New York Mets: Jonathan Sanchez

Series preview: Mets vs. Pirates

May, 9, 2013

Associated Press
The Mets face (l to r) Jeff Locke, Wandy Rodriguez and Jeanmar Gomez during a four-game weekend series, plus Francisco Liriano making his Pirates debut.
METS (13-17, fourth place/NL East) vs. PITTSBURGH PIRATES (18-15, second place/NL Central)

Thursday: RHP Dillon Gee (2-4, 6.16) vs. LHP Jeff Locke (3-1, 3.21), 7:10 p.m. ET

Friday: RHP Shaun Marcum (0-2, 7.20) vs. LHP Wandy Rodriguez (2-2, 4.02), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: LHP Jonathon Niese (2-3, 4.66) vs. LHP Francisco Liriano (0-0, -.--), 1:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Matt Harvey (4-0, 1.28) vs. RHP Jeanmar Gomez (2-0, 2.38), 1:10 p.m. ET

Pirates short hops

• Left-hander Francisco Liriano is expected to be activated from the disabled list to make his Pirates debut Saturday. Liriano originally agreed to a two-year, $12.75 million deal with Pittsburgh. Before he had taken a physical, he suffered a broken humerus bone in his non-throwing arm. Officially, Liriano suffered the injury slamming his arm on a door to scare his children, although multiple other stories have floated around. Liriano’s substitute deal calls for only a guarantee of $1 million, although he has a vesting option for next season and can earn roughly the same amount as the original deal if he produces.

Liriano, 29, went a combined 6-12 with a 5.34 ERA in 34 appearances (28 starts) for the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox last season. Bounced from Pittsburgh’s rotation is Jonathan Sanchez (0-3, 11.85 ERA), who was designated for assignment by the club.

• Leadoff hitter/left fielder Starling Marte led off Wednesday’s game against the Seattle Mariners with a double -- his 17th leadoff hit of the season (whether top or bottom of the first inning). Nobody else in the majors has more than 10. Marte, who made his major league debut last July 26, has displayed a phenomenal blend of reaching base (.396 OBP), speed (10 steals) and power (five homers). He particularly jumps on fastballs.

• Right-hander Jeanmar Gomez will stick in the rotation and make his third start of the season Sunday. Gomez -- previously the long man in the bullpen -- stepped in for James MacDonald, who now has landed on the disabled list with shoulder soreness after experiencing a pronounced velocity drop.

Gomez, who was acquired from the Cleveland Indians in January, limited the Mariners to two hits and two walks in a 66-pitch effort over five scoreless innings Wednesday. His season-high pitch count was 79, in a May 1 start at Milwaukee.

Jeffrey Phelps/Associated Press
Two-time All-Star Andrew McCutchen has heated up the past week.

• The back end of the Pirates’ bullpen is particularly formidable. Pittsburgh is 14-0 when leading after seven innings. Set-up man Mark Melancon -- originally a Yankee before being traded away in the Lance Berkman deal with the Houston Astros in 2010 -- has surrendered only one run in 17 innings this season. Closer Jason Grilli, a Seton Hall product, is tied for the major league lead with 13 saves and has converted every chance.

• The Yankees let catcher Russell Martin depart as a free agent to Pittsburgh for a two-year, $17 million deal on Nov. 29. Martin, who was scratched from Tuesday’s start with neck stiffness and did not play Wednesday, leads the Pirates with six homers. After opening his Pirates career in a 2-for-31 rut over his first 10 games, Martin since is hitting .377 (23-for-61). His next homer will be the 100th of his career. Martin has thrown out an MLB-leading 223 runners since his debut in 2006, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

• Two-time All-Star center fielder Andrew McCutchen has two four-hit performances in his past seven games. McCutchen is signed through 2017, with a team option at $14.5 million for the following season.

• Third baseman Pedro Alvarez, a former second overall pick in the draft and a product of Horace Mann School in Riverdale, is hitting .168 with 38 strikeouts in 107 at-bats.

• This could be the year the Pirates produce their first winning record since going 96-66 in 1992, with a squad that included Barry Bonds, Andy Van Slyke, Doug Drabek … and Terry Collins as bullpen coach. It was Collins’ first year on a major league staff.

Pittsburgh was 16 games over .500 on Aug. 8, but finished 79-83 in 2012.

The 20 consecutive losing seasons is a North American professional sports record. The NBA’s Kansas City/Sacramento Kings (1983-98) and NHL’s Vancouver Canucks (1976-91) each suffered 15 straight losing seasons. The NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1983-96) had 14 straight losing seasons.

Series preview: Mets vs. Rockies

August, 20, 2012

US Presswire/Getty Images
Rockies players (l to r) Troy Tulowitzki, Michael Cuddyer and Todd Helton are all on the disabled list, leaving Colorado a skeleton crew.
METS (57-64, third place/NL East) vs. COLORADO ROCKIES (46-73, fifth place/NL West)

Monday: RHP R.A. Dickey (15-4, 2.89) vs. RHP Alex White (2-6, 5.74), 7:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Chris Young (3-6, 4.50) vs. RHP Jhoulys Chacin (0-3, 7.30), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Matt Harvey (2-3, 3.00) vs. LHP Jeff Francis (4-4, 6.07), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: LHP Johan Santana (6-9, 4.85) vs. RHP Tyler Chatwood (3-3, 5.46), 1:10 p.m. ET

Rockies short hops

• Right fielder Michael Cuddyer landed back on the disabled list with a right oblique strain and could be lost for the season. He had missed two weeks, then returned for three games. Cuddyer (.260, 16 HR, 58 RBIs) signed a three-year, $31.5 million deal in December.

Also sidelined:

Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki underwent surgery to repair a strained left groin on June 21. Tulowitzki originally suffered the injury running out of the batter’s box on May 30. He is due to be with the Rockies in New York, but inactive. He ran the bases Saturday, but is not due to begin a rehab assignment until next week.

First baseman Todd Helton underwent season-ending surgery on Aug. 10 to repair a torn labrum in his right hip.

Jason Giambi has been out since July 20 with a viral infection. He has started taking batting practice and fielding grounders, but is not expected back until the end of the month.

Tyler Colvin and Jordan Pacheco have shared first base with Helton out, while Pacheco otherwise teams with Chris Nelson to man third base.

Josh Rutledge, who made his major league debut July 13, is the shortstop minus Tulowitzki. But Rutledge suffered his own injury Sunday, leaving the game in the fourth inning after tweaking a previously strained left quadriceps. Presuming he’s healthy, Rutledge should move to second base once Tulowitzki returns.

Eric Young, who is hitting .426 in 13 games since Aug. 6 and showing uncharacteristic power in addition to his customary speed, and Colvin have subbed for Cuddyer in right field. But Young, too, was forced from Sunday’s game after straining a rib-cage muscle. Young predicted his absence would be limited to a “game or two.”

Chris Humphreys/US Presswire
Jhoulys Chacin returns from a pec muscle injury that sidelined him since May.

Nelson returned Aug. 6 from a DL trip for an irregular heartbeat. Pacheco ranks among the leaders in NL rookie offensive categories, including average at .312, although his 339 plate appearances are narrowly shy of qualifying.

• Right-hander Jhoulys Chacin will make his first major league appearance since straining a pectoral muscle. He landed on the DL after a May 1 start. He will be on roughly a 75-pitch limit. He tossed 91 pitches over seven innings Thursday with Triple-A Colorado Springs.

The Rockies have employed a four-man rotation with pitch counts in the 70s under manager Jim Tracy, so Chacin could alternate starts with Drew Pomeranz going forward to keep the rookie Pomeranz’s innings in check. The four-man rotation began out of necessity in Philly in mid-June due to a lack of quality arms after Jeremy Guthrie’s struggles got him bounced from the rotation to the bullpen. Three bullpen arms piggyback the starters to handle middle innings.

• Left fielder Carlos Gonzalez was placed on bereavement leave and traveled to Venezuela on Saturday to mourn the death of his grandfather. He likely will return Tuesday, but is eligible to miss as much as a full week.

Tyler Chatwood, acquired from the Angels on Nov. 30 for Chris Iannetta, has a 3.93 ERA in four starts since returning from a one-month stint in the minors. Standing a modest 5-foot-11, the 22-year-old Chatwood doesn’t throw downhill. So his 95 mph fastball needs location; otherwise it can be flat and hittable.

• The Rockies traded Marco Scutaro to San Francisco for infielder Charlie Culberson on July 27. D.J. LeMahieu, acquired from the Cubs last offseason with Colvin for Ian Stewart, has taken over at second base.

• The Mets seriously discussed acquiring catcher Ramon Hernandez from the Rockies before the July 31 trade deadline, but ultimately obtained Kelly Shoppach this month. Rookie catcher Wilin Rosario now handles the bulk of the duty for Colorado. Rosario is six homers shy of matching the Rockies’ rookie record, established by Helton with 25 in 1998. His defensive skills do not match his plate prowess.

Alex White will make his fifth start since being recalled from the minors on Aug. 2. His return coincided with Jonathan Sanchez suffering from left biceps tendinitis.

• Left-hander Jeff Francis’ Aug. 13 win gave him 59 victories as a Rockie, passing Jason Jennings for second on the franchise’s all-time list. The leader: Aaron Cook, with 72 wins.

• Reliever Adam Ottavino is a local product. He graduated from Berkeley Carroll High School in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and has trained during the winter at the same Garden City, L.I., facility as several local Mets players the past few years, including now-departed Jose Reyes and Pedro Beato.

Last series results

Mets won, 2-1, at Coors Field, April 27-29 (AP game recaps)

Rockies 18, Mets 9: Carlos Gonzalez was at the center of an 11-run fifth inning, hitting a homer and a single for five of his six RBIs, and the Rockies overcame Scott Hairston's cycle. Ramon Hernandez hit his sixth career grand slam -- the first for the Rockies this season -- and Troy Tulowitzki and Dexter Fowler also homered for Colorado, which set a season high for runs. Hairston became the 10th player in team history and first in the majors this season to hit for the cycle. He drove in four runs, but it wasn't enough on a night when pitching was an afterthought. More

Mets 7, Rockies 5: Dillon Gee shook off the rough patch in an otherwise strong outing and Lucas Duda backed him with a homer and single to drive in four runs. Gee allowed four runs in seven innings. He struck out seven and walked two, and seemed to be at his best late in his outing, retiring nine of the last 10 batters he faced. More

Mets 6, Rockies 5 (11 innings): Ike Davis singled in the go-ahead run off reliever Matt Belisle in the 11th inning and the Mets overcame two tying homers allowed by their bullpen. Johan Santana, looking for his first win since September 2010, left with a 4-0 lead after six innings but Tim Byrdak gave up pinch-hitter Todd Helton's grand slam in the eighth. Kirk Nieuwenhuis put the Mets ahead again with an RBI double in the 10th before Frank Francisco served up Carlos Gonzalez's solo homer in the bottom half. David Wright started the 11th with a single off Belisle (1-2) and went to third on Lucas Duda's single. After Scott Hairston hit into a fielder's choice, Davis' sharp grounder finally rescued the Mets. More

Rapid Reaction: Mets 5, Giants 2

May, 5, 2011
WHAT IT MEANS: The Mets (13-18) avoided getting swept by salvaging the series finale with a 5-2 win against the San Francisco Giants.

Mike Pelfrey

Starting Pitcher
New York Mets


2011 Season Stats
7 2 3 15 21 6.06
HEALTHY PERFORMANCE: Mike Pelfrey tossed a season-high 7 2/3 innings. He limited the Giants to two runs (one earned) and four hits while striking out five and walking two in a 116-pitch effort.

Pelfrey took a no-hit bid into the fourth inning, when Mike Fontenot delivered a two-out homer to pull the Giants within 3-1. Pelfrey allowed a second run, unearned, in the fifth. The inning began with Jose Reyes committing a throwing error, which placed Nate Schierholtz on second base. Opposing pitcher Jonathan Sanchez subsequently delivered a two-out RBI single.

It was Pelfrey’s first outing since he was knocked out in the fifth inning of a 10-3 loss at Philadelphia last Friday and Terry Collins questioned himself for not scratching the right-hander from the start and instead using Dillon Gee.

TRON: Carlos Beltran’s two-run homer in the fifth staked the Mets to a 5-2 lead. Beltran was playing his 19th straight game, with the Mets having abandoned the day-game-after-night-game rest of the early season. Beltran homered for the second time in the series and fifth time this season.

Jonathan Sanchez

Starting Pitcher
San Francisco Giants


2011 Season Stats
7 2 2 26 46 3.55
WILD SIDE: Sanchez walked four batters in the first inning at D.C. his last start, then hit two batters in his second inning in that outing. He was wild again Thursday afternoon. The southpaw consecutively issued two-out walks to No. 8 hitter Scott Hairston and Pelfrey in the second inning. Reyes followed with a two-run triple to the wall in left-center as the Mets built a 3-0 lead.

Sanchez’s final line: 5 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 6 BB, 6 K.

THAT’S HU: Chin-lung Hu went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a walk in his first start since April 9. He is now 0-for-his-last-12 and has a .059 average this season. His lone hit came April 5 at Philadelphia, when he singled against Philadelphia’s J.C. Romero.

“I need to get him in a game,” Collins said about the reasoning for starting Hu in the game at second base.

K-ROD TRACKER: Francisco Rodriguez converted his seventh save and finished his ninth game with a four-out performance, although two walks and a single in the ninth loaded the bases with one out. Rodriguez then struck out Miguel Tejada and retired pinch-hitter Buster Posey to end it. K-Rod went to full counts on the first four batters of the ninth. He threw 42 pitches, narrowly shy of the career-high 47 he tossed last July in San Francisco. It was K-Rod’s second four-out save this season and 25th of more than one inning in his career.

He needs 46 games finished in the Mets’ remaining 131 games for his contract to vest at $17.5 million for 2012. K-Rod is on pace for 47 games finished, eight shy of reaching the milestone that triggers that contract clause.

WHAT’S NEXT: Don Mattingly’s Los Angeles Dodgers come to Citi Field for a weekend series. Jon Niese opposes Hiroki Kuroda in Friday’s series opener, followed by Chris Young versus Jon Garland on Saturday and R.A. Dickey versus Clayton Kershaw on Sunday.



Daniel Murphy
.289 9 57 79
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187