New York Mets: Matt Adams

Mets 3, Cards 2: Harvey, d'Arnaud click

March, 18, 2013
3/18/13
4:20
PM ET

Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports
Matt Harvey limited St. Louis to two runs in 5 1/3 innings Monday.


JUPITER, Fla. -- Matt Harvey allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings and Travis d’Arnaud went 2-for-3 and scored twice, including the tiebreaking run in the seventh, as the Mets beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 3-2, Monday at Roger Dean Stadium.

“I’m feeling loose and just having fun, not trying to overstress myself and overthink everything,” said d’Arnaud, who is hitting .345 with four doubles in 29 Grapefruit League at-bats.

D’Arnaud nonetheless is ticketed for Triple-A Las Vegas to open the season.

Game tidbits:

HARVEY SHOW: Harvey limited St. Louis to six hits and a walk while striking out six in an 80-pitch effort that included 54 strikes. The two runs came in the fourth, on consecutive doubles by Matt Holliday and Matt Adams and a single by Oscar Taveras.

“I was really happy about my curveball,” Harvey said. “Unfortunately, I gave up too many hits in my mind, but overall I’m healthy and feeling good. The biggest thing from last year was not having my curveball. I threw a lot of good ones 0-0 [today] and was able to throw it in the dirt when I needed to. That’s a big pitch for me. Having that back is definitely a big plus for me.”

Harvey now has a 2.95 Grapefruit League ERA. He has struck out 24 in 18 1/3 innings.

“Obviously a strikeout is good here and there,” Harvey said. “I’m starting to learn that a groundball is just as good. Going deep into a game is on my mind. If I go seven or eight innings with three strikeouts, that’s seven or eight innings. … If the strikeouts come, then they come.”

Said d’Arnaud: “He was great. He kept his poise. He had command of all of his pitches. He left a couple of pitches over that resulted in a couple of hits and stuff. I just thought he had a tremendous day, especially with his curveball.”

DEEP THOUGHTS: Lucas Duda delivered an opposite-field two-run homer in the fourth against Cardinals starter Jake Westbrook. It was Duda’s third Grapefruit League homer.

“One of the biggest things of spring training that we’ve been trying to get him to understand -- from last August on, even before that -- is the great power he has to center field, to left-center field,” Terry Collins said.

CATCHING ON: D’Arnaud opened the seventh with a double against left-hander Marc Rzepczynski and scored on Andrew Brown’s ensuing single to give the Mets a 3-2 lead. D’Arnaud earlier reached base and scored on Duda’s homer.

(Read full post)

Mets 3, Cards 0: 'Spin, Familia keep shining

March, 10, 2013
3/10/13
4:31
PM ET
JUPITER, Fla. -- Jordany Valdespin bounced an RBI single through a drawn-in infield in the eighth and Jamie Hoffmann tacked on a two-run double an inning later as the Mets blanked the St. Louis Cardinals, 3-0, Sunday at Roger Dean Stadium.

Shaun Marcum combined with six relievers on a three-hit shutout.

Game tidbits:

V DAY: Valdespin is looking like a lock for the Opening Day roster. He entered the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, this time in right field.

Assuming Valdespin is considered an outfielder, which is what he exclusively has been playing for nearly a week now, the April outfield would appear to be Lucas Duda, Collin Cowgill, Marlon Byrd, Mike Baxter and Valdespin.

Valdespin played right field throughout the Caribbean Series, which ended on the eve of spring training, so he arrived sharp.

"He's an aggressive guy. He plays with enthusiasm," Terry Collins said. "He's got some excitement to him. He swings, and he's dangerous, because he's got some power. If he hits the ball on the ground, just like today, even though it got up the middle, he'd probably beat it out had they been playing back."

Said Valdespin: "The outfield is different, but I'm ready for any situation."

ON THE MARC: Marcum surrendered one hit -- a two-out double by Shane Robinson in the second -- and no other baserunners in 3 2/3 innings in his third Grapefruit League appearance.

"I'm feeling a lot better, heading in the right direction," Marcum said. "I'm 100 percent not where I want to be, but we still have a few weeks left. ... As far as mechanics, which was my main focus the last couple of bullpens and today's start, everything felt a lot better. There were a couple that I rushed on, and a couple of changeups I pushed and didn't locate, but for the most part everything felt pretty good today."

Said Collins: "His location is tremendous. That's his trademark, and he showed that today."

AUDITION CONTINUES: Collins inserted Pedro Feliciano with a pair of lefty batters due up in relief of Marcum. Mixed results ensued.

Feliciano, entering with two out in the fourth, coaxed a pop-out to shortstop from Matt Adams. The following frame, Feliciano walked Oscar Taveras while again registering only 83 mph on a stadium scoreboard. He then departed.

Feliciano may need to up his velocity to emerge as a second southpaw in the bullpen alongside Josh Edgin.

PEN ULTIMATE: Feliciano, along with Scott Atchison, Scott Rice, Jeurys Familia, Greg Burke and Carlos Torres, combined to limit the Cardinals to two hits and one walk in relief of Marcum.

Familia, who tossed a 1-2-3 seventh that included coaxing three grounders, has been particularly strong. He has shown a consistent release point now that he is only a reliever and exclusively working out of the stretch.

"Today we saw the sinker we know he's got," Collins said. "They just beat ball after ball into the ground. I told Dan [Warthen] when we came into camp: 'If we can do one thing in this camp -- wherever he's going to pitch -- we've got to make sure that sinker is consistent.'"

Familia is starting to look like a strong bet for the Opening Day roster. In fact, if Feliciano is not selected, both Familia and the submariner Burke may come north.

"Right now I feel good, because it's something I did last year -- the bullpen," Familia said. "I practiced in the offseason back home."

Series preview: Mets vs. Cardinals

June, 1, 2012
6/01/12
10:00
AM ET

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
Carlos Beltran returns to Citi Field as a visitor this weekend.
METS (28-23, third place/NL East) vs. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (27-24, second place/NL Central)

Friday: LHP Johan Santana (2-2, 2.75) vs. RHP Adam Wainwright (4-5, 4.45), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP R.A. Dickey (7-1, 3.06) vs. RHP Lance Lynn (8-1, 2.54), 4:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: LHP Jon Niese (3-2, 4.55) vs. RHP Jake Westbrook (4-4, 3.69), 8:05 p.m. ET, ESPN

Monday: RHP Miguel Batista (1-1, 3.95) or RHP Jeremy Hefner (1-2, 5.60) vs. RHP Kyle Lohse (5-1, 3.36), 1:10 p.m. ET

Cardinals short hops

• Ex-Met Carlos Beltran leads the National League with 15 homers, while his 42 RBIs trail only Los Angeles’ Andre Ethier (44). Beltran did not start Wednesday because of right-knee discomfort, although he entered in the eighth and singled. Beltran nonetheless has started 43 of St. Louis’ 51 games in right field and has appeared in all but two games. He signed a two-year, $26 million deal with St. Louis on Dec. 23. Beltran’s next steal will be the 300th of his career. He has 317 career homers, and will become the eighth member of the 300/300 club. He will join Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonds, Andre Dawson, Steve Finley, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez and Reggie Sanders.


Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
Yadier Molina signed a $75 million contract extension during spring training.


• Left-hander Jaime Garcia, originally scheduled to face the Mets in the series opener, will be skipped this turn in the rotation because of elbow inflammation. Thursday’s off-day allows the Cardinals to slide the other members of the rotation up a game, including moving Kyle Lohse into the Mets series.

Lance Lynn is tied with Cole Hamels for the major league lead in wins with eight.

Mike Matheny has taken over for Tony La Russa as manager, and is one of two former players who has stepped right into managing without any coaching experience. The other: ex-Met Robin Ventura as skipper of the Chicago White Sox. Matheny was a catcher for the Cardinals from 2000 through 2004, during a 13-year career.

Skip Schumaker will land on the DL after pulling a hamstring Wednesday against the Braves. He likely will be replaced by first baseman/outfielder Allen Craig, who is due to be activated. Schumaker began the season on the DL with an oblique strain, but had seen considerable playing time with center fielder Jon Jay (shoulder) and Craig (hamstring) sidelined. Also on the injury front, third baseman David Freese has missed three straight starts with right wrist soreness, although he entered Wednesday’s game as a replacement.

• Minus Albert Pujols, and with Lance Berkman lost for at least another eight to 10 weeks following surgery last Friday to repair damage in his right knee, rookie Matt Adams had settled in of late at first base.

Adam Wainwright has a pedestrian 4-5 record and 4.45 ERA as he returns from Tommy John surgery. But he has allowed one run in 15 innings over his past two starts, against San Diego and Philadelphia, as he puts more distance between himself and the procedure.

• Catcher Yadier Molina signed a five-year, $75 million extension during spring training. Molina left Sunday’s game in the fifth inning with dizziness, which was attributed to dehydration. Molina has caught 46 of the team’s 51 games, the most in that span to start a season in his career.

• The Cardinals promoted Maikel Cleto from Triple-A during Thursday’s off-day. Cleto originally was a Mets farmhand. He was traded to Seattle in the deal that returned J.J. Putz and Sean Green. Cleto made his major league debut last season with St. Louis, allowing six runs in 4 1/3 innings over three relief appearances.

• Left fielder Matt Holliday scored an MLB-high 25 runs in May. He hit .340 with six homers and 21 RBIs during the month. He also walked 17 times, for a .432 on-base percentage.

Last series results

St. Louis won, 2-1, at Busch Stadium, Sept. 20-22 (AP game recaps)

Cardinals 11, Mets 6: Pinch-hitter Ryan Theriot’s go-ahead double with the bases loaded in the seventh inning gave St. Louis its 11th win in 13 games kept it 2 behind the Braves in the wild-card chase. The Cardinals scored six times in the seventh to come back from an early 4-0 deficit after the Braves beat Florida 4-0. Albert Pujols went 4-for-5. Theriot hit a pitch from Tim Byrdak into the gap in left-center to bring in Pujols and Lance Berkman, who both singled against Josh Stinson (0-2), for a 7-6 lead. More

Cardinals 6, Mets 5: David Freese drove in five runs with a go-ahead three-run homer and a triple. The Cardinals moved within 1 games of Atlanta in the National League wild-card race. Jaime Garcia (13-7), making his 30th start, pitched around four unearned runs in 7 2/3 innings. The Mets led 4-3 after six and the Cardinals were going quietly in the seventh when Albert Pujols singled off reliever Miguel Batista with two outs. Terry Collins brought in lefty Daniel Herrera (0-1) to make Lance Berkman bat right-handed, but Berkman foiled the strategy by singling. Collins then went to Pedro Beato, and Freese tagged him for a 389-foot, opposite-field homer to give the Cardinals a 6-4 advantage. More

Mets 8, Cardinals 6: Tony LaRussa insisted his playoff-hopeful team wouldn't be crushed after blowing a four-run cushion in the ninth inning. The loss dropped St. Louis two games behind idle Atlanta for the wild card, with each team having six games left. The Cardinals lost for only the third time in 16 games. Shortstop Rafael Furcal misplayed a potential double-play grounder at the start of the Mets' six-run burst, fueling the comeback. Ahead 6-2, the Cardinals walked three batters in helping the Mets take the lead. Willie Harris drew a walk to begin the inning and capped it with a tiebreaking, two-run single with two outs. It was the Mets' biggest ninth-inning comeback since they scored five to beat the Cubs 6-5 on May 17, 2007. More

Mets split Tuesday pair

March, 6, 2012
3/06/12
6:08
PM ET

Brad Barr/US Presswire
Ronny Cedeno drew praise from manager Terry Collins on Tuesday for the backup infielder's plate discipline.
R.A. Dickey followed Johan Santana with two perfect innings and the Mets ultimately beat the defending-champion-yet-Albert Pujols-and-Tony LaRussa-less St. Louis Cardinals, 8-6, on Tuesday afternoon in Port St. Lucie.

The Mets also dropped a split-squad game to the Houston Astros, 4-1, in Kissimmee.

• Against the Cardinals, Andres Torres continued a favorable introduction to the organization, going 2-for-3 with a three-run triple. Another newcomer, Ronny Cedeno, went 1-for-2 with a walk and RBI while starting at shortstop. Cedeno drew praise from manager Terry Collins.

Collins said staff recently met with Cedeno and preached plate discipline. Cedeno, who has a .286 career on-base percentage in seven seasons, responded with a 10-pitch walk in Monday’s Grapefruit League opener, then Tuesday’s showing.

“He’s done exactly what we’ve asked him to do,” Collins said. “He’s had great at-bats.”

• Dickey retired all six batters he faced, including Skip Schumaker, Matt Holliday and David Freese consecutively in his second frame.

• Borrowed from minor league camp, 2011 first-round pick Brandon Nimmo made his first career Grapefruit League appearance and drew a walk and scored. Fifteenth-round pick Phillip Evans, who was handed an over-slot $650,000 signing bonus to keep him from playing college ball at San Diego State, also debuted. Left-hander Josh Edgin, whom Paul DePodesta has said could fly all the way to the majors this season despite not yet appearing above Class A, recorded the final two outs via strikeout for the save. Darrell Ceciliani had an RBI double to cap the scoring.

With this the only split-squad game of camp and Collins wanting to see backups such as Kevin Baxter, Adam Loewen, Omar Quintanilla, Lucas May and Rob Johnson get plenty of exhibition action, the manager does not foresee many other spring-training opportunities for the kids to come over from minor league camp and appear. That’s despite the Mets’ camp size -- 44 players -- being the lowest Collins can remember in any of his seasons on a major league staff.

Collins got a kick out of the 18-year-old Nimmo’s youthful enthusiasm, particularly when the teenager left the dugout to greet D.J. Carrasco by the foul line after the reliever finished an inning on the mound.

“I need to let him know that we let the players get to the dugout before you shake their hand,” Collins quipped. “You don’t have to go meet them at the foul line. He was al excited. He was very, very excited. I’ll tell you what, he got down that line good, boy.”

Nimmo, who turns 19 in three weeks, was in awe of Holliday’s 6-foot-4 frame.

“He’s the only guy that I think that I’ve seen that’s actually bigger in person than he is on the screen,” the prospect said. “Just being on the field with those guys is a blast.”

Said Collins: “We were sitting there in the ninth inning today. [Coach] Bobby Floyd said, ‘You know, Brandon Nimmo a year ago was playing American Legion baseball, because they don’t have a high school program in Wyoming, or he’s running track. And Phillip Evans was playing high school in San Diego. And today they’re playing in a major league exhibition game.’ That’s pretty impressive for two young kids.”

• Pitching prospect Jeurys Familia, who is in big league camp, did have a rough appearance. Familia surrendered a first-pitch grand slam to Matt Adams in the right-hander’s second inning on the mound and was pulled with two out.

“I thought he actually threw the ball great the first inning,” Collins said. “The second inning, actually the same thing Matt [Harvey] did last night, they start to get a little too fine, try to go to the corners instead of attacking the zone. And he got himself in trouble. Two bases on balls is what killed him.”

• First-year Cardinals manager Mike Matheny echoed the praises of Santana’s performance.

“He had a real effective changeup,” Matheny said. “The ball was looking good out of his hand. It doesn’t look like he was holding anything back. Nasty changeup. You’ve got to have arm speed for that changeup to work. And you can tell really on the swing that Yadi [Molina] took -- the swing and miss -- that thing disappears. He does a good job of hiding the ball. But you’ve got to have some kind of velocity in order to make that changeup work like that.”

Pitching coach Dan Warthen told reporters that the Mets’ radar gun had Santana sitting at 90 mph and topping out at 92 mph. But the stadium gun, which appeared to match scouts’ guns, had Santana sitting at 87-88 mph and topping out at 90 mph.

• At the other split-squad game, against the Astros, starter Chris Schwinden allowed three runs (one earned), including a homer. Second baseman Daniel Murphy had a throwing error on an attempted double play. Fernando Cabrera also allowed a solo homer in two innings. Jeremy Hefner, Armando Rodriguez and Josh Stinson combined for four scoreless relief innings. Josh Satin went 2-for-3 and drove in the Mets’ lone run.

• Ex-Met Fernando Martinez, who was claimed off waivers by the Astros during the offseason, went 0-for-3 with a strikeout.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
David Wright
BA HR RBI R
.316 1 11 9
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 3
RBID. Wright 11
RE. Young Jr. 15
OPSL. Duda .817
WC. Torres 2
ERAJ. Niese 2.84
SOZ. Wheeler 21

NEW YORK CALENDAR