New York Mets: Matt Carpenter

Wright overtaken in latest All-Star voting

June, 23, 2014
Jun 23

Getty ImagesAramis Ramirez now leads David Wright and Pablo Sandoval in NL All-Star balloting at third base.
JUPITER, Fla. -- David Wright has been overtaken in the latest voting at third base for the National League starter in the July 15 All-Star Game.

In-stadium voting concludes Thursday, with online voting available through through July 3.

The current voting tally at third base:

Aramis Ramirez, Brewers, 1,279,902
Wright, Mets, 1,260,895
Pablo Sandoval, Giants, 1,194,607
Matt Carpenter, Cardinals, 1,049,472
Nolan Arenado, Rockies, 1,019,161

Daniel Murphy has dropped out of the top five at second base.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 3, Cards 2

June, 18, 2014
Jun 18
ST. LOUIS -- Miracles do happen! And, cripes, we’re not talking about the Mets winning a stinking game.

Bartolo Colon’s leadoff double -- yes, a leadoff double -- in the sixth sparked a two-run inning that gave the Mets the lead. Colon also contributed eight strong innings as the Amazin’s beat the St. Louis Cardinals 3-2 on a steamy Wednesday afternoon at Busch Stadium.

The Mets hung on for the win despite a rocky ninth by Jenrry Mejia that included surrendering a two-out run. Dana Eveland entered and retired lefty-hitting Matt Adams for the game's final out with the tying run at first base. Eveland produced his first save since 2005.

The Mets (32-40) snapped an eight-game road losing streak. After winless series at Chicago and San Francisco their last trip, the Mets avoided getting swept for a third straight road series.

Colon doubled down the third-base line on an 89 mph fastball from Lance Lynn and chugged into second, snapping a personal 0-for-43 drought. His last hit came with the Los Angeles Angels on June 10, 2005, at Shea Stadium against the Mets on a single off Mike DeJean. Colon produced the first extra-base hit of his career.

Colon comfortably scored the tying run when Eric Young Jr. followed with a double to the right-center gap. The Mets took a 2-1 lead when David Wright blooped a hit to right field that plated E.Y. Jr. He then was staked to a 3-1 lead on E.Y. Jr.’s seventh-inning RBI double against Seth Maness.

Colon’s only other run scored came on Aug. 9, 2002, with Montreal at Milwaukee.

At 41, he became the second-oldest pitcher in major league history to produce his first career extra-base hit, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Diomedes Olivo was 43 years old in 1962 when he got the first and only extra-base hit of his brief career.

Terry Collins, incidentally, placed Colon at No. 9 in the batting order Wednesday because of his hitting ineptitude. The Mets had batted the pitcher in the No. 8 slot for the only instances in franchise history the previous two games.

Not only did Colon double, he also had two sacrifice bunts in three trips to the plate.

On the mound, Colon limited St. Louis to one run on four hits in an 86-pitch effort spanning eight innings. He is 5-0 with a 1.66 ERA (8 ER, 43 1/3 IP) in his past six starts.

The lone damage against Colon came when he surrendered a leadoff homer to Matt Carpenter on the third pitch of the bottom of the first.

What’s next: The Mets head to Miami for a four-game series. In the 7:10 p.m. series opener Thursday, Zack Wheeler (2-7, 4.38 ERA) opposes Andrew Heaney in the left-hander’s major league debut.

Rapid Reaction: Cards 6, Mets 2

June, 16, 2014
Jun 16
ST. LOUIS -- So how about Team USA’s dramatic World Cup victory against Ghana?

The St. Louis Cardinals knocked out Jacob deGrom in the fifth inning and handed the New York Mets a 6-2 defeat in Monday’s series opener at Busch Stadium before a sellout crowd announced at 42,808.

The Mets have now lost 10 of their past 13. They are 13-29 in St. Louis since 2001.

Still searching: DeGrom struck out Matt Carpenter to begin the bottom of the fifth. The rookie did not record another out. The next six St. Louis batters reached before Terry Collins pulled deGrom with the Mets trailing 6-1 and two on base. The damage in the four-run frame included an RBI single by Matt Holliday, who produced his 1,000th career RBI.

Jeff Curry/USA TODAY SportsTerry Collins approaches the mound to retrieve Jacob deGrom after six straight Cardinals batters reached with one out in the fifth.

DeGrom remained winless through seven major league starts. His ERA climbed to 4.39 after the 91-pitch effort, which included surrendering 12 hits.

He’s back: Left fielder Eric Young Jr. had an uneven return from the disabled list. He threw out Allen Craig attempting to score from second on Yadier Molina's single to end the third inning and hold the Mets’ deficit at 2-1 at the time. A half inning later, though, Young struck out against Carlos Martinez to strand the bases loaded.

The Mets had placed two in scoring position with none out in that frame but failed to score. The Amazin’s are now hitting .157 (11-for-70) with the bases loaded this season.

Young was credited with an infield single in his first at-bat after a scoring change on a would-be error by shortstop Jhonny Peralta. Young finished 1-for-4 as a result.

What reprieve? The flamethrower Martinez, subbing for Adam Wainwright (elbow), limited the Mets to one unearned run in four innings before reaching his pitch count and departing the spot start. Left-hander Nick Greenwood, making his major league debut, took over and held the Mets hitless until Daniel Murphy and David Wright had consecutive one-out singles in the eighth.

Eighth wondering: Batting the pitcher eighth had mixed results before deGrom departed.

It worked out in the second inning, when No. 7 hitter Ruben Tejada had a leadoff walk, deGrom bunted him to second and, after Peralta’s error, Curtis Granderson supplied a sacrifice fly.

In the fourth, however, Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was enticed to intentionally walk Tejada with first base open to load the bases for deGrom with one out. DeGrom had a hard-hit lineout to second base. Young then struck out to strand the bases loaded.

Oh, captain: Wright finished 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. He is now three for his last 43.

What’s next: Jonathon Niese (3-3, 2.54 ERA) opposes right-hander Michael Wacha (4-5, 2.88) at 8:15 p.m. ET Tuesday.

Series preview: Mets at Cardinals

June, 16, 2014
Jun 16

Getty ImagesThe Mets are scheduled to face Cardinals right-handers Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha and Lance Lynn at Busch Stadium.
METS (31-38, fourth place/NL East) vs. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (37-32, second place/NL Central)

Monday: RHP Jacob deGrom (0-3, 3.44) vs. RHP Carlos Martinez (0-3, 4.67), 8:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: LHP Jonathon Niese (3-3, 2.54) vs. RHP Michael Wacha (4-5, 2.88), 8:15 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Bartolo Colon (6-5, 4.15) vs. RHP Lance Lynn (7-4, 3.16), 1:45 p.m. ET

Cardinals short hops

Adam Wainwright, originally scheduled to start Monday, will have his turn skipped because of tendinitis in the back of his pitching elbow. Carlos Martinez, whose fastball has averaged 97.1 mph out of the bullpen this season, will make his second career major league start in Wainwright’s place. St. Louis opted to use the 22-year-old Martinez rather than move up the other pitchers and have Michael Wacha pitch in the series opener on standard rest.

• The Cardinals promoted left-handed reliever Nick Greenwood from Triple-A Memphis on Sunday and demoted outfielder Randal Grichuk (.136). St. Louis is now carrying 13 pitchers and a four-man bench with Wainwright active but skipping a start. Greenwood could relieve Martinez in the middle innings, since Martinez likely will be capped between 50 and 60 pitches with his shift from a bullpen role.

Scott Cunningham/Getty ImagesMatt Adams has homered in each of his first three games since returning from the disabled list.

• St. Louis pitchers tossed 30 straight scoreless innings and three straight shutouts last week, at Toronto and Tampa Bay. The Cardinals have blanked their opponents 14 times this season. The Texas Rangers rank second with 13 shutouts, followed by the Toronto Blue Jays with nine. The Mets have blanked their opponents five times.

• First baseman Matt Adams has returned from the disabled list with a bang after missing 13 games due to a calf injury. Adams has homered in each of his first three games upon reentering the lineup. The good news: All three weekend long balls came with his father, Jamie, in attendance at Busch Stadium. The elder Adams has now headed home. The first two homers provided the winning margin en route to a weekend sweep against the Washington Nationals.

• Rookie right fielder Oscar Taveras, who had hit only .189 with one homer in 37 at-bats, was demoted to clear the roster spot for Adams. Allen Craig, who had manned first base in Adams’ absence, has returned to right field. Taveras is ranked as the top prospect in the organization.

Matt Holliday is one RBI shy of 1,000 for his career. He has reached base safely in each of the first 31 Cardinals home games this season.

• Shortstop Jhonny Peralta, who signed a four-year, $53 million deal with St. Louis, is hitting .232 with a team-leading 10 homers and 26 RBIs in 241 at-bats.

• St. Louis is 18-2 against the National League East at Busch Stadium over the past two seasons. The Cardinals have outscored those opponents 89-43 during that span.

Yadier Molina leads NL All-Star balloting at catcher with 2,003,557 votes. San Francisco’s Buster Posey ranks second at 1,414,363.

• Center fielder Peter Bourjos is 0-for-his-last-10 and is now hitting .209. The righty-hitting Bourjos shares playing time with lefty-hitting Jon Jay. Bourjos was acquired from the Los Angeles Angels in November with Grichuk for David Freese and Fernando Salas.

• Second baseman Kolten Wong was the NL Rookie of the Month for May, but is 1-for-his-last-18.

• Jay is 11-for-26 against left-handed pitching this season.

• Third baseman Matt Carpenter is the only Cardinal to appear in all 69 games.

Rapid Reaction: Cards 3, Mets 0

April, 22, 2014
Apr 22
NEW YORK -- Adam Wainwright delivered again in Queens as Mets bats remained quiet.

Wainwright tossed seven scoreless innings thanks to Matt Holliday reaching over the wall to take away a homer and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Mets, 3-0, Tuesday night at Citi Field.

Wainwright did depart after only 79 pitches with a hyperextended right knee. He landed awkwardly after leaping while unsuccessfully attempting to field Chris Young's chopper on the right side. First baseman Matt Adams made the play to complete the seventh and Wainwright gingerly walked off the field.

Wainwright was coming off a two-hit shutout of the Washington Nationals in his previous outing.

The Mets (10-10) slipped back to .500 with the defeat.

Gee fizz: Dillon Gee pitched fine, but not well enough to match Wainwright.

Gee surrendered a two-run single to Jon Jay in the fourth that broke a scoreless tie, but it could have been worse. With the bases loaded and none out later that frame, Gee coaxed consecutive forceouts at the plate on grounders by Kolten Wong and Wainwright. Gee followed by striking out Matt Carpenter to hold the deficit at 2-0.

Mets pitchers nonetheless had their scoreless streak snapped at a season-high 20 innings.

Gee was coming off a near-flawless, 72-pitch effort against the Arizona Diamondbacks in which he tossed seven scoreless innings.

Gee’s final line against the Cards: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K. He threw 95 pitches (61 strikes).

Jose Valverde surrendered a ninth-inning run as the Cards opened a three-run lead.

Robbed: Holliday leaped at the left-field wall to take away a potential two-run homer from Chris Young in the fifth that would have evened the score at 2.

Bay watch: Curtis Granderson went 0-for-3 with a walk and strikeout. He is now hitless in 22 straight at-bats. That is a new career high, topping an 0-for-21 skid with the Detroit Tigers in 2006.

Snapped: David Wright lost a 12-game hitting streak with an 0-for-4 night that included striking out for the second out of the ninth with two runners on base

Debutant: Bobby Abreu made his debut as a pinch hitter leading off the bottom of the ninth. He flied out to left field. Terry Collins indicated Abreu is expected to start Thursday for the first time with the club.

What’s next: Jonathon Niese (0-2, 2.84 ERA) opposes right-hander Michael Wacha (2-1, 1.73) at 7:10 p.m. Wednesday.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 2, Cards 0

April, 21, 2014
Apr 21
NEW YORK -- Jenrry Mejia ran his career-high scoreless streak to 13 2/3 innings and David Wright extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a broken-bat RBI single as the New York Mets beat the defending National League champion St. Louis Cardinals 2-0 Monday night at Citi Field.

Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY SportsJenrry Mejia thanks Ruben Tejada after the shortstop's diving stop initiated a double play in the fifth.

Newly installed closer Kyle Farnsworth tossed a scoreless ninth inning to notch his first save since Sept. 29 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The camouflage-wearing Mets again moved over .500, improving their record to 10-9.

Mejia’s line: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 K. He departed after consecutive two-out walks in the seventh. Scott Rice entered and induced a ground out to third base from righty-hitting pinch-hitter Shane Robinson.

After being forced from his previous outing in Phoenix after five innings because of a torn blister on his right middle finger, Mejia this time logged 94 pitches with no apparent ill effects.

Mejia personally escaped his most serious threat in the sixth. After consecutive one-out singles by Matt Carpenter and Allen Craig placed runners on the corners, Mejia retired Matt Holliday on a pop out to second base and Matt Adams on a ground out to Daniel Murphy.

In the fourth and fifth innings, Mejia had benefited from highlight-reel plays from shortstop Ruben Tejada, both on diving stops up the middle. In the latter instance, Tejada initiated a double play on a grounder by Jon Jay.

Mejia now has 25 strikeouts in 22 2/3 innings.

Kathy Willens/Associated PressDavid Wright delivers a broken-bat RBI single in the third to get the Mets on the scoreboard.

Oh, Captain: Things are breaking right for Wright these days. Wright delivered a two-out, broken-bat single through the left side of the infield in the third inning to plate Eric Young Jr. with the game’s opening run.

The Mets extended the lead to 2-0 in the sixth on Travis d’Arnaud’s RBI single. That came in an inning in which the Mets benefited from Cards starter Tyler Lyons walking two batters and also committing an error. (Chris Young was thrown out trying to advance to third base on a pitch in the dirt earlier in the inning, limiting the damage.)

Bay watch: Curtis Granderson went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts and a hit by pitch. He is now hitless in 19 straight at-bats.

What’s next: Dillon Gee (1-0, 3.71 ERA) opposes Adam Wainwright (3-1, 1.80) at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday. Wainwright is coming off a two-hit shutout against the Washington Nationals.

Series preview: Mets vs. Cards

April, 21, 2014
Apr 21

Jeff Roberson/Associated PressTyler Lyons will be promoted from Triple-A Memphis to face the Mets on Monday at Citi Field.
METS (9-9, third place/NL East) vs. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (11-8, second place/NL Central)

Monday: RHP Jenrry Mejia (2-0, 2.81) vs. LHP Tyler Lyons (2-0, 3.32 at Triple-A), 7:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Dillon Gee (1-0, 3.71) vs. RHP Adam Wainwright (3-1, 1.80), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: LHP Jonathon Niese (0-2, 2.84) vs. RHP Michael Wacha (2-1, 1.73), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: RHP Bartolo Colon (1-3, 5.40) vs. RHP Lance Lynn (4-0, 3.42), 1:10 p.m. ET

Cardinals short hops

• Left-hander Tyler Lyons will be promoted from Triple-A Memphis to start Monday’s game against the Mets. Lyons, 26, replaces Joe Kelly, who landed on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, which he injured running to first base after hitting a groundball.

Kelly’s absence likely will be short term. Otherwise, the Cards would have considered using 22-year-old flamethrower Carlos Martinez, who currently is excelling in late-inning relief -- including contributing multi-inning performances.

Lyons went 2-4 with a 4.75 ERA in 12 appearances (eight starts) for St. Louis last season as a rookie. Right-hander Jorge Rondon will be demoted to clear the roster spot for Lyons.

David Goldman/Associated PressJhonny Peralta is off to a slow start at the plate after signing a $53 million deal with St. Louis.

• St. Louis struck quickly in free agency, signing shortstop Jhonny Peralta for four years, $53 million on Nov. 24 despite Peralta returning from a Biogenesis-related suspension. After going 0-for-4 Sunday to extend his hitless streak to 12 at-bats, Peralta’s average has sagged to .172. He has displayed some power, having produced four homers.

• The Cards have an entirely new look to their infield. Last year, it primarily was Allen Craig at first base, Matt Carpenter at second, Pete Kozma at shortstop and David Freese at third. Now, Matt Adams handles first base (with Craig in right field), Kolten Wong and Mark Ellis share second, Peralta is at shortstop and Carpenter is locked into third.

Carpenter, a 2013 All-Star, shifted with the trade of Freese to the Los Angeles Angels. Freese was sent to Anaheim with Fernando Salas for Peter Bourjos and Randal Grichuk.

Adams lifted his average to .357 Sunday with a 2-for-4 game against the Washington Nationals.

The lefty-hitting Wong and righty-hitting Ellis are not in a strict platoon. For instance, Ellis started against the right-handed Stephen Strasburg on Sunday. Ellis had opened the season on the DL with left knee tendinitis. Ellis, who made his Cards debut last Tuesday, was signed to a one-year, $5.25 million deal in December after playing the previous two seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Lance Lynn has the best March/April record in MLB history among pitchers with at least 10 starts. He is 11-0 in 12 starts, topping Babe Ruth’s previous-best .929 winning percentage (13-1 in 16 starts). The last unbeaten March/April pitcher was Ray Fisher, who was 9-0 from 1910 through 1920.

• Catcher Yadier Molina has an 11-game hitting streak. He has won six straight Gold Gloves behind the plate.

• The lefty-hitting Jon Jay and righty-hitting Bourjos share time in center field.

Adam Wainwright, who logged 241 2/3 innings in 2013, retired 18 in a row at one point while tossing a two-hit shutout against the Nats in his last outing. It was Wainwright’s 17th career complete game, which is seventh-most in the majors since 2007.

• Although his arsenal appeared just fine in 2013, right-hander Michael Wacha is trying to incorporate a cutter this season and become a three-pitch pitcher. He also is more frequently flipping a curveball.

• Ex-Yankee Randy Choate has been solid in lefty relief while producing a 1.59 ERA. He has not surrendered a homer since Aug. 1, 2012.

• The Cardinals planned to take a three-car Amtrak train from Washington to New York on Sunday night.

Cards 6, Mets 4: Lannan retires final 8

March, 12, 2014
Mar 12
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- John Lannan may be ticketed for the bullpen, but he made a pretty good case for the fifth-starter’s role Wednesday.

The southpaw retired the final eight batters he faced and limited the St. Louis Cardinals to two unearned runs on three hits in four innings. The Mets ultimately lost, 6-4, at Tradition Field.

David Goldman/Associated PressJohn Lannan limited the Cardinals to two unearned runs in four innings Wednesday.
Of the 15 batters Lannan faced, he struck out five and coaxed nine ground balls.

Lannan surrendered a game-opening infield single to Matt Carpenter. A passed ball from Taylor Teagarden pushed Carpenter to second. He then scored on a bunt and groundout.

An inning later, Lannan surrendered a leadoff double to Stephen Piscotty. The Cards eventually loaded the bases with none out when David Wright was unable to hold Randal Grichuk’s liner and was charged with an error. Still, Lannan minimized the damage. He got Tony Cruz to ground into a run-scoring double play and struck out Pete Kozma.

“The first inning didn’t go as I planned, but sometimes it happens,” Lannan said. “After that double play I settled down and started making some good pitches.”

As for a potential relief role, Lannan added: “The possibility of it has been brought up to me, just in conversation. I started today, and I’m going to act as if I’m starting five days from now, until I’m told otherwise.”

Ouch: Kyle Farnsworth, who is not projected to make the Opening Day bullpen unless he suddenly upgrades his performance, surrendered consecutive rockets in the seventh inning. Piscotty blasted a triple off the left-field wall. One batter later, Kolten Wong delivered a two-run homer to right field as St. Louis took a 4-0 lead.

There should be an early verdict with Farnsworth. He has a March 23 “out” in his contract.

Welcome back: In his first game since injuring his right shin Friday, Daniel Murphy started at second base and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout.

Seventh heaven: Juan Lagares delivered a two-run single against Kevin Butler with the bases loaded to pull the Mets within 4-2 in the seventh. Brandon Allen chased Butler with an ensuing RBI single that pulled the Mets within a run.

A half-inning later, however, Joel Carreño loaded the bases and then walked in a run. Jeff Walters entered and uncorked a wild pitch that made it 6-3.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis tripled and scored on Andrew Brown's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth.

Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez had blanked the Mets through four innings.

Closer call: Bobby Parnell tossed a scoreless ninth inning with one walk in his second Grapefruit League appearance. His fastball sat at 88-89 mph during a 12-pitch frame.

What’s next: Fifth-starter frontrunner Daisuke Matsuzaka gets the start at 1:05 p.m. Thursday against the Washington Nationals in Viera. Noah Syndergaard follows him on the mound. Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom also are on the trip. Left-hander Ross Detwiler starts for the Nats.

Rapid Reaction: Cardinals 2, Mets 1

June, 13, 2013

NEW YORK -- Matt Harvey no longer is unbeaten. Blame the bats, per usual.

After enduring a nine-game stretch during which he had eight no-decisions, Harvey on Thursday afternoon was tagged with his first loss since Sept. 12. He limited a vaunted St. Louis Cardinals lineup to one run on five hits and a walk in seven innings, but the Mets lost 2-1 in the rubber game.

Marlon Byrd accounted for the Mets' lone run with a one-out solo homer in the ninth against Edward Mujica. John Buck followed with a double and was replaced by pinch runner Collin Cowgill. But Cowgill was stranded at third base when Kirk Nieuwenhuis grounded out on a solid backhand play at second base and pinch hitter Josh Satin struck out.

David Wright had a three-hit game, including two of the Mets’ four hits against Adam Wainwright, who tossed seven scoreless innings.

Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY SportsMatt Harvey surrendered his first 2013 loss despite allowing only one run in seven innings.
Harvey’s first 2013 loss came in his 14th start -- a franchise record to begin a season.

In his last loss, which came in his second-to-last start of 2012, Harvey also was a victim of offensive neglect. He had limited the Washington Nationals to one run and five hits while striking out 10 in five innings of a 2-0 loss.

On Thursday, Matt Carpenter’s two-out triple in the third -- beyond the reach of a diving Marlon Byrd in right-center -- plated Pete Kozma with the game’s opening run.

Trailing 1-0, the Mets threatened in the fourth. Wright singled with two outs and advanced to second base when Wainwright walked Daniel Murphy. Lucas Duda sent a shot to right-center, but center fielder Jon Jay settled under it at the base of the wall for the inning’s final out.

The Mets again placed two runners on base in the seventh while trailing by a run, but Justin Turner -- pinch hitting for Harvey -- grounded out on Wainwright’s 95th and final pitch.

Harvey had been struck, seemingly on the left foot, by a line drive off the bat of Yadier Molina in the second inning. Terry Collins and assistant trainer Brian Chicklo briefly visited the mound, but Harvey’s performance clearly was not affected.

Kitty company: LaTroy Hawkins made his 898th career appearance, tying Jim Kaat for 25th all time. Hawkins surrendered a pair of eighth-inning singles -- the latter to Allen Craig, which plated a run charged to Scott Rice as St. Louis took a 2-0 lead.

What’s next: After the upcoming deluge, the Mets will welcome the Chicago Cubs to Citi Field for the weekend.

Shaun Marcum (0-7, 4.96 ERA), who remains winless in his Mets career, opposes right-hander Edwin Jackson (2-8, 5.76) in Friday’s 7:10 p.m. opener. Marcum is coming off a 105-pitch relief appearance in which he tossed eight innings and suffered a hard-luck loss. Only Bob Miller, who was 0-12 to begin the 1962 season, opened his Mets career with more consecutive losing decisions.

Harvey’s next start comes Tuesday, likely in the day game of a split doubleheader against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. Zack Wheeler, who pitches tonight for Triple-A Las Vegas, gets the other game of that doubleheader in his major league debut.

Series preview: Mets vs. Cardinals

June, 10, 2013

Getty ImagesThe Mets face (l to r) Michael Wacha, Shelby Miller and Adam Wainwright during a midweek series at Citi Field.
METS (23-35, fourth place/NL East) vs. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (41-22, first place/NL Central)

Tuesday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (1-5, 4.36) vs. RHP Michael Wacha (0-0, 5.40), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Dillon Gee (4-6, 5.20) vs. RHP Shelby Miller (7-3, 1.91), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: RHP Matt Harvey (5-0, 2.10) vs. RHP Adam Wainwright (9-3, 2.34), 1:10 p.m. ET

Cardinals short hops

• Rookie phenom Michael Wacha makes his third major league start when he faces the Mets in the series opener. Wacha, 21, was the 19th overall pick in last year’s draft out of Texas A&M. He was selected with a pick obtained from the Los Angeles Angels after Albert Pujols defected in free agency. (The Mets took high school shortstop Gavin Cecchini 12th overall last year. He is slated to play at Brooklyn beginning later this month.)

The Cardinals did not show the same Super 2 hesitancy in promoting Wacha as the Mets have with Zack Wheeler. In reality, St. Louis usually locks up its young players as they approach arbitration eligibility. So Wacha might end up a little more expensive, but St. Louis does not care. Past examples of Cardinals who were locked up as their arbitration years began: Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia and Allen Craig. Lance Lynn may be next in line.

The 6-foot-6 Wacha throws overhand with a steep downward plane and has the best changeup in the organization.

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty ImagesMatt Carpenter has hit .418 during an 18-game hitting streak.

• Three Cardinals enter the series with double-digit hitting streaks: third baseman David Freese (19 games, during which he is hitting .375 with 16 RBIs), second baseman Matt Carpenter (18 games, .418) and old friend Carlos Beltran (10 games, .362).

• Beltran -- who has moved into third in NL All-Star balloting in the outfield, passing Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun -- had a proud moment today. He attended the first graduation ceremony at the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy, which he founded in his native Puerto Rico. Of the 44 graduating students, all have college baseball offers. Two were drafted, including shortstop Jan Hernandez in the third round (96th overall) to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Yadier Molina (.354) leads the National League in batting average, three points ahead of Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki. Since getting a rare day off against the Mets on May 15 at Busch Stadium, Molina has started all but three games. The last one backup Tony Cruz started came last Wednesday, when Molina served a one-game suspension for bumping umpire Mike Everitt. Molina had been called out on a close play at first base by fellow ump Clint Fagan.

• Rookie Shelby Miller leads the National League with a 1.91 ERA, narrowly ahead of L.A.’s Clayton Kershaw (1.93) and Arizona’s Patrick Corbin (1.98). Miller sports a deceptive power fastball that he elevates in the zone. He recently has started tinkering with a sinker.

• Wainwright is tied with Corbin and Washington’s Jordan Zimmermann for the NL wins lead at nine. How bored has Wainwright become? In addition to sporting arguably the game’s best curveball, Wainwright has started changing his mechanics during games to toy with opponents. He sometimes will add a pause in his delivery like Dan Haren does, and sometimes with quick pitch. He also will change his spot on the rubber between hitters. Sometimes he will start his delivery with his hands upward, and sometimes at the belt.

Jake Westbrook (elbow) is due to return from the DL and reenter the rotation Friday.

• The Cardinals are hitting an MLB-best .341 with runners in scoring position, a full 34 points better than runner-up Tampa Bay.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 5, Cards 2

May, 16, 2013
WHAT IT MEANS: They’ll frustrate you even when they win, but it beats the alternative.

Daniel Murphy reached base all five plate appearances and twice scored on David Wright hits and Jonathon Niese rebounded from a pair of dismal starts as the Mets snapped a six-game losing streak with a 5-2 win against the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday afternoon at Busch Stadium.

The Mets (15-23) avoided getting swept in a series of four or more games by the Cardinals for the first time since 1982.

Jeff Roberson/Associated Press
Jordany Valdespin scores from first base on Daniel Murphy's third-inning double.

They also avoided dropping 10 games under .500 at the earliest date since they were 12-23 on May 16, 1993. That year, Dallas Green replaced Jeff Torborg days later en route to a 59-103 record -- the last 100-loss season by the franchise.

DANNY BOY: Murphy went 4-for-4 with two doubles and also walked. He is now 11-for-his-last-17 since going hitless in the previous 17 at-bats.

Murphy’s third-inning double against Adam Wainwright scored Jordany Valdespin from first base and evened the score at 1.

Both times Murphy doubled, Wright followed by driving him in -- for the tiebreaking run in the third and then to give the Mets a 3-1 lead against Wainwright in the sixth.

The last Mets to reach base five times in a game without benefit of an error? That would be Mike Baxter (five walks) and Murphy (4-for-4, BB) last Aug. 4 at San Diego.

NIESELY DONE: After allowing a combined 15 runs in 8 1/3 innings in his previous two starts, Niese got back on track to earn his first win since April 12.

Niese’s teammates actually did more damage than the Cardinals. The lone run against the southpaw came when Rick Ankiel broke late on what was ruled a double by Pete Kozma into shallow right-center with two outs in the second inning. That scored Yadier Molina with the game’s opening run.

Niese logged 7 1/3 innings. He departed with his pitch count at 113 and a 5-1 lead after a one-out double by Matt Carpenter and walk to Shane Robinson. Brandon Lyon allowed an inherited runner to score on Carlos Beltran’s RBI single. Lyon then coaxed an inning-ending double play from Allen Craig.

CLOSE CALL: Bobby Parnell earned only his fourth 2013 save. He had not had an opportunity since May 1.

OH-NO: Ike Davis went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts. He is hitless in his last 22 at-bats, with 10 strikeouts during that span.

NOT PRETTY: The Mets may have won, but that does not mean they played crisply. With runners on the corners and none out leading 4-1 in the seventh, Niese struck out bunting. Valdespin then bunted, and popped out in foul territory to Molina. After Murphy walked to load the bases, Wright lined out to second base to end the threat.

WHAT’S NEXT: Matt Harvey Day! Harvey (4-0, 1.44 ERA), the SI cover boy who has suffered four straight no-decisions despite stellar pitching, opposes Chicago Cubs right-hander Edwin Jackson in the 2:20 p.m. ET opener to a three-game weekend series Friday at Wrigley Field.

Rapid Reaction: Cardinals 6, Mets 3

May, 13, 2013
WHAT IT MEANS: Rick Ankiel and the pitcher whose glove he borrowed played central roles as the Mets dropped a season-worst seven games under .500.

Ankiel, in his Mets debut, charged hard and lunged forward, but had pinch-hitter Ty Wigginton’s sinking liner pop out of the glove he borrowed from Scott Rice.

Wigginton, credited with a seventh-inning double, then scored when Matt Carpenter sent a comebacker at Rice. The shot struck the pitcher and ricocheted into foul territory. John Buck retrieved the baseball, leaving the plate vacant, and Wigginton scored the tiebreaking run from second base.

Bill Boyce/Associated Press
The Mets are 0-7 in games started by Jeremy Hefner this season.

Scott Atchison served up a two-run homer to Matt Holliday later in the inning and the Mets lost, 6-3, to the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night at Busch Stadium.

Although Jeremy Hefner received a no-decision, the Mets dropped to 0-7 in games he has started this season. They also fell to 0-8 the game following Matt Harvey’s start.

The seven straight losses in Hefner starts match the third-longest streak in franchise history for the Mets for one pitcher to open a season.

The Mets lost Anthony Young’s first 10 starts in 1993 (although that streak started in June, after he moved from the bullpen to the rotation). They lost the first eight starts by Randy Jones in 1981, and the first seven starts by Dave Mlicki in 1997 and Wally Whitehurst in 1992.

DEBUTANT: Ankiel walked in his first plate appearance as a Met and finished 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. He now has K’d in 37 of 65 at-bats this season.

SILENT NIGHT: In seven innings against Lance Lynn and the remainder against the bullpen, the Mets mustered only four hits -- three from Daniel Murphy, who had snapped an 0-for-17 skid Sunday.

The Mets (14-21) really were gifted their three runs because of unusually shaky Cardinals fielding. Ex-Met Carlos Beltran, now ranged-challenged and playing right field, misplayed Murphy’s line drive into a two-run double. Murphy then scored from second on a tapper by David Wright just past the pitcher’s mound that was ruled an infield single as the Mets took a short-lived 3-2 lead in the second.

The Mets did walk five times, getting Lynn’s pinch count to 124. But they mustered only one hit after the second inning.

START OF SOMETHING: Hefner retired the final 10 Cardinals he faced and did not allow a hit after a second-inning RBI single by Carpenter that evened the score at 3. Hefner, although he remained winless, finished with a decent line: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 2 K. He threw 97 pitches (58 strikes).

WHAT’S NEXT: Dillon Gee (2-4, 5.55 ERA) opposes John Gast in the southpaw’s major league debut Tuesday at 8:15 p.m. ET.

Series preview: Mets at Cardinals

May, 13, 2013

Getty Images
The Mets face Shelby Miller and Adam Wainwright consecutively to close this week's series.
METS (14-20, fourth place/NL East) vs. ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (23-13, first place/NL Central)

Monday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (0-4, 4.63) vs. RHP Lance Lynn (5-1, 2.72), 7:05 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Dillon Gee (2-4, 5.55) vs. LHP John Gast (0-0, -.--), 8:15 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Shaun Marcum (0-3, 8.59) vs. RHP Shelby Miller (5-2, 1.58), 8:15 p.m. ET

Thursday: LHP Jonathon Niese (2-4, 5.93) vs. RHP Adam Wainwright (5-2, 2.30), 1:45 p.m. ET

Cardinals short hops

Shelby Miller and Adam Wainwright combined to retire 40 straight Colorado Rockies from the second batter of Friday’s game through the 13th batter Saturday. That matched the major league record for most consecutive batters retired in a series, initially set by the Texas Rangers against the Detroit Tigers on May 3-4, 1996.

The 22-year-old Miller, the 19th overall pick in the 2009 draft, allowed a game-opening single to Eric Young Jr., then retired 27 straight. The following day, Wainwright had a no-hit bid end after 7 1/3 innings on a Nolan Arenado single.

Despite missing an entire season, Wainwright is tied for the second-most shutouts in the majors since 2010 (six), trailing only Cliff Lee (seven). Miller, 22, made his major league debut last Sept. 5 against the Mets with two scoreless innings.

Mike Janes/Four Seam Images/AP Images
John Gast makes his major league debut Tuesday in place of Jake Westbrook.

St. Louis starting pitchers had a 21-7 record and MLB-leading 2.11 ERA until Jaime Garcia modestly tarnished that by allowing five runs in six innings in a loss Sunday.

Jake Westbrook (2-1, 1.62 ERA), who had been scheduled to face the Mets, instead landed on the disabled list with right-elbow inflammation. Left-hander John Gast has been promoted from Triple-A Memphis and will start Tuesday in his major league debut in Westbrook’s place. Although not a top prospect like Michael Wacha (who is 4-0 with a 1.99 ERA in seven starts with Memphis), Gast is 3-1 with a 1.16 ERA in six starts for that Pacific Coast League club this season.

Lance Lynn had a personal 10-game winning streak dating to last Sept. 9 snapped with a 2-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday. It had been the longest active winning streak in the majors. Lynn (24-9 in his career) has never lost consecutive games.

Yadier Molina, who ranks fourth in the NL in batting at .343, lost an 11-game hitting streak Sunday. He has started all but one game this season. However, backup Tony Cruz is expected to get one start against the Mets. Cruz’s only start so far came April 19 at Philadelphia.

Pete Kozma showed enough during spring training to beat out ex-Met Ronny Cedeno for the shortstop job in place of the injured Rafael Furcal. Kozma, a 2012 postseason hero, provides steady defense (one error so far), albeit with unexceptional range or flair.

Furcal strained an elbow ligament near the end of the 2012 regular season and missed the postseason. After visiting James Andrews during spring training, Furcal concluded he would need Tommy John surgery and miss the entire season.

Kozma had the tiebreaking two-run single in the ninth inning of Game 5 of the Cards’ division series, which knocked the Washington Nationals out last October.

• Second baseman Matt Carpenter never played that position in the minors. He is a natural third baseman who also played first base and the outfield with St. Louis in 2012. Fellow lefty hitter Daniel Descalso, who competed for the job in spring training, also sees some action at the position when Carpenter slides over to third base in place of David Freese.

• Left fielder Matt Holliday left Saturday’s game with an ankle injury after tripping at first base, but returned to action Sunday.

Carlos Beltran went 0-for-4 Sunday as his average dipped to .298. Despite reduced mobility in right field at this stage of his career, Beltran entered the series finale against Colorado hitting .345 since April 15.

Jason Motte, who had an NL-leading 42 saves last season, underwent Tommy John surgery on Tuesday after initially hoping to rehab and avoid the procedure. Edward Mujica is 9-for-9 in save chances.

The Cards’ bullpen still has the worst ERA in the NL, but it has dramatically improved with a shakeup that involved demoting left-hander Marc Rzepczynski on April 27 and right-hander Mitchell Boggs on May 3. Entering Sunday, when rookie Carlos Martinez surrendered three runs in relief, the Cards' bullpen had a 0.73 ERA in 12 1/3 innings since May 3.

Martinez’s fastball has averaged 96.4 mph since a promotion from Double-A Springfield 10 days ago. He is the No. 3-rated prospect in the St. Louis organization, according to Baseball America. He nearly exclusively started in the minors but is getting introduced to the majors as a reliever, which is tradition with the Cards. Pitching prospect Seth Maness, like Martinez, was promoted for bullpen use after primarily starting in the minors.

Chris Carpenter, whose career appeared in jeopardy because of nerve damage in his arm, may return this season. He threw a 75-pitch bullpen session Friday.

Mets morning briefing 9.5.12

September, 5, 2012
Matt Harvey surrendered three runs in five innings and Jeurys Familia tossed a scoreless frame in his major league debut as the Mets lost to the St. Louis Cardinals, 5-1, Tuesday at Busch Stadium.

Now, R.A. Dickey bids for his 18th win as the Mets try to avoid a sweep in the series finale. Dickey opposes right-hander Adam Wainwright (13-11, 3.90) at 1:45 p.m. ET as the Mets complete a three-city trip.

Wednesday's news reports:

David Wright tells Jon Heyman at that he is "extremely optimistic" about reaching a long-term extension with the Mets this offseason.

Charles LeClaire/US Presswire
David Wright says he has "not a single complaint" as a Met.

"I've really enjoyed it here," Wright said. "... Although we haven't gotten things completely turned around, we've taken small steps in the right direction and have something to build on. ... There's not a single complaint that I have. [The Mets] drafted me as a kid. They developed me. They've given me an opportunity to make a living playing a game. There's a tremendous amount of mutual respect. They've gone above and beyond. ... My favorite player was Cal Ripken. The biggest reason for that was, I like that he stayed."

Keith Hernandez tells Richard Sandomir in the Times that his intention is to report for color-commentary duty for the Oct. 3 season finale in Miami without his signature mustache. Writes Sandomir:

Hernandez’s mustache faithfully accompanied him through nearly all of his baseball career, his guest appearances on “Seinfeld” and his singing duet with Mookie Wilson on "Put Down the Duckie" for Sesame Street. Still, he seems about to take it off, after a long season of letting it turn increasingly gray. The color has been fading longer than that but was artificially enhanced with Just for Men gel. He was, of course, a paid company endorser and a star, with Walt Frazier, of several kitschy TV commercials that suggested a better life through dyed facial hair.

In the first and most famous ad, Hernandez and Frazier played the bar-side analysts of a sad sack Mr. Graybeard being rejected by Miss Hottie. Their facial hair was blindingly dark. "No play for Mr. Gray," Frazier said, evoking his penchant for rhyming. In a commercial made in 2008 they confronted another Mr. Graybeard, Emmitt Smith. “Your beard is weird,” Hernandez told the retired Dallas Cowboys running back. But Combe Inc., which makes Just for Men, ended the campaign early this year and replaced it with one that stars a tuxedoed baby.

• Familia's major league debut began by striking out Lance Berkman with a 97 mph fastball. He then surrendered a single to Jon Jay, but immediately erased him by coaxing a double-play grounder from Matt Carpenter. Fred Lewis, 31, also made his Mets debut. He opened the ninth by grounding out to shortstop against Trevor Rosenthal. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Newsday and Record.

• Read game recaps in the Post, Star-Ledger, Record, and Daily News.

Jeff Curry/Getty Images
Matt Harvey has one or two more starts remaining in 2012.

• Collins said postgame it was not yet resolved whether Harvey would have one or two remaining starts. The five innings logged Tuesday give him 47 1/3 in the majors and 110 with Triple-A Buffalo this season. Read more in Newsday.

Tim Byrdak is due to undergo surgery today to repair the torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder. That's the same surgery Johan Santana and Chris Young previously underwent. Team doctor David Altchek will perform the procedure. Byrdak's injury is career threatening, since he turns 39 next month. Byrdak also requires surgery to repair torn meniscus cartilage in his right knee. The other knee required that procedure during spring training.

• The Mets are offering free tickets to up to three children age 12 and under with the purchase of an adult ticket to any September home game. The team announcement:

For "The Kids Go Free" ticket offer available via phone at (718) 507-TIXX and in person at the Citi Field Box Office, fans buying one regularly priced ticket will get up to three complimentary kids tickets. For the ticket offer available online at, fans may purchase a Family Four Pack that includes four tickets for the price of two. All tickets must be picked up at Citi Field the day of the game and children must be present. For more information, contact the Mets Ticket Office at (718) 507-TIXX.

• Brooklyn lost to Lowell, 9-1, Tuesday. The Cyclones must win their regular-season finale today, or have Batavia lose at least one game in its doubleheader, in order to claim the New York-Penn League wild card. St. Lucie lost its Florida State League playoff opener, 3-1, at Jupiter in a game interrupted three hours by rain. Read the full minor league recap here.

Mike Pelfrey visited his teammates in St. Louis in part to participate in the players' fantasy football draft. Pelfrey, who underwent Tommy John surgery on May 1, is likely to be nontendered in December since he is eligible for arbitration and is making $5.6875 million this season. Players must make at least 80 percent of their previous year's salary if tendered a contract, and rarely receive a salary cut. Still, Collins said he would consider Pelfrey in a bullpen role (presumably if the Mets re-signed Pelfrey for a lower salary after making him a free agent). Read more in the Post, Newsday, Times and Record.

TRIVIA: Which active player has the second-most homers against the Mets, behind Chipper Jones?

Tuesday's answer: Technically, Mike Jorgensen preceded Tony La Russa as Cardinals manager. Jorgensen completed the 1995 season after Joe Torre was fired with a 20-27 record in his fifth season at the helm.

Cards 4, Mets 3: Gee struggles

March, 30, 2012

Dillon Gee

Starting Pitcher
New York Mets


Grapefruit Stats
5 1 1 3 15 3.92
Dillon Gee allowed four runs on 10 hits, including a solo homer by Matt Carpenter, during an 85-pitch effort spanning six innings and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Mets, 4-3, Friday afternoon in Jupiter.

Bobby Parnell upped his scoreless streak to 9 1/3 innings in Grapefruit League play and Daniel Herrera also contributed a 1-2-3 frame to round out the Mets’ pitching in the loss.

Matt Tuiasosopo had an RBI double and Vinny Rottino had the other RBI in a two-run seventh as the Mets pulled within 4-3.

Gee is scheduled to start the Mets’ final exhibition game, Wednesday against the Yankees in Tampa. He is expected to take the ball the fifth game of the season, April 10 against the Washington Nationals.

“Today was really weird,” said Gee, who struck out three and hit Tyler Greene with a pitch. “I felt awesome in the pen and then I kind of lost it after that and felt like I was struggling and battling myself the whole game. I think today I look at the positives. I threw a lot of strikes with the curveball. I didn’t walk anybody. So I think as long as you keep doing stuff like that, I should have better results.”

David Wright went 0-for-3, but played a day game after a night game, and his fourth game in five days since returning from an abdominal tear. He will have Saturday off, then play Sunday through Wednesday, like the other starters, Terry Collins said.

“I asked him today, and he says he’s feeling just great,” Collins said. “It’s about getting your legs under you. And that’s why he’s doing what he’s doing and trying to build him up a little bit.”

Justin Turner made his third start at first base and went 1-for-4. Collins reiterated Turner is Ike Davis’ backup at the position.

How much time might Davis sit in April to guard against wearing down while he deals with a latent case of suspected valley fever? After all, the Mets have days off during each of the season’s first three weeks anyway.

“There are enough off-days,” Collins said. “But, as I’ve explained to Ike, it’s not whether or not we have enough off-days. It’s what’s best for him to make sure he stays rested as we continue the healing process. I’m not going to just keep running him out there because it’s cool weather and it’s April and we have some off-days. I told him the other day, there may be a day where we face a lefty next to an off-day where you can get two off-days.”

(Read full post)



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