New York Mets: Jered Weaver

Rapid Reaction: Mets 7, Angels 6 (13)

April, 13, 2014
Apr 13
1:37
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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Anthony Recker had been poised to be a hero until a ninth-inning meltdown from Jose Valverde.

Recker, in only his second start of the season, ultimately highlighted the win anyway.

The backup catcher took Matt Shoemaker deep in the top of the 13th and John Lannan contributed his second scoreless inning in the bottom half of that frame as the Mets survived for a 7-6 win against the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night.

Papa not-so-grande: Oops, Raul Ibanez did it to Valverde again!

With the Mets one out from victory, Valverde allowed a pair of baserunners, then surrendered a game-tying three-run homer to Ibanez in the bottom of the ninth.

Fans of the crosstown Yankees might remember that Ibanez-Valverde pairing combining for dramatics in the ALCS two years ago.

On Oct. 13, 2012, Ibanez delivered a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth against Valverde in the Bronx, although the Tigers eventually won that Game 1 anyway in 12 innings en route to a series sweep.

On Friday, Mets relievers had run their scoreless streak to 20 1/3 innings before Jeurys Familia uncorked a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch to force in the game-ending run.

Backup power: Recker and Omar Quintanilla, who had no hits and one start between them entering Saturday, lifted the Mets to victory with a combined five RBIs.

Recker dropped a two-run single in front of lunging center fielder Mike Trout in the seventh, after Fernando Salas inherited a pair of runners from Jered Weaver. That capped a three-run inning and provided the Mets with a 4-3 lead.

Quintanilla supplied a two-run single in the ninth as the Mets’ lead swelled to 6-3 before Valverde entered.

Less Cowgill: Until the Mets’ three-run seventh, it had been the Collin Cowgill show.

Cowgill, the Mets’ Opening Day starter in center field last season, threw out Eric Young Jr. at the plate attempting to tag on a shallow fly ball to end the top of the first inning, homered against Jonathon Niese and scored twice as the Angels carried a 3-1 lead into the seventh.

Entering that frame, Weaver had limited the Mets to one hit -- a solo homer by Lucas Duda with two outs in the second that had evened the score at 1.

Then, in the seventh, Curtis Granderson walked and Duda advanced him to third base with a single. With runners on the corners, Juan Lagares singled to plate Granderson, pulling the Mets within a run and ending Weaver’s night. Recker followed with the go-ahead two-run single.

Cowgill, who had a .180 average in 61 at-bats when he was traded to the Angels last June 25 for minor-league outfielder Kyle Johnson, had staked the Angels to a 3-1 lead in the sixth with a solo homer against Niese.

Niesely done: Niese surrendered a pair of homers in his second outing since returning from the disabled list, but ultimately departed with a 4-3 lead with one out in the bottom of the eighth. Former Rockie Chris Iannetta took the southpaw deep in the fifth to break a 1-all tie.

Niese’s line: 7.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 2 HR. He threw 96 pitches (64 strikes).

Deep thoughts: Duda, who started at designated hitter, with Ike Davis at first base, now has a team-leading three homers. No other Met has more than one.

What’s next: The Mets conclude their three-game series against the Angels at 3:35 p.m. ET Sunday. Bartolo Colon (1-1, 2.08 ERA) opposes left-hander C.J. Wilson (1-1, 4.61).

Series preview: Mets at Angels

April, 11, 2014
Apr 11
9:45
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USA TODAY SportsThe Mets are due to face Tyler Skaggs, Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson this weekend in Anaheim.
METS (4-5, fourth place/NL East) at LOS ANGELES ANGELS (4-5, third place/AL West)

Friday: RHP Dillon Gee (0-0, 4.50) vs. LHP Tyler Skaggs (1-0, 0.00), 10:05 p.m. ET

Saturday: LHP Jonathon Niese (0-1, 3.18) vs. RHP Jered Weaver (0-2, 6.00), 9:05 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Bartolo Colon (1-1, 2.08) vs. LHP C.J. Wilson (1-1, 4.61), 3:35 p.m. ET

Angels short hops

• Left fielder Josh Hamilton, the reigning American League co-Player of the Week, fully tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb on a headfirst slide into first base Tuesday and may miss as much as two months. Ex-Met Collin Cowgill should see increased playing time in Hamilton’s absence, potentially platooning with J.B. Shuck. Cowgill, the Mets’ Opening Day starter in center field a season ago, was traded last June 25 to the Angels for minor-league outfielder Kyle Johnson, who currently is playing for Double-A Binghamton. Hamilton had been hitting .444 with two homers and six RBIs in 27 at-bats.


Tom Szczerbowski/Getty ImagesWith Josh Hamilton injured, that means more Collin Cowgill in the starting lineup for the Angels.


• Ex-Mets reliever Joe Smith signed a three-year, $15.75 million deal with the Angels as a free agent on Nov. 27. One reason for choosing L.A., aside from the money: His fiancée, Allie LaForce, is a CBS Sports host based at an Orange County studio. She is a former Cleveland sports anchor. While with the Cleveland Indians last season, the sidearmer jawed with now-ex-Met Justin Turner after a heated plate appearance.

• Center fielder Mike Trout, a 22-year-old Millville, N.J., native, signed a six-year, $144.5 million extension with the Angels on March 28. Based on average annual value, the contract became the largest ever for a player who had not yet reached three years of MLB service, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The deal is worth $24.08 million per year, which tops Buster Posey’s $18.56 million average annual salary that runs through 2021. By total value, Posey’s $167 million guarantee ranks No. 1 for a player with less than three years of MLB service, although that contract covers nine years. Trout would not have been eligible for arbitration for the first time until after this season. He was not eligible for free agency until after the 2017 season.

Albert Pujols, 34, had career lows last season with a .258 average, 17 homers, 64 RBIs, 99 games played and 443 plate appearances. He has a 10-year, $240 million contract that includes full no-trade protection. The contract runs through 2021, escalating to $30 million the final year. After a slow start to 2014, Pujols has homered in two straight games, giving him 494 long balls for his career. He would become the 26th player to reach the 500-homer plateau. Pujols also crossed 1,500 career RBIs this week, making him the only active player at that level -- unless you count Alex Rodriguez as active.

• The Angels are an MLB-best 84-44 in interleague play since 2007.

• When manager Mike Scioscia took over as manager of the Angels for the 2000 season, he essentially succeeded Terry Collins in that role (although Joe Maddon had managed the final 29 games in 1999).

• The Angels acquired third baseman David Freese and right-handed reliever Fernando Salas from the St. Louis Cardinals on Nov. 22 for Peter Bourjos and Randal Grichuk.

• Left-hander Tyler Skaggs limited Houston to one unearned run in eight innings in his season debut. The 22-year-old southpaw had been traded by the Angels to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 7, 2010 in the Dan Haren deal. He was reacquired from the D-backs in a three-team deal this past offseason that included Mark Trumbo landing in Phoenix.

• Catcher Chris Iannetta is hitless in his past 15 at-bats.

• DH Raul Ibanez, who is 41 years old and off to a 5-for-26 start, is two hits shy of 2,000 for his career. He would become the 12th active player with 2,000 hits and 300 homers.

• The Angels desperately need lefty relief help in a division that now includes Prince Fielder, Shin-Soo Choo and Robinson Cano. The two planned left-handers in the bullpen have experienced medical issues. Rule 5 pick Brian Moran will require season-ending Tommy John surgery. And Sean Burnett, limited to 13 appearances last season due to an elbow injury that required surgery, had renewed discomfort during spring training and is not active. The lone lefty in the bullpen right now is Nick Maronde, who made his first career Opening Day roster. But lefty batters are hitting .323 with a .450 on-base percentage against Maronde in his three-year big-league career. Among the lefty relievers in Triple-A for the Angels: ex-Met Robert Carson.

• Hitting coach Don Baylor broke his right thigh bone catching the ceremonial first pitch from Vladimir Guerrero on Opening Day. Baylor, 64, hopes to return to the Angels by late May, but the standard recovery time for a fractured femur can be four to six months.

Jered Weaver, plagued by shoulder tendinitis for the past three seasons, has allowed nine runs (eight earned) in 12 innings through two starts. He has surrendered four homers. Weaver’s fastball velocity is averaging 85.9 mph this season. It has steadily declined each season since 2010, from 89.9 to 89.1 to 87.8 to 86.5 and now to its current level.

Dickey-Ruiz combo works, Wright quiet

July, 10, 2012
7/10/12
11:13
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R.A. Dickey surrendered a leadoff single to Mike Trout upon entering with an eight-run lead in the sixth inning, and Trout swiped second base, but the 37-year-old knuckleballer eventually stranded the Angels phenom to post a scoreless frame in his first All-Star Game appearance.

Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz got through the inning unscathed as well, although Dickey told reporters in Kansas City afterward that Ruiz on one knuckleball "looked like he was catching with chopsticks."

Dickey struck out Mark Trumbo and hit Paul Konerko with a pitch before coaxing a 6-4-3 double play from Miguel Cabrera to post the scoreless frame and preserve the NL's eight-run lead.

Speaking to reporters afterward, Dickey said about his knuckleball: "I didn't throw many super-duper ones."

David Wright went 0-for-2. After Pablo Sandoval contributed a three-run triple in the first inning, Wright eventually entered at third base. He grounded into a fielder's choice in the fifth against Jered Weaver and struck out looking against Ryan Cook in the seventh.

Matt Cain, who started over Dickey for the NL, tossed two scoreless innings.

Terry Collins, a coach on Tony La Russa's staff, made a ninth-inning pitching change to get some air time.

Jered Weaver didn't want to mock Mets

June, 4, 2012
6/04/12
1:14
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Johan Santana is due to record tonight's David Letterman "Late Show" Top 10 list at Citi Field postgame, before heading to Washington with his teammates.

It turns out Letterman only a month earlier had presented a script to the Angels' Jered Weaver that included mocking the Mets for lacking a no-hitter.

Weaver, appearing after tossing a no-hitter against the Minnesota Twins, was asked to read a Top 10 list titled: "Top 10 signs you'll never throw a no-hitter."

Weaver told reporters that No. 1 originally was supposed to read: "You pitch for the Mets."

Weaver told Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times: "I felt bad. I couldn't say that. I'm glad they changed it."

No. 1 ended up being: "Most teams don't let the mascot pitch."

Mets morning briefing 6.11.11

June, 11, 2011
6/11/11
9:58
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Dillon Gee is off to a 7-0 start, the best by a rookie pitcher to open a season since Jered Weaver began 2006 with a 9-0 record with the Angels. Lucas Duda had two RBIs in his return to the majors. And the Mets are now within a game of moving to .500 for the first time since they were 22-22 after beating the Yankees in the Subway Series opener in the Bronx on May 20.

Saturday's news reports:

Jason Bay sat back-to-back days, but Terry Collins pledges to place him back in the lineup Saturday. Bay, in an 0-for-23 rut, needs to play through it, former hitting coach Howard Johnson believes. "It's ridiculous it's come to that," HoJo told Dan Martin in the Post about sitting Bay. "If he's supposed to be part of the solution, I don't see the point of taking him out of the equation. It's sending him mixed messages. I don't care if he's 0-for-50, you're not going to get him relaxed by taking him out of the lineup." Johnson added that Citi Field has to be a factor in Bay's woes. Said HoJo: "There's no question that now it's a factor. We had a lot of conversations about that last year. Just driving in some runs isn't good enough for him. In baseball, you're paid for what you did in the past. All those previous home runs got him paid, and he feels a certain pressure to do that now and the only way to get him out of this is to get him in the lineup every day."

• Daily News columnist John Harper says trade Francisco Rodriguez to the Yankees. Writes Harper:

The Mets and Yankees last made a trade on Dec. 3, 2004, when they swapped Mike Stanton for Felix Heredia, a has-been for a never-was, if you will. In other words, there wasn't much chance of either side looking bad, which is the primary reason they so rarely do business with one another. But in this case, it makes too much sense for both sides not to do the obvious and put Francisco Rodriguez in pinstripes. The Yankees urgently need a proven late-inning reliever now that Joba Chamberlain is apparently headed for Tommy John surgery, and the Mets are even more desperate to avoid paying K-Rod the $17.5 million they would owe him next season should he finish 55 games for them this season.

• Collins believes Johan Santana may be back in late July. The manager also plans to invite Santana, who is recovering from Sept. 14 surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder, to New York to throw a bullpen session or two now that the weather has warmed. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Post.

• Duda said confidence is a key in him producing at the major league level. He has tended to get overwhelmed, he acknowledged. “You trick yourself into thinking you are back in Buffalo,” Duda told reporters. “It kind of eased my tension a little bit when I saw [Justin] Turner playing third, Ruben [Tejada] playing second, Gee on the mound and [Josh] Thole behind the dish.” Read more in Newsday.

• Read game stories from Friday's 8-1 win in the Times, Newsday, Record, Star-Ledger, Daily News and Post.

BIRTHDAYS: A day after Jose Reyes celebrated the anniversary of his 2003 major league debut, he turned 28 Saturday. ... Original Met Frank Thomas turns 82. (He’s the fourth-oldest living Met, according to ultimatemets.com.) Thomas was the first true power hitter in Mets history, leading the 1962 Mets with 34 homers. Thomas’ most-famous long ball came on July 9, 1964, when in his first at-bat after returning from a glandular infection, he hit a walk-off shot against the Cardinals (cap-tip This Date in Mets History). -Mark Simon

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
14 4.02 143 190
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .295
HRL. Duda 27
RBIL. Duda 81
RD. Murphy 75
OPSL. Duda .821
ERAJ. Niese 3.55
SOZ. Wheeler 173