New York Mets: Juan Uribe

Series preview: Mets at Dodgers

August, 21, 2014
Aug 21

Getty ImagesThe Mets face Dan Haren, Zack Greinke and Kevin Correia this weekend at Dodger Stadium.
METS (60-68, fourth place/NL East) vs. LOS ANGELES DODGERS (71-57*, first place/NL West)

Friday: LHP Jonathon Niese (7-8, 3.50) vs. RHP Dan Haren (10-10, 4.59), 10:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Jacob deGrom (6-5, 2.87) vs. RHP Zack Greinke (12-8, 2.75), 9:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Bartolo Colon (11-10, 3.85) vs. RHP Kevin Correia (2-0, 4.09), 4:10 p.m. ET

* L.A. plays Thursday vs. Padres

Dodgers short hops

Zack Greinke, originally scheduled to start Thursday against the San Diego Padres, instead faces the Mets on Saturday with two extra days of rest. Greinke’s elbow has been cranky. He does not expect to be 100 percent for the remainder of the season. If Greinke gets through the season without the issue worsening and Hyun-Jin Ryu (right hip strain) returns from the DL without ill effects, L.A. is well-positioned for the postseason with a rotation that also includes Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw originally was due to face the Mets on Friday, but moved up a day in place of Greinke.

• Left fielder Carl Crawford is hitting .485 (16-for-33) with one homer and six RBIs in 10 games (eight starts) since Aug. 10. Crawford’s surge has buried Andre Ethier on the bench. Ethier has started four games since July 22.

Richard MacksonYasiel Puig moved to center field in late July.

Yasiel Puig shifted from right field to center field in late July. Matt Kemp began the season in center field, but the Dodgers were underwhelmed by his defense. Ethier and Scott Van Slyke subsequently lacked range there.

• Ex-Met Justin Turner (.309, 3 HR, 27 RBIs) has started four straight games at third base with Juan Uribe sidelined after reinjuring his right hamstring. Turner is hitting .341 (15-for-44) with four RBIs in 16 games (11 starts) in August. For the season, Turner has a 2.7 WAR. Only Puig’s 4.1 WAR is better among Dodgers position players.

• Free-agent-to-be Hanley Ramirez landed on the disabled list Aug. 9 with a right oblique strain. Miguel Rojas originally filled in for Ramirez at shortstop, but is 2-for-his-last-17. Cuban-born rookie Erisbel Arruebarrena, who is projected to succeed Ramirez next season, has started the past two games at shortstop.

Arruebarrena recently served a five-game suspension while with Triple-A Albuquerque for inciting a massive bench-clearing brawl against Reno, the top affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. He had a slow trot around the bases after a homer, then jawed with Reno’s catcher the following day.

Arruebarrena signed with the Dodgers in February for five years, $25 million.

• Leadoff hitter/second baseman Dee Gordon is hitless in his last 12 at-bats. He nonetheless has an NL-leading 57 steals, 11 ahead of runner-up Billy Hamilton of the Cincinnati Reds. The steal total ranks seventh for a single season in Dodgers history, trailing Maury Wills (104 in 1962 and 94 in 1965), Davey Lopes (77 in 1975, 63 in 1976 and 59 in 1974) and Juan Pierre (64 in 2007).

• First baseman Adrian Gonzalez's 83 RBIs rank second in the NL, trailing only Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton (89).

• The Dodgers lead the San Francisco Giants (66-58) by three games for the NL West lead.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 5, Dodgers 3

May, 22, 2014
May 22
NEW YORK -- Zack Greinke had a lengthy streak snapped. Ex-Met Justin Turner got some revenge. Jenrry Mejia cleared a hurdle toward closing full time. And, in the game's decisive at-bat, Juan Lagares continued to establish he belongs in the starting lineup.

Lagares delivered a two-out, go-ahead RBI single in the seventh against Chris Perez and the Mets ultimately avoided getting swept with a 5-3 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday at Citi Field.

The Mets won for only the sixth time in 20 games in May.

Back-to-back: For the first time in four years, Mejia pitched on consecutive days. In a major step toward becoming the full-time closer, Mejia logged a scoreless ninth inning for his second save since moving to the bullpen. The work came a day after Mejia tossed eight pitches in a 1-2-3 ninth on Wednesday. Mejia last pitched on consecutive days at any level June 5-6, 2010, during his first tour of bullpen duty with the Mets.

Retribution: Turner’s ho-hum return to Citi Field ended with a bang. Turner blasted a two-run homer against Jonathon Niese (7 IP, 4 H, 3 ER) in the seventh to even the score at 3. It was Turner’s first long ball since last Sept. 8 at Cleveland, during a series in which he produced his only two homers of 2013. Turner was a surprise non-tender by the Mets on Dec. 2.

Ron Antonelli/Getty ImagesThe Mets ended Zack Greinke's streak allowing two runs or fewer at 21 starts, although two of their three runs against him were unearned.

Halted: Greinke’s major-league record streak of 21 straight starts allowing two runs or fewer came to an end. His fielders, including an ex-Met, helped torpedo it.

Greinke was poised to escape the fifth inning trailing 2-1 when he coaxed a two-out grounder to the left side of the infield from Daniel Murphy. However, after ranging to his left, Turner -- starting at third base with Juan Uribe having landed on the DL -- muffed fielding the ball, allowing Niese to score the Mets’ third run.

Niese earlier in the inning became the lone Mets pitcher other than Jacob deGrom to produce a hit this season. He delivered an RBI double that plated Anthony Recker for the lone earned run surrendered by Greinke. (Mets pitchers are now 3-for-76 on the season.)

The Mets had produced an unearned run in the second inning after Matt Kemp was slow getting to Curtis Granderson’s shot to deep center. Kemp did not cleanly pick up the baseball, so the play was scored a double and E-8. Granderson scored on Eric Campbell’s sac fly.

Greinke’s final line: 5 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K. He threw 101 pitches (63 strikes).

Greinke nonetheless has now allowed two EARNED runs or fewer in 22 straight starts, passing Roger Clemens (1990-91) for the longest streak in the majors since earned runs became a stat in 1913.

Web gem: Yasiel Puig turned in a highlight-reel catch, even by Lagares standard. On Wilmer Flores’ second-inning shot to right-center, Puig covered an awesome amount of ground and made a diving catch that even the pro-Mets crowd at Citi Field recognized with applause.

Puig had a complicated game.

Puig was tagged out between second and third base for a double play in the sixth when Hanley Ramirez hit a popup that was ruled an infield fly. Murphy had lost the ball and it dropped to the ground.

Two innings later, after producing a one-out double, Puig was doubled off second base. Campbell made a diving catch in his first major-league game in left field. Puig broke for third, not recognizing the catch, and was doubled up at second.

What’s next: The Arizona Diamondbacks visit Citi Field for a weekend series. Bartolo Colon (3-5, 5.34 ERA) opposes rookie right-hander Chase Anderson (2-0, 5.06) in Friday’s 7:10 p.m. series opener.

William Perlman/USA TODAY SportsJacob deGrom makes his second major-league start on Wednesday night, against the Dodgers.

FIRST PITCH: Jacob deGrom aims to have a better encore to his major-league debut than Rafael Montero did Tuesday night.

DeGrom (0-1, 1.29 ERA), who took a scoreless effort into the seventh inning against the Yankees in his debut, makes his second major-league start Wednesday. He opposes Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-2, 3.00) in the 7:10 p.m. game. Ryu is returning from a disabled-list trip for shoulder inflammation.

Wednesday’s news reports:

• Montero surrendered five runs in 4 1/3 innings in his second major-league start and the Mets twice failed to score after loading the bases with one out as the Dodgers won, 9-4, Tuesday. The Mets (20-24) now occupy sole possession of last place in the National League East.

David Wright, who fouled off three full-count pitches from Josh Beckett, then grounded out to strand the bases loaded in the fifth. Wright said about that missed opportunity: “You’re hoping to get something that you can drive, and he just never gave in. I got to 3-2, got into a favorable count, and then cutter, curveball, curveball, curveball. That’s just him making good pitches, and pitches that I’m not expecting with 3-2 with the bases loaded.”

The game lasted four hours, eight minutes -- one minute shy of matching the franchise record for a nine-inning game.

“It’s an issue with the league. It’s an issue with everybody,” Terry Collins said about the length of games. “There’s always those games, just like tonight, where we use a lot of pitchers trying to keep ourselves in the game and try to keep the game close. That eats up a lot of time also. But when you throw a lot of pitches like we did -- we walked six and hit a guy -- that’s going to make for long nights."

For L.A., Juan Uribe left the game in the ninth inning with a hamstring strain.

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

Stephen Drew signed with the Red Sox for $10 million for the remainder of the season, and Sandy Alderson said the Mets were not interested at that price.

USA TODAY SportsSandy Alderson passed on vigorously pursuing Stephen Drew.

Writes columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post on that subject:

Instead of spending money the Mets will continue to go along with Ruben Tejada, who was hitting .185 and Wilmer Flores, who is learning the position and started Tuesday night against the Dodgers and was hitting .200. The Mets did not view Drew as a player worth that kind of money.

The trade route remains a possibility with Seattle’s Nick Franklin still available or perhaps now that Tony La Russa is running the Diamondbacks the Mets will look to land Didi Gregorius.

No matter who plays shortstop, it’s going to be someone who does not cost a lot of money.

Hey, it’s only shortstop. Why do you need to spend money at shortstop, one of the most vital, if not the most vital position on the field?

Columnist Anthony Rieber in Newsday writes that the Mets will script out shortstop playing time between Tejada and Flores days ahead of time rather than react to who has a good or poor game the previous day. Read more on Tejada versus Flores in the Post and Journal.

Read more on Drew in Newsday.

Matt Harvey wants to make five to seven major-league starts this season. Still, Alderson spoke cautiously Tuesday about Harvey’s ambitious hope to return 10 months after Tommy John surgery. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Daily News.

Juan Lagares missed Tuesday’s game because he remained in the Dominican Republic following the death of a relative. Lagares is expected back for Wednesday’s game, so the Mets played a man short in the series opener rather than place Lagares on bereavement leave.

• On the health front:

Travis d’Arnaud continues to experience concussion symptoms when he exercises and is not ready to be activated from the disabled list.

Dillon Gee wants to make a rehab start before being activated from the DL, which means he is expected to miss at least three turns in the rotation. Gee plans to throw on Wednesday for the first time since suffering the lat-muscle strain.

Gonzalez Germen has an abscess and lingering flu-like symptoms and his rehab assignment has been aborted as he remains on the DL.

Bobby Parnell, who underwent Tommy John surgery on April 8, is at Citi Field this week. Parnell was examined by Mets doctors and got a positive initial review. He just had a brace removed.

Read more on players’ injury status in the Star-Ledger, Daily News and at

• DeGrom's college coach at Stetson tells John Harper in the Daily News that the right-hander was a natural to convert from shortstop to the mound. “He had a great arm and he could throw strikes with his eyes closed,” Stetson coach Pete Dunn told Harper. “We knew that from seeing him throw in some fall and intrasquad games, and we had to do something because our pitching wasn’t getting it done. But still ... I’ve never seen a guy go out there and have total command of the strike zone right away like he did without any real experience. That told me he might just have a future on the mound.”

Justin Turner, back at Citi Field with the Dodgers, said he was shocked when the Mets non-tendered him on Dec. 2.

• Their precise motivation was unclear, but Lucas Duda as well as Philadelphia Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg both posed smiling while wearing Shake Shack T-shirts in photos tweeted Tuesday. That came a week after they each alleged the burger proprietor gave them food poisoning.

Matt den Dekker had a go-ahead two-run double in the seventh as Las Vegas beat Fresno, 3-2. Michael Fulmer allowed one run in seven innings and St. Lucie beat Clearwater, 10-3. Dominic Smith had a tiebreaking RBI single to cap a two-run eighth and Savannah beat Charleston, 2-1. Read the full minor-league recap here.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear examines the last time Mets were “this many” games over or under .500, from 54 over in 1986 to 80 under in 1962.

BIRTHDAYS: Triple-A first baseman Allan Dykstra turns 27. ... Former reliever Tom Martin is 44.

TWEETS OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should Matt Harvey pitch in the majors in 2014?

Rapid Reaction: Dodgers 9, Mets 4

May, 20, 2014
May 20
NEW YORK -- Home is where the heartache is for the New York Mets.

Rookie Rafael Montero lasted only 4 1/3 innings in his second major league start and the Mets twice flopped with bases-loaded, one-out opportunities as the Los Angeles Dodgers won 9-4 on Tuesday night at Citi Field.

The Mets dropped to 20-24, matching their low-water mark at four games under .500. They are 9-13 at home.

With Philadelphia’s win against Miami, the Mets now are alone in last place in the National League East.

The game took 4 hours, 8 minutes -- a minute shy of matching the franchise record for a nine-inning game (4:09, done in 2000 at Dodger Stadium and 2005 against the Milwaukee Brewers).

Trailing by five runs, the Mets clawed back into the game in the bottom of the sixth against Dodgers starter Josh Beckett. Curtis Granderson had a solo homer and Lucas Duda had a two-run shot in the inning to pull the Mets within 6-4. It was Duda’s first homer since April 23 against St. Louis’ Seth Maness.

Anthony Gruppuso / USA TODAY SportsYasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez celebrate Gonzalez's tiebreaking two-run homer in the fifth.

Still, there were wasted opportunities, including a pair of bases-loaded, one-out chances that went for naught. With the Mets trailing 5-1 in the fifth against Beckett, Daniel Murphy struck out and David Wright grounded out after fouling off three full-count pitches. With the Mets trailing 6-4 in the seventh, Chris Withrow sawed Duda’s bat in half and got a pop out to second base. Wilmer Flores then grounded into a fielder’s choice to again strand the bases loaded.

Jose Valverde and Josh Edgin combined to surrender three ninth-inning runs.

Out of control: Montero (0-2) was charged with five earned runs on seven hits and four walks in a 97-pitch effort that lasted only 4 1/3 innings. The rookie wriggled free of serious early trouble, stranding six baserunners through the first three innings, including the bases loaded in the second by striking out reigning co-NL Player of the Week Yasiel Puig.

Montero’s outing imploded in a four-run fifth as the Dodgers took a 5-1 lead. Montero walked Puig to open the inning and, with one out, fell behind in the count to Adrian Gonzalez, 2-0. Gonzalez followed by launching a tiebreaking two-run homer.

Montero could have been bailed out of further trouble, but Chris Young’s lack of range in center field -- at least relative to Juan Lagares’ -- cost the Mets. Young could not run down Matt Kemp’s shot to deep center, resulting in a double. Kemp then scored on Carl Crawford’s single, which chased Montero. Jeurys Familia allowed Crawford to score for the final run charged to Montero.

Montero has now allowed three home runs in two big league starts, matching the total he surrendered in eight starts in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League before his promotion. The second inning was particularly vexing Tuesday. Montero walked three Dodgers in that frame and surrendered a two-out RBI single to Beckett, the opposing pitcher. Opposing pitchers have now produced a hit in six straight games against the Mets.

Cameo: Justin Turner made a late appearance in his return to Citi Field. After Juan Uribe doubled in the ninth, he departed with an apparent recurrence of a hamstring injury. Turner pinch-ran and remained in the game for the bottom of the ninth.

What’s next: Jacob deGrom makes his second major-league start. DeGrom (0-1, 1.29 ERA) opposes left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-2, 3.00) on Wednesday at 7:10 p.m.

Series preview: Mets vs. Dodgers

May, 18, 2014
May 18

Getty ImagesThe Mets face Josh Beckett, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Zack Greinke at Citi Field.
METS (20-23, fourth place/NL East) vs. LOS ANGELES DODGERS (23-22, third place/NL West)

Tuesday: RHP Rafael Montero (0-1, 4.50) vs. RHP Josh Beckett (1-1, 2.38), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Jacob deGrom (0-1, 1.29) vs. LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-2, 3.00), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: LHP Jonathon Niese (2-3, 2.54) vs. RHP Zack Greinke (7-1, 2.03), 7:10 p.m. ET

Dodgers short hops

Josh Beckett on Tuesday earned his first win since Sept. 30, 2012. He had been 0-6 in 14 starts. Beckett did not pitch after mid-May last season and ultimately underwent surgery to remove a rib. That procedure attempted to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome -- a pinched nerve affecting his right arm. For the season, the 34-year-old Beckett leads the L.A. rotation in WHIP (1.056) and hits per nine innings (6.3). Beckett is throwing his fastball a career-low 35.5 percent of the time. He now throws a curveball a career-high 30.1 percent.

Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched a four-inning simulated game Friday and will reenter the rotation Wednesday, officially pushing originally listed starter Paul Maholm to the bullpen. That also could push reliever Chris Withrow to the minors despite a 2.77 ERA, because Withrow is not out of options. Ryu landed on the DL with left-shoulder inflammation.

Maholm (1-4, 5.40 ERA) enters the series off a start against the Miami Marlins in which he allowed 10 runs (five earned) on 11 hits and three walks in 3 2/3 innings. Reed Johnson homered against him on a 62 mph curveball, the slowest pitch resulting in a long ball in the majors since Jose Bautista sent a 61.7 mph offering also from Maholm over the outfield wall on May 28, 2013, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Maholm made three relief appearances in March/April, including during the club’s season-opening trip to Australia.

Darron Cummings/Associated PressEx-Met Justin Turner will be at Citi Field with the Dodgers on Tuesday.

Justin Turner, a surprise non-tender by the Mets on Dec. 2, returns to Citi Field as a visitor. Turner (.230, 0 HR, 5 RBIs in 74 at-bats) started five times at third base in a six-game stretch through Wednesday with Juan Uribe dealing with a mild hamstring strain.

• Dodgers outfielders Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig have combined to hit .354 (79-for-223) with 15 doubles, 10 homers and 40 RBIs in May.

Puig lost a pair of lengthy streaks Sunday by going 0-for-3 and getting hit by a pitch on the back of the leg in his final plate appearance. He had produced an RBI in eight straight games, matching the franchise record previously accomplished four times, most recently by Adrian Beltre in 2004. He also lost a career-high 16-game hitting streak. Showing more strike-zone discipline than a year ago, Puig ranks seventh in the NL in batting average (.322) and tied for second in RBIs (35). The story about Puig’s defection from Cuba, which includes black-market smugglers, was chronicled in April in ESPN The Magazine.

Ethier largely has been the odd man out. With Kemp resting Sunday, Ethier started for only the third time in L.A.’s past 10 games.

Zack Greinke has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 21 straight starts. That matches Roger Clemens (1990-91) for the longest streak in the majors since earned runs became an official stat in 1913, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Greinke ranks first in the NL in wins (seven) and third in ERA (2.03), trailing only Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto (1.25) and Chicago’s Jeff Samardzija (1.62). Greinke has thrown six different types of pitches this season.

• Second baseman Dee Gordon leads the majors with 25 steals. That’s 10 ahead of runner-up Eric Young Jr.

• Backup catcher Drew Butera, the son of former major-league catcher Sal Butera, originally was a Mets farmhand. Two years after he was drafted in the fifth round, Butera was sent to the Minnesota Twins with Dustin Martin on July 30, 2007 for Luis Castillo.

No. 1 catcher A.J. Ellis returned from the disabled list Wednesday after missing 34 games with a left-knee injury that resulted in April 8 arthroscopic surgery. Miguel Olivo was dispatched to Triple-A Albuquerque with Ellis’ activation.

Butera, incidentally, has pitched twice for the Dodgers since Wednesday in lopsided losses. He tossed a 1-2-3 inning, topped out at 94 mph and capped the initial appearance with a strikeout of Miami’s Marcell Ozuna. Three days later at Arizona, Butera surrendered a double and then two-run homer to Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth inning of an 18-7 loss. Butera subsequently recorded two outs, including an inning-ending strikeout of Martin Prado.

Adrian Gonzalez’s 10 homers are tied for third the NL, trailing only Troy Tulowitzki (13) and Giancarlo Stanton (12).

Kenley Jansen has 12 saves in 14 chances and has struck out 31 batters in 18 2/3 innings.

Brian Wilson, who looked so dominant in the season opener in Australia, has mightily struggled. Wilson, 32, has a 9.45 ERA and has allowed 18 hits and 13 walks (one intentional) in 13 1/3 innings. He already has allowed three homers -- a total he has not exceeded since serving up seven long balls in 62 1/3 innings in 2008 as San Francisco Giants closer.

Clayton Kershaw has made two starts since returning from the DL, a trip required because of a strained muscle in his upper back. He’d like to forget the latter outing. Kershaw surrendered seven runs in 1 2/3 innings against the Diamondbacks on Saturday. He allowed four extra-base hits in the second inning alone -- matching the combined total from his three previous starts this season. Kershaw came into the outing with a 25-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, but issued two free passes in a seven-run second inning.

Wright, Young are Gold Glove finalists

October, 25, 2013

Getty ImagesDavid Wright and Eric Young Jr. are Gold Glove finalists.
David Wright and Eric Young Jr. have been nominated for Gold Glove awards.

The other National League finalists at third base are Colorado's Nolan Arenado and Los Angeles' Juan Uribe.

The other finalists in left field are Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez and Pittsburgh's Starling Marte.

The winners will be announced at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday on ESPN2.

Despite producing a franchise rookie record with 14 outfield assists, Juan Lagares was not among the finalists in center field. The finalists are Milwaukee's Carlos Gomez, Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen and Washington's Denard Span.

Wright has won two previous Gold Gloves -- in 2007 and 2008. San Diego's Chase Headley won the award in 2012.

Series preview: Mets at Dodgers

August, 12, 2013

Getty ImagesThe Mets face (l to r) Ricky Nolasco, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Chris Capuano at Dodger Stadium.
METS (54-61, third place/NL East) vs. LOS ANGELES DODGERS (67-50, first place/NL West)

Monday: RHP Jenrry Mejia (1-1, 1.96) vs. RHP Ricky Nolasco (8-9, 3.65), 10:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Matt Harvey (9-3, 2.09) vs. LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (11-3, 2.99), 10:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Dillon Gee (8-8, 3.82) vs. LHP Chris Capuano (4-6, 4.50), 10:10 p.m. ET

Dodgers short hops

• The Dodgers are 37-8 since June 22, matching the best 45-game stretch in franchise history. They also posted that record in 1899 and 1953.

The turnaround spared manager Don Mattingly getting fired, he said last week while revealing a late-May meeting with team president Stan Kasten. The Dodgers were a season-low 12 games under .500 before their current 45-game surge.

"Stan was really honest. He didn't want to do anything but he said, 'Donnie, at some point I got to do something,'" Mattingly said, as quoted by "I understood it. I was fine with that. I understand. At some point you need a change of voice, a different voice."

Hanley Ramirez (.359, 11 HR, 37 RBIs) continues to experience pain in his right shoulder a week after diving into the stands during a catch attempt at Wrigley Field. He has not started any of the past seven games. The disabled list is a consideration, although the Dodgers lost some backdating ability when Ramirez was used as a pinch hitter Friday. Nick Punto and Dee Gordon have shared the shortstop duty with Ramirez banged up.

Brian D. Kersey/Getty ImagesYasiel Puig is a leading candidate for NL Rookie of the Year.

• First baseman Adrian Gonzalez departed Sunday’s game in the ninth inning with dizziness. Gonzalez leads the Dodgers in homers (16) and RBIs (72).

Ricky Nolasco was acquired from the Miami Marlins on July 6 for Angel Sanchez, Steve Ames and Josh Wall. Nolasco is 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA in six starts since joining L.A. He has exceeded 5 2/3 innings only once since arriving, in his Dodgers debut at Arizona.

• Cuban defector Yasiel Puig, a 22-year-old rookie, is hitting .441 (15-for-34) with 12 walks in 10 August games. Puig became the first player since Joe DiMaggio in 1936 to have 70 or more hits and 10 homers in his first 50 major league games.

Writes’s Dave Schoenfield: “Puig got two hits in his debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 3, then hit two homers the next game, and has been a lightning rod ever since for his play on the field and for his on-field antics that have upset opponents -- a brawl, a bat flip, a confident attitude, a spikes-high slide that Dusty Baker complained about. He plays the game with the flair of someone who escaped Cuba and enjoys displaying his talent for the entire world.”

• Former San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson, returning from Tommy John surgery, signed with the Dodgers and is working his way back. He tossed a perfect inning Sunday with Triple-A Albuquerque. He has another minor league appearance scheduled for Tuesday, the day before he is eligible to be activated from the disabled list. The Mets, including pitching coach Dan Warthen, flew to California to watch Wilson during the offseason, and were disappointed Wilson was not further along in his rehab from the elbow surgery at that point.

• Center field Matt Kemp has been sidelined since injuring his left ankle sliding into home plate on June 21. He shagged fly balls and took batting practice Sunday, signaling a return is getting closer.

• Closer Kenley Jansen had retired 27 straight batters -- the equivalent of a perfect game -- before surrendering a single to St. Louis’ David Freese on Thursday. Jansen became the first Dodger to retire 27 straight since Greg Maddux retired 32 straight from Aug. 13-19, 2006, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

• Ex-Met Chris Capuano allowed five runs on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings against the Rays on Friday. The southpaw had combined to toss 13 scoreless innings over his previous two starts, against the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs.

• Reliever Carlos Marmol was acquired from the Cubs on July 2 for reliever Matt Guerrier. Marmol made his Dodgers debut 20 days later, after a minor league stint.

A.J. Ellis sees the most pitchers per plate appearance in the NL.

• Third baseman Juan Uribe became the victim of a hidden-ball trick by the Rays when he stepped off third base Saturday.

• L.A. acquired Drew Butera, a former Mets farmhand, from the Minnesota Twins for a player to be named and assigned the catcher to Albuquerque.

Rapid Reaction: Dodgers 3, Mets 2

April, 25, 2013
WHAT IT MEANS: Left-hander Scott Rice spent 14 seasons in the minors -- including the past two with the Los Angeles Dodgers -- before becoming a positive contributor this year in his first MLB season.

The 31-year-old Rice stumbled Thursday afternoon, though.

With a switch-hitter and a pair of lefty hitters due up and the score tied in the ninth, Terry Collins demonstrated his faith in Rice by allowing him to remain in the game to face the heart of the Dodgers’ lineup.

Rice proceeded to surrender a leadoff double to Nick Punto. After a one-out intentional walk to righty-hitting Matt Kemp, Rice then surrendered a tiebreaking RBI single to Andre Ethier.

Bobby Parnell entered with runners on the corners and one out and surrendered a run-scoring infield single to Juan Uribe as L.A. took a two-run lead.

The Dodgers ultimately beat the Mets, 3-2, at Citi Field after Ike Davis contributed a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth.

The Mets (10-10), bidding to win their first four home series of a season for the first time since 1976, instead dropped to .500 with the rubber-game loss.

The Mets now are 5-0 in games started by Matt Harvey and 5-10 when anyone else takes the mound.

HEFTY PERFORMANCE: Jeremy Hefner, who had struggled serving up long balls this season, limited L.A. to one run on three hits while striking out four, walking three and hitting a batter in a 93-pitch effort spanning seven innings. The lone run came in the first, when Hefner plunked leadoff batter Carl Crawford and surrendered a two-out RBI single to Kemp.

WOE IS IKE: Davis, who was displaced from the cleanup spot by Lucas Duda on Thursday afternoon, struggled until delivering the ninth-inning homer. Davis had been 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. His second strikeout ended the sixth inning and stranded two runners in scoring position.

The Mets had evened the score at 1 against left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu (7 IP, 3 H, 1 R) earlier in the frame on a sacrifice fly by David Wright.

Davis has 24 Ks in 69 at-bats.

He also dropped a ball off the heel of his glove in foul territory in the eighth, although Jerry Hairston Jr. subsequently flied out and the faux pas did not cost the Mets.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Philadelphia Phillies visit for a weekend series. Dillon Gee (1-3, 5.95 ERA), who is coming off an outing in which he tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings against the Nats and picked up his first win, opposes right-hander Kyle Kendrick (1-1, 3.28) in Friday’s 7:10 p.m. series opener.

Toxicology report -- bad MLB contracts

September, 25, 2012

US Presswire
Vernon Wells, Juan Uribe and Chone Figgins (l to r) are among the bloated contracts around Major League Baseball.
The Mets’ first task this offseason regarding Jason Bay, and for that matter Johan Santana, likely should be to see if any team has trade interest. A swap appears unlikely, though, even discounting the no-trade clause each possesses.

After all, Bay is hitting .155 with eight homers in 187 at-bats. And he is owed $19 million next season including a 2014 buyout, making it a toxic contract.

Similarly, Santana -- despite the June 1 no-hitter -- finishes the season on the DL after allowing six-plus runs in each of his final five starts. Santana is owed $31 million next season including a ’14 buyout.

Still, if the Mets were to find another team with toxic contracts to swap, who is logical? With the help of reporters around baseball, here’s a look …


Angels: “Oh, you've come to the right place,” our friend who covers the Angels says. “The Angels have the deadest of dead weight -- Vernon Wells. The Angels are paying Wells $21 million this year to be their fourth outfielder. They owe him $21 million more in 2013 and again in 2014.”

Blue Jays: Left fielder/first baseman Adam Lind (.240, 10 HR, 40 RBIs) is owed $5 million in 2013. With buyouts of option years, the minimum owed is $7 million. “He cleared waivers at one point this season and the Blue Jays would love to get rid of his contract -- even though it's unlikely that can happen,” a team observer said.

Braves: Second baseman Dan Uggla (.215, 19 HR, 73 RBIs) is owed $39 million over the next three seasons.

Cubs: Alfonso Soriano ($18 million apiece in 2013 and ’14) and Carlos Marmol ($9.8 million next season) are the remaining sizable contracts.

Dodgers: The Dodgers inherited Carl Crawford ($102.5 million through 2017) and Josh Beckett ($31.5 million through 2014) while acquiring Adrian Gonzalez, but both should contribute. The least-productive contract: Juan Uribe, who finally pinch hit Sunday after going unused for nearly a month. Uribe, with one year remaining, is still owed $8 million.

Mariners: Left fielder Chone Figgins (.183, 2 HR, 11 RBIs) is owed $8 million next season. Center fielder Franklin Gutierrez (.258, 4 HR, 14 RBIs) is owed $7.5 million in 2013 with a buyout of the following season. Says one observer: “Gutierrez has been hurt or sick for most of his deal and might produce if ever healthy. Figgins is literally dead weight.” Bay does live in the offseason in Seattle. And the combined $15.5 million owed to those two are close to Bay's $19 million.

Marlins: Heath Bell has two years, $18 million guaranteed remaining. He also has a $9 million option for 2015 based on games finished -- 55 the previous season or 100 combined in 2013 and '14. (The Mets have been down that route before.)

Pirates: Clint Barmes is signed for 2013 at $5.5 million. He's hitting .228/.266/.325 with eight homers.

Red Sox: John Lackey (12-12, 6.41 ERA) has two years left for a combined $30.5 million, with a 2015 club option at the major league minimum because of a preexisting elbow injury.

Twins: Nick Blackburn (4-9, 7.39 ERA) and middle infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka -- both relegated to the minors -- are under contract for 2013 and “practically sunken cost.” Blackburn is owed $5.5 million. Nishioka is owed $3.25 million including a 2014 buyout. The Twins likely would never trade Joe Mauer, despite him being owed $23 million annually through 2018.

Yankees: Alex Rodriguez to Flushing? Don't hold your breath. Still, A-Rod is owed $114 million over the next five seasons. Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia could emerge as bad contracts, with $90 million over four seasons and $119 million over five seasons owed, respectively.

(Read full post)

Series preview: Mets vs. Dodgers

July, 20, 2012

Getty Images
The Mets face (l to r) Aaron Harang, Chris Capuano and Nathan Eovaldi this weekend.
METS (47-45, third place/NL East) vs. LOS ANGELES DODGERS (49-44, second place/NL West)

Friday: LHP Johan Santana (6-6, 3.59) vs. RHP Aaron Harang (6-5, 3.53), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Miguel Batista (1-2, 4.33) vs. LHP Chris Capuano (9-5, 2.75), 1:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: LHP Jon Niese (7-4, 3.58) vs. RHP Nathan Eovaldi (1-6, 4.33), 1:10 p.m. ET

Dodgers short hops

• Right fielder Andre Ethier and center fielder Matt Kemp, both of whom missed the series against the Mets in Los Angeles, returned to the Dodgers after the All-Star break. The Dodgers went 24-27 in the games Kemp missed with a left hamstring strain. He had been the NL’s Player of the Month for April and had produced gaudy numbers before the injury: .355, 12 homers and 28 RBIs in 36 games. Ethier had suffered a left oblique strain on June 28.

Reed Saxon/Associated Press
Matt Kemp returned from the disabled list after the All-Star break. He had missed 51 games.

Kemp is hitting .348 with a homer and three RBIs in five starts since returning. Ethier is hitting .350 with a homer and four RBIs in six games (five starts).

• Various reports indicate the Dodgers are in serious discussions with the Cubs about acquiring right-hander Ryan Dempster (5-3, NL-leading 1.86 ERA).

Chad Billingsley is suffering from right flexor tendon inflammation. Meanwhile, Ted Lilly remains on the DL with shoulder inflammation. Stephen Fife made his major league debut Tuesday against the Phillies, allowing one run in six innings. Billingsley was scratched from Sunday’s start, and Chris Capuano pitched a day early.

• The Mets are the lone NL team Capuano has never beaten.

• Third baseman Juan Uribe is 1-for-35 in his past 16 games.

• First baseman James Loney has not homered in 45 games and 128 at-bats.

• Reliever Todd Coffey underwent Tommy John surgery Wednesday.

Last series results

Mets won, 3-1, at Dodger Stadium, June 28-July 1 (AP game recaps)

Mets 3, Dodgers 2: In their first head-to-head matchup since Chris Capuano left for free agency, Chris Young and the Mets came away with the victory. David Wright hit a solo homer and RBI double as the Mets sent the Dodgers to their fifth straight loss. The Dodgers ended their 33-inning scoreless drought in the fourth, with Dee Gordon getting congratulated up and down the dugout after crossing the plate. Young (2-1) allowed two runs and six hits in 6 1/3 innings. Bobby Parnell, getting his first save opportunity since closer Frank Francisco went on the disabled list, pitched a perfect ninth inning for his first save of the year. Capuano (9-3) gave up three runs, five hits and no walks over seven innings. More

Mets 9, Dodgers 0: R.A. Dickey allowed three hits over eight innings to become the majors' first 12-game winner. Daniel Murphy homered and drove in five runs. The Dodgers' only hit over the first 6 1/3 innings was by opposing pitcher Aaron Harang, a two-out single in the second that fell between Kirk Niewenhuis and Andres Torres after some miscommunication. A.J. Ellis singled in the seventh and Tony Gwynn Jr. doubled in the eighth. More

Mets 5, Dodgers 0: Johan Santana scattered three hits over eight innings and sent the Dodgers to their seventh straight loss. Santana is 5-0 with a 0.50 ERA in five career starts against the Dodgers, who were again missing Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Mark Ellis. They haven't led at any point of a game since June 24. Ike Davis hit a three-run homer. Nathan Eovaldi (0-5) gave up five runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. More

Dodgers 8, Mets 3: James Loney had two RBIs, and the Dodgers parlayed three errors into six unearned runs to help Clayton Kershaw win and snap the team's season-worst seven-game skid. Kershaw (6-4) allowed three runs (one earned) and five hits over seven innings. Terry Collins rested Ike Davis and Daniel Murphy in order to stack his lineup with all right-handed bats against Kershaw. The plan backfired in the fifth, when the Dodgers turned two errors by the right side of the infield into a pair of unearned runs that tied the score at 3 -- without the benefit of a hit. Second baseman Ronny Cedeno dropped a routine throw from David Wright on a potential double-play grounder by Tony Gwynn Jr. And Dee Gordon's grounder was misplayed by Justin Turner at first base. More

Series preview: Mets at Dodgers

June, 28, 2012

Howard Smith/US Presswire
Former teammates Chris Capuano and Chris Young square off in Thursday's series opener at Dodger Stadium.
METS (40-34, third place/NL East) vs. LOS ANGELES DODGERS (43-33, first place/NL West)

Thursday: RHP Chris Young (1-1, 3.42) vs. LHP Chris Capuano (9-2, 2.60), 10:10 p.m. ET

Friday: RHP R.A. Dickey (11-1, 2.31) vs. RHP Aaron Harang (5-4, 3.81), 10:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: LHP Johan Santana (5-4, 3.00) vs. RHP Nathan Eovaldi (0-4, 4.04), 7:15 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Dillon Gee (5-6, 4.42) vs. LHP Clayton Kershaw (5-4, 2.74), 8 p.m. ET, ESPN

Dodgers short hops

Frank McCourt’s ownership ended May 1, when controlling owner Mark Walter, the CEO of a Chicago financial services company, and president Stan Kasten took over the Dodgers. Sale price: $2.15 billion, more than double any previous amount for a major league team. The ownership group includes Magic Johnson as the face. Johnson has McCourt’s old corner office, but he is not a key decision maker, and actually has not been around Dodger Stadium much because of his responsibilities as an NBA commentator. McCourt, who went through a high-profile divorce that added debt to the team, had owned the Dodgers since 2004. Kasten formerly served as president of the Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals.

• Right fielder Andre Ethier was forced from Wednesday’s game in San Francisco with a left oblique strain that likely will land him on the disabled list. Ethier joins fellow slugger Matt Kemp as unavailable. Kemp (.355, 12 HR) has been on the DL since straining his left hamstring May 30, and is not projected to return until after the All-Star break. Ethier’s 55 RBIs rank second in the NL, trailing only Carlos Beltran’s 59. Assuming Ethier is placed on the DL, ex-Pirate Andy Van Slyke’s son Scott Van Slyke could be promoted from Triple-A Albuquerque. Jerry Sands is another option.

• San Francisco pulled even with the Dodgers atop the NL West standings after completing a three-game sweep at AT&T Park in which L.A. did not score a run. It marked the first time the Dodgers had ever failed to score in a series of three-plus games, according to ESPN Stats & Information. L.A. has lost four straight and eight of nine. The Dodgers have been held scoreless for 30 innings, since Adam Kennedy’s sacrifice fly scored Juan Rivera in the sixth inning Sunday in a loss to the Angels. L.A. will try to avoid getting shut out four straight games for the first time in franchise history on Thursday night. How bad did things get in San Francisco? The Associated Press reported the Dodgers’ equipment truck broke down on the 101 freeway after the series.

Gary A. Vasquez/US Presswire
Andre Ethier appears headed to the DL with an oblique strain.

• The Dodgers have reached agreement with outfielder Yasier Puig for $42 million over seven years pending a physical,’s Enrique Rojas reports. It would be the largest contract ever for a Cuban defector, surpassing the four-year, $36 million deal the A’s gave to outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.

• Ex-Met Chris Capuano evened his career record at 66-66 in his most recent start, when he limited the Angels to one run and seven hits in seven innings. He is 5-0 with a 1.57 ERA at Dodger Stadium this season, while limiting opponents to a .215 batting average at home.

• Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi stepped into the rotation after Ted Lilly experienced shoulder inflammation and landed on the DL. Eovaldi, 22, went to Alvin (Texas) High, which also produced Nolan Ryan. His fastball has averaged 94.8 mph this season. He also throws a slider (13.6% of the time), curveball (10.1%) and changeup (5.0%). Eovaldi has been pitching well; his winless record is a function of no run support.

• Second baseman Mark Ellis is due to begin a rehab assignment Saturday. Ellis required an urgent surgical procedure May 19 to drain blood and other fluid, or otherwise risked losing part of his left leg. He was injured absorbing a slide at second base from St. Louis’ Tyler Greene. Jerry Hairston Jr., brother of Scott Hairston, has manned second base.

• Catcher A.J. Ellis (no relation to Mark) has a .417 on-base percentage. That ranks fourth in the National League, trailing only Joey Votto (.478), David Wright (.449) and Carlos Ruiz (.430).

• Right-handed reliever Ronald Belisario has allowed only three runs and 11 hits in 24 1/3 innings since returning from a 25-game suspension on May 4. The suspension was related to a positive cocaine test that also forced him to miss last season with a visa issue, reported.

• Third baseman Juan Uribe is hitting .132 (5-for-38) in the two weeks since returning from the DL. His slump has resulted in switch-hitting rookie Elian Herrera starting two of the past four games at the position. Herrera wasn’t on the 40-man roster or even in big-league spring-training camp, but has bounced around multiple positions and plays most days, batting second.

• The lone Dodgers starter the Mets do not face is Chad Billingsley, who overlapped at Defiance (Ohio) High with Jon Niese.

• The Dodgers’ Sue Falsone (@SueFalsone) is the lone female head athletic trainer in the history of a major professional sports organization, according to the team.

• Shortstop Dee Gordon’s 24 steals match the Cubs’ Tony Campano for the major league lead.

• Closer Kenley Jansen has converted 12 of 15 save chances.

Last series results

Mets won, 3-1, at Dodger Stadium, July, 4-8, 2011 (AP game recaps)

Mets 5, Dodgers 2: Angel Pagan, Carlos Beltran and Daniel had RBI doubles in the sixth inning after the Mets were held hitless through five by Rubby De La Rosa. Chris Capuano (8-7) allowed six hits and two runs in six innings. Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth to earn his 21st save in 24 chances. Terry Collins said he's willing to play with a 24-man roster for a few days while Jose Reyes recovers from a strained left hamstring rather than immediately placing him on the disabled list. More

Mets 6, Dodgers 0: Jason Bay made it 3-0 with a leadoff homer in the sixth against Ted Lilly and broke the game open in the eighth with his sixth of the season, a three-run shot off Blake Hawksworth. It was his first multihomer game since June 28, 2010, at Florida, when he went deep twice against Ricky Nolasco. Carlos Beltran also went deep and Mike Pelfrey (5-7) stranded seven runners in scoring position through six gritty innings. More

Mets 5, Dodgers 3: Ruben Tejada doubled home two runs while filling in again for injured shortstop Jose Reyes, helping lead the Mets to their fourth straight victory. Carlos Beltran doubled twice and scored twice. Jon Niese (8-7) allowed three runs and five hits over seven innings, improving to 8-4 over his past 14 starts. Hiroki Kuroda (6-10) gave up four runs and eight hits over six innings for Los Angeles, dropping to 1-5 with a 5.75 ERA in seven career starts against the Mets. More

Dodgers 6, Mets 0: Clayton Kershaw scattered five hits over eight innings and the Dodgers parlayed extra-base hits by Matt Kemp, Juan Uribe, Aaron Miles and Dioner Navarro into a five-run sixth inning. Kershaw got out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth by striking out Ronny Paulino to end the inning after getting a visit from manager Don Mattingly. The Mets loaded the bases again in the ninth against Kenley Jansen before Hong-Chih Kuo got the final two outs. Dillon Gee (8-3) gave up five hits and six runs -- five earned -- struck out two and walked one to lose his second straight. Jose Reyes went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. More



Bartolo Colon
12 3.82 130 167
BAD. Murphy .301
HRL. Duda 26
RBIL. Duda 76
RD. Murphy 73
OPSL. Duda .837
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.44
SOZ. Wheeler 155