mets nor have I ever had any intention of selling my share,” Katz said.

• Lagares had a dramatic return to the lineup. He homered, had three RBIs and robbed Jayson Werth of a homer as the Mets beat the Nats, 5-2, Saturday. Jenrry Mejia converted his first major-league save, but is leery about pitching back-to-back days too soon. The Mets had lost their previous nine games against Washington. Eric Campbell produced a two-run single in his second career start. Bartolo Colon bounced back from a subpar showing against the Yankees. Colon allowed two runs in eight innings to earn his first win since April 24. Nats left-hander Gio Gonzalez allowed five runs in three innings and may have an injured shoulder.

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

• Read more on Mejia in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger and Record.

• Read more on Campbell in the Star-Ledger.

• Columnist Bob Klapisch in the Record suggests there’s a fatal flaw with the Mets, writing:

The real problem is the organization’s stubborn insistence on long at-bats, a philosophy that’s been the norm in the big leagues for almost a decade. Extending a plate appearance to a fourth or fifth pitch theoretically increases the odds of a mistake fastball slogging through the heart of the strike zone. This allows for an ambush -- a home run -- or at least a base on balls, two of the most valued metrics in baseball today.

But the home-run-or-walk tenet only works if you can reach the fences. A fat four-seamer is a gift for the likes of Giancarlo Stanton or Troy Tulowitzki, but the Mets have no such sluggers in their lineup.

Instead, they’re weighted down with second-tier talents like Lucas Duda and Travis d’Arnaud and Eric Young Jr. David Wright’s home run/fly ball ratio is at career-low 4 percent, and Curtis Granderson is batting .128 with one home run in 78 at-bats at Citi Field. It hardly seemed like a coincidence that he went 4-for-8 with two home runs and five RBIs in the two games at Yankee Stadium. Clearly, Granderson felt more comfortable -- and confident -- with the smaller dimensions.


Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY SportsIke Davis feels wanted in Pittsburgh.


Ike Davis, playing in the Bronx this weekend with the Pittsburgh Pirates, said: “It’s nice to play for someone that actually wants you or thinks that you can help the team.” Davis’ Pirates visit Citi Field May 26-28. Read more in the Daily News, Newsday, Record and Star-Ledger.

• Ex-Met Kyle Farnsworth had a rough debut with the Houston Astros, surrendering two runs on two hits and two walks while recording only two outs against the Chicago White Sox.

Anthony Rieber in Newsday explains the “advance consent” agreement Farnsworth signed with the Mets. Rieber notes the Mets saved $850,000 this year by dropping Farnsworth when they did -- $750,000 in salary, plus $100,000 at the end of spring training when he was cut and then re-signed.

Read more on Farnsworth in the Houston Chronicle and Star-Ledger.

• Although Wilmer Flores started Saturday, Ruben Tejada should see most of the playing time at shortstop in the near future, Terry Collins said. Read more in Newsday and at MLB.com.

• Left-hander Pedro Feliciano’s career may not be over. The 37-year-old reliever, who made 25 appearances for the Mets last season, is working out for the St. Louis Cardinals, KSDK reports.

• Nats third baseman Ryan Zimmerman may be moving to the outfield when he returns from the disabled list, Adam Kilgore writes in The Washington Post.

Brandon Allen homered and Las Vegas moved 20 games over .500 with a 6-4 win against El Paso. Cody Satterwhite notched his first save in affiliated baseball in three seasons with a perfect ninth as Binghamton beat New Hampshire, 6-5. Matt Koch won his fifth straight start in St. Lucie’s 6-3 victory against Lakeland. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Michael Gray in the Post is not a fan of “ego-driven” farewell tours that require teams like the Mets to give gifts to Derek Jeter.

• Columnist Mike Vaccaro in the Post notes sports allegiances often mean having to endure lean years.

• Mookie Wilson and Bill Buckner are now friends, the Daily News writes.

• Columnist Bill Madden in the Daily News discusses Citi Field’s dimensions. Writes Madden:

Getting back to Citi Field, the Mets may have already chartered their course to be a pitching-driven club, but unless they figure out a way to make their ballpark more conducive for hitters, they are running the risk of turning off their fans to the kind of baseball we’re seeing way too much of out in Queens -- where the most action is the batters’ swinging and missing. In addition, their ability to lure any quality hitters is severely compromised. At least they’ve seen to it to properly honor all of their Hall of Famers, even if it’s only one.

• Columnist David Lennon in Newsday reviews the Mets’ closer situation.

BIRTHDAYS: Nelson Figueroa turns 40. ... St. Lucie reliever Randy Fontanez is 25. ... Colorado Rockies first base coach Eric Young Sr. is 47.

TWEETS OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should Terry Collins start Juan Lagares on Sunday at Nationals Park?

Rapid Reaction: Mets 5, Nats 2

May, 17, 2014
May 17
6:54
PM ET
WASHINGTON -- Juan Lagares will be in the lineup on Sunday. Promise.

Lagares homered and drove in three runs and also took away a homer from Jayson Werth as the Mets beat the Washington Nationals, 5-2, Saturday.

Jenrry Mejia, despite surrendering a leadoff single, tossed a scoreless ninth for his first save since June 15, 2007, in the Dominican Summer League.

The Mets (20-22) snapped a streak of nine straight losses against Washington. The franchise record for losses against a single team remains 12, against the Braves in 1962-63.

Alex Brandon/Associated PressJuan Lagares receives congratulations after returning to the dugout following his two-run homer in the third.
Lagares (2-for-4) had been out of the starting lineup the previous three games, as Terry Collins opted for an outfield configuration he felt had more offensive potential with the Mets struggling to score runs.

Eric Campbell (2-for-4) had a two-run single and Lagares followed with an RBI single in a three-run first against Nats left-hander Gio Gonzalez. Two innings later, Lagares belted a two-run homer as the Mets opened a 5-0 lead.

Gonzalez was pulled after three innings in his shortest start since Sept. 14, 2010. Craig Stammen followed with four scoreless innings, during which he limited the Mets to one hit.

Ian Desmond produced a two-run homer in the fourth against Bartolo Colon. Lagares helped prevent Washington from drawing closer.

Werth, who took away a potential game-tying homer from Daniel Murphy in the series opener, had the tables turned Saturday. Lagares leaped at the center-field wall and brought back a would-be solo homer from Werth in the sixth.

Benefiting from Lagares’ catch, Colon retired the final 11 batters he faced. His final line in a 105-pitch effort: 8 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR. Colon stranded runners in scoring position in three different innings. He earned his first win since April 24.

What’s next: Zack Wheeler (1-3, 4.53 ERA) looks to get back on track when he opposes right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (2-1, 3.59) in Sunday’s 1:35 p.m. rubber game. Wheeler allowed five runs in a career-high 118-pitch effort that lasted only 4 1/3 innings Tuesday in the Bronx.

Morning Briefing: Happy Juan Day!

May, 17, 2014
May 17
5:33
AM ET
WASHINGTON

FIRST PITCH: The Mets, losers of three straight, look to get back on track Saturday at 4:05 p.m. at Nationals Park.

Bartolo Colon (2-5, 5.84 ERA) opposes Washington Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez (3-3, 3.97) in the middle game of the three-game series.

Saturday’s news reports:

Daniel Murphy’s shot to the top of the wall with two on and two out in the top of the ninth was caught by Jayson Werth and the Nationals beat the Mets, 5-2, Friday. Jonathon Niese allowed five runs (three earned) in four innings.

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

• Terry Collins said Juan Lagares has not been in the lineup because there have been better offensive options among the outfielders. Still, Collins plans to start Lagares on Saturday. “The only thing I can do is be ready when the opportunity comes and just try to do my job,” Lagares told reporters.

Columnist Mike Vaccaro in the Post decries Lagares being on the bench, writing:

We already know the men who own the Mets have neither the will, the wisdom nor the wallet to give the people who root for their team what they really want: a franchise that doesn’t make them periodically want to walk around with paper bags covering their faces.

Lately, though, it isn’t simply the Cabinet of Stupid that has those fans shaking and scratching their heads. It is the manager -- and possibly the general manager -- who seem intent on making this team as maximally unwatchable as possible.

Read more in the Journal, Star-Ledger, Newsday and at MLB.com.

Kyle Farnsworth, dumped by the Mets this week, reportedly is due to sign a major-league deal as soon as Saturday.

• Collins pledges to use Jenrry Mejia on back-to-back days sometime during the next week. It would mark Mejia’s first time working consecutive days since 2010.

• Noah Syndergaard allowed two runs in five innings and Andrew Brown had a ninth-inning three-run homer against Jeff Francoeur as Las Vegas beat El Paso, 10-2. Brian Burgamy had a go-ahead three-run double in the eighth in Binghamton’s 8-6 win against New Hampshire. Luis Cessa allowed one run in six innings as St. Lucie beat Lakeland, 6-4. Read the full minor-league recap here.

Gonzalez Germen, eligible to come off the DL on Wednesday, tossed a scoreless inning in a rehab appearance with St. Lucie.

Matt Harvey made the trip to D.C. with the Mets. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• A Mets staffer accidentally emailed Sandy Alderson’s credit-card information to nearly the entire New York baseball media corps. Read more in the Post, Daily News and Newsday.

• Despite a team off-day Monday, the Mets do not intend to skip Rafael Montero or Jacob deGrom’s next turn. Read more on the rookie pitchers in the Post and Star-Ledger.

Travis d’Arnaud’s concussion was severe enough that he was unable to remain in the dugout during Wednesday’s Subway Series game because the noise was overwhelming to him. Read more in the Daily News.

• Jon Hamm, the star of “Million Dollar Arm,” who plays Don Draper on “Mad Men,” is a big St. Louis Cardinals fan. And that means loathing the Mets, Ken Davidoff writes in the Post. Writes Davidoff about Hamm:

He attended 2006 National League Championship Series Game 7 at Shea Stadium, he said, and when Adam Wainwright caught Carlos Beltran looking at the nastiest curveball ever for strike three, he stood up and screamed … then quickly realized he was the only person in his section doing so, and quickly sat back down.

• Ex-Met Julio Franco will attempt to play in independent ball at age 55.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear envisions Lagares' Hall of Fame induction speech.

BIRTHDAYS: Dick Smith, who played for the ’63 and ’64 Mets, was born on this date in 1939.

TWEETS OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should Terry Collins start Juan Lagares on Saturday at Nationals Park?

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
14 4.02 143 190
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .299
HRL. Duda 28
RBIL. Duda 85
RD. Murphy 76
OPSL. Duda .831
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.49
SOZ. Wheeler 180