New York Mets: Kevin Correia

Rapid Reaction: Mets 6, Pirates 5

September, 27, 2012
WHAT IT MEANS: R.A. Dickey is the Mets’ first 20-game winner in 22 years.

With the Mets’ 6-5 victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday afternoon in the home finale, Dickey joined Tom Seaver (1969, ’71, ’72, ’75), Jerry Koosman (1976), Dwight Gooden (1985), David Cone (1988) and Frank Viola (1990) as the lone Mets to reach the plateau. The knuckleballer became the second in the majors to reach 20 wins this season, joining fellow National League Cy Young candidate Gio Gonzalez of the Washington Nationals.

Appropriately, perhaps, David Wright lifted Dickey to the milestone victory. A day after passing Ed Kranepool for the franchise career hits record, Wright launched a tiebreaking three-run homer in the fifth to give the Mets a 6-3 lead and chase Pirates starter Kevin Correia. Wright then received a curtain call during the pitching change.

Dickey had trailed 3-1 after ex-teammate Rod Barajas belted a solo homer in the fourth. The Mets answered with an RBI single by Scott Hairston in the bottom half. An inning later, Daniel Murphy delivered an RBI single and Wright had the three-run shot.

Ike Davis got the Mets on the scoreboard with a solo homer in the second, his 31st long ball this season. Two batters later, Travis Snider scaled the right-field wall and brought back a would-be homer by Mike Baxter.

Dickey (20-6) surrendered three runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out 13, matching a career high, in 7 2/3 innings. He threw 128 pitches, three shy of matching his career high, and departed after a two-out walk to Snider with the Mets leading 6-3. Dickey produced his seventh double-digit strikeout game of the season.

Jon Rauch surrendered a two-run homer in the ninth to Alex Presley that pulled Pittsburgh within a run. Bobby Parnell recorded the final two outs.

CITI REDUX: The Mets, who had been 4-24 in the second half at Citi Field at one point, finished their home schedule by winning six of their final seven games at the ballpark, albeit against the Marlins and Pirates. Overall, the Mets went 36-45 at Citi Field.

According to the Mets’ count, there were 47 additional homers at Citi Field this season because of the new dimensions -- 26 by opponents and 21 by the Mets. The biggest beneficiary was Wright, who had four additional homers. Hairston and Davis each had three extra long balls.

The official home attendance for the season: 2,242,803, a decrease of 109,793 from last season and the lowest figure since the Mets drew 2,140,599 in 2003, during a 66-95 season under Art Howe at Shea Stadium.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Mets open their final trip of the season Friday night in Atlanta. Jon Niese (12-9, 3.49 ERA) completes his 2012 campaign in the series opener, opposite right-hander Tim Hudson (16-6, 3.61). With the Braves playing their final home series of the season, Chipper Jones will be honored in a pregame ceremony Friday night at Turner Field.

Series preview: Mets at Rockies

April, 27, 2012

Getty Images/Associated Press
The Mets face (l to r) Drew Pomeranz, ageless Jamie Moyer and Jeremy Guthrie this weekend at Coors Field.
METS (11-8, third place/NL East) vs. COLORADO ROCKIES (9-9, third place/NL West)

Friday: RHP Chris Schwinden (2-2, 2.05 at Triple-A Buffalo) vs. LHP Drew Pomeranz (0-1, 6.75), 8:40 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Dillon Gee (1-2, 5.21) vs. RHP Jeremy Guthrie (2-1, 5.92), 8:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: LHP Johan Santana (0-2, 3.00) vs. LHP Jamie Moyer (1-2, 2.28), 3:10 p.m. ET

Rockies short hops

• With an April 17 victory against the San Diego Padres, Jamie Moyer became the oldest pitcher to win a major league game, at 49 years, 151 days. The victory, the 268th of his career, tied Jim Palmer for 34th all time. Next up: Mike Mussina and Burleigh Grimes at 270. Moyer actually has been Colorado’s best starting pitcher so far this season, despite the 1-2 record. He is the only Rockie to complete at least five innings in each of his starts. He received a no-decision in his last start despite limiting the Pittsburgh Pirates to one run in six innings at PNC Park. Moyer missed last season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, which he only intended to have in order to throw batting practice to his children. But he felt so good while rehabbing, he opted to make a comeback. Moyer needs two strikeouts to match Luis Tiant for 36th all time, with 2,416.

• Left fielder Carlos Gonzalez produced his first two homers of the season Tuesday at Pittsburgh, off Kevin Correia and Tony Watson. Gonzalez had been weakened by a battle with strep throat that caused him to miss three games. He is just starting to regain his strength.

Chris Humphreys/US Presswire
Marco Scutaro has needed to readjust to second base after primarily playing shortstop with the Red Sox in recent seasons.

• The Dec. 16 signing of former Minnesota Twin Michael Cuddyer to a three-year, $31.5 million contract marked the first time the organization had opened the purse strings for a major free-agent acquisition since 2000. That year, Colorado signed Mike Hampton and Denny Neagle. (The Hampton signing gave the Mets the compensatory draft pick they used to select David Wright 38th overall in June ’01). Cuddyer, who grew up with Wright in Norfolk, Va., has been the Rockies’ most productive hitter so far with a .303 average, two homers and 11 RBIs in 66 at-bats. A first-time All-Star last season in the American League, Cuddyer has taken over the right-field role held by Seth Smith and Ryan Spilborghs in 2011.

• The Rockies acquired Marco Scutaro from the Boston Red Sox on Jan. 21 for right-hander Clayton Mortensen. Scutaro started 102 games at shortstop and two games at second base last season, but is being asked to play the latter position with the Rockies. He initially looked shaky, but has progressed since the start of the season.

• Two-time reigning Gold Glove winner Troy Tulowitzki already has matched last season’s error total with six. On a wet day, he airmailed two throws for errors. Three days later, Tulowitzki then had a second two-error day. Teammate Jason Giambi played fielding highlights for Tulowitzki to try to settle the Rockies’ shaken shortstop. The six errors are one shy of Starlin Castro’s NL-leading total with the Chicago Cubs. Tulowitzki has this to fall back on: He is a lifetime .328 hitter with seven homers and 15 RBIs in 116 at-bats against the Mets.

• The Rockies are targeting 110 starts for 38-year-old Todd Helton at first base this season. Helton does not play day games after starting night games. Giambi is the primary alternative. Helton’s 1,318 RBIs are the most in Rockies franchise history. He and Wright are the only two active players who lead their organizations in most runs driven in. Helton and R.A. Dickey were baseball teammates at the University of Tennessee.

• Closer Rafael Betancourt is 6-for-6 in save conversions. Matt Belisle (1.23 ERA) is now the primary setup man. Rex Brothers (4.05 ERA) began the season in that role, but is now more likely to handle the seventh.

• Left-hander Drew Pomeranz was the centerpiece prospect returned in last July’s trade of Ubaldo Jimenez to the Cleveland Indians. The 23-year-old southpaw was the fifth overall pick in the 2010 draft, out of the University of Mississippi. The Mets then selected Matt Harvey seventh overall. With the Rockies not needing a fifth starter the first time through the rotation, Pomeranz began the season with a start with Double-A Tulsa to keep his innings count in check. Friday’s outing will mark his seventh career major league start.

Jeremy Guthrie was acquired at the start of spring training from the Baltimore Orioles for Jason Hammel and Matt Lindstrom.

• With center fielder Dexter Fowler struggling (.222), lefty-hitting Tyler Colvin has chipped away at some of his playing time. Colvin was acquired from the Cubs with infielder D.J. LeMahieu on Dec. 8 for Ian Stewart and Casey Weathers.

• Right-hander Juan Nicasio, whom the Mets will not face, is an inspirational story. He is coming back from a broken neck, which he suffered on a line drive off the bat of Washington’s Ian Desmond last Aug. 5.

• Defensive-oriented third baseman Chris Nelson is hitting .224.

Jorge De La Rosa, returning from Tommy John surgery, is due to pitch in an extended spring training game Friday.


Schwinden vs. Rockies (career: never faced)

Gee vs. Rockies (career: never faced)

Santana vs. Rockies (career: 2-0, 0.00 ERA)
Troy Tulowitzki .429, 2 K, 7 PA
Todd Helton .333, 3 PA
Marco Scutaro .250, 1 RBI, 3 K, 12 PA
Carlos Gonzalez .250, 1 K, 4 PA
Jason Giambi .227, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 7 K, 23 PA
Dexter Fowler .200, 2 BB, 3 K, 7 PA
Ramon Hernandez .190, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K, 22 PA
Michael Cuddyer .000, 1 BB, 1 K, 3 PA

Pomeranz vs. Mets (career: never faced)

Guthrie vs. Mets (career: 0-2, 4.73 ERA)
David Wright .500, 2 RBI, 1 K, 6 PA
Scott Hairston .333, 3 PA
Ike Davis .333, 2 K, 3 PA
Daniel Murphy .000, 1 RBI, 3 PA
Ruben Tejada .000, 1 K, 3 PA

Moyer vs. Mets (career: 10-6, 3.94 ERA)
Daniel Murphy .500, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 6 PA
David Wright .415, 4 HR, 14 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K, 56 PA
Scott Hairston .000, 2 BB, 11 PA
Ike Davis .000, 1 BB, 3 PA

Last series results

Mets won, 2-1, at Coors Field, May 9-12, 2011 (AP game recaps)

Rockies 2, Mets 1: Chris Capuano was stellar on the mound and shoddy at the plate. Capuano (2-4) made one key mistake in 6 2/3 strong innings, hanging an 81 mph slider to Chris Iannetta, who broke a tie in the seventh inning with a low liner that just cleared the left-field fence. The pitcher's performance at the plate, though, left something to be desired. He struck out three times, including once with the bases loaded in the sixth. That's simply the way the night went for the Mets, who left 10 runners on base and dropped to 0-5 against Colorado this season including a four-game sweep at Citi Field last month. Once again, they struggled to come up with the timely hit. New York is 1-for-16 with runners in scoring position over the last two games.

Mets 4, Rockies 3: Mike Pelfrey hit a tiebreaking, two-run double and limited the Rockies to three solo homers. Ike Davis left in the fifth inning after he strained his left calf when he appeared to trip over third baseman David Wright's foot as the two closed in on a pop up by the Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki. Wright hung on to the ball near the mound for the second out of the fourth inning as Davis tumbled to the ground. Davis bounced up quickly but was limping noticeably. He remained in the game for the final out of the inning, then was replaced. The Mets had lost all five of their games to the Rockies this season but finally put together a couple of rallies against their new nemesis to counter home runs by Troy Tulowitzki, Seth Smith and Carlos Gonzalez. Despite the trio of long balls he served up, Pelfrey (3-3) allowed six hits over 6 2/3 innings and improved to 6-2 lifetime against the Rockies, who have lost seven of nine but remain atop the NL West. Pelfrey's outing was cut short by a nearly hour-long rain delay in the seventh inning.

Mets 9, Rockies 5: Carlos Beltran hit a career-high three homers and drove in six runs to help the Mets beat Ubaldo Jimenez in a game delayed more than two hours by rain. Beltran homered from both sides of the plate and reached all parts of the ballpark with his three two-run homers: straightaway center in the first, deep left in the seventh and into the right-field seats in the ninth. The switch-hitting outfielder became the eighth Mets player to hit three in a game, and first since Jose Reyes on Aug. 15, 2006, at Philadelphia. Reyes hit a two-run single in the fourth that chased Jimenez (0-3) and kept the Rockies' ace searching for his elusive first win of the season. He lasted just 3 2/3 innings in his shortest stint of the season, surrendering five runs and three hits while walking six. Relying on his curveball, Jon Niese (2-4) was solid for 6 1/3 innings while allowing solo homers to Jonathan Herrera and Todd Helton.

Mets morning briefing 6.13.11

June, 13, 2011
Despite Kevin Correia retiring the first 14 Mets, until Jason Bay singled, the Mets won, 7-0, Sunday at PNC Park to again move within a game of .500. Chris Capuano tossed seven scoreless innings in the victory. Even Willie Harris and Scott Hairston came through as pinch-hitters. Harris' two-out single was the first of six straight hits by the Mets in what became a four-run eighth. Hairston delivered a solo homer in the ninth, along with Jose Reyes. “It felt great,” Hairston said about Harris' single. “I was the first one off that bench once he got that pinch-hit, knowing how hard that is to do.”

Monday's news reports:

• Bay initially figured, the way things were going for him, that his sacrifice fly would be taken off the board because of Angel Pagan's gaffe missing second base while retreating to first base. But the run counted, breaking a scoreless tie. And Bay now has a two-game hitting streak. “It’s not a 3-for-4 with two bombs or anything, but I feel better,” Bay said. “I feel like I’m building instead of fighting. Like I’ve said before, what’s done is done. Despite all the things that I haven’t done, we’re still playing pretty good baseball.” Read game stories from the 7-0 win in the Post, Times, Record, Newsday, Journal, Daily News and Star-Ledger.

• Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, who was ejected, did not think Pagan made a catch on Lyle Overbay to open the bottom of the seventh.

• Hairston had been standing in the bullpen tracking pitches as rotation members did their between-starts work in order to stay sharp. Then, in his first plate appearance in 10 days, he homered. Terry Collins said he would try to get Hairston into Monday's lineup against left-hander Paul Maholm, but he was reluctant to sit Bay or Pagan, who has had success against the Pirates southpaw. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• The Mets are trying to get a Saturday scoring decision reversed and Daniel Murphy charged with an error on a groundball by Andrew McCutchen, which would change two earned runs to unearned against R.A. Dickey. Those moves are rarely successful unless a rule is interpreted incorrectly. "I think everybody in here worries about their numbers," Dickey told Anthony Rieber in Newsday. "I don't have any problem saying I wish my ERA was this and my record was this." Dickey's ERA would drop from 3.98 to 3.76 minus two earned runs. An MLB official told Rieber a screener would have to agree the decision was "clearly erroneous," then a committee would have to unanimously agree that it needed to be changed. In this case, it was a judgment call -- a poor judgment. But erroneous is a pretty high standard.

• Capuano's performance continued a solid string of starting pitching by the Mets. Read more in the Post.

• The Pirates, down their top three catchers because of injury, acquired Mike McKenry from the Boston Red Sox on Sunday night for a player to be named or cash, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The team designated Wyatt Toregas for assignment. McKenry was hitting .280 with three homers for Triple-A Pawtucket. Chris Snyder (back), Ryan Doumit (ankle) and Jason Jaramillo (elbow) all are out.

BIRTHDAY: It doesn’t appear to be a popular date for birthdays or memorable moments for the Mets. The new book 162-0 by Mets official scorer Howie Karpin -- a great Father’s Day gift for a Mets fan -- cites a 1971 game against the Giants in which current Yankees announcer Ken Singleton beat the Giants with a walk-off sacrifice fly, ending a 5-hour rain-soaked marathon, as the Mets best win on this date. -Mark Simon

Rapid Reaction: Mets 7, Pirates 0

June, 12, 2011

Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: Jason Bay broke up Kevin Correia’s early perfect-game bid with a two-out single in the fifth. Bay then delivered a sacrifice fly two innings later for his first RBI this month, which scored Daniel Murphy with the game’s opening run. After a four-run eighth that included six straight two-out hits, the Mets beat the Pirates, 7-0, at PNC Park on Sunday afternoon.

OOPS: The seventh inning actually ended on Bay’s fly ball. Angel Pagan, who began the play at first base, had rounded second base while the ball was in the air. While retreating to first base after the catch, Pagan failed to retouch second base and was ruled out, for the inning’s final out. By rule, the run counted.

Jay Payton was involved in a near-identical gaffe for the Mets on April 24, 2002. On Vance Wilson’s fly ball to right field against the St. Louis Cardinals, Payton also never touched second while returning to his original base.

The Pirates, bidding to reach .500 in the month of June for the first time since 1999, instead slipped two games under breakeven.

EAGLE EYES: Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was ejected in the bottom of the seventh with the score 1-0 after umpires ruled Pagan made a leaping catch at the wall in center field to retire Lyle Overbay. Replays suggested the baseball may have grazed the wall and ricocheted back into Pagan’s glove. Hurdle actually was tossed by two umpires -- Jerry Layne and then Bob Davidson -- within seconds of each other.

As an aside, someone with the Pirates must have thought Overbay’s shot cleared the wall, because fireworks were discharged, as is the case after homers.

CAPPER: Unlike Correia, Chris Capuano did not have no-hit drama in his outing. Capuano allowed a two-out single to Andrew McCutchen in the first inning. But Capuano ended up with the scoreless effort. He blanked the Pirates for seven innings, allowing three hits, two walks and a hit batter while striking out five.

Capuano used double-play balls to escape situations in consecutive innings -- in the third after plunking Jose Tabata, and in the fourth after walking McCutchen and Overbay.

MULTI-THREAT: Jose Reyes had his major league-leading 33rd multi-hit game, which included a ninth-inning solo homer. The performance came in his 62nd game of the season. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last major leaguer to finish a season having played at least 100 games, and with a multi-hit game in more than half of those games, was Joe Medwick in 1937 with the St. Louis Cardinals (80 multi-hit games in 156 games). Ichiro Suzuki finished at exactly half in 2009 -- 73 times in 146 games.

TURNER CLASSIC: After a day off to get a breather, Justin Turner returned to third base and the No. 2 hole and contributed an RBI double in the eighth as the Mets took a 2-0 lead.

IN A PINCH: Carlos Beltran had a two-run single and Pagan had an RBI single in what became a four-run eighth. Beltran was replaced as a pinch-runner by Jason Pridie -- the second time in the series Pridie has subbed for Beltran late to limit wear and tear on Beltran’s knees.

HAIR-RAISING: Scott Hairston had a pinch-hit homer in the ninth, in his first plate appearance in 10 days. Hairston’s other long ball this season came April 14 against Colorado’s Huston Street.

K-ROD TRACKER: Francisco Rodriguez did not appear and remained at 25 games finished. He is on pace for 62 games finished, seven over the threshold for his contract to kick in at $17.5 million for 2012.

WHAT’S NEXT: Mike Pelfrey (3-4, 5.35) opposes left-hander Paul Maholm (2-7, 3.39) in Monday’s finale to the four-game series.

Rapid Reaction: Pirates 9, Mets 3

June, 1, 2011

WHAT IT MEANS: Forget about their bats. The Mets missed the fielding of Jose Reyes, Ike Davis and David Wright in a 9-3 loss to the Pirates on Wednesday. Although no errors were charged, the Mets failed to execute several makeable plays in a five-run seventh inning by the Pirates that included five infield singles and chased Chris Capuano.

Pittsburgh improved to 17-14 away from PNC Park, matching its entire 2010 road win total, when it went 17-64. Kevin Correia notched his major league-leading eight win, and seventh road win.

AAAAARGH! Capuano took a scoreless effort into the seventh, when the gem unraveled in agonizing fashion. To open the inning, Daniel Murphy muffed a grounder, then threw slightly behind Capuano, who couldn’t find the bag quickly enough, resulting in the first of four straight infield hits.

Next, inexperienced third baseman Willie Harris could not field a bunt quickly enough and Neil Walker narrowly beat the throw to first.

Next, Capuano muffed a squibber to load the bases.

Next, shortstop Ruben Tejada fielded a grounder and threw to Harris at third. But Harris straddled the bag. He unsuccessfully tried to make a tag in time, rather than place a foot on the base and get the forceout. So Walker was ruled safe at third and the Pirates pulled within 2-1.

Lyle Overbay’s sinking liner then glanced off the glove of a diving Angel Pagan in right-center for a single to even the score.

Xavier Paul’s pinch-hit line single to right drove in the go-ahead run after Pedro Beato inherited the bases loaded from Capuano. The Pirates added two more runs in the inning to grab a 5-2 lead, the final run scoring on another infield single to Tejada, by Josh Harrison.

Capuano, who pitched solidly, ended up with this ugly line: 6 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 2 K.

Harris was starting at third base for the fifth time this season and 14th time in his career. His difficulties extended to the plate. He struck out in his first three at-bats and was 0-for-his-last-10 before singling in the ninth. Murphy, on the other hand, had his fourth straight multi-hit game.

DROUGHT: The Mets’ homerless drought ended at 10 games when Justin Turner produced a solo shot that pulled the Mets within 9-3 in the eighth off Daniel McCutchen. It matched the sixth-longest drought in franchise history.

The franchise’s longest homerless streaks all came in 1980: 17, 13 and 12 games. The Mets only had 61 homers as a team that year, second fewest in franchise history, and were led by Lee Mazzilli’s 16 long balls.

In fairness, the ballpark did contribute to the near-continuation Wednesday, until Turner delivered. Jason Bay smoked a shot to right-center, where Andrew McCutchen made a sliding catch on the track by the 415-foot marker. Bay did respond with a diving catch of his own, to retire Harrison to open the fourth.

LEAKY PEN: Mets relievers were charged with four runs in three innings. The once-sturdy relief corps has allowed 32 runs in its last 25 1/3 innings, for an 11.37 ERA. Beato has been charged with runs in four of his last five appearances after opening his major league career without allowing an earned run in 18 2/3 innings.

K-ROD TRACKER: Francisco Rodriguez did not appear. He has finished 20 of the Mets’ first 55 games. K-Rod is on pace for 59 games finished, four over the threshold for his contract to kick in at $17.5 million for 2012.

WHAT’S NEXT: Reyes is due to return from bereavement list for Thursday’s matinee as Mike Pelfrey (3-4, 5.00 ERA) opposes Pittsburgh left-hander Paul Maholm (2-7, 3.18). That means no more Harris at third base.



Bartolo Colon
15 4.09 151 202
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187