New York Mets: Joel Hanrahan


Doug Pensinger/Getty ImagesJustin Morneau delivers a first-inning RBI double against Zack Wheeler on Friday.
DENVER

FIRST PITCH: After losing the first two games at Coors Field, the Mets (15-13) attempt to regroup Saturday night.

Jenrry Mejia (3-0, 3.49 ERA) opposes left-hander Franklin Morales (3-1, 4.40) in the 8:10 p.m. ET game.

Saturday’s news reports:

Zack Wheeler had his shortest big-league outing and surrendered a career-high seven runs as Colorado beat the Mets, 10-3, Friday. Curtis Granderson had a two-hit game, including his second long ball as a Met, which snapped a 75 at-bat homerless drought. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Times, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and at MLB.com.

• Commissioner Bud Selig reiterated he has “a lot of faith” in the Wilpons and the Mets. He praised the organization’s farm system. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Record and Journal.

Joel Hanrahan, whom the Mets recently watched throw, signed with Detroit. He receives a $1 million base salary with the chance for $2 million more in incentives.

• Terry Collins met with his outfielders on Thursday and suggested there would be a rotation among the four primary guys. Still, Eric Young Jr. has sat consecutive games since Juan Lagares returned from the disabled list. Read more in the Journal, Star-Ledger and Newsday.

• Jacob deGrom and/or Rafael Montero may start getting exposed to the bullpen with Triple-A Las Vegas soon.

• Collins offered no indication Josh Satin’s roster spot was in jeopardy.

• MLB will try to reduce the number of games in which a team plays a night game on one coast, then has to travel across the country for a game the next day.

• Read more on Granderson in the Star-Ledger.

• Mookie Wlison has a Q&A with Charles Curtis in the Star-Ledger. One exchange:

Were you surprised at the reaction last week with the quote about feeling like you were a hood ornament for the Mets?

Wilson: “I knew it would raise a few eyebrows. I just didn't know to what extent. I guess people think it's a little out of character. I'm not surprised, no.”

• Justin Felisko in the Times chats with Travis d’Arnaud.

Wilmer Flores homered twice, but Las Vegas squandered an eighth-inning lead and lost to Tacoma, 6-4. Greg Peavey allowed one run in six innings as Binghamton beat Portland, 5-1. Miller Diaz allowed only an unearned run in 6 1/3 innings as Savannah beat Rome, 2-1. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Ex-Met Collin McHugh is 2-0 with a 0.59 ERA for the Houston Astros. Mark Simon recaps his success here.

Faith and Fear still can't figure out this True New Yorker business.

BIRTHDAYS: Chris Cannizzaro, a catcher for the Mets during their first four years in existence, was born on this date in 1938.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Are you concerned about Zack Wheeler?

Mets watch Hanrahan ... go to Tigers

May, 2, 2014
May 2
11:05
AM ET
DENVER -- The Mets recently watched reliever Joel Hanrahan throw as he returns from Tommy John surgery. But Hanrahan instead is headed to the Detroit Tigers.

Hanrahan, 32, has 100 career saves, including a combined 76 in 2011 and '12 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Read the full news story here.

Morning Briefing: Wainwright curve on tap

April, 22, 2014
Apr 22
5:40
AM ET

Al Behrman/Associated PressThe Mets face Adam Wainwright on Tuesday night at Citi Field.
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: The Mets moved back above .500 with a win against the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night, but Terry Collins knows the Amazin’s have a tough task ahead the remainder of the series.

Adam Wainwright (of curveball-to-Carlos Beltran fame) opposes Dillon Gee on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. at Citi Field. The Mets then face Michael Wacha and Lance Lynn the final two games of the series.

Wainwright actually is 2-4 with a 6.02 ERA in eight career regular-season appearances (six starts) against the Mets. Still, he is coming off a two-hit shutout of the Washington Nationals and arrives with a 1.80 ERA in 2014.

“We’ve got our hands full the next three nights,” Collins said. “We’ve got Adam. I mean, there’s nights he could be as good as there is in baseball. Lance Lynn is throwing the ball very, very well. Michael Wacha showed what he could do last year in the World Series.”

Tuesday’s news reports:

Jenrry Mejia tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings to shave his ERA to 1.99 as the camouflage-jersey-wearing Mets blanked the Cardinals, 2-0, Monday. Newly installed closer Kyle Farnsworth notched his first save as a Met, although looked to be nursing his forearm in the clubhouse postgame.

Curtis Granderson struck out three times while upping his hitless streak to 19 at-bats -- two shy of matching his career high. Ruben Tejada made a pair of diving stops up the middle. David Wright extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a broken-bat RBI single in the third that opened the scoring.

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

Bobby Abreu joined the Mets on Monday, with Andrew Brown demoted to clear the roster spot. Collins said he expects Abreu to see some action in the outfield, so that the 40-year-old Venezuelan can stay sharp for pinch-hitting duty.

“He fits right into our approach,” hitting coach Dave Hudgens, who managed Abreu during the winter-ball season in Venezuela, told Marc Carig in Newsday. “He doesn't go out of the strike zone very often. He tries to have a quality at-bat. I thought he’d be good off the bench. He’s so experienced.”

Read more in the Daily News, Record, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.

• Amateur scouts speculate that the player to be named in the Ike Davis trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates may be right-hander Neil Kozikowski, whom the Mets heavily scouted before the draft, the Daily News’ John Harper tweets. Kozikowski, 18, was an eighth-round pick out of Avon Old Farms School in Connecticut in 2013.


Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY SportsIke Davis belted a broken-bat grand slam Monday for the Pirates.


Davis, meanwhile, on Monday connected on a broken-bat grand slam for his first homer with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Sandy Alderson told Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger the Mets got roughly the same return in a trade as they would have if they had dealt Davis during the offseason.

“We got close to spring training and decided to back off because it was a close call between Ike and Lucas [Duda],” Alderson told Vorkunov. “They both got hurt in spring training, so there wasn’t really an opportunity for one to separate from the other. We got into the first part of the season and got another look. It sort of reconfirmed what we had originally thought several months ago -- probably [we] would try to move Ike and keep Duda. There wasn’t any reason to continue the competition or the tension.”

• Alderson told reporters during an appearance at VA New York Harbor Healthcare Hospital on Monday that free-agent reliever Joel Hanrahan has “definitely made progress” as he nears completion of his rehab from Tommy John surgery. Still, the Post’s Mike Puma tweets that the Mets have not internally discussed whether to make an offer -- although they are “interested.” A team official tells Puma that Hanrahan likely would not be ready to pitch in the big leagues until mid-June.

The Mets, along with other teams, watched Hanrahan work out last week.

“The bullpen has been an issue for us a while,” Alderson told reporters. “He’s out there and is available, so why shouldn’t we see how he’s progressing?”

Read more in the Post and Newsday.

• Columnist John Harper in the Daily News advocates inserting prospects Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom, starters in Triple-A, into the big-league bullpen. Writes Harper:

These Cardinals, who have become the model organization in baseball, are proof that you can break in talented young starters as relievers and have great success that way.

It’s fair to say that Adam Wainwright, the Cardinals’ ace, has done all right since breaking in as a reliever in 2006, when, of course, his famous strike-three curveball to Carlos Beltran put his team into the World Series.

The Cardinals are doing the same now with the likes of Trevor Rosenthal and Carlos Martinez, both highly touted starters in the minors for whom there is no room at the moment in the star-studded rotation.

Zach Lutz departed after the first inning with cramping and Eric Campbell blasted a go-ahead two-run homer as Las Vegas beat El Paso, 5-4. Portland turned a first-inning triple play in a 7-4 win against Binghamton. St. Lucie benefited from consecutive bases-loaded walks to Brandon Nimmo and T.J. Rivera and beat Palm Beach, 5-4. Savannah’s Northeast tour began with a 10-5 rout against Delmarva as Jeff McNeil, Jared King and Stefan Sabol homered. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• The Mets’ payroll is down to about $86 million with the trade of Davis.

• Jared Diamond in the Journal discusses a pair of replay-review kinks that affected the Mets.

• Critic Bob Raissman in the Daily News suggests SNY’s analysts are becoming more critical of Collins.

From the bloggers … Blogging Mets writes about the enigma that is Eric Young Jr.

BIRTHDAYS: No one to play in a game for the Mets was born on this date, but Jack Nicholson, Kaka and Terry Francona celebrate birthdays.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Will the Mets win this series from the Cardinals?

Morning Briefing: Mets above .500

April, 17, 2014
Apr 17
5:30
AM ET
PHOENIX

FIRST PITCH: After going 6-3 on their three-city trip and moving above .500 for the first time this season, the Mets take a day off before opening a 10-game homestand.

The Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals and Miami Marlins are due to visit Citi Field.

“I almost wish we didn’t have [Thursday] off because we’re playing really well,” Anthony Recker said.

Jonathon Niese (0-1, 3.46 ERA) opposes ex-Met Aaron Harang (2-1, 0.96) in Friday’s 7:10 p.m. series opener against the Braves.

The Mets (8-7) actually are above .500 for the first time since last April 24, when they were 10-9.

“We’ve got to pitch,” Terry Collins said. “It starts there. We’ve got to pitch.”

Thursday’s news reports:

• The Mets completed a sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 5-2 victory in Wednesday’s series finale. Dillon Gee required only 72 pitches for seven scoreless innings. Recker homered and doubled and may see increased playing time at Travis d’Arnaud’s expense. Jose Valverde allowed two homers in the ninth, but Collins insisted he remains the closer.

As for moving about .500, Gee said: “We’re concentrating on winning. I didn’t even know what our record was, to be honest, going into this game.”

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


Christian Petersen/Getty ImagesDaisuke Matsuzaka gestures in the visitors' dugout at Chase Field on Wednesday after rejoining the Mets.


• The Mets promoted Daisuke Matsuzaka from Triple-A to serve as a longer reliever and dropped John Lannan. Lannan had 72 hours from Wednesday’s decision to accept a demotion or declare free agency. With Lannan’s departure, Scott Rice is the lone lefty in the bullpen, but Collins said he won’t burn out the southpaw. Read more on Dice-K’s return in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Record, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.

Chris Young joined the Mets on Wednesday in Phoenix after three rehab games with Las Vegas. Young (quadriceps) is due to be activated from the disabled list Friday. Curtis Granderson, officially day to day with bruises to his left wrist, rib cage and knee, is expected to reenter the starting lineup Friday, too. Granderson pinch hit in the eighth inning Wednesday.

Andrew Brown could be demoted when Young is activated from the DL on Friday, but none of the first basemen should be in jeopardy, according to Sandy Alderson. Brown, though, had a strong game Wednesday, going 2-for-5 and making a stellar catch in right field. So maybe Kirk Nieuwenhuis will be returned to Vegas instead.

• Trainers told Juan Lagares, who underwent an MRI on Tuesday, that they do not believe his right hamstring pull is severe. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Collins believes Bartolo Colon, who has been dealing with back spasms, will be able to make Saturday’s start against the Braves. Jenrry Mejia, who left Tuesday’s start with a blister issue, is due to throw a bullpen session Friday at Citi Field, but expects to make his next start, too. Read more in the Post and Star-Ledger.

• The Mets plan to scout free-agent reliever Joel Hanrahan’s showcase for teams Thursday. Hanrahan underwent Tommy John surgery on May 16, 2013.

• The Brooklyn Cyclones will host “Seinfeld Night” on July 5 at MCU Park. Read more in the Post.

• Rob Whalen won in his first start of the season as Savannah beat Augusta, 4-1. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Gary Cohen lightheartedly blamed broadcast partner Keith Hernandez for jinxing Gee’s perfect game. Hernandez had mentioned the no-no after Gee retired the game’s first 14 batters. It ended immediately afterward. Read more in the Post.

From the bloggers … NY Mets Life examines how social media has changed the way fans interact with the game.

BIRTHDAYS: Rico Brogna turns 44. ... Brady Clark is 41. ... Infielder Doug Flynn was born on this date in 1951.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Will the Mets’ winning ways continue during their upcoming homestand against the Braves, Cardinals and Marlins?

Mets plan to scout Hanrahan on Thursday

April, 16, 2014
Apr 16
8:10
PM ET
PHOENIX -- Mets personnel will be in attendance when free-agent closer Joel Hanrahan has

lastname
Hanrahan
a showcase for interested teams Thursday.

"We'll be there," a team official said.

Hanrahan, 32, is removed 11 months from Tommy John surgery. He made nine appearances last season with the Boston Red Sox before undergoing the May 16, 2013 elbow procedure.

The Mets have lost Bobby Parnell for the season, while Jose Valverde has surrendered three homers in his past two appearances.

Morning Briefing: Another .500 bid

April, 15, 2014
Apr 15
5:28
AM ET

Ross D. Franklin/Associated PressTrainer Ray Ramirez and Terry Collins check out Curtis Granderson's left arm after a collision with the outfield wall in the first inning Monday.
PHOENIX

FIRST PITCH: For the sixth time this young season, the Mets (6-7) will attempt to move back to .500 on Tuesday night.

Each other time -- with their record at 0-1, 2-3, 3-4, 4-5 and 5-6 -- they have lost.

Jenrry Mejia (1-0, 4.09 ERA) opposes Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Bronson Arroyo (1-0, 4.82) at 9:40 p.m. ET at Chase Field.

Tuesday’s news reports:

• The Mets suffered a pair of injuries to outfielders Monday. Juan Lagares pulled his right hamstring and Curtis Granderson suffered bruises to his left forearm, rib cage and knee. Lagares appears likely to land on the disabled list, with Kirk Nieuwenhuis expected to join the Mets from Triple-A Las Vegas. Granderson officially is day-to-day, but may not see any action until the weekend at Citi Field at the earliest.

Lucas Duda was forced to play in the outfield for the first time since last June.

Chris Young, who has now reached base in nine of 10 plate appearances during his rehab assignment with Las Vegas, is not eligible to be activated from the DL until Friday.

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

Zack Wheeler reverted to an old delivery, limited the D-backs to two runs in 6 1/3 innings and earned his first win since last Aug. 31 as the Mets beat Arizona, 7-3, Monday at Chase Field. Carlos Torres handled the final 2 2/3 innings to earn his first big-league save. Duda finished 4-for-5 with two RBIs. Read more in Newsday and at MLB.com.

• Noah Syndergaard allowed two runs on five hits and two walks in five innings and Eric Campbell played shortstop for the first time in his professional career as Las Vegas beat Fresno, 5-2. Read the full minor-league recap here.

Matt Harvey spent Sunday watching the Knicks game alongside a model, but was allowed because it was not a scheduled rehab day in Port St. Lucie, Fla., according to a team official. Read more in the Post.

• Ex-Met Frank Francisco has signed with the Chicago White Sox and was assigned to Triple-A Charlotte.

• The Mets plan to scout free-agent reliever Joel Hanrahan’s showcase for teams on Thursday, Kristie Ackert in the Daily News confirms. Hanrahan is returning from Tommy John surgery.

Ike Davis discusses his pinch-hitting role with Matt Ehalt in the Record.

• Tim Rohan in the Times recaps the Mets’ early season struggles.

Oliver Perez discusses his reinvention as a successful reliever in the Journal. “That’s really hard for anybody, when you get fired from your work,” Perez told the newspaper about getting released by the Mets in 2011, during the same spring training that Luis Castillo also was cut loose.

Chris Schwinden, released by the Mets during spring training, has signed with the independent Lancaster (Pa.) Barnstormers.

From the bloggers … Mets Police offers some thoughts on the Mets brand. … The Eddie Kranepool Society suggests it may be time for Terry Collins to shake up the lineup by dropping Daniel Murphy to No. 7 and letting Travis d'Arnaud bat second. … NY Mets Life offers it take on the Mets season thus far.

BIRTHDAYS: Jeromy Burnitz turns 45. ... Aaron Laffey is 29. ... Ricky Otero was born on this date in 1972.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Do you approve of Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ expected promotion to replace Juan Lagares?

Morning Briefing: Late show in Anaheim

April, 12, 2014
Apr 12
5:00
AM ET

Paul Spinelli/MLB Photos/Getty ImagesThe Angels, perhaps spurred by the Rally Monkey, won in walk-off fashion Friday against the Mets.
ANAHEIM, Calif.

FIRST PITCH: The Mets attempt to bounce back from an extra-inning loss when Jonathon Niese makes his second start of the season Saturday.

Niese (0-1, 3.18 ERA) should be free to throw as many as 105 pitches. He opposes right-hander Jered Weaver (0-2, 6.00) at 9:05 p.m. ET.

With the Mets having the DH available, Ike Davis and Lucas Duda both are expected to start.

Saturday’s news reports:

Jeurys Familia loaded the bases with a pair of one-out intentional walks, then plunked Hank Conger to force in the winning run as the Angels beat the Mets, 5-4, in 11 innings late Friday night. That snapped a streak of 20 1/3 scoreless innings by Mets relievers. The Mets last lost on a walk-off hit by pitch in 2008, courtesy of Scott Schoeneweis. The Angels left 14 men on base. The Mets left four men on base the entire game and failed to score over the final seven innings. A displeased Dillon Gee allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings. Travis d’Arnaud, who grew up 15 minutes from Angel Stadium, homered for the first time in 110 at-bats. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday, Times and MLB.com.

Curtis Granderson was touched on the back by a fan who reached onto the field during the eighth inning. The spectator was ejected but law enforcement will not get involved, an Angels spokesman said. Read more in the Daily News and Star-Ledger.

• Kevin Burkhardt recalls the 3 a.m. ET firing of Willie Randolph back in 2008, after Game 1 of the Mets’ last series in Anaheim. Burkhardt told Kristie Ackert in the Daily News about SNY’s critical coverage of that event: “I ripped into how they handled it for 15 minutes. I was exhausted. It was one of those things that when I got done, I was like, hmmmm, I wonder how that will be received.”


Jim Rogash/Getty ImagesFree agent Joel Hanrahan is expected to audition for teams next week.


• ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick tweets that the Mets are believed to be one of the teams interested in free-agent reliever Joel Hanrahan, who is 11 months post-Tommy John surgery. Hanrahan is expected to throw for teams next week. Other teams in the mix include the Yankees, Angels, Rangers, Rockies, Royals, Red Sox, Athletics and Rays, according to Crasnick.

Chris Young (quadriceps) is headed to Triple-A Las Vegas to begin a rehab assignment. Terry Collins expects a rotation among four outfielders when C.Y. is activated from the disabled list on Friday in New York. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger and Record.

• Rainy Lara tossed seven scoreless innings and Brian Burgamy homered twice as Binghamton beat New Hampshire, 7-0. Cam Maron drove in Aderlin Rodriguez in the eighth with the tiebreaking run and St. Lucie beat Fort Myers, 6-3. Robert Gsellman allowed one unearned run in seven innings as Savannah beat Rome, 4-1. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Mets farmhand Akeel Morris, a right-hander from the Virgin Islands, gets a mention in this week’s Baseball America Prospect Hot Sheet. The report reads:

A 10th-round pick from the Virgin Islands in 2010, Morris struggled with his direction to the plate as a starter, but his potential was obvious given his mid-90s heat. He began seeing results after switching to relief at short-season Brooklyn last year, striking out 60 in 45 innings with a 1.00 ERA. That success has carried over to 2014 as the 21-year-old Morris has recorded 11 strikeouts among the 12 outs he’s recorded this year while throwing four scoreless innings (three of them in one relief outing) at low Class A Savannah. If Morris keeps dominating like that, he might get another shot at the rotation.

• Collins said he is a changed person compared to the late 1990s, when he was managing the Angels. The only thing the same? His short stature, he joked.

"We let him down," Angels third-base coach Gary DiSarcina, who played for Collins with the Angels, told Marc Carig in Newsday. "He didn’t let us down. … We fractured. And he took the blame for it."

Said Bill Bavasi, then the Angels GM, to Tim Rohan in the Times about Collins’ players in Anaheim: “They couldn’t handle being pushed to get better. You know, life was good for them. They were getting paid a lot of money. Why put up with somebody asking you to work a little bit harder? They were just really rotten apples. And blame me. Terry didn’t bring those guys in. I did.”

Read more in the Journal, Star-Ledger and Record.

From the bloggers … Mark Berman at Blogging Mets thinks Collins should have used Jose Valverde with the game on the line Friday.

BIRTHDAYS: Catcher-turned-thoroughbred handicapper Paul Lo Duca turns 42. ... Danny Garcia, the first Brooklyn Cyclone to reach the majors, is 34. ... Minor-league catchers Xorge Carillo (25) and Tomas Nido (20) also celebrate birthdays.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should Jeurys Familia have been pitching a third inning of relief Friday?

ESPN IllustrationThe Braves will honor Hank Aaron on Tuesday night at Turner Field.
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: After spending a day off in Atlanta, the Mets open their first road trip of the season. The nine-game journey also includes stops in Anaheim and Phoenix.

Bartolo Colon is due to face ex-Met Aaron Harang in Tuesday’s 7:10 p.m. series opener at Turner Field. A pregame ceremony will honor 80-year-old Hank Aaron on the 40th anniversary of homer No. 715, which moved him past Babe Ruth as MLB’s all-time home-run leader.

Lucas Duda is due to start at first base, after Ike Davis belted a pinch-hit grand slam Saturday, then started Sunday at the position.

Read the Mets-Braves series preview here.

Also Tuesday, Bobby Parnell is due to undergo Tommy John surgery at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. Team doctor David Altchek will perform the procedure.

The timing gives Parnell the best chance to return for the start of next season. There is typically a 10- to 14-month recovery time.

Tuesday’s news reports:


Adam RubinVic Black is on the Triple-A disabled list.


Vic Black landed on the disabled list at Triple-A Las Vegas with a pinched nerve in his neck, although that apparently had nothing to do with his spring-training control woes (24 baserunners in 9 1/3 innings).

• The Mets are 105-144 at Citi Field and 122-121 on the road since the start of the 2011 season. Is that just luck? Or more media and appearance responsibilities at home hindering performance? Or the dimensions of Citi Field? The exact answer is not clear. But even the meal schedule is under scrutiny by team officials, Jared Diamond reports in the Journal. Writes Diamond:

In the past, the team would provide a light meal and snacks when the players arrived to work, consisting of salad and sandwiches. Then a larger meal, more akin to dinner, was served after batting practice, which ends about two hours before a 7:10 p.m. game.

After consulting the team nutritionist, they reversed the menu this year, with the heavier food coming out before batting practice. Teams eat this way on the road because they hit second, leaving them with little time between batting practice and the game. The Mets also changed the times of certain meetings to better resemble the road routine.

• Colon allowed three runs on nine hits, including two homers, in six innings in his Mets debut Wednesday against the Washington Nationals. Read more on Colon in the Post.

• The Mets have struck out 61 times so far, a franchise record through six games of a season. “We’re going to strike out,” Terry Collins told John Jeansonne in Newsday. “The middle of our lineup, because of the kinds of hitters they are, they’re going to strike out.”

• The Mets are not believed to be active in trying to land a free-agent reliever, even after losing Parnell for the season. Writes Anthony DiComo at MLB.com:

General manager Sandy Alderson continues to monitor the closers on the open market, according to one team executive, but he is not ready to pounce on one just yet -- or, perhaps, ever.

Two factors explain Alderson's hesitancy. First, the Mets are genuinely curious to see what three-time All-Star Jose Valverde can give them in the ninth inning. Considering Valverde’s successful 12-year history of closing games and his early success out of the bullpen this season, there is reason to believe he can be just as effective as Joel Hanrahan, Ryan Madson or any other free agent working his way back from injury.

• Tyler Kepner in the Times scrutinizes Travis d’Arnaud, who has opened the season hitless in 15 at-bats. “He’ll be fine,” David Wright told Kepner. “He can hit. He’s hit at every level. So he’s off to a slow start. He’s caught very well, thrown some runners out, called some good games. We’ve gotten quality starts, and that’s because of Travis. Defensively, he’s done everything we’ve asked him to do, and offensively, he’ll come around, because his track record says he’s going to hit.” Read more on d'Arnaud in the Post, Daily News and Record.

Daisuke Matsuzaka allowed three runs in five innings and Matt den Dekker had a walk-off infield single that plated Cesar Puello as Las Vegas beat Sacramento, 7-6, Monday. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• The Yankees traded Eduardo Nunez to the Minnesota Twins for left-hander Miguel Sulbaran. Mets reportedly were not involved in trade discussions about Nunez.

• From the bloggers … Mark Berman at Blogging Mets thinks the Mets have too many uniforms.

BIRTHDAYS: Timo Perez turns 39. ... The late Gary Carter was born on this date in 1954. ... 2013 12th-round draft pick Jeff McNeil, currently playing with low-A Savannah, is 22.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets sign a free-agent reliever such as Joel Hanrahan or Ryan Madson?

Morning Briefing: Wheels up for '14 debut

April, 3, 2014
Apr 3
5:44
AM ET

Chris Trotman/Getty ImagesZack Wheeler makes his season debut Thursday afternoon opposite Jordan Zimmermann.
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: Zack Wheeler wanted the Opening Day start. He draws just as tough an assignment in Game 3.

In Thursday’s 1:10 p.m. series finale at Citi Field, Wheeler opposes Washington Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann, a 19-game winner in 2013.

Wheeler will be pitching after a lengthy layoff. He last appeared last Tuesday, when he allowed five runs in 2 2/3 innings in a Grapefruit League game against the Nats in Viera, Fla.

Assuming Lucas Duda starts against Zimmermann, it would mark the first time in franchise history the Mets started three different first basemen in the first three games of a season.

Thursday’s news reports:

• The decision about whether Bobby Parnell needs Tommy John surgery likely will occur in about six weeks. Parnell, diagnosed with a partial tear of the medial collateral ligament in his right elbow, had been experiencing forearm discomfort for four or five days before informing the team postgame Monday, after suffering a blown save, Sandy Alderson said.

Because the tear is in a thicker part of the ligament than, say, Matt Harvey’s tear, doctors believe it is possible Parnell can avoid surgery. He will begin a throwing program in two weeks and see if he is able to ramp up activity over the following month without discomfort.

Jose Valverde is the closer in Parnell’s absence, Terry Collins said. Alderson said the Mets are not seeking outside help right now, such as free-agent Joel Hanrahan.

In a month, Alderson said, the Mets also will consider reinforcements from Triple-A -- which happens to be a timeframe that would delay free agency by a year for those prospects. Noah Sydnergaard is off the table for relief work at the major-league level, but Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom are candidates. Alderson indicated that beginning in May, members of the Triple-A rotation likely would skip turns and pitch an inning in the bullpen anyway with Las Vegas to offset strict innings caps.

Read columnist Ken Davidoff’s take in the Post and columnist Anthony Rieber’s take in Newsday.

Read news stories on Parnell and the closer’s situation in the Post, Daily News, Journal, Newsday and Star-Ledger.


Adam RubinFrank Viola underwent open-heart surgery Wednesday at New York Presbyterian.


• Frank Viola underwent open-heart surgery Wednesday at New York Presbyterian and will be in the intensive-care unit for 48 hours. Alderson indicated Viola would like to fulfill his planned role as Triple-A pitching coach this season, but doctors will need to sign off for that to occur. Read more in the Daily News, Newsday and at MLB.com.

• The Nationals broke a tie against debuting Bartolo Colon with fifth-inning solo homers from Ian Desmond and opposing starter Gio Gonzalez en route to a 5-1 win Wednesday. The Mets are 0-2 for the first time since 2005. Colon threw 110 pitches -- more than all but one of his starts last season with the Oakland Athletics.

The Mets have now struck out 31 times. That is a modern-day MLB record for the first two games of a season, topping last year’s Houston Astros 28 Ks, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Houston went on to set an MLB record for most strikeouts in a season, with 1,535 -- which is an average of 9.5 per game.

Curtis Granderson, hitless in nine at-bats as a Met and starting to receive jeers, has contributed five of those Mets Ks.

Ruben Tejada gave himself up and was thrown out at the plate during Wednesday’s loss, leading Collins to suggest the shortstop was confused about the plate-collision rules.

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

Daniel Murphy, whose absence for paternity leave created a stir on talk radio, is due to rejoin the Mets for Thursday’s matinee. Alderson labeled it “appropriate” for a father to spend time with his newborn and wife. It also is a collectively bargained right to miss up to three days on paternity leave.

Murphy’s son Noah actually had been due April 15. The family always planned for wife Tori to give birth in Florida, where her mother is a nurse.

Murphy, by the way, played in 161 games last season -- a total he already now cannot duplicate this year.

Coincidentally, Jimmy Rollins began paternity leave Wednesday with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Read more on the talk-radio objections to paternity leave in the Post, Daily News, Newsday and Star-Ledger.

Jonathon Niese rejoined the Mets on Wednesday in advance of being activated from the disabled list for Sunday’s start against the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field. Niese likely will be capped at 95 pitches in his first start. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

Chris Young’s delayed Mets debut lasted only one inning Wednesday. C.Y., who missed Opening Day with a strained right quadriceps, had the muscle bark in the first inning and departed before even getting one at-bat. He called the start to his Mets career “a bad dream.” Andrew Brown, who had a three-run homer in Game 1, replaced him in left field.

Brown might have been slated to be demoted to Triple-A on Sunday morning when Niese is activated from the DL. Now, if C.Y. goes on the DL, Brown likely would stick around. Assuming C.Y. goes on the DL immediately, Wilmer Flores -- here for Murphy’s paternity leave -- could stick around with the big-league club until Niese is activated. Otherwise, Flores likely is ticketed for Vegas on Thursday morning.

Read more in the Daily News, Star-Ledger and at MLB.com.

• The Mets do not intend for newly signed Bobby Abreu to play first base while with Triple-A Las Vegas. Alderson said Abreu, who played winter ball for hitting coach Dave Hudgens in Venezuela, could end up helping the big-league club as a lefty bat for the bench. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Right-handed reliever Ryan Reid was removed from the 40-man roster and outrighted to Las Vegas to clear a spot for the addition of Kyle Farnsworth. Reid, a waiver claim by the Mets during the offseason from the Pittsburgh Pirates, had a 10.50 ERA and .444 opponent batting average in six Grapefruit League innings.

• Collins may want Eric Young Jr. leading off, but it was Juan Lagares atop the order and Wilmer Flores at second base with E.Y. Jr. on the bench Wednesday. The reason, according to Collins, was E.Y. Jr. being hitless in eight career at-bats against Gonzalez. Collins apparently wants to stick with Chris Young in the middle of the order, hitting behind Granderson and not leading off. Lagares has produced two straight multi-hit games.

• Mets minor-league seasons begin Thursday. Montero starts for Las Vegas at 10:05 p.m. ET against Fresno. Darin Gorski starts for Binghamton at 6:35 p.m. against Akron. Gabriel Ynoa starts for St. Lucie at 6:30 p.m. against Palm Beach. Robert Gsellman starts for Savannah at 7:05 p.m. against Lakewood.

Read comments from Syndergaard on pitching in the Pacific Coast League in the Las Vegas Sun.

Read a position-by-position breakdown of the Double-A B-Mets in the Press & Sun-Bulletin.

• Lenny Dykstra is suing Los Angeles County, alleging he was beaten by deputies while in jail, the Associated Press writes.

• Jorge Arangure in the Times examines what protocols were in place to determine whether Bryce Harper should have remained in the game Opening Day after being kneed in the head during a slide.

BIRTHDAYS: Rod Gaspar, who appeared in 118 games for the world-champion ’69 Mets, was born on this date in 1946.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets consider putting Rafael Montero or Jacob deGrom in the big-league bullpen right now?

Elsa/Getty ImagesBobby Parnell has a partial tear of the MCL in his right elbow.
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: There was no relief for the Mets on Tuesday’s off-day, either.

Bobby Parnell was diagnosed with a partial tear of the medial collateral ligament in his right elbow. He received an injection of platelet-rich plasma and will be idle for two weeks. After that, Parnell will be reevaluated and a decision about Tommy John surgery may be made.

Now, Jose Valverde appears the team’s closer. Fellow veteran Kyle Farnsworth, who had been ticketed for Triple-A Las Vegas, has been added to the big-league bullpen with Parnell landing on the disabled list.

The Mets will need to drop a player from the 40-man roster in order to clear a spot for Farnsworth. Right-handed reliever Ryan Reid, a waiver claim during the offseason, is one logical possibility.

Meanwhile, Bartolo Colon makes his Mets debut on Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. as the Amazin’s look to rebound from a 9-7, 10-inning loss on Opening Day.

Colon, who signed a two-year, $20 million deal in early December, opposes Washington Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez.

With a southpaw pitching for the Nats, Josh Satin is expected to get the start at first base for the Mets.

Whether Chris Young makes his Mets debut remains to be seen. He was sidelined on Opening Day with a right quadriceps strain, which he suffered during the weekend in Montreal.

Wednesday’s news reports:

Daniel Murphy, whose wife Tori gave birth to eight-pound, two-ounce son Noah on Monday in Florida, will be placed on paternity leave Wednesday. That will allow the Mets to add Wilmer Flores in Murphy’s absence, which is now permitted to be one to three days.

Jonathon Niese allowed four runs (two earned) in 4 2/3 innings in a minor-league intrasquad game Tuesday night in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Niese threw 76 pitches. The southpaw’s next appearance should come Sunday, when he is activated from the disabled list to face the Cincinnati Reds in the homestand finale. Niese now has pitched twice in game-like settings since receiving a cortisone injection in his left elbow.

• Columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post labels the loss of Parnell a challenge. Writes Davidoff:

The well-run teams cope, particularly when it comes to fallen closers -- a position more replaceable than you might think. Last year’s Red Sox lost two such pitchers, Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey, to season-ending injuries, and rode third choice Koji Uehara all the way to a parade. The 2012 Giants saw their bearded wonder Brian Wilson succumb to Tommy John surgery in April, so they turned to Santiago Casilla and then Sergio Romo to pick up their second title in three years.

The 2011 Cardinals lost on Opening Day when veteran closer Ryan Franklin blew a save opportunity in the ninth inning and the Padres scored two more in the 10th. A total of eight pitchers recorded saves for St. Louis that season, Jason Motte running the final lap, en route to winning it all.

Now, no one will proclaim these Mets to be as strong or deep as any of the past three champions. Yet all three overcame their early adversity thanks also to unshakable managers, resourceful general managers and flexible owners.


Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY SportsRyan Madson remains a free agent.


Experienced closers Ryan Madson and Hanrahan are available as free agents if the Mets are so inclined, CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman tweets. Hanrahan may not be ready until June, though, as he returns from Tommy John surgery.

Read more on Parnell’s injury in the Times, Post, Daily News, Journal, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and MLB.com.

• Frank Viola is due to undergo open-heart surgery on Wednesday morning. The issue had been flagged during a physical at the start of spring training. Viola had been slated to serve as Las Vegas pitching coach.

• Read more on Colon’s looming Mets debut in the Post.

• Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos has a broken hamate bone in his left hand that requires surgery and is due to miss four to eight weeks, The Washington Post reports. The newspaper reported Ramos suffered the fracture on a foul tip on Opening Day.

• Oddsmaker Bovada has Terry Collins tied for third on its board of most likely MLB managers to be fired. The leading candidates:

John Gibbons, Toronto, 2-1
Kirk Gibson, Arizona, 5-2
Ned Yost, Milwaukee, 5-1
Collins, Mets, 5-1
Bo Porter, Houston, 7-1
Mike Scioscia, L.A. Angels, 12-1

From the bloggers … Mets Police would like the Mets to use numbers, not dots, for the ball-strike-out count on the scoreboard.

BIRTHDAYS: Former Mets reliever Hisanori Takahashi turns 39. ... Infielder Al Weis was born on this date in 1938.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: How do you believe Jose Valverde will perform in the closer’s role?

Morning Briefing: J Wilpon on payroll, Drew

February, 17, 2014
Feb 17
6:31
AM ET
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.

FIRST PITCH: Chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon did a Q&A with MLB.com as pitchers and catchers are set for their first official workout Monday. Here’s a sampling of the responses …


Adam Rubin
Jeff Wilpon addressed some hot-button Mets topics.


On Sandy Alderson, Wilpon said: “I think he’s put the plan in place, and we're ready to see the fruits of that labor now.”

On not signing Stephen Drew or another additional higher-caliber free agent: “If those one or two things were there, we would have expanded the budget for them. Just to get a guy because the fans think that’s the right thing to do, that’s not part of the plan. Sandy’s not going to overspend for something he doesn’t see value in. The value that we see in those guys versus what their agents were asking for does not meet.”

On the un-New York-like payroll: “I would point to the fact that you don’t have to have that kind of payroll to win.”

On the organization’s biggest weakness: “I don't think we have enough position-player prospects that are ready to compete for jobs at the major-league level right now. We’d like to have more, like we have with the pitchers. We’d like to have that same stable of young guys competing for position-player jobs. The guys we have are a couple years away.”

Monday’s news reports:

Matt Harvey sounded resigned to missing the entire 2014 season. He changed his tune and insisted he would not rush his return from Tommy John surgery.

Columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post does not expect the Mets to accept Harvey’s request to rehab in New York rather than Port St. Lucie once the season begins. Writes Davidoff:

By the time the Mets break camp in six weeks, however, Harvey should be either throwing or close to doing so. At that point, it would be silly for him to set up shop in New York.

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

• The Mets will wear a patch remembering the late broadcaster Ralph Kiner. They also will unveil the same logo on the left-field wall during an Opening Day ceremony. Kiner’s children (Michael, Scott, K.C., Tracee and Kimberlee) will participate in that event before the 1:10 p.m. game on March 31 against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Daily News, Record and MLB.com.

Curtis Granderson said he meant no malice toward Yankees fans when he suggested in December upon signing that real New Yorkers are Mets fans. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger and Newsday.

Ruben Tejada reported early to Mets camp Sunday after two tours at a fitness and nutrition camp in Plymouth, Mich. Position players do not officially report until Thursday.

• The Mets’ pursuit of free-agent reliever Joel Hanrahan “will depend upon how the team fares early in the season,” writes Marc Carig in Newsday. Hanrahan, recovering from Tommy John surgery, is not expected to be ready until May.

• Drew will work out at the new Scott Boras training facility in North Miami while waiting to sign, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe tweets.

• Top prospect Noah Syndergaard feels more at ease in his second season with the organization.

• What is Jose Valverde looking forward to in New York? The shopping, he joked. More seriously, Valverde said he is perfectly content setting up Bobby Parnell. Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth have late March outs in their minor-league contracts. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger and Newsday.

• Parnell came through his first time throwing off a mound since herniated-disk surgery fine and was due to repeat the effort Sunday. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

Jeremy Hefner, who underwent Tommy John surgery on Aug. 28, has been cleared to begin tossing a baseball.

Scott Rice says last year’s dual hernias were so uncomfortable he had to “hobble” to the bullpen late last season.

• The lower-case “d”s on the Mets uniforms have a different look in 2014.

• Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger asks four questions to be resolved during spring training.

In the Boston Globe, Terry Collins is ranked the 13th-best manager in MLB.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear in Flushing has chosen its retroactive third Mets World Series champion. … Can you really compare Lyndon Johnson and Howard Johnson? Mets Police did in Mets vs. Presidents. … John Delcos at Mets Report names five Mets on the hot seat.

BIRTHDAYS: Roger Craig, who lost a combined 46 games for the Mets in 1962 and '63, turns 84. ... Former reliever Juan Padilla is 37.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: What do you make of Jeff Wilpon’s comments?

No Rodney, but Mets still eye reliever

February, 6, 2014
Feb 6
11:11
PM ET
Fernando Rodney, who had generated interest from the Mets, signed a two-year, $14 million deal Thursday to become closer for the Seattle Mariners.

Still, the Mets remain in the market for a late-inning reliever. The remaining free agents include Kevin Gregg, Ryan Madson and Joel Hanrahan.

With pitchers and catchers now about a week from reporting and supply remaining, the Mets have renewed hope of landing the late-inning arm on a minor-league deal.

Team insiders were not guaranteeing one more reliever ends up coming on board, but that definitely appears their aim.

Sandy Alderson reportedly told season-ticket holders Thursday night that they would have scouts watching Hanrahan throw, although the reliever will not be ready until May. He underwent Tommy John surgery last May.

Source: Mets still pursuing closer type

February, 3, 2014
Feb 3
5:24
PM ET
The Mets have allotted dollars to add a closer type, according to a source unaffiliated with the club.

The source believed Fernando Rodney may be No. 1 on the team's target list, while also not discounting Kevin Gregg, Ryan Madson or Joel Hanrahan is imported instead.

The pursuit is irrespective of the signing of Kyle Farnsworth to a minor-league deal Monday.

Bobby Parnell has expressed confidence in his ability to bounce back from surgery to repair a herniated disk, but there is little safety net right now, with Vic Black perhaps the most viable internal alternative as closer.

Series preview: Mets at Pirates

May, 21, 2012
5/21/12
11:00
AM ET

Getty Images/Associated Press
The Mets face (l to r) Erik Bedard, James McDonald and Charlie Morton in Pittsburgh.
METS (22-19, third place/NL East) vs. PITTSBURGH PIRATES (19-22, third place/NL Central)

Monday: LHP Johan Santana (1-2, 2.89) vs. LHP Erik Bedard (2-5, 3.07), 7:05 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP R.A. Dickey (5-1, 3.76) vs. RHP James McDonald (3-2, 2.68), 7:05 p.m. ET

Wednesday: LHP Jon Niese (2-2, 4.85) vs. RHP Charlie Morton (2-4, 4.35), 12:35 p.m. ET

Pirates short hops

• Manager Clint Hurdle benched outfielder/leadoff hitter Jose Tabata on Friday for lack of hustle on a groundball the previous day. Tabata also had misplayed two fly balls that gam. "He didn't get out of the box,” Hurdle told the team’s web site. “We saw it happen. We've seen it happen a couple of times. They understand when that happens something else also happens: You're gonna sit over there with me and watch. We had a talk. Jose said he 'lost the moment.' Fine, then get down the line. That didn't happen, and that's not part of our identity. That's not what we're creating here.”

• Center fielder Andrew McCutchen went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts Sunday. In the six previous days, McCutchen had hit a sizzling .381 (8-for-21) with four homers, seven RBIs and six runs scored. He had two multi-homer games in a three-game span, becoming only the second Pirate in the past 25 years to accomplish that, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The other: Pedro Alvarez, who homered twice in consecutive games in July 2010.


Steve Mitchell/US Presswire
Ex-Met Rod Barajas, who actually was awarded to the Dodgers on a waiver claim while the Mets were in Pittsburgh in 2010, signed a one-year deal with the Pirates as a free agent.


• Alvarez is RBI-less in his past six games, and is hitting .106 (5-for-47) in his past 15 games. Still, his seven homers trail the MLB leaders among third baseman -- Adrian Beltre, Miguel Cabrera and David Freese -- by only one.

• Ex-Mets catcher Rod Barajas signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the Pirates during the offseason. He homered Sunday against Detroit’s Max Scherzer, his fourth long ball this season, but is hitting only .220 this season. Barajas has thrown out only two of 18 would-be stealers.

• Right-hander James McDonald had a no-hit bid through five innings in his most recent start, against the Washington Nationals. Ex-Mets farmhand Jesus Flores broke it up with a sixth-inning double.

• Left-hander Erik Bedard allowed four runs in six innings against the Nats on Wednesday. Bedard had been forced from a May 9 start after one-plus innings with back spasms and received extra rest before last week’s start. He has one career start against the Mets: on June 16, 2006 at Shea Stadium, when he allowed three runs in six innings during an interleague series while playing for the Baltimore Orioles. Chris Woodward had an RBI groudout and Jose Reyes had a two-run double against Bedard in Baltimore’s 6-3 win.

• Closer Joel Hanrahan is 9-for-10 in save chances. He has a 90.7 percent success rate since the beginning of the 2011 season. The only NL closer with 40 opportunities and a better save-conversion percentage during that span: Milwaukee’s John Axford (94.5 percent). Hanrahan already ranks eighth on the Pirates’ all-time saves list with 55. Next up: Bill Landrum with 56.

• Shortstop Clint Barmes played for Hurdle with the Colorado Rockies. He signed a two-year, $10.5 million deal as a free agent to succeed current Met Ronny Cedeno as shortstop in Pittsburgh.

• The Pirates have used righty-hitting Casey McGehee (.198) and lefty-hitting Garrett Jones (.231) at first base this season.

Nate McLouth (.143 overall) is 0-for-13 as a pinch hitter this season in his second tour of duty with the Pirates.

• Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander came within two outs of a no-hitter against the Pirates on Friday. Josh Harrison, who has been starting on the left side of the infield against left-handed pitching, broke up Verlander’s bid for his third career no-hitter with a single to center.

• Set-up man Jason Grilli landed on the bereavement list Sunday. Southpaw Jeff Locke temporarily has been promoted from Triple-A Indianapolis to work in long relief. Locke will not be used as a second lefty specialist to complement Tony Watson.

• Ex-Met Nick Evans is hitting .197 with two homers and nine RBIs in 71 at-bats at Triple-A Indianapolis. He signed with the Pirates as a minor league free agent during the offseason. Evans has been sidelined since April 30 and is on the International League disabled list.

Matchups

Santana vs. Pirates (career: 2-2, 1.96 ERA)
Pedro Alvarez .667, 3 PA
Jose Tabata .333, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K, 3 PA
Rod Barajas .286, 2 BB, 2 K, 9 PA
Casey McGehee .200, 3 K, 10 PA
Nate McLouth .133, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, 17 PA
Andrew McCutchen .000, 3 K, 4 PA
Garrett Jones .000, 1 K, 3 PA
Neil Walker .000, 1 K, 3 PA
Clint Barmes .000, 3 PA

Dickey vs. Pirates (career: 1-2, 2.78 ERA)
Josh Harrison .571, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 8 PA
Garrett Jones .400, 1 RBI, 1 K, 10 PA
Jose Tabata .333, 1 BB, 1 K, 11 PA
Andrew McCutchen .222, 2 BB, 4 K, 12 PA
Rod Barajas .143, 2 RBI, 1 K, 7 PA
Neil Walker .111, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 10 PA
Casey McGehee .100, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K, 10 PA
Pedro Alvarez .000, 1 BB, 4 PA
Nate McLouth .000, 3 PA
Clint Barmes .000, 1 RBI, 3 PA

Niese vs. Pirates (career: 1-0, 2.45 ERA)
Jose Tabata 1.000, 3 PA
Nate McLouth .667, 1 RBI, 4 PA
Rod Barajas .667, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 PA
Andrew McCutchen .667, 3 PA
Neil Walker .333, 1 RBI, 3 PA
Clint Barmes .222, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 K, 10 PA
Casey McGehee .200, 1 K, 5 PA
Pedro Alvarez .000, 1 K, 2 PA
Garrett Jones .000, 2 PA

Bedard vs. Mets (career: 1-0, 4.50 ERA)
David Wright .500, 1 BB, 3 PA
Scott Hairston .300, 1 K, 10 PA
Rob Johnson .000, 1 K, 3 PA

McDonald vs. Mets (career: 1-1, 3.49 ERA)
Ike Davis .500, 1 BB, 7 PA
Daniel Murphy .500, 1 RBI, 1 K, 6 PA
David Wright .333, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 8 PA
Andres Torres .200, 1 BB, 1 K, 6 PA
Lucas Duda .000, 6 PA
Justin Turner .000, 3 PA
Ronny Cedeno .000, 1 K, 3 PA
Rob Johnson .000, 1 PA
Scott Hairston .000, 1 K, 1 PA

Morton vs. Mets (career: 0-1, 4.76 ERA)
Lucas Duda .500, 3 RBI, 4 PA
Ike Davis .500, 1 BB, 3 PA
Justin Turner .400, 2 RBI, 7 PA
Daniel Murphy .286, 7 PA
Andres Torres .167, 1 BB, 1 K, 7 PA
David Wright .000, 4 PA
Scott Hairston .000, 3 PA

Last series results

Mets won, 2-1, at PNC Park, June 10-12, 2011 (AP game recaps)

Mets 8, Pirates 1: Dillon Gee remained undefeated, Jose Reyes homered among his three hits and the Mets won for the fifth time in six. Gee became the first Mets' rookie starter to improve to 7-0. New York has won all nine of his starts. He allowed one run and eight hits in a career-high eight innings with no walks and five strikeouts. Gee won his fifth straight outing and is the majors' first rookie starter to open 7-0 since 2006, when Jered Weaver started 9-0 for the Los Angeles Angels. Gee has allowed one earned run or less in three of his past five starts and has allowed only one run over his past two outings combined. Reyes and Josh Thole went 3-for-5, and Angel Pagan had two hits and scored twice. The Pirates' Charlie Morton had his worst start of the season, though he was the victim of some infield hits, shoddy defense and bad bounces. Morton (6-3) lasted a season-low four-plus innings, allowing seven runs (six earned) and nine hits.

Pirates 3, Mets 2: James McDonald allowed two runs in six effective innings and Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run double. Jose Tabata and Josh Harrison each had two hits and scored a run. Garrett Jones had an RBI double among his two hits for Pittsburgh. Baseball's leading hitter, Jose Reyes, had two hits and Ruben Tejada and Carlos Beltran each also had two hits for the Mets. McDonald (4-4) allowed eight hits and three walks. Tim Wood pitched a scoreless seventh, Jose Veras struck out Ronny Paulino looking with runners on second and third to end the eighth and Joel Hanrahan worked a perfect ninth for his 16th save in as many opportunities.

Mets 7, Pirates 0: Chris Capuano pitched seven innings and Jose Reyes homered in the rubber-game win. Capuano (5-6) allowed three hits and two walks with five strikeouts to win consecutive starts for the first time since April 2007. Reyes had three hits for his majors-leading 33rd multi-hit game. He homered two pitches after pinch-hitter Scott Hairston also did in the ninth. David Murphy and Angel Pagan went 2-for-4 and Carlos Beltran had a two-run single. Kevin Correia (8-5) unraveled late after being perfect through 4 2/3. He missed on a chance to tie for the majors' lead in victories.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
11 3.85 125 161
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .299
HRL. Duda 23
RBIL. Duda 69
RD. Murphy 70
OPSL. Duda .841
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.48
SOZ. Wheeler 148