New York Mets: Joe Saunders

Series preview: Mets vs. Rangers

July, 3, 2014
Jul 3

Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty ImagesRain in Baltimore on Thursday means Yu Darvish now faces the Mets in Friday's series opener at Citi Field.
METS (37-48, fourth place/NL East) vs. TEXAS RANGERS (37-48, fourth place/AL West)

Friday: LHP Jonathon Niese (5-4, 2.88) vs. RHP Yu Darvish (8-4, 2.42), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Bartolo Colon (8-6, 3.88) vs. RHP Colby Lewis (5-5, 5.71), 7:15 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Zack Wheeler (3-8, 4.25) vs. RHP Nick Tepesch* (3-3, 3.65), 1:10 p.m. ET

* officially TBA

Rangers short hops

• With rain delaying the start by 56 minutes and threatening to interrupt Thursday’s Rangers series finale in Baltimore, manager Ron Washington decided to delay Yu Darvish’s scheduled start until Friday, pushing him into the Mets series. There never was a stoppage once the game began at Camden Yards.

Darvish, 27, has an MLB-best 11.04 strikeouts per nine innings. He ranks third in the American League in ERA at 2.42, trailing only the Mariners’ Felix Hernandez (2.10) and Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka (2.27). Darvish snapped a two-start losing streak by tossing eight scoreless innings against the Minnesota Twins on Saturday.

• Texas leads the majors in uses of the DL (20) and current players on the DL (14). The absences include Prince Fielder (herniated disk), Mitch Moreland (ankle), Derek Holland (knee surgery), Jurickson Profar (shoulder), Geovany Soto (knee), Alexi Ogando (elbow), Tanner Scheppers (elbow) and Engel Beltre (fractured tibia).

Fielder, who had season-ending surgery for the neck issue on May 27, had been acquired during the offseason from the Detroit Tigers with $30 million for Ian Kinsler. Texas reportedly will recoup 50 percent of Fielder’s salary via an insurance policy that carried over from the Tigers, after a 90-day deductible period.

Soto, who underwent surgery, is due to begin a rehab assignment shortly. Beltre, an outfielder, has started a rehab assignment with Triple-A Round Rock.

• With Fielder and Moreland out, Carlos Pena has taken over at first base. He is hitless in his last 18 at-bats and 3-for-33 since joining the club. Pena, 36, originally signed a minor-league contract on June 17. He had been idle since being released by the Los Angeles Angels from spring training on March 23.

• The Rangers have lost five straight and 14 of 17. They have lost nine straight road games, their longest skid away from Arlington since 2005, when Buck Showalter managed the club during a nine-game road skid. They are 11 games under .500 for the first time since finishing the 2007 season at 75-87.

Cooper Neill/Getty ImagesAdrian Beltre is the one lethal weapon in Texas' decimated lineup.

Adrian Beltre hit .392 in June, the highest figure in any month of his career. The average trailed only Houston’s Jose Altuve (.411) in the American League for the month. Overall, he is hitting .335 this season, second to Altuve in the league.

Shin-Soo Choo signed a seven-year, $130 million deal with Texas on Dec. 13. He is hitting .254 with eight homers and 30 RBIs and has a .374 on-base percentage. Choo returned to the leadoff spot last Friday after two weeks in the No. 3 hole.

• The Rangers designated left-hander Joe Saunders (0-5, 6.13 ERA) for assignment on Tuesday. Miles Mikolas, who had been acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates in December, stepped into the rotation.

• Mikolas’ promotion and insertion into the rotation pushed scheduled Wednesday starter Nick Tepesch into the Mets series … at least originally. Tepesch was due to start Friday, but has been dropped in place of Darvish. He now is the most likely candidate to start Sunday, in what is currently listed as TBA, unless he is needed in long relief before then. Tepesch has a 1.93 ERA over his past three starts. The Rangers will keep Colby Lewis on Saturday, as originally planned.

• The Rangers’ 4.62 ERA is the highest in the American League. They nonetheless have an AL-best 14 shutouts. They became the first AL team to reach that shutout total within 80 games since the 1968 Cleveland Indians, five years before the designated hitter came into effect.

• Closer Joakim Soria has allowed runs in consecutive appearances for the first time this season. He still has 17 strikeouts and one walk in his past 10 appearances. Former All-Star closer Neftali Feliz is currently pitching in Triple-A as he enters the final stages of a return from Tommy John surgery.

• Before a 3-for-4 performance Thursday at Baltimore, shortstop Elvis Andrus has been hitless in his last 10 at-bats and 5-for-his-last-30.

• Left fielder Michael Choice is hitless in his last 14 at-bats and 5-for-his-last-66.

• Catcher Robinson Chirinos has caught an MLB-high 19 would-be base stealers.

• Rangers assistant GM A.J. Preller is due interview with the San Diego Padres regarding their vacant GM position.

Joe Saunders still on Mets' radar

January, 17, 2013
Left-hander Joe Saunders is still drawing interest from the Mets, according to Jim Duquette.

Duquette also identified the Orioles, Padres and Twins as suitors.

Saunders, 31, would be an alternative to re-signing Chris Young to round out the Mets' rotation.

He went a combined 9-13 with a 4.07 ERA in 28 starts between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Baltimore Orioles last season.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 5, Diamondbacks 1

July, 29, 2012
WHAT IT MEANS: R.A. Dickey had a solid finish to a subpar month, notching win No. 14 as the Mets salvaged a split of a four-game series against Arizona with a 5-1 win Sunday at Chase Field.

David Wright and Scott Hairston contributed consecutive run-scoring doubles in the first inning and Hairston’s single plated Wright in the fifth against left-hander Joe Saunders to provide Dickey a three-run cushion. Daniel Murphy’s RBI double in the sixth opened a 4-0 lead.

The Mets won for only the third time in their past 17 games.

Dickey entered the outing with a 6.49 ERA in July, but the knuckleballer took a scoreless effort into the sixth inning this time. He limited the Diamondbacks to one run on four hits and three walks while also hitting a batter in a 111-pitch effort spanning seven innings.

Jon Rauch tossed a 1-2-3 eighth. Bobby Parnell issued a leadoff walk in the ninth but contributed a scoreless inning.

BAY WATCH: Jason Bay went 0-for-3 with a walk. He is hitless in his past 22 at-bats.

THE DAY AFTER: A day after going 4-for-4 with three homers, Ike Davis went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts Sunday.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Mets head to San Francisco for a four-game series, on the middle stop of a three-city West Coast trip.

Jeremy Hefner (1-4, 5.40 ERA) faces left-hander Madison Bumgarner (11-6, 3.10) in the series opener.

Mike Baxter is expected to be activated from the disabled list. The trip to the Bay Area will be a reunion for Giants-fan-favorite Andres Torres as well as Ramon Ramirez, who were acquired from San Francisco at the winter meetings for Angel Pagan.

Series preview: Mets vs. Diamondbacks

May, 3, 2012

Getty Images
The Mets face three starters for the first time this weekend: (l to r) Wade Miley, Patrick Corbin and Trevor Cahill.
METS (13-12, third place/NL East) vs. ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (13-13, second place/NL West)

Friday: RHP Dillon Gee (2-2, 4.85) vs. LHP Wade Miley (3-0, 1.29), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: LHP Johan Santana (0-2, 2.25) vs. LHP Patrick Corbin (1-1, 4.76), 4:05 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP R.A. Dickey (3-1, 4.45) vs. RHP Trevor Cahill (2-2, 3.13), 1:05 p.m. ET

Diamondbacks short hops

• Left-hander Wade Miley topped the Mets’ Kirk Nieuwenhuis for the NL Rookie of the Month honor for April, which was announced Wednesday. Miley, 25, limited opponents to a .133 average with seven walks and 15 strikeouts in 21 innings spanning five appearances (two starts). He became the third Diamondbacks player to be recognized since the monthly award’s inception in 2001, joining Gerardo Parra (May 2009) and Daniel Hudson (August 2010). Miley originally pitched in relief of shaky Josh Collmenter’s starts, logging as much as four innings an appearance. The southpaw entered the rotation when Hudson landed on the DL with a shoulder impingement. Hudson is due to throw a bullpen session for the first time early next week at Chase Field.

• Center fielder Chris Young has been on the DL since April 18 with a right shoulder injury. An MRI revealed a small tear of the ligament in the AC joint as well as a severe bruise. He has started swinging in a cage. GM Kevin Towers reportedly watched Vladimir Guerrero work out in the Dominican Republic on Monday, but there is no firm resolve to sign the veteran with Young’s absence not expected to be prolonged. Righty-hitting rookie A.J. Pollock (.120) and lefty-hitting Parra (.256) have been sharing center-field duty in Young’s absence. Pollock is a native of Hebron, Conn. He attended Notre Dame, where he was the Irish’s first MVP in consecutive seasons since Aaron Heilman in 2000 and ’01.

Lynne Sladky/Associated Press
Ex-Met J.J. Putz blew his second save of the season Wednesday, at D.C.

• Shortstop Stephen Drew began game action Monday in a minor league intrasquad game as he works back from surgery to repair a right ankle fracture he suffered last July 20 sliding on a play at the plate. John McDonald and Willie Bloomquist have shared the shortstop role minus Drew. Collectively, they have committed only two errors. McDonald’s homer on April 17 against the Pittsburgh Pirates was his first since last May 11 against the Boston Red Sox. He had been acquired with Aaron Hill from the Toronto Blue Jays last Aug. 23 for Kelly Johnson.

• Left fielder Jason Kubel signed a two-year, $16 million contract as a free agent on Dec. 12 that includes a team option for 2014. Thursday’s 0-for-4 night at Washington interrupted a streak in which the ex-Twin had hit safely in 13 of 14 games (.393, 22-for-56). Kubel leads major league outfielders in assists with six. During his Twins tenure, he had split time nearly evenly between the outfield and DH.

• Third baseman Ryan Roberts’ struggles at the plate and in field have opened the door for Cody Ransom to chip away at his playing time at the hot corner. Despite singling in three at-bats Thursday, Roberts is in a 3-for-34 rut and is hitting .167 this season. Ransom has started seven of the Diamondbacks’ past 11 games at third base.

• Syracuse-area native Patrick Corbin makes his second major league start Saturday. He won his major league debut, 9-5, at Miami on April 30, allowing three earned runs in 5 1/3 innings. Corbin was selected for the call-up over top-rated prospects Tyler Skaggs (No. 3 Baseball America) and Trevor Bauer (No. 1). Corbin supplanted the ineffective Collmenter (0-2, 9.82 ERA in four starts) in the rotation. Collmenter has moved to the bullpen, but has yet to appear in that role. Corbin had been 2-0 with a 1.67 ERA at Double-A Mobile before the promotion. He was acquired with left-hander Joe Saunders and Skaggs from the Los Angeles Angels in the July 25, 2010 trade for right-hander Dan Haren.

• Right-hander Trevor Cahill arrived from Oakland during the offseason along with left-hander Craig Breslow and cash for right-handers Jarrod Parker and Ryan Cook and outfielder Collin Cowgill.

• Hill has reached base safely in 20 straight games. His 74 homers trail only Dan Uggla and Robinson Cano for the most long balls by a second baseman since 2009.

• Ex-Met J.J. Putz had a 28-game save streak snapped April 14 at Colorado. He blew his second save chance of the season Wednesday at Washington. Putz surrendered a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth to Ian Desmond.

• Catcher Miguel Montero has thrown out seven of 14 would-be base stealers. He is backed up behind the plate by ex-Met Henry Blanco.


Gee vs. Diamondbacks (career: 1-1, 4.91 ERA)
Paul Goldschmidt 1.000, 1 PA
Cody Ransom .500, 2 RBI, 2 PA
Justin Upton .400, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 6 PA
Miguel Montero .200, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K, 5 PA
Gerardo Parra .200, 1 RBI, 1 K, 5 PA
Lyle Overbay .167, 6 PA
Ryan Roberts .167, 1 RBI, 6 PA

Santana vs. Diamondbacks (career: 2-0, 0.62 ERA)
Miguel Montero .333, 1 K, 3 PA
Jason Kubel .333, 1 RBI, 3 PA
Justin Upton .250, 2 BB, 3 K, 6 PA
Willie Bloomquist .214, 1 RBI, 1 K, 14 PA
Henry Blanco .125, 1 BB, 3 K, 9 PA
Aaron Hill .111, 1 RBI, 1 K, 9 PA
Lyle Overbay .091, 2 BB, 8 K, 13 PA
John McDonald .077, 1 BB, 2 K, 14 PA

Dickey vs. Diamondbacks (career: 0-1, 3.86 ERA)
John McDonald 1.000, 2 PA
Jason Kubel .600, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 5 PA
Willie Bloomquist .571, 2 RBI, 7 PA
Gerardo Parra .500, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 3 PA
Aaron Hill .500, 1 RBI, 2 PA
Justin Upton .250, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K, 4 PA
Lyle Overbay .071, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, 16 PA
Henry Blanco .000, 1 K, 2 PA
Cody Ransom .000, 1 K, 2 PA

Miley vs. Mets (career: never faced)

Corbin vs. Mets (career: never faced)

Cahill vs. Mets (career: never faced)
Andres Torres .222, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 10 PA

Last series results

Arizona won, 3-0, at Chase Field, Aug. 12-14, 2011 (AP game recaps)

Diamondbacks 4, Mets 3: Ian Kennedy won his seventh straight start to become the National League's second 15-game winner. Kennedy (15-3) allowed a run on six hits in seven innings to tie Philadelphia's Roy Halladay for the most wins in the NL. Justin Upton homered, Cody Ransom doubled in two runs and Kennedy helped himself with an RBI double as Arizona pulled two games ahead of second-place San Francisco. Jason Bay went 3-for-4 with a double and RBI single in the Mets' third straight loss and ninth in 12 games. Arizona first baseman/outfielder Xavier Nady's left hand was broken when he was hit by a pitch from Dillon Gee in the second inning.

Diamondbacks 6, Mets 4: Ryan Roberts hit a three-run homer and the Diamondbacks came from behind to win for the 33rd time this season. Daniel Hudson (12-8) allowed four runs (two earned) on eight hits in eight innings. Hudson also had a run-scoring single, his 13th RBI of the year. J.J. Putz pitched a scoreless ninth for his 29th save in 33 attempts. Mike Pelfrey was hit by a line drive off the bat of Gerardo Parra leading off the fifth inning and had to leave the game with a bruised right elbow. His team led 4-2 at the time. Reliever D.J. Carrasco (1-3) came on to hit Willie Bloomquist, then Roberts followed with his 16th home run of the season on the first pitch he saw.

Diamondbacks 5, Mets 3: Justin Upton homered, Paul Goldschmidt doubled twice and Arizona earned its sixth consecutive win. Diamondbacks starter Jason Marquis, acquired in a July 30 trade from Washington, was hit on the right shin by a line drive in the third and left the game one inning later with a broken shinbone. Goldschmidt doubled and scored on Henry Blanco's double to give Arizona a 4-3 lead in the sixth inning. Zach Duke (3-4), who came on in relief of Marquis, allowed two runs and four hits over 2 2/3 innings and David Hernandez pitched the ninth for his 11th save. Chris Capuano (9-11) allowed four runs and nine hits over six innings.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 4, Diamondbacks 1

April, 22, 2011
WHAT IT MEANS: With their 4-1 victory, the Mets have won consecutive games for the first time since racing to a 3-1 start to the season.

Mike Pelfrey

Starting Pitcher
New York Mets


2011 Season Stats
5 1 2 12 13 7.23
BIG PELF: Mike Pelfrey went seven innings, his longest outing of the season, surpassing a 5 1/3-inning performance April 11 against the Colorado Rockies.

Pelfrey surrendered a game-opening triple to Diamondbacks center fielder Chris Young, then walked Kelly Johnson, but escaped the first inning unscathed. The lone damage against him came on consecutive third-inning doubles by Johnson and Justin Upton.

Pelfrey’s final line: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 106 pitches (69 strikes).

UPON FURTHER REVIEW: After Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson removed starter Joe Saunders with a two-hit shutout bid intact after a leadoff walk to David Wright in the seventh that took the left-hander’s pitch count to 104, Esmerling Vasquez entered. Vasquez served up a two-out, two-run homer to Ike Davis.

Well, after a replay review.

Initially ruled in play, umpires checked the video and decided Davis’ shot landed above the orange line on the centerfield wall, giving the first baseman his third long ball of the season. The crew returned after a one-minute, 40-second delay and awarded Davis the two-run shot that put the Mets ahead, 2-1. Davis waited at second base for the verdict.

It was the second replay review of the season involving the Mets. In Game 2 of an April 14 doubleheader against Colorado, replay affirmed Scott Hairston’s shot was in play and not a homer.

The Diamondbacks had been 7-0 when leading after six innings.

PRIDIE OF THE METS: Jason Pridie went 0-for-3 with a walk in his Mets debut. It was Pridie’s first major league plate appearance since Sept. 19, 2008 with Minnesota at Tampa Bay.

K-ROD TRACKER: Francisco Rodriguez produced his third save and fifth game finished with a scoreless ninth. K-Rod now needs to finish 50 of the Mets’ final 142 games for his contract to vest at $17.5 million for 2012. Jason Isringhausen handed the ball to Rodriguez with a scoreless eighth inning. The Mets added two insurance runs between relievers on Carlos Beltran's bases-loaded single and an error by third baseman Ryan Roberts.

NABBED: Jose Reyes had been 8-for-8 in steals attempts this season before Saunders’ first-inning pickoff move resulted in a caught stealing. Reyes required a visit from trainer Ray Ramirez in the eighth to look at his left hand after sliding headfirst into third base on a passed ball.

Dillon Gee

Starting Pitcher
New York Mets


2011 Season Stats
1 1 0 2 4 1.59
WHAT’S NEXT: Dillon Gee makes his second start in the rotation spot originally occupied by right-hander Chris Young. Young is scheduled to return from biceps tendinitis for Tuesday’s start against the Washington Nationals.

Terry Collins pledged Friday not to have a six-man rotation, so something has to give. After Chris Capuano limited Houston to one run in seven innings Thursday, Gee returned to being most vulnerable to being bounced, barring an extraordinary performance against the Diamondbacks.

“Given the pitching overall this season, it’s a nice problem to have if it develops,” Sandy Alderson said about having six starting pitchers for five spots. “Let’s see whether these trends continue. We’ll see how Dillon pitches. We’ll see if Chris does come back on Tuesday. That would be a nice problem to have, if we had to figure out how to get back to a five-man rotation -- an effective five-man rotation.”

Young’s last hurdle before being activated from the disabled list is a bullpen session Saturday, but he already is fully expecting to make Tuesday’s start in Washington against the Nationals.

“I expect everything to move forward according to plan,” Young said.

Wheelin' and dealin' in the desert

July, 31, 2010
Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero had a question for the guy a few lockers away in the visitor's clubhouse at Citi Field on Saturday.

"Hey, what's your first name?" he said to the recently acquired Daniel Hudson. "Are you pitching tomorrow?"

A minute later, Joe Saunders, who himself was traded from the Angels to the D-Backs last Sunday, strolled into the near-empty clubhouse wonering aloud, "Where is everybody? Did the whole team get traded?"

He was only half-kidding.

The Diamondbacks made sigificant changes to their roster in the last six days, trading startingf pitchers Dan Haren and Edwin Jackson, reliever Chad Qualls and catcher Chris Snyder in four separate deals.

"It's just part of our job," Montero said. "We're here and we don't know where we're going to be the next day. We kind of understand it.

"I think we got a lot of good young players (in the deals)."

Kelly Johnson, whose name had surfaced in trade rumors, wasn't dealt before Saturday's non-waiver trade deadline, but received some good-natured ribbing from teammate Justin Upton.

"All we have to figure out is what kind of dryer we want for you," Upton joked. "LG or Whirlpool."



Daniel Murphy
.299 9 52 70
HRL. Duda 23
RBIL. Duda 69
RD. Murphy 70
OPSL. Duda .841
WB. Colon 11
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.48
SOZ. Wheeler 148