New York Mets: Mike Minor

Rapid Reaction: Mets 4, Braves 2

September, 20, 2014
Sep 20
10:03
PM ET
ATLANTA -- Dilson Herrera's first big league season looks like it is ending a week early.

Herrera departed Saturday’s game after beating out an infield single in the sixth inning. He officially was diagnosed with a right quadriceps strain.

Herrera, who limped off the field, earlier had delivered a two-run homer against reliever David Hale in the second inning. That shot, along with a scoreless effort into the eighth inning from Jonathon Niese, helped lift the New York Mets to a 4-2 win against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field.

If his season is over, the 20-year-old Herrera hit .220 (13-for-59) with three homers and 11 RBIs.

The Mets improved to 75-80, surpassing their win total for each of the past two seasons and leapfrogging the Marlins for third place.

The second-place Braves dropped to 76-78. It marks their first time at two-plus games under .500 in September since finishing the 2008 season at 72-90.

Niese carried a shutout bid into the eighth, when he allowed three straight one-out singles as the Braves loaded the bases. Freddie Freeman then greeted Josh Edgin with a two-run single as Atlanta pulled within 4-2. Carlos Torres replaced Edgin and coaxed a groundout from Justin Upton as the runners advanced. With two in scoring position, Chris Johnson then grounded out to first base.

Toned down: Jenrry Mejia allowed a one-out single but recorded the save. He had a sedate celebration afterward -- merely pointing to the sky.

Ouch 2: Braves starter Mike Minor surrendered a first-inning sacrifice fly to Lucas Duda and departed after the frame with left shoulder discomfort.

What’s next: The Mets complete their season series with the Braves on Sunday at 1:35 p.m. as Jacob deGrom's Rookie of the Year campaign continues. DeGrom (8-6, 2.68 ERA) opposes right-hander Ervin Santana (14-9, 3.74). DeGrom matched a major league record by striking out the first eight batters he faced against the Miami Marlins in his most recent start. The Mets are 9-9 against the Braves this season entering the finale.

Morning Briefing: Cellar at stake

August, 29, 2014
Aug 29
5:20
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: In 2007 and ’08, the Mets and Philadelphia Phillies went down to the wire for the NL East crown.

This year, they are jockeying for the basement.

In fact, the Phillies (61-72) arrive at Citi Field for a weekend series trailing the Amazin’s by only a half-game for fourth place in the division.

Meanwhile, the Mets (62-72) need to run the table over their final 28 games in order to achieve Sandy Alderson’s 90-win goal.


Courtesy of New York MetsDilson Herrera joins the Mets on Friday.

At least there are two things to look forward to on Friday at Citi Field: It’s Jacob deGrom day. And Dilson Herrera is poised for his major league debut.

DeGrom (6-6, 3.13 ERA) opposes right-hander David Buchanan (6-7, 4.21) in the 7:10 p.m. series opener.

DeGrom had a streak of five straight winning decisions snapped when he allowed five runs in six innings at Dodger Stadium on Saturday.

The Mets are 11-5 against the Phillies in 2014.

Read the Mets-Phillies series preview here.

Friday’s news reports:

• With Daniel Murphy landing on the disabled list with a strained right calf, Herrera has been promoted from Double-A, where the 20-year-old Colombian was hitting .340 with 10 homers, 48 RBIs and nine steals in 241 at-bats. If Herrera shows he can succeed in the majors, that could make it easier for the Mets to justify trading Murphy this offseason.

Murphy, who leads the NL in hits at the moment with 159, is due for a healthy raise from his $5.7 million salary this season. He is eligible for free agency during the 2015-16 winter.

Herrera was acquired with Vic Black from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Aug. 27, 2013 for Marlon Byrd and John Buck.

"He's a player that moves this team," Binghamton manager Pedro Lopez told the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin. "He brings a lot of energy. I think everybody feeds from that. Whenever you have a player like him that is excited to be out there and plays the game the right way, I think everybody else feeds from that."

Herrera joins Wilfredo Tovar in 2013 and Robert Carson in 2012 as prospects who made the jump directly from Double-A to the Mets.

Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger, Newsday and at MLB.com.

• Black, who has a herniated disk in his neck, was given a cortisone injection and landed on the DL before Thursday’s game. Daisuke Matsuzaka was activated from the DL.

• Terry Collins told the Daily News that team personnel have engaged in internal conversations about moving Travis d'Arnaud from catcher to left field, although the manager cautioned that it’s not some plan set to be put into action. The motivation would be to keep d’Arnaud’s bat in the lineup and avoid further concussions.

While d’Arnaud may be a capable hitter as a catcher, as an outfielder that production might be considered fairly ordinary. And moving d’Arnaud presumes Triple-A catching prospect Kevin Plawecki will succeed at the major league level.

• Alderson implied there is nothing overly active as another trade deadline approaches Sunday. Players must be dealt by Aug. 31 in order to be eligible for the acquiring team’s postseason roster. Translation: Bartolo Colon looks like he is starting Saturday and will remain a Met at least into the offseason.

“I would say right now there’s a lot less going on than some people speculate,” Alderson said.

David Wright (neck/shoulder) returned to the lineup Thursday and Josh Edgin (elbow) supposedly was available had his services been required. Wright went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and grounded into a double play.

Mike Minor held the Mets without a baserunner until Lucas Duda's leadoff single in the fifth and the Braves ultimately won Thursday’s rubber game, 6-1, at Citi Field. Jonathon Niese kept the deficit at 1-0 until surrendering two runs in the eighth. In his first major league action since July 24, Matsuzaka allowed a pinch-hit two-run homer to Ryan Doumit in a three-run ninth.

The Mets are 4-10 and are hitting .164 at Citi Field in August.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Record, Times, Journal and at MLB.com.

• The Mets extended their player-development agreement with Triple-A Las Vegas through the 2016 season. With no apparent vacancies on the East Coast, the Mets preferred having direct flights from Vegas over pursuing a home in an alternate Pacific Coast League city. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• The Mets worked out lower-tier Cuban free agents Pavel Quesada and Roberto Carlos in the Dominican Republic, the Post’s Mike Puma reported.

Chris Young made his debut with the Yankees organization on Thursday. Young, who signed a minor-league contract this week, started in right field for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and went 1-for-4 with an RBI and two strikeouts. If Young joins the Yankees after rosters expand, the Mets will save $73,700. That’s the prorated portion of the major league minimum the Yankees would need to pay Young for the final month of the season.

• Columnist Larry Brooks in the Post says Curtis Granderson has been “simply dreadful.”

Rafael Montero allowed eight runs (five earned) in six innings as Albuquerque beat Las Vegas, 10-5. Luis Cessa and two relievers combined on a five-hit shutout as St. Lucie remained on the fringe of the Florida State League playoff race with a 2-0 win against Palm Beach. Robert Gsellman contributed to a four-hit shutout as Savannah blanked Augusta, 3-0. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Marc Carig in Newsday chronicles a glut of hits d’Arnaud has lost because of Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons' fielding prowess.

From the bloggers ... Blogging Mets wonders if the Mets could have gotten Addison Russell from the A's before the Cubs did.

BIRTHDAYS: Anthony Recker turns 31. ... Noah Syndergaard turns 22. ... Henry Blanco is 43.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Would you have preferred Dilson Herrera or Matt Reynolds get the promotion?

Rapid Reaction: Mets 4, Braves 3 (11)

July, 7, 2014
Jul 7
11:01
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Ya Gotta Believe?

The New York Mets, who aim to use this series against the Atlanta Braves to catapult themselves back into relevance, squandered a late lead but ultimately rallied for a 4-3 walk-off win in 11 innings on Monday at Citi Field.

Curtis Granderson produced a game-tying, two-out, solo home run in the eighth inning, and the Mets scored the winning run three innings later on Ruben Tejada's two-out RBI single off Anthony Varvaro.

Tejada also had the Mets' last walk-off hit, on May 11 against Philadelphia (also in the 11th inning).

The Mets (40-49) pulled to within nine games of the first-place Braves (49-40) in the NL East.

Wacky ninth: Eric Young Jr. ended up grounding into a fielder’s choice against Shae Simmons to strand the bases loaded and end the ninth inning, but how the Mets got there left Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez ejected and Mets manager Terry Collins perhaps worthy of admittance to the bar.

With the score tied at 3, Eric Campbell singled to open the frame. Juan Lagares then bunted, and umpire Sean Barber ruled Campbell out at second base, though a throw to first base for a double-play bid was too late.

However, Collins complained that Andrelton Simmons pulled his foot off second base before accepting the throw (which television replays supported).

"Neighborhood plays” are excluded from replay review, but Collins convinced the umps to confer and then go to video anyway. The ruling from the home office came back safe, which placed runners at first and second with no outs.

Gonzalez again argued and was ejected. He clearly believed the play was not reviewable.

In order for it to be considered a “neighborhood play,” the fielder must have acted to avoid a collision, which arguably wasn't the case, with Simmons pulling his foot off the bag to accept the throw at second. Perhaps that was Collins' winning argument.

Crazy eighth: Vic Black, Josh Edgin and Jenrry Mejia combined to allow three eighth-inning runs, as the Mets failed to hold a 2-0 lead after receiving seven scoreless innings from starter Daisuke Matsuzaka.

Black turned the two-run lead over to Edgin with Freddie Freeman on third base and two outs. Things quickly unraveled.

Edgin fired a wild pitch that sailed above Jason Heyward’s head and allowed Freeman to scamper home, which pulled the Braves within a run.

Given the series’ importance, Collins then turned to Mejia for a four-out save. Instead, the closer surrendered a game-tying RBI double to Chris Johnson off the top of the center-field wall. After an intentional walk to New Jersey native Tommy La Stella, rookie Christian Bethancourt served a go-ahead RBI single into right field.

Mejia suffered his second blown save in 10 chances. The other was June 7 at San Francisco.

Edgin had retired the first batter he faced in each of his previous 23 appearances -- a franchise record to begin a season.

Made the most: The Mets mustered only four hits through eight innings but made them count. Travis d'Arnaud had a second-inning double that plated Eric Campbell, who had reached via walk. David Wright homered the following inning against left-hander Mike Minor. Then, trailing 3-2 with two outs in the eighth, Granderson homered against Luis Avilan to even the score. Daniel Murphy followed Granderson’s homer with a single that chased Avilan.

The Braves had retired 15 straight batters between Wright’s and Granderson’s long balls, with Minor retiring 13 straight to close his seven-inning outing.

d'Arnaud has reached base in all 11 games since returning from Triple-A. Wright is hitting .395 (32-for-81) against southpaws this season.

No Dice: Matsuzaka tossed seven scoreless innings in his longest start of the season but was deprived of his first win since June 10.

Matsuzaka allowed two baserunners in each of the first three innings but repeatedly escaped unscathed. His final line: 7 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K. He threw 100 pitches and departed with a 2-0 lead.

With Dillon Gee ready to return from the disabled list, Matsuzaka might have been reassigned to the bullpen this week had Jonathon Niese not landed on the disabled list. Matsuzaka had surrendered five runs in each of his previous two starts. His previous season high had been six innings, which he had accomplished in three starts.

Struck: Carlos Torres was struck on the bare hand with a liner in the 11th but remained in the game after a visit from the trainer.

What’s next: Jacob deGrom (1-5, 3.77 ERA) opposes right-hander Julio Teheran (8-5, 2.29 ERA) at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday.

Series preview: Mets vs. Braves

July, 6, 2014
Jul 6
9:23
PM ET

Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY SportsTommy La Stella, a native of Closter, N.J., has taken over at second base for the Braves.
METS (39-49, fourth place/NL East) vs. ATLANTA BRAVES (49-39, first place/NL East)

Monday: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (3-3, 3.72) vs. LHP Mike Minor (2-5, 4.73), 7:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Jacob deGrom (1-5, 3.77) vs. RHP Julio Teheran (8-5, 2.29), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Dillon Gee (3-1, 2.73) vs. RHP Ervin Santana (7-5, 3.93), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: RHP Bartolo Colon (8-7, 4.04) vs. RHP Aaron Harang (8-6, 3.67), 7:10 p.m. ET

Braves short hops

• With a 3-1 victory Sunday at Turner Field, the Arizona Diamondbacks snapped Atlanta’s season-high nine-game winning streak. The Braves had been bidding for their third straight series sweep, after winning four straight at Philadelphia and then three games against the Mets at Turner Field. The bullpen allowed one earned run in 22 2/3 innings during the winning streak.

Gerald Laird returned to the starting lineup Friday after missing last week’s Mets series to rest a strained right oblique. Christian Bethancourt handled the catching duties against the Mets and figures to continue to get the bulk of the starts, even with Laird now available. The rookie has performed solidly since his call-up nine days ago, hitting .292.

No. 1 catcher Evan Gattis (.290, 16 HR, 39 RBIs) landed on the DL on June 29 with a bulging disk in his back. He subsequently received an epidural injection and remains sidelined. Gattis continues to experience tightness.


Alex Brandon/Associated PressJason Heyward was ESPN's Defensive Player of the Month for June.


• Right fielder Jason Heyward received ESPN’s Defensive Player of the Month Award for June. He tied for the major league lead with eight defensive runs saved during the month. Heyward is hitting .125 (6-for-48) with no homers, three RBIs and 10 walks in his last 15 games (14 starts). Heyward nonetheless has reached base safely in 48 of 54 games since May 9.

• Center fielder B.J. Upton had a career-high 11-game hitting streak snapped Sunday. The hitting streak coincided with becoming the team’s leadoff hitter.

• Reigning NL Gold Glove shortstop Andrelton Simmons was installed in the No. 2 spot in the batting order beginning June 27. He is hitting .340 (17-for-50) in 12 starts in that slot.

• Right-hander Julio Teheran, first baseman Freddie Freeman and closer Craig Kimbrel will represent Atlanta in the July 15 All-Star Game at Minnesota. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez has been selected to serve on NL manager Mike Matheny’s staff.

Freeman has played all but two innings for the Braves this season.

Kimbrel struck out all three batters he faced in recording last Tuesday’s save against the Mets. It marked the fifth time this season and 24th time in Kimbrel’s career that he faced at least three batters in an appearance and struck out each one. Kimbrel has struck out 43 percent of the batters he has faced in his career, the highest percentage in major league history among relievers with at least 150 saves. Billy Wagner ranks second at 33 percent.

Kimbrel’s 89.7 career save percentage (166-for-185) ranks third all time among relievers with at least 150 chances, trailing only Eric Gagne (91.7 percent) and John Smoltz (91.1).

• The Braves are the youngest team in the National League. Their average age on Opening Day was 27 years, 255 days.

Dan Uggla (.163, 2 HR, 10 RBIs, 39 Ks in 129 at-bats) has been relegated to the bench. He has started only two games since May 23. Uggla is earning $13 million this season. He also is under contract for 2015 at $13 million.

Rookie Tommy La Stella -- a Closter, N.J., native and product of St. Joseph High School in Montvale -- has taken over the position. La Stella, 25, got off to a quick start. He then became mired in an 0-for-23 skid until rebounding.

La Stella (.294) had been installed as the leadoff hitter beginning June 18, but he subsequently was moved to No. 2 and then No. 7. He has three straight multi-hit games. La Stella spent his freshman year of college playing at St. John’s before transferring to Coastal Carolina.

• Right-handed reliever David Carpenter was activated from the DL on Wednesday. He had landed on the DL on June 17 with a strained biceps. Ex-Mets reliever Pedro Beato, who had been promoted to replace Carpenter, landed on the DL two days later with a right elbow strain.

Mike Minor is 0-2 with a 4.46 ERA in his last eight starts. He allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Mets last week.
ATLANTA

FIRST PITCH: How low will they go?

Jacob deGrom takes the mound on Wednesday at Turner Field trying to help the Mets avoid getting swept in the three-game series.

The Mets enter his start 10 games under .500 and nine games behind the division-leading Atlanta Braves, both season worsts.

DeGrom (1-4, 3.62 ERA) opposes right-hander Julio Teheran (7-5, 2.34) in the 7:10 p.m. finale.

Wednesday’s news reports:

Daisuke Matsuzaka allowed five runs in five innings, including a costly two-out RBI single to opposing pitcher Mike Minor, and the Mets stranded the potential tying run at third base in the fifth when Chris Young and Travis d’Arnaud were retired en route to a 5-4 loss to the Braves on Tuesday. Curtis Granderson and Daniel Murphy homered in the defeat.

The Mets dropped to 10-20 in one-run games.

They struck out 13 times and now have 712 Ks this season, on pace for 1,373. That would fall 11 shy of matching the franchise record, set last season.

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

• With online voting set to conclude at 11:59 p.m. Thursday, David Wright trails leader Aramis Ramirez of the Milwaukee Brewers by 235,060 votes for the starting nod for the National League at third base in the July 15 All-Star Game at Minnesota.

Dillon Gee’s next and potentially last minor-league rehab start will be Friday for the Brooklyn Cyclones at 6 p.m. at Coney Island. The Mets figure to bring back Gee before the All-Star break, especially given Matsuzaka’s performance Tuesday, although Terry Collins suggested the organization would at least consider waiting until afterward to activate Gee to minimize his idle time. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Noah Syndergaard allowed five runs on 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings Tuesday with Las Vegas. Dustin Lawley had two homers in Binghamton’s 9-6 loss at New Britain. St. Lucie scored three runs with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to beat Charlotte, 6-4. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Even before Syndergaard’s Tuesday outing in Triple-A, Collins indicated there had been no discussion of a promotion date for the top prospect. The manager suggested there may not be a call-up at all in 2014. Read more in Newsday.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear considers Frank Cashen's accomplishments in the context of the Roman Empire. … NY Mets Life gives credit to Mets fans and The 7 Line Army.

BIRTHDAYS: Former Mets outfielder Angel Pagan, who just had a setback in his return from a back injury, turns 33. ... Hal Reniff, who finished his career with the Mets, was born on this date in 1938.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: What will be the Mets’ final record this season?

Series preview: Mets vs. Braves

April, 17, 2014
Apr 17
7:17
PM ET

Associated Press/USA TODAY SportsIdentical to the series at Turner Field, the Mets face Aaron Harang, Ervin Santana and David Hale this weekend in Queens.
METS (8-7, third place/NL East) vs. ATLANTA BRAVES (10-5, first place/NL East)

Friday: LHP Jonathon Niese (0-1, 3.46) vs. RHP Aaron Harang (2-1, 0.96), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Bartolo Colon (1-2, 6.00) vs. RHP Ervin Santana (1-0, 0.64), 7:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Zack Wheeler (1-2, 4.76) vs. RHP David Hale (0-0, 2.89), 1:10 p.m. ET

Braves short hops

Jason Heyward faces Jonathon Niese for the first time since the Mets southpaw drilled the right fielder and fractured his jaw with a 90 mph fastball last Aug. 21 at Citi Field. Heyward now wears a protective flap attached to his helmet.


Brad Penner/USA TODAY SportsJason Heyward's last visit to Citi Field resulted in a broken jaw via an errant fastball from Jon Niese.


This season, Heyward is only 1-for-18 against left-handed pitching. The hit came on April 13 with a double against Washington’s Gio Gonzalez.

Heyward remains in the leadoff spot despite hitting .136 overall after an 0-for-4 performance Thursday at Philadelphia that included a pair of line-drive outs. Three of his eight hits on the season came against Zack Wheeler on April 9.

• Closer Craig Kimbrel experienced shoulder soreness during an appearance Saturday and has not appeared in a game since. He threw a 15-pitch bullpen session Wednesday and “felt great,” manager Fredi Gonzalez told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Right-hander David Carpenter converted Monday’s save in Philadelphia. Carpenter had a 1.78 ERA in 2013.

• Shortstop Andrelton Simmons struck out for the first time this season Thursday. The strikeout, against Philadelphia’s A.J. Burnett, came in Simmons’ 48th plate appearance this season. With Simmons no longer K-less, St. Louis’ Shane Robinson has the most plate appearances this season of any MLB player with no strikeouts -- a measly 10.

Evan Gattis is hitting .588 (10-for-17) with three homers, six RBIs and a 1.765 OPS in his past four games. With Brian McCann’s defection to the Yankees, Gattis exclusively has caught this season. Gattis started 47 games in left field and four games at first base in 2013.

• Left fielder Justin Upton is the reigning NL Player of the Week. He had four homers during that period, including a two-homer game against Jenrry Mejia.

• Braves starting pitchers have an MLB-best 1.58 ERA this season. Oakland starters rank second at 2.48.

Ervin Santana threw 20 straight strikes to open his Braves debut, against the Mets at Turner Field. He then limited the Phillies to one run on four hits while matching a career high with 11 strikeouts on Monday. Santana’s 0.64 ERA ranks second in the National League.

Santana signed for one year, $14.1 million on March 12 after Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy both suffered spring-training elbow injuries and ultimately required Tommy John surgery.

Aaron Harang, who finished last season with the Mets, has the third-best ERA in the NL, at 0.96. The Braves unexpectedly dumped Freddy Garcia on March 24 and signed the 35-year-old Harang for a rotation spot. Harang took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning in Milwaukee in his Braves debut. Harang had been released by the Cleveland Indians late in spring training.

• Ex-Mets reliever Pedro Beato, claimed off waivers by the Braves on April 2, was demoted to Triple-A Gwinnett six days later, during the series the Mets took two of three at Turner Field.

• Left-hander Mike Minor, on the DL with shoulder tendinitis, should be activated next week, after one more rehab start. Right-hander Gavin Floyd, signed by the Braves in December after spending seven seasons with the Chicago White Sox, also is on a rehab assignment as he nears a return from Tommy John surgery.

• First baseman Freddie Freeman ranks fourth in the NL with a .389 batting average.

Minors 4.13.14: Tapia 5 no-hit innings

April, 13, 2014
Apr 13
8:26
PM ET
LAS VEGAS 10, FRESNO 4: Rafael Montero held Fresno hitless until Ydwin Villegas' leadoff double in the sixth. Montero (2-0, 2.60 ERA) eventually was charged with two runs on two hits and two walks in 6 1/3 innings. He departed after surrendering a solo homer to Adam Duvall in the seventh. Chris Young went 5-for-5 with two homers, five RBIs and four runs scored in his first rehab game with the 51s. Kirk Nieuwenhuis drove in two runs. Dana Eveland provided 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. Duvall had a two-run homer in the ninth against Erik Goeddel to cap the scoring. Eric Campbell extended his hitting streak to 10 games. Box

BINGHAMTON 6, NEW HAMPSHIRE 0: Hansel Robles tossed five scoreless innings and the B-Mets cashed in on 10 walks to post their sixth win in seven games. The first challenge

lastname
Robles
for Robles arose in the third. After a leadoff walk to Michael Crouse, the Fisher Cats loaded the bases on consecutive one-out singles. Robles ended the threat by striking out Ryan Schimpf and inducing Brad Glenn to ground out. Binghamton scored its first run without the aid of a hit in the fourth. Following Matt Clark's leadoff walk, Aaron Sanchez hit consecutive batters and walked Travis Taijeron to force in a run. Xorge Carrillo then produced a sacrifice fly. Wilfredo Tovar made it 3-0 with an RBI single. Robles faced his final test in the fifth. Crouse started the inning with a triple. Robles hit Kenny Wilson with an 0-2 pitch and walked Schimpf to load the bases with two outs. Robles escaped the jam by striking out Brad Glenn. In the seventh, Darrell Ceciliani led off against Richard Bleier with a single. Ceciliani moved to second on a single, stole third and scampered home with Binghamton’s fourth run on a passed ball by Yusuf Carter. Cody Satterwhite took over for Robles and contributed two scoreless innings. John Church struck out the side in the eighth. Jon Velasquez closed the game with a perfect ninth. Robles (1-0) allowed four hits and struck out six to earn his first Double-A win. Clark walked five times. Ceciliani extended his season-opening hitting streak to seven games with a single in the seventh. Box

ST. LUCIE 6, FORT MYERS 2: Domingo Tapia tossed five innings of no-hit ball before

lastname
Tapia
being removed with the bid intact because he had reached 85 pitches. Reliever Seth Lugo surrendered the first hit, when Jorge Polanco singled with one out in the sixth. Tapia walked two and struck out two in earning his first win. The Mets roughed up Mason Melotakis in the first. Gilbert Gomez singled to score Brandon Nimmo. Eudy Pina then hit a grounder to the shortstop Polanco, who booted the ball, allowing T.J. Rivera to score. Albert Cordero made it 3-0 on a sac fly. Gomez homered against Melotakis in the third. The Mets made it 6-0 with two more runs in the fourth. The big hit came on a two-out RBI double by Aderlin Rodriguez. Lugo surrendered two runs in the sixth. The Miracle put two runners on with two outs in the ninth, but Randy Fontanez entered and struck out Niko Goodrum to end the game. Leadoff hitter Dilson Herrera went 4-for-5. Nimmo, who doubled in the sixth, has hit safely in nine of 10 games. Box

SAVANNAH 6, ROME 2: The Gnats were held to one hit through five innings against rehabbing Braves left-hander Mike Minor, but unleashed six runs over the final two innings. The R-Braves took the lead for the first time all series when a ground-rule double by Joey Meneses plated Reed Harper in the first inning. Gnats starter Chris Flexen then settled down and logged 6 1/3 innings. He allowed two earned runs on six hits while striking out four and walking one. Dominic Smith had a single and Victor Cruzado walked for the only baserunners against Minor. The Braves took a shutout bid into the eighth. Patrick Biondi then led off with a triple against Andy Ubiera. Next, Gavin Cecchini singled home Biondi, who now leads the South Atlantic League with 10 runs scored. After Jeff McNeil's sacrifice bunt and L.J. Mazzilli's groundout, Jared King walked to put runners on first and second. League slugging leader Stefan Sabol (.741) then doubled both runners home to give the Gnats a 3-2 lead. The Gnats added three runs in the ninth against Race Parmenter, highlighted by McNeil’s first professional homer. McNeil now leads the league in extra-base hits with seven. Reliever Akeel Morris earned his first win of the season after pitching the final 2 2/3 innings. He had three strikeouts and now has a league-leading 18.90 strikeouts per nine innings. Box

Compiled with team reports

Series preview: Mets at Braves

April, 7, 2014
Apr 7
9:30
AM ET

Associated Press/USA TODAY SportsThe Mets will face Aaron Harang, Ervin Santana and David Hale this week at Turner Field.
METS (2-4, fifth place/NL East) at ATLANTA BRAVES (4-2, second place/NL East)

Tuesday: RHP Bartolo Colon (0-1, 4.50) vs. RHP Aaron Harang (1-0, 0.00), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Zack Wheeler (0-1, 4.50) vs. RHP Ervin Santana (0-0, -.--), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: RHP Jenrry Mejia (1-0, 1.50) vs. RHP David Hale (0-0, 0.00), 7:10 p.m. ET

Braves short hops


Courtesy of Atlanta BravesThe Braves are wearing this patch to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron becoming MLB's home run king.


• During a pregame ceremony before Tuesday’s Braves home opener, Atlanta will recognize the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron’s 715th home run. The shot came on April 8, 1974 and broke Babe Ruth’s record. The Braves are wearing patches this season to commemorate the anniversary. Aaron, 80, will be on hand. He underwent partial left hip replacement surgery Feb. 14 after falling on ice.

• The Braves unexpectedly dumped Freddy Garcia on March 24 and signed 35-year-old Aaron Harang for a rotation spot. Harang took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning in Milwaukee in his Braves debut. Opposing pitcher Matt Garza also took a no-hit bid into that frame. Logan Schafer’s single to lead off the bottom of the seventh ended Harang’s bid. Harang, who finished last season with the Mets, had been released by the Cleveland Indians late in spring training.

Ervin Santana signed for one-year, $14.1 million on March 12 after Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy both suffered spring-training elbow injuries and ultimately required Tommy John surgery. Santana, who had a 3.24 ERA in 32 starts for the Kansas City Royals last season, will make his Braves debut Wednesday against the Mets. He allowed six runs (five earned) in 5 1/3 innings on Friday for Triple-A Gwinnett against Durham in his final tune-up.

• Atlanta also is missing a third starting pitcher -- left-hander Mike Minor. Minor, hindered by shoulder tendinitis during spring training, logged two innings for Double-A Mississippi on Thursday in a rehab start.

• Right-hander David Hale tossed five scoreless innings in his season debut at the Washington Nationals on Friday. It was his third career major-league start. Last September, Hale limited the San Diego Padres and Philadelphia Phillies to a combined one run in 13 innings. He is a third-round pick in 2009 out of Princeton. To earn the rotation role, Hale beat out fellow rookie Gus Schlosser, who instead found a spot in the bullpen as a longer reliever.

• The Braves claimed ex-Met Pedro Beato off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday.

• Brothers B.J. Upton and Justin Upton were a combined 2-for-31 with 16 strikeouts through Friday before each produced a two-hit game Saturday at Nationals Park.

• The Braves lead the majors with a 1.56 ERA.

• Closer Craig Kimbrel notched his 142nd career save Friday, passing Gene Garber for second on the franchise’s all-time list. John Smoltz owns the franchise record with 154 saves. Smoltz also won 210 games as a Brave.

• The Braves went on a late-winter signing binge, locking up several core players long term. The signings:

Feb. 5: First baseman Freddie Freeman, eight years, $135 million

Feb. 14: Right-hander Julio Teheran, six years, $32.4 million

Feb. 16: Kimbrel, four years, $42 million

Feb. 20: Shortstop Andrelton Simmons, seven years, $58 million

Right fielder Jason Heyward also signed for two years, $13.3 million on Feb. 4 to avoid arbitration.

• Simmons earned his first Gold Glove last season.

• The Braves, who have played at Turner Field since it opened for baseball the year after the 1996 Olympics, will move to a new ballpark in Cobb County for the 2017 season. The 42,000-seat stadium, which will be located 10 miles north of downtown Atlanta, is projected to cost $672 million. The Braves have disputed the publicly financed contribution to that price tag, which has been reported as $450 million.

• The probable Braves batting order:

Heyward, rf
B.J. Upton, cf
Freeman, 1b
Chris Johnson, 3b
Justin Upton, lf
Dan Uggla, 2b
Evan Gattis/Gerald Laird/Ryan Doumit, c
Simmons, ss

• Over the weekend, Heyward dealt with muscle spasms in the back of his neck that have resulted in headaches. He still wears a protective flap attached to his helmet to protect his jaw, which he fractured on a 90 mph fastball from Jonathon Niese last August.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 4, Braves 3

June, 20, 2013
6/20/13
10:21
PM ET

ATLANTA -- The Mets won the rubber game of a five-game series against the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night, but lost a valuable starting pitcher in the process.

Jonathon Niese departed in the fourth inning with left shoulder discomfort after wincing while delivering a pitch to Tyler Pastornicky. Niese has dealt for weeks with what the team has labeled shoulder tendinitis.

The absence of Niese for any length of time presumably would resolve the much-debated issue about how to transition from a six- to five-man rotation -- although clearly not how the Mets intended.


Scott Cunningham/Getty ImagesJon Niese departed Thursday's game in the fourth inning with shoulder discomfort.


Three innings after Niese motioned to the dugout and was removed, pinch-hitter Josh Satin delivered a tiebreaking double that plated Omar Quintanilla and chased Braves starter Mike Minor.

Josh Edgin inherited runners on the corners from Brandon Lyon with two outs in the eighth and retired Jason Heyward on a grounder to first base and the Mets held on to beat the Braves, 4-3, at Turner Field.

Atlanta entered the series an MLB-best 23-8 at home this season, but lost three of five games to the Mets.

Satin, who had a game-ending strikeout at Citi Field a week earlier against St. Louis Cardinals closer Edward Mujica that stranded the tying run at third base, has now reached base in five straight plate appearances.

David Wright set the table for Satin’s heroics by producing the 20th multi-homer game of his career, which is approaching Darryl Strawberry’s franchise-record 22.

Wright now has 32 career homers against the Braves, more than he has produced against any other team. He has 18 homers at Turner Field. That is more than any other road ballpark. He entered the night with 16 apiece in Atlanta and at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park.

Wright had his second two-homer game this season. He also went deep twice against Colorado Rockies right-hander Juan Nicasio on April 16 at Coors Field.

Andrew Brown, in his first at-bat since rejoining the Mets, followed the pair of solo homers by Wright with a fifth-inning, pinch-hit solo shot against Minor that had pulled the Mets even at 3.

Niese’s line: 3.1 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K.

David Aardsma, LaTroy Hawkins, Lyon, Edgin and Bobby Parnell combined for 5 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Just missed: The Mets had the bases loaded and none out in the fourth after Wright’s second homer. Down 3-2 at the time, the opportunity went for naught. Juan Lagares flied out to right field too shallow for Marlon Byrd to tag from third. Quintanilla then grounded into a 1-2-3 double play.

What’s next: The Mets head to Philadelphia for a weekend series. Right-hander Jeremy Hefner (1-6, 3.96 ERA) opposes NL-loss-leader Cole Hamels (2-10, 4.40) at 7:05 p.m. Friday.

Series preview: Mets at Braves

June, 17, 2013
6/17/13
8:15
AM ET

USA TODAY SportsZack Wheeler draws Paul Maholm in the top prospect's major league debut.
METS (25-39, fourth place/NL East) vs. ATLANTA BRAVES (41-28, first place/NL East)

Monday: RHP Dillon Gee (5-6, 4.84) vs. RHP Tim Hudson (4-6, 4.41), 7:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Matt Harvey (5-1, 2.04) vs. LHP Alex Wood (0-0, 3.52), 1:10 p.m. ET; RHP Zack Wheeler (4-2, 3.93 at Triple-A Las Vegas) vs. LHP Paul Maholm (7-5, 3.65), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Shaun Marcum (0-8, 5.43) vs. RHP Kris Medlen (3-7, 3.09), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: LHP Jonathon Niese (3-6, 4.15) vs. LHP Mike Minor (8-2, 2.68), 7:10 p.m. ET

Braves short hops

Brandon Beachy, who intended to return from the disabled list for a Tuesday start against the Mets, had a setback in his rehab from Tommy John surgery and will remain on the DL. Beachy had elbow soreness during a three-inning minor league start Thursday, although a subsequent MRI revealed no structural damage.

Rookie Alex Wood instead should make his first major league start, after six relief appearances. Wood, a second-round pick in 2012 out of the University of Georgia, last started with Double-A Mississippi five days before his May 30 major league promotion.

Justin Upton is averaging 427.9 feet per homer, the top distance in the majors. Mike Napoli ranks second at 422.1 feet.


Scott Cunningham/Getty ImagesB.J. Upton's production has improved in June.


B.J. Upton entered Sunday 4-for-43 with runners in scoring position this season, the lowest average in the NL, although he did then have an RBI double in the rubber-game win against the San Francisco Giants. He signed a five-year, $75.25 million contract as a free agent during the offseason.

After producing a .230 on-base percentage and .245 slugging percentage entering June, B.J. Upton is 11-for-44 with four homers, eight RBIs and nine walks in June. He has climbed from eighth to seventh to sixth in the batting order over the past week.

• Catcher Evan Gattis has claimed both NL Rookie of the Month Awards this season. He is 6-for-8 with four homers as a pinch hitter this season. Gattis is the first Braves player with four pinch-hit homers in a season since Tommy Gregg in 1990. The franchise record is five pinch-hit homers, by Butch Nieman in 1945.

• Shortstop Andrelton Simmons’ 2.3 dWAR rating makes him the most valuable fielder statistically in MLB. Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado ranks second at 2.0.

Simmons, 23, could become the youngest shortstop ever to win the NL Gold Glove, and the youngest shortstop overall since Alan Trammell in 1980. Like Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Didi Gregorius and ESPN.com No. 1-rated prospect Jurickson Profar of the Texas Rangers, Simmons is a shortstop from Curacao. Gregorius, incidentally, did not play shortstop until age 16 because for the previous decade he played second base in the same infield with Simmons.

• Second baseman Dan Uggla is on pace to become the first Braves player to lead the NL in strikeouts since Dale Murphy in 1985. Uggla is missing on a league-high 38 percent of his swings.

Kris Medlen’s 1.95 ERA since last year’s All-Star break leads the majors. Medlen homered while tossing 6 2/3 scoreless innings at Dodger Stadium on June 8. He joined Tim Hudson and Mike Minor in homering this season. The last time three Braves pitchers homered in the same season: 1999, with Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and Kevin Millwood.

• The Braves are 23-8 at Turner Field this season. Their 2.32 home ERA is on track to be a franchise record since moving to Atlanta, topping a 2.48 home staff ERA in 1968. It also is on pace for the best home ERA for any team since the 1988 Mets had a 2.31 ERA at Shea Stadium.

• Atlanta leads the NL in homers, yet has been shut out nine times this season, tied with Miami for the major league lead.

Juan Francisco was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers on June 3 for minor league left-hander Thomas Keeling, affirming Chris Johnson as the primary third baseman, with occasional appearances by ex-Yankee Ramiro Pena.

Brian McCann produced his 1,000th career hit on June 3. He is the fourth catcher in Braves history to reach that plateau, joining Del Crandall (1,176), Javy Lopez (1,148) and Joe Torre (1,087).

Morning Briefing: Who gets dumped?

May, 26, 2013
5/26/13
8:05
AM ET

Getty Images/Associated Press
Jeremy Hefner or Dillon Gee likely will need to get bounced from the rotation once Zack Wheeler arrives.
FIRST PITCH: So how do the Mets clear a rotation spot when Zack Wheeler joins the Mets in mid-June?

Matt Harvey isn’t going anywhere. Jonathon Niese isn’t, either. And because of his veteran status and $4 million base salary, it is unlikely winless Shaun Marcum is going to get bounced from the rotation.

The choices for bullpen relocation … or demotion: Dillon Gee (2-6, 6.34 ERA) and Jeremy Hefner (0-5, 4.76).

The predisposition probably had been to put Hefner in the bullpen as a long reliever and return Collin McHugh to Triple-A Las Vegas, since scouts often have projected Gee as a quality fifth starter and see Hefner as more of a swingman and rotation safety net.

But Gee’s performance this season, including allowing five fifth-inning runs and departing Saturday against the Atlanta Braves, and Hefner’s more credible recent outings complicate that decision.

There is still time for both to state their cases. Around the time Wheeler is projected to join the Mets, the team will need a sixth starter for a five-game series in Atlanta June 17-20. So the decision likely will not need to be made until after that.

Meanwhile, after dropping two games yesterday to the Atlanta Braves, the Mets (17-29) are now winless through five games of their homestand. They only have a better record than the Houston Astros (14-35) and Miami Marlins (13-36).

The Amazin’s have lost eight straight games at Citi Field. With 12 losses in their past 15 games overall, the Mets have fallen 12 games under .500 at this early a date for the first time since 1993.

The Mets send Marcum (0-5, 6.59) to the mound for an ESPN-televised game on Sunday night at 8:05 opposite Braves right-hander Julio Teheran (3-1, 3.99).

The four-game Subway Series then gets underway Memorial Day -- with two games in each ballpark, beginning in Queens. Matt Harvey Day is Tuesday, opposite Hiroki Kuroda.

Sunday’s news reports:

• Ageless Mariano Rivera continued his production Saturday, converting his 18th straight save opportunity to open the season in the Yankees’ 4-3 comeback win in 11 innings against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Mets will honor the retiring Rivera, 43, before Tuesday’s game -- the closer’s last in Queens (with the exception of the All-Star Game). Last season, the Mets presented retiring Chipper Jones artwork inside the bowels of Citi Field, then replayed the ceremony on the scoreboard once fans arrived.


Mark Cunningham/Getty Images
Mariano Rivera received mounted photos from Jim Leyland during his final visit to Detroit as a player.


Rivera has received gifts at every last stop in a city so far, so spare the outrage at the Mets recognizing his retirement, too.

The Detroit Tigers gave mounted photos of Mo pitching at the old Tiger Stadium and Comerica Park with dirt capsules from each stadium. The Cleveland Indians gave a gold record of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And the Kansas City Royals and Colorado Rockies each have donated $5,000 to his charitable foundation.

Of course, having the Mo’s Zone in right field at Citi Field arguably is enough.

• The Atlanta Braves scored a pair of runs against Brandon Lyon in the 10th inning and won the resumption of Friday’s suspended game, 7-5. The Mets placed two runners on base in the bottom half against closer Craig Kimbrel, but Ruben Tejada popped out on an attempted sacrifice bunt and Justin Turner grounded into a game-ending double play. The defeat kept the Mets winless in the 10 games following Harvey starts, and meant the Mets are now 0-9 in Hefner starts, although this wasn’t his fault.

The Mets then were blanked by left-hander Mike Minor and David Carpenter in a 6-0 loss in the regularly scheduled contest. Gee took a scoreless effort into the fifth, when he surrendered five runs, including a two-run homer to Minor. This season, Gee has held opposing batters to a .225 average and no homers the first time through the order. After facing him one plate appearance, though, opponents are hitting .392 with eight homers during subsequent at-bats in the game.

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

• Read more on Gee in the Post.

Ike Davis delivered a line-drive single over shortstop against Kimbrel after the suspended game resumed, but then sat against the left-handed Minor. He struck out on three pitches as a pinch hitter in the ninth inning of the regularly scheduled game and is now 2-for-his-last-44. Read more in the Post, Newsday, Star-Ledger and Times.

• Columnist John Harper in the Daily News suggests the stench in Flushing is more than Davis stinking up the joint. Writes Harper:

At this point the Ike Davis saga is little more than a symbolic sideshow. Yes, he should be in the minors by now, if only to throw a life preserver to a drowning hitter, but with each passing day, the debate matters less and less as the Mets sink into oblivion.

Suffice to say the Mets are as bad as the weather lately, and, of course, only one of the two is guaranteed to get better in the weeks ahead. Remember when Sandy Alderson insisted during the winter that he wasn’t punting on 2013? Well, it’s Memorial Day weekend, and the only race the Mets are in is the one to avoid the embarrassment of finishing behind the Triple-A Marlins.

Never mind punting. The season already feels like one long Hail Mary. I mean, you knew the Mets had no shot of contending, but, Matt Harvey aside, did anybody really think they’d be this unwatchable?


Getty Images/Associated Press
Scott Atchison and Jeurys Familia began rehab assignments Saturday with Class A St. Lucie.


Scott Atchison and Jeurys Familia began rehab assignments Saturday with Class A St. Lucie, each tossing scoreless innings. Atchison had experienced numbness in his fingers during a May 13 appearance at St. Louis, which was related to elbow inflammation, so appearing in a minor league game this soon would appear a positive sign. When similar symptoms surfaced last year while with the Boston Red Sox, Atchison passed on undergoing Tommy John surgery but missed two months. Familia has been on the DL since May 12 with biceps tendinitis.

• Starter Logan Verrett retired the final 13 batters he faced and Binghamton beat Portland, 3-2, on a throwing error in the 10th. Phillip Evans’ two-out, walk-off hit in the ninth scored Cole Frenzel with the winning run as Savannah overcame a one-run deficit in the final frame to beat Augusta, 2-1. Angel Cuan tossed seven scoreless innings and combined with Familia and Atchison on a two-hit shutout as St. Lucie beat Bradenton, 1-0. Read the full minor league recap here.

• The Mets amended their ticket-exchange policy for Friday’s suspended game. If you haven’t already traded in tickets for Friday's suspended game, you need to do so for tonight’s series finale against Atlanta. Originally, the Mets had said fans could trade in the tickets for any comparably priced seat this season, subject to availability. Read more in the Daily News.

• Mike Kerwick in the Record believes the Subway Series getting reduced from six to four games this season is good for the Mets, but not the fans.

• Vote on the best Subway Series moments, Sweet 16 bracket style, in the Post.

• Steve Serby in the Post has a Q&A with Gary, Keith and Ron.

• Columnist Bob Klapisch in the Record outlines some Subway Series matchups to watch.

• Columnist George Willis in the Post writes something unflattering about Wheeler.

• Harvey’s social life made the tabloids. Read more in the Daily News.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear discovered Mets-Braves suspended game precedent from 1979. … John Delcos at Mets Report suggests Davis needs the minor leagues right now.

BIRTHDAYS: Right-hander Kevin Mulvey, who now helps coach the Villanova baseball team, turns 28. He was traded to the Minnesota Twins in the Johan Santana deal.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Who should get bounced from the rotation for Zack Wheeler?

Rapid Reaction: Braves 6, Mets 0

May, 25, 2013
5/25/13
10:43
PM ET


The Mets had no answer for Mike Minor -- at the plate and on the mound.

Atlanta's starter almost beat the Mets single-handedly, as he pitched 7 1/3 innings of zero-run ball and smashed a two-run homer in Atlanta's 6-0 win on Saturday at Citi Field. The Braves won both games on the day, as the teams earlier finished their suspended game from Friday, with Atlanta winning 7-5 in 10 innings.

At 17-29, this the worst Mets start since the 1993 team started 16-30.

Needed one more out: Mets starter Dillon Gee was cruising through 4 2/3 innings, and then it all went south for him. Single. Homer. Double. Single. Double. Single. And it was 5-0. He was one out away from throwing five scoreless and he instead heard boos as the Braves kept pounding him for hits.

Gee has struggled to go deep into games this year, and it continued Saturday, as he lasted five innings, giving up eight hits and five earned runs. Gee has not pitched more than six innings since his first start on April 4. In his past five starts, he's gone five innings four times and four innings in the other.

As the Mets decide who they are going to bounce from the rotation for Zack Wheeler, Gee isn't making a great case to stay in it. While he might have more wins than Jeremy Hefner, you can make a case that Hefner has been the better pitcher this year. Gee is now 2-6 with a 6.34 ERA.

Ike watch: After Ike Davis singled for the second time in 43 at-bats during the suspended game, Davis was a pinch hitter in the nightcap and struck out. Davis did not start the game due to the lefty-lefty matchup against Minor.

Bats, are you there? The Mets simply couldn't get anything going against Minor. It took them 5 1/3 innings before they had more hits cumulatively as a team than Minor had himself. One player who did show up was Ruben Tejada, who went 3-for-4 with three singles. In the suspended game, he popped out while trying to lay down a bunt in the 10th inning, but he responded nicely.

Time to move out: The Mets have now lost eight straight games at home and have not won a series at Citi Field since April 19-21, when they took two of three against Washington. With one more against Atlanta and with the 30-win Yankees coming to town Monday and Tuesday, it might get worse.

Up next: The Mets will try to avoid the sweep Sunday as they send Marcum (0-5, 6.79) against Atlanta's Julio Teheran (3-1, 3.99). First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 p.m.

Morning briefing: Wright stuff in 9th

May, 4, 2013
5/04/13
5:52
AM ET

Marvel/Associated Press
David Wright, also known as Captain America, had a game-tying ninth-inning homer against Craig Kimbrel on Friday night.
ATLANTA

FIRST PITCH: After suffering a pair of demoralizing defeats early this week in Miami, the Mets felt good to be the team to come back a few outs from defeat.

David Wright produced a one-out homer in the ninth on a 97 mph fastball from Atlanta Braves closer Craig Kimbrel and the Mets ultimately won, 7-5 in 10 innings, Friday night at Turner Field.

“They’re one of the best in the game -- and then arguably the best in the game pitching the ninth,” Wright said about Atlanta’s bullpen and specifically Kimbrel. “Any time you get the opportunity to win a close game late against these guys, you’ve got to take advantage of it, because that opportunity doesn’t come around too often.”

Jonathon Niese (2-2, 3.31 ERA) looks to up the Mets’ winning streak to three games when he opposes right-hander Julio Teheran (1-0, 5.08) at 7:10 tonight. Rain is forecast.

Saturday’s news reports:

• Sandy Alderson offered a vote of confidence -- or, at least, no indication Terry Collins’ job is in jeopardy anytime soon. Alderson also told Mike Puma in the Post about the 2013 Mets:


William Perlman/US Presswire
Sandy Alderson in Atlanta commented on Terry Collins and the Mets' performance.


“When you’re not hitting, it basically puts pressure on every aspect of your game. And our starting pitching has to get into the sixth and seventh inning. And I don’t believe our bullpen is as bad a part of that doomsday scenario. If you look at that pen, we’ve actually got some guys that have pitched well. Have they pitched well in high-leverage situations? Inconsistent.

“There’s a lot of the season left to play out,” the GM continued. “I do think perceptions are heightened when you go into Miami, a place everybody thinks every team should sweep ... and you end up losing two games, and you lose them basically with no offense the first two nights. But you move forward.”

Read more in the Daily News.

Jordany Valdespin irked Mets people by failing to show up for early batting practice Friday at Turner Field, sources told ESPNNewYork.com. Valdespin, after contributing to the win with a 10th-inning pinch-hit walk and steal, suggested he was not required to attend.

Jared Diamond in the Journal discusses the merits of Valdespin as a pinch hitter and starter.

John Buck, Lucas Duda, Marlon Byrd and Wright all went deep in the Mets’ victory Friday night. Bobby Parnell inherited a runner on third base with one out from Brandon Lyon in the bottom of the ninth and wriggled free to send the game to extra innings. Jeurys Familia earned his first major league save and could be setting himself up for more late-inning work. Shaun Marcum lasted only 4 1/3 innings. The Mets felt they caught a break when Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez lifted Mike Minor after seven innings and 90 pitches, even though the southpaw had retired 18 straight batters.

Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Newsday, Record, Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and MLB.com.


Adam Rubin
Robert Carson says his mother may wear this jersey to tonight's game. Carson's mother began calling him "Pookie-Nookie" when he was young. When Mets teammates found out last year, they had the jersey made.


• Read a transcript of Braves postgame quotes from David O’Brien in the AJC.

• Read more on Marcum in the Post.

Mike Piazza made an appearance with the Miami City Ballet on Friday.

• There will be less Collin Cowgill with the Mets. Actually, none at all for the time being. Cowgill was demoted Friday to clear a roster spot for the promotion of fellow outfielder Andrew Brown. Brown went 0-for-3 with a strikeout in his Mets debut as the starting right fielder. Read more in the Times, Star-Ledger, Newsday and MLB.com.

• Center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis had an amazing catch Friday night for Triple-A Las Vegas at Sacramento.

• Right-hander Noah Syndergaard, who arrived with Travis d’Arnaud in the R.A. Dickey deal, suffered his first loss as a member of the organization despite limiting Fort Myers to one run in six innings. Read the full minor league recap here.

• Kieran Darcy at ESPNNewYork.com profiles Columbia slugger and military veteran Joey Falcone, the son of former Mets pitcher Pete Falcone.

Justin Turner started over Ike Davis at first base on Friday. Read more in the Record.

• Drink alcohol in the Citi Field parking lot and risk a $25 fine, writes Eric Holden at Yahoo Sports.

From the bloggers … In recognition of the Kentucky Derby, John Delcos at Mets Report gives Mets of past and present horse names. … Faith and Fear in Flushing marvels how the Atlanta opener was two games in one. … At Mets Police, a Mets-themed coffin and a group photo of Piazza's ballet. … Rising Apple writers opine on April and what the Mets ought to do going forward.

BIRTHDAYS: Infielder Miguel Cairo is 39. … Catcher Robinson Cancel, who was nicknamed by teammates “La Tortuga,” turns 37. … Reliever Manny Aybar is 41.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Did you agree with Collin Cowgill getting demoted for Andrew Brown?

Rapid Reaction: Mets 7, Braves 5 (10)

May, 3, 2013
5/03/13
11:04
PM ET
WHAT IT MEANS: The Mets' most reliable pieces -- David Wright, Bobby Parnell, Jordany Valdespin and John Buck -- all played starring roles as the Mets survived for a 7-5 win in 10 innings against the Atlanta Braves on Friday night at Turner Field.

With the Mets two outs from defeat, Wright belted a solo homer against Braves closer Craig Kimbrel in the ninth to even the score. Kimbrel had entered the game with the fifth-best career save percentage in MLB history among closers with at least 100 opportunities (89.1 percent).

Parnell then had a stellar moment, too.

Inheriting a runner on third base from Brandon Lyon with one out and the score tied in the bottom of the ninth, Parnell wriggled free of the jam. He stranded the potential winning run 90 feet from home plate by ultimately retiring Justin Upton on a groundout to third base.

The final dramatics: Ruben Tejada delivered a two-out single against Jordan Walden in the top of the 10th that scored Valdespin and Daniel Murphy added an RBI single against Luis Avilan. Valdespin had walked as a pinch hitter with two outs and stolen second.

Jeurys Familia pitched a scoreless bottom of the 10th for his first major league save. The converted starter's only other professional save came earlier this season with Triple-A Las Vegas.

LYON DOESN’T ROAR: Lyon, who became the eighth pitcher in franchise history to uncork a walk-off wild pitch earlier this week in Miami, nearly twice gave up the lead.

Lyon originally entered with one out in the eighth and the score tied at 4. He served up a tiebreaking homer to Evan Gattis on the first pitch he threw.

After Wright’s long ball pulled the Mets even at 5, Lyon allowed a leadoff double to Ramiro Pena in the ninth, then a sac bunt. Terry Collins then inserted Parnell with the winning run at third base. And Parnell coaxed a flyout that was too shallow for the Braves to attempt to score, the closer ultimately escaped with the Upton groundout.

DEEP THOUGHTS: All of the Mets’ runs before the 10th came via the homer.

Buck's 10th homer of the season, a two-run shot in the first inning against left-hander Mike Minor, came in his 25th game of the season. That tied Buck with Carlos Delgado (2006) and Dave Kingman (1982) for the second-fastest to double digits in franchise history to start a season.

Kingman also has the franchise record. He reached 10 homers in his 23rd game of the 1976 season.

Duda’s solo shot in the second was his sixth long ball of 2013 and staked the Mets to a 3-0 lead. He was the last baserunner Minor allowed.

Marlon Byrd homered to lead off the eighth against left-hander Eric O'Flaherty, which evened the score at 4. O’Flaherty had just replaced Minor, who was pulled with his pitch count at 90 despite retiring the final 18 batters he faced.

OFF THE MARC: Shaun Marcum took a 3-1 lead into the fifth. He then surrendered a one-out RBI single to Andrelton Simmons that pulled Atlanta within a run and departed with the bases loaded.

LaTroy Hawkins limited the damage. Hawkins surrendered a first-pitch sacrifice fly to dangerous Justin Upton that evened the score at 3. Hawkins then struck out Freddie Freeman to strand two in scoring position.

Marcum’s final line: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K. He threw 87 pitches (57 strikes).

DEBUTANT: Andrew Brown, starting in right field, went 0-for-3 with a strikeout in his Mets debut before departing for the pinch-hitting Valdespin in the 10th.

OUCH: Braves third baseman Juan Francisco was forced to leave the game after spraining his right ankle on the basepaths in the third inning. Pena replaced him.

WHAT’S NEXT: Jonathon Niese (2-2, 3.31 ERA) opposes right-hander Julio Teheran (1-0, 5.08) at 7:10 p.m. Saturday.

Mets 7, Braves 4: Gee whiz

March, 25, 2013
3/25/13
4:50
PM ET
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- After a pair of rough Grapefruit League outings, Dillon Gee righted himself with the regular season rapidly approaching.

Gee tossed six scoreless innings, surrendering two hits and no walks while striking out seven as the Mets beat the Atlanta Braves, 7-4, Monday at ESPN Wide World of Sports.

Andrew Brown, Jamie Hoffmann and Collin Cowgill homered against left-hander Mike Minor as the Mets built a 5-0 lead. Brown and Hoffmann officially had been reassigned to minor league camp late Sunday, but were borrowed along with Brian Bixler for the trip to Disney.

The Mets improved to 13-12-3 in the Grapefruit League.

Game tidbits:

GEE WHIZ: Gee had allowed 11 earned runs on 10 hits and five walks in six innings over his previous two starts. He sliced his Grapefruit League ERA from 8.31 to 5.68.

“In the past I’ve just been too timid in games,” Gee said. “Finally I came out and I said, ‘You know what? I’m just going to be aggressive and hit the mitt and not worry about the outcome -- just let it go.’

“Today I didn’t want to overthink it. It was: be aggressive, throwing everything you have for strikes and just try to simplify things. Don’t worry about, ‘Is he going to hit this?’ Sometimes you just get too much in your head. Just throw the pitch and whatever happens, happens.”

Gee felt like he had turned a corner when he struck out the side in the final inning of his appearance last Wednesday against the Houston Astros.

“I tried not to get too caught up in how I was going,” Gee said. “I mean, it’s spring training. I know what I’m working on. Even though it was pretty bad leading up to this point, I’m still confident in my abilities, and I know the kind of guy that I can be and I should be. I knew it would come along.”

Gee is due to face the Baltimore Orioles in Sarasota, Fla., in Saturday’s Grapefruit League finale, which will set him up for Game 4 of the regular season -- April 5 against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field on an extra day of rest. Gee likely will throw no more than 50 pitches in his final spring-training tune-up.

LEFT THE YARD: Robert Carson, the apparent big winner when Pedro Feliciano was told he did not make the club, did not distinguish himself Monday. Carson surrendered homers to the first two batters he faced, Jason Heyward and Justin Upton, before Freddie Freeman was retired on a bash to the warning track in center field. Terry Collins pulled Carson at that point and inserted Jeff Walters, who made 36 relief appearances between Class A Savannah and St. Lucie last season.

“I haven’t heard anything. I’m waiting,” Carson said about the roster decision. “Today was a rough day, but it’s cool. I’m just trying to finish strong and just wait and see what the organization chooses to do. I’m ready for it and excited either way.”

Said Collins: "He's still in camp because he's had a pretty good spring training."

SUB-STANDARD: Submariner Greg Burke, seemingly competing with Jeurys Familia for the final bullpen spot, was charged with two runs on three hits and a walk in the ninth to lift his Grapefruit League ERA to 5.84.

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Daniel Murphy
BA HR RBI R
.289 9 57 79
OTHER LEADERS
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187