New York Mets: Kevin Gregg

Rapid Reaction: Marlins 3, Mets 2

June, 20, 2014
6/20/14
10:29
PM ET

MIAMI -- The Mets twice tried to get the tying run across the plate in the eighth inning Friday night -- with a single and with a challenge. They failed both times in what became a crazy 3-2 loss to the Miami Marlins.

The game ended when left fielder Marcell Ozuna threw out a runner at the plate for the second straight inning.

With the bases loaded in the top of the eighth, pinch hitter Eric Campbell singled to left field, scoring Eric Young Jr. as the Mets pulled within a run. David Wright also attempted to score from second on the play after being sent by coach Tim Teufel. However, Wright was out by a comfortable margin on Ozuna’s throw to Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Or was he?

Terry Collins asked for a review, challenging whether Saltalamacchia had provided a lane to the plate for Wright.

Arguably, the Marlins catcher did not in the strictest sense, although the baseball beat Wright by a considerable margin. The home office in New York nonetheless upheld the call on the field that Wright was the inning’s second out. And the Mets never did pull even.

MLB had acknowledged earlier in the day that it erred in reversing a similar call Wednesday in a game between the Reds and Pirates. So it undoubtedly would have been doubly wary about giving the Mets a run they seemingly did not deserve.

Meanwhile, trailing 3-2, the Mets also threatened to pull even in the ninth. Pinch hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis had a leadoff double against Steve Cishek in the outfielder's first at-bat since April 25. He was bunted to third base, then the unbelievable happened. Ozuna again fired to the plate on Chris Young's seeming sac fly and nailed Nieuwenhuis at the plate to end the game.

Alibi: We can safely conclude it was not Dave Hudgens’ fault.

The Mets were held scoreless until posting two runs in the eighth. In their past 10 games, they have scored 21 runs. And that’s with a six-run outburst last Friday against the San Diego Padres.

The Mets have scored three runs in their past 41 innings at Marlins Park.

Henderson Alvarez tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings Friday. He shut out the Mets on May 6 and has now tossed 18 1/3 straight scoreless innings against the Amazin’s.

Rafael Furcal tripled to lead off the bottom of the first against Daisuke Matsuzaka and scored on Adeiny Hechavarria’s groundout.

The Marlins tacked on two runs (one earned) in the seventh against Vic Black, with help from an error by Anthony Recker.

Jake Marisnick singled, stole second, stole third and scored on Recker’s errant throw. Wright later tried to barehand Hechavarria’s two-out grounder but could not come up with the baseball as the Marlins took a 3-0 lead. The play initially was scored an E-5 and changed to a double a half-inning later.

The Mets finally got on the scoreboard in the eighth with a one-out RBI single by Wright (2-for-4) against Kevin Gregg. Left-hander Mike Dunn entered and walked Curtis Granderson to load the bases. Campbell then had the run-scoring single in which Wright was thrown out at the plate. Wilmer Flores then made the final out to strand Granderson at second base.

Tough luck: Matsuzaka suffered his first loss since Sept. 2, snapping a personal six-game streak of winning decisions, despite limiting the Marlins to one run in 5 1/3 innings. Matsuzaka was making his first start since getting pulled from Sunday’s appearance at Citi Field after one inning with a severe stomach issue.

With the Mets trailing 1-0 in the sixth, Matsuzaka surrendered consecutive singles to Giancarlo Stanton and Casey McGehee that placed runners on the corners with none out. Matsuzaka then struck out Saltalamacchia looking on pitch No. 85.

With lefty-hitting Garrett Jones due up, Terry Collins inserted Josh Edgin. However, Marlins manager Mike Redmond countered by pinch-hitting with Jeff Baker. Edgin proceeded to coax an inning-ending double play to hold the deficit at 1-0.

Collins said pregame that it was undetermined who would lose a rotation spot when Dillon Gee eventually returns from the disabled list. Gee (lat strain) will make his first minor league start Tuesday, in the Gulf Coast League. He will need multiple rehab appearances before being activated from the DL.

Ouch! Recker was struck in the left arm by Ozuna’s backswing as the Marlin struck out to end the fourth inning. Recker shook the arm heading to the dugout, but led off the next half-inning and completed the game.

Heating up: After a woeful 12-game stretch, Wright now has a five-game hitting streak. He also doubled with one out in the sixth, but was stranded at third base when Granderson and Bobby Abreu consecutively flied out.

What’s next: Jacob deGrom again attempts to notch his first major league win. DeGrom (0-4, 4.39 ERA) opposes Stony Brook University product Tom Koehler (5-5, 3.84) at 4:10 p.m. ET Saturday.

Series preview: Mets at Marlins

June, 18, 2014
6/18/14
9:02
PM ET

Chris Trotman/Getty ImagesThe Mets face Marlins top prospect Andrew Heaney in the southpaw's major league debut.
METS (32-40, fifth place/NL East) vs. MIAMI MARLINS (36-35, second place/NL East)

Thursday: RHP Zack Wheeler (2-7, 4.38) vs. LHP Andrew Heaney (7-2, 2.47 with Double-A Jacksonville/Triple-A New Orleans), 7:10 p.m. ET

Friday: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-0, 2.81) vs. RHP Henderson Alvarez (3-3, 2.56), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Jacob deGrom (0-4, 4.39) vs. RHP Tom Koehler (5-5, 3.84), 4:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: LHP Jonathon Niese (3-4, 2.67) vs. RHP Anthony DeSclafani (1-1, 5.60), 1:10 p.m. ET

Marlins short hops

Giancarlo Stanton produced his National League-leading 20th homer on Wednesday, but departed the game against the Chicago Cubs after six innings with a bruised left wrist. Stanton, who also leads the NL with 57 RBIs, predicted to reporters he would be back in the lineup for the series opener against the Mets. The injury occurred on an attempted catch of ex-teammate Chris Coghlan’s double at the outfield wall in the first inning. “It was getting tighter and tighter,” Stanton said. “On swings and misses, it hurts a lot.”


Joe Skipper/Associated PressGiancarlo Stanton slugged his 20th homer Wednesday, but also departed with a left-wrist injury.


• Right-handed reliever Kevin Gregg will be promoted from Triple-A New Orleans and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (concussion) is expected to be activated from the disabled list on Thursday. In advance of those moves, the Marlins demoted left-hander Dan Jennings and catcher J.T. Realmuto. Gregg had signed a minor league contract on June 3.

• In a flurry of moves Monday, the Marlins placed outfielder Christian Yelich on the disabled list with a lower-back strain, designated for assignment veteran pitchers Randy Wolf and Kevin Slowey, and promoted left-hander Andrew Heaney, outfielder Jake Marisnick and infielder Justin Bour from Triple-A New Orleans. Wolf subsequently elected free agency.

The 23-year-old Heaney, the ninth overall pick in the 2012 draft out of Oklahoma State and the Marlins’ top prospect, will make his major league debut against the Mets in the series opener. The Marlins are looking for a rotation jolt after ace Jose Fernandez underwent Tommy John surgery on May 16. Heaney went a combined 7-2 with a 2.35 ERA in Double-A and Triple-A this season. His fastball sits at 90-94 mph. He also has a solid slider and changeup.

Anthony DeSclafani, who was recalled from the minors on Sunday, also has stepped into the rotation, with Jacob Turner reassigned to the bullpen. DeSclafani made his major league debut on May 14. He became the ninth Marlin, and first since Adalberto Mendez on Sept. 6, 2010, to win his major league debut as a starter. Baseball America rated DeScalfani the No. 5 prospect in the organization entering the season. He graduated from Colts Neck (N.J.) High School and then pitched at the University of Florida. He was acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays in the Nov. 19, 2012, trade that shipped out Jose Reyes and Josh Johnson.

• Second baseman Rafael Furcal made his Marlins debut Friday. It marked his first major league action since Aug. 30, 2012, with the St. Louis Cardinals. He missed all of last season recovering from spring-training Tommy John surgery. A left hamstring strain resulted in Furcal opening this season on the disabled list. He then suffered a groin strain in May while on a rehab assignment. Four different players had manned second base during Furcal’s more-than-two-month absence: Derek Dietrich, Ed Lucas, Jeff Baker and Donovan Solano. Furcal, 36, signed a $3.5 million contract with the Marlins on Dec. 5.

• Third baseman Casey McGehee had a season-high-matching 11-game hitting streak snapped Tuesday.

• The Marlins acquired reliever Bryan Morris from the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 1 in exchange for the 39th overall pick in this month’s draft. Morris since has made seven scoreless appearances spanning 9 1/3 innings.

• Miami signed Brad Penny, a member of its 2003 championship team and a former teammate of manager Mike Redmond, to a minor-league deal on Wednesday. Penny, 36, last appeared in the majors in 2012, compiling a 6.11 ERA in 22 relief appearances with the San Francisco Giants.

Source: Mets still pursuing closer type

February, 3, 2014
2/03/14
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 vs. Cubs

June, 13, 2013
6/13/13
9:53
PM ET

Getty Images/USA TODAY SportsThe Mets face (l to r) Edwin Jackson, Scott Feldman and Matt Garza this weekend at Citi Field.
METS (24-37, fourth place/NL East) vs. CHICAGO CUBS (26-38, fifth place/NL Central)

Friday: RHP Shaun Marcum (0-7, 4.96) vs. RHP Edwin Jackson (2-8, 5.76), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: LHP Jonathon Niese (3-5, 4.24) vs. RHP Scott Feldman (5-5, 3.22), 1:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (1-6, 4.11) vs. RHP Matt Garza (1-1, 6.26), 1:10 p.m. ET

Cubs short hops

Matt Garza is the most logical Cub to be traded before the July 31 trade deadline, ESPNChicago.com’s Bruce Levine reports. Garza drew interest last July from the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays, but any trade discussions were scuttled by an elbow injury. Since being acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays before the 2011 season, Garza is 17-18 with a 3.60 ERA. Other potential trade chips include Scott Feldman and relievers Kevin Gregg and Carlos Villanueva, according to Levine.


Gene J. Puskar/Associated PressStarlin Castro is hitting .122 in June.


Garza, who made his season debut May 21 after returning from a lat injury, is coming off an outing in which he surrendered nine runs in five-plus innings against Cincinnati.

Villanueva moved to the bullpen when Garza was activated from the DL.

• Shortstop Starlin Castro was hitting .059 (2-for-34) in June before a 3-for-7 performance Thursday against the Cincinnati Reds.

• Second baseman Darwin Barney has not committed an error this season. He has a 53-game errorless streak dating to last Sept. 30. However, Barney is hitting .208 with a .283 on-base percentage this season.

• Before breaking out with 15 hits in a 6-5, 14-inning win against the Reds on Thursday afternoon, Chicago had scored 11 runs in its previous six games and had not produced more than six hits in a game since June 5. The Cubs are 3-10 against Cincinnati this season. They had lost a record 12 straight to the Reds at Wrigley Field before the series-ending victory. The Cubs’ longest losing streak against one opponent at Wrigley Field previously was 10, done three times, most recently against the Montreal Expos in 1982 and ’83.

• The Cubs acquired right-handed reliever Henry Rodriguez from the Washington Nationals on Tuesday for prospect Ian Dickson. Rodriguez had been 0-1 with a 4.00 ERA in 17 relief appearances with the Nats before being designated for assignment on June 4.

• Reliever Kyuji Fujikawa underwent Tommy John surgery on Tuesday.

• The Cubs suspended Ian Stewart, who had been playing with Triple-A Iowa, because of his series of critical tweets about the organization that included imploring the club to release him. Although Stewart is in the minors, he has a $2 million salary this season.

• Left fielder Alfonso Soriano has 379 career homers, tied with Orlando Cepeda and Tony Perez for 64th all time. Next up: Albert Belle with 371.

Scott Hairston (.155, 5 HR in 83 ABs) is off to a slow start in limited playing time as a Cub. Hairston signed a two-year, $5 million deal with Chicago after waiting for a Mets offer that did not come.

• First baseman Anthony Rizzo, 23, signed a seven-year, $41 million in May that includes team options for 2020 and 2021. The guaranteed portion covers one year Rizzo otherwise would have been eligible for free agency.

Series preview: Mets at Cubs

May, 16, 2013
5/16/13
7:26
PM ET

Getty Images
The Mets face (l to r) Edwin Jackson, Scott Feldman and Travis Wood this weekend at Wrigley Field.
METS (15-23, fourth place/NL East) vs. CHICAGO CUBS (17-23, fourth place/NL Central)

Friday: RHP Matt Harvey (4-0, 1.44) vs. RHP Edwin Jackson (1-5, 6.02), 2:20 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (0-4, 4.61) vs. RHP Scott Feldman (3-3, 2.53), 1:05 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Dillon Gee (2-5, 6.13) vs. LHP Travis Wood (4-2, 2.03), 2:20 p.m. ET

Cubs short hops

Scott Hairston (.125, 3 HR in 48 ABs), whom the Mets failed to sign because they suggested he was interested in guaranteed playing time, is off to a slow start as a Cub. Hairston signed a two-year, $5 million deal with Chicago.


Reid Comptom/USA TODAY Sports
First baseman Anthony Rizzo signed a seven-year, $41 million contract this week.


• First baseman Anthony Rizzo, 23, signed a seven-year, $41 million deal this week that includes team options for 2020 and 2021. The guaranteed portion covers one year Rizzo otherwise would have been eligible for free agency.

Darwin Barney (.191, 2 HR in 89 at-bats) has started off miserably at the plate, but GM Jed Hoyer recently said publicly that the second baseman is not in danger of a demotion. Barney, who won the 2012 NL Gold Glove, did have a three-hit game Tuesday. He opened the season on the DL after cutting a kneecap in the Cubs’ final spring-training game.

Starlin Castro was installed as the leadoff hitter against lefties a week ago. Center fielder Dave Sappelt (.178) had handled that responsibility until a demotion. David DeJesus leads off against righties. Castro signed a seven-year, $60 million deal last August.

• Dale Sveum indicated he might entertain a six-man rotation when Matt Garza is activated from the DL, likely next week. More likely, Carlos Villanueva or Scott Feldman -- probably Villanueva -- will lose his rotation spot. Garza has been out since Feb. 17 with a lat strain and was expected to make his final rehab start Thursday, with Triple-A Iowa. Villanueva, who originally was signed as a longer reliever, allowed seven runs in five innings Tuesday against the Colorado Rockies.

• Third baseman Luis Valbuena returned to the lineup Wednesday after missing three games with a sprained right pinkie, which he injured sliding into third base. Valbuena was not the intended third baseman this season, but Ian Stewart has been injury-prone after re-signing for one year at $1.5 million.

• Left-hander Travis Wood is coming off an outing in which he tossed seven scoreless innings against the Rockies, which shaved his ERA to 2.03. Wood has an MLB-leading eight quality starts to open the season, matching a Cubs record set in 1919 by Hippo Vaughn in the process.

Carlos Marmol, whose three-year, $20 millon contract expires after the season, has been deposed as closer for a second straight year. Kevin Gregg, who was signed last month after being released by the Los Angeles Dodgers, began handling the role full time last Wednesday.

Marmol recently denied an internet report that he was overheard talking about wanting to get traded. “That is just not true,” he said, according to ESPNChicago.com. “I am very happy here. I always talk about how I love Chicago and I love being here. I love my teammates and everyone here. I feel bad because those words never came out of my mouth.”

Chicago reportedly could have traded Marmol to the Los Angeles Angels in November for Dan Haren, but declined the swap after getting spooked by Haren’s medical report.

Marmol actually is now third on the late-game depth chart, also behind Kyuji Fujikawa. Fujikawa, who spent the previous eight seasons as a reliever with Hanshin in Japan, was activated from the DL last week after missing nearly a month with a forearm strain.

Alfonso Soriano had a dreadful April with only two RBIs, but has been much better this month (12 RBIs in 12 games). Soriano’s $136 million contract runs through 2014. He is a trade candidate this summer. “I would like to be a part of this group, but I am a little old,” the 37-year-old Soriano told ESPNChicago.com. “I will try to have a good time playing with them now. I hope after I retire that they continue to work hard and get better.”

• The Cubs have won six of their past nine games to move out of last place. They are coming off of their first home series win since Aug. 24-26, 2012.

• Owner Tom Ricketts earlier this month threatened to move the Cubs from Wrigley Field if city does not approve changes, including outfield signs at the landmark. Rooftop clubs that look into the historic ballpark object to the potential obstruction to their views from advertising and a planned video board. A $500 million renovation of the stadium and surrounding area is planned.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
15 4.09 151 202
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187