New York Mets: Jeff Samardzija

Rapid Reaction: Mets 3, Cubs 1

July, 7, 2012
WHAT IT MEANS: Jordany Valdespin and Ike Davis homered and Dillon Gee took a scoreless effort into the sixth en route to matching his longest career outing as the Mets beat the Cubs, 3-1, Saturday at Citi Field.

Given the start in left field, Valdespin homered for the second straight day and fourth time during his rookie season. The solo shot off Cubs right-hander Jeff Samardzija in the second opened the scoring. Davis’ two-run shot an inning later upped the Mets’ lead to three runs.

Davis’ homer was his 12th this season, tying him with Lucas Duda and Scott Hairston for the team lead. Valdespin, meanwhile, has produced 14 RBIs in his 67 at-bats. That matches Baltimore’s Steve Pearce for the most RBIs in the majors this season by players with no more than that at-bat total.

Gee held the 3-0 lead into the sixth, when he surrendered a leadoff double to Luis Valbuena and one-out RBI single to David DeJesus. Gee recovered to strand two baserunners by striking out Alfonso Soriano on a full-count offering with two outs.

Gee logged eight innings, matching his career high. He also went that distance in a June 10, 2011 victory against the Pirates. Gee will not pitch again until Game No. 3 or 4 of the second half, either July 15 in Atlanta or July 17 in Washington.

CLOSER CALL: Bobby Parnell continued his closing work with Frank Francisco on the DL. Parnell converted his second save in two chances since Francisco suffered the strained left oblique and was deactivated. Parnell did allow a leadoff double to Anthony Rizzo, snapping a string of four appearances in Francisco's absence in which he did not allow a batter to reach base.

Parnell benefited from a solid over-the-shoulder catch by Ruben Tejada retreating in shallow left field on a flare for the second out, off the bat of Bryan LaHair.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Mets (46-39) complete the first half by sending Jon Niese (7-3, 3.35 ERA) to the mound opposite on-the-trading-block right-hander Ryan Dempster (3-3, 2.11), who is returning from the disabled list. The Amazin’s can match their season high at eight games over .500 with a victory.

David Wright, R.A. Dickey and Terry Collins then head to Kansas City for the All-Star Game.

Also in K.C., right-hander Zack Wheeler and third baseman Wilmer Flores play in the Futures Game on Sunday at 5 p.m. ET. The prospect showcase will be televised by ESPN2.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 17, Cubs 1

June, 27, 2012

Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: Hours before their flight to L.A., the Mets finally awoke.

Daniel Murphy resoundingly snapped a lengthy long-ball drought by homering in consecutive at-bats, Ike Davis also went deep as part of a career-high-matching four-RBI day that lifted his batting average above the Mendoza line for the first time this season, David Wright drove in five runs, and Scott Hairston piled on with a grand slam as the Mets thrashed the Cubs, 17-1, Wednesday afternoon.

The Mets halted their losing streak at four games and avoided their first three-game sweep at Wrigley Field since 2004.

It was the club’s highest scoring output since an 18-5 win against the Cubs on Sept. 5, 2010 -- a game in which Jon Niese also benefited from the run support.

The four homers established a season high.

The Mets produced consecutive six-run frames in the fifth and sixth innings. Those scoring outputs matched the season high for any inning. They also posted six runs in the seventh inning at Tampa Bay on June 12.

Adam Rubin
Actress Jane Lynch pepped up the Wrigley Field crowd despite the rout by leading fans in "Take Me Out to the Ballgame."

Murphy had gone 273 at-bats this season without a homer -- the most in the majors without a long ball -- before belting a two-run shot in the fourth against right-hander Jeff Samardzija that provided a 4-1 lead. He homered again the following frame against reliever Casey Coleman as the Mets upped their lead to 10-1. It was Murphy’s first career multi-homer game.

Dating to last season, Murphy had gone 352 at-bats since his last homer, which came off Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels on July 16, 2011. The longest drought on the Mets belongs to Ruben Tejada, who has gone 508 at-bats since his lone major league long ball, against the Cubs’ Marcos Mateo. Tejada's homer happened to come in the Mets' 18-run outburst two seasons ago against the Cubs.

Minnesota’s Jamey Carroll now has the most at-bats in the majors this season without homering -- 244.

With a 3-for-5 performance, Davis lifted his average to .201, above the Mendoza line for the first time this season. He had plated Lucas Duda (more later) with a double for a 2-1 lead in the fourth. He added a three-run homer in the fifth that made it 9-1 and chased Samardzija. It was Davis’ second career four-RBI day. He also reached that total with a grand slam against Baltimore’s Jake Arrieta on June 18.

Wright’s five RBIs fell one shy of his career high, which he has accomplished three times. Justin Turner replaced him in the bottom of the sixth with the Mets ahead by 15 runs.

It was the second slam of Hairston’s career. The other came Sept. 6, 2009 with Oakland against Seattle’s Shawn Kelley. Davis and Mike Nickeas also have produced slams this season for the Mets.

RUN, LUCAS, RUN! For a second straight day, Duda had an adventure on a Davis double into the right-field corner. This time, Duda all but stopped at second base, but nonetheless resumed running and chugged home. It was the first time in six instances this season in which Duda scored from first on a teammate’s double.

On Tuesday night, despite third-base coach Tim Teufel waving him home, Duda stopped at third base. That merited a postgame meeting with Terry Collins.

WELL-SUPPORTED: Niese limited the Cubs to one run on eight hits and a walk in a 118-pitch effort spanning seven innings. He escaped a first-and-third, no-out jam in the first inning, before the rout began.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Mets head to Dodger Stadium for a four-game series against NL West-leading Los Angeles. Chris Young (1-1, 3.42 ERA) opposes ex-teammate Chris Capuano (9-2, 2.60) in Thursday’s 10:10 p.m. ET opener.

Series preview: Mets vs. Nationals

April, 9, 2012

US Presswire
Edwin Jackson makes his Nats debut Monday against the Mets, followed by Ross Detwiler on Tuesday and Stephen Strasburg on Wednesday.
METS (3-0, first place/NL East) vs. WASHINGTON NATIONALS (2-1, second place/NL East)

Monday: RHP Mike Pelfrey vs. RHP Edwin Jackson, 7:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Dillon Gee vs. LHP Ross Detwiler, 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: LHP Johan Santana (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Stephen Strasburg (0-0, 1.29), 1:10 p.m. ET

Nationals short hops

Ross Detwiler claimed the fifth-starter’s job over fellow southpaw John Lannan, in the spot available because Chien-Ming Wang strained his left hamstring March 15. Lannan, assigned to Triple-A Syracuse, asked GM Mike Rizzo for a trade after the decision, then sent an email to beat reporters the following day acknowledging the request. After Wang suffered the injury, manager Davey Johnson had said Lannan would be the fifth starter. Lannan is due to earn $5 million this season. The Nats are only expected to trade Lannan if they get something of consequence in return, since they will need starting pitching depth during the season. Detwiler’s spring-training ERA was 3.06, to Lannan’s 5.14. The Nats did not think Lannan would be comfortable in the bullpen, so they sent him to Syracuse and instead carried Craig Stammen in a major league relief role.

• Cleanup hitter Michael Morse is expected to be activated from the disabled list as soon as Tuesday. He homered Friday, during a rehab assignment with Double-A Harrisburg, as he returns from a right lat muscle tear. After coming to New York on Saturday for preplanned treatment, Morse returned to the Eastern League club Sunday to continue a rehab assignment. Bergen Catholic product Mark DeRosa started in left field the first two games of the season, while ex-Met Xavier Nady manned the position Sunday. DeRosa was signed at winter meetings to fill the void after Chris Marrero suffered a hamstring injury in winter ball in November that will sideline him the first half of the season. DeRosa has undergone three wrist surgeries in past two years, but appears healthy now. Nady signed in mid-March after being jobless.

Rob Grabowski/US Presswire
With Drew Storen on the DL, ex-Phillie Brad Lidge picked up the save on Opening Day at Wrigley Field.

Jayson Werth is expected to play center field against left-handed pitchers, with Nady manning right field. Primarily the right fielder, Werth is due to make $13 million in 2012, in the second season of a seven-year, $126 million deal. He hit .232 with 20 homers, 58 RBIs and 19 steals in his first season with the Nats.

Roger Bernadina has started in center field the first three games against right-handers, while fellow lefty-hitting outfielder Rick Ankiel opens the season on the disabled list with quadriceps tightness. Ankiel, who originally re-signed with the Nats on a minor league deal, will earn $1.25 million this season. He has started a rehab assignment, but is not eligible to be activated until Saturday.

Chad Tracy spent last season in Japan, where he hit only .235 with one homer and 19 RBIs in 149 at-bats with Hiroshima. Tracy has been big off the bench so far. After making the Opening Day roster because of Ankiel’s quadriceps injury, Tracy already twice has delivered successful pinch hits -- including a two-run, go-ahead single in the eighth Saturday against Carlos Marmol, who was attempting a four-out save.

Stephen Strasburg started Opening Day and limited the Cubs to one run and five hits while striking out five and walking one in seven innings. Strasburg breezed through the first two innings, requiring only 14 pitches. He ultimately received a no-decision. The Nats have pledged to cap Strasburg’s innings at 160 this season after he missed most of last season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, although playoff contention would test that commitment.

Drew Storen, who recorded 43 saves last year, opened the season on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation. Brad Lidge, who signed a one-year, $1 million deal, and flame-throwing Henry Rodriguez will close in Storen’s absence. Lidge, 35, picked up the save on Opening Day at Wrigley Field -- only the ex-Phillie’s second save since Sept. 27, 2010. The Nats have an ultra-deep bullpen. Rodriguez has been clocked at 101 mph, with a 94 mph changeup. Set-up man Tyler Clippard (3-0, 1.83 ERA in 2011) earned an All-Star invitation last season.

• Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman agreed to a six-year, $100 million extension Feb. 26. The deal is on top of the combined $26 million he was due to earn between this season and 2013. The Nats have a team option for 2020.

(Read full post)



Juan Lagares
.314 1 7 8
HRL. Duda 3
RBIL. Duda 8
RE. Young Jr. 12
OPSJ. Lagares .816
WC. Torres 2
ERAJ. Mejia 2.81
SOJ. Mejia 18