New York Mets: Mike Trout

Rapid Reaction: Angels 14, Mets 2

April, 13, 2014
Apr 13
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Bartolo Colon surrendered four homers and nine earned runs in five innings and the New York Mets lost Sunday’s rubber game to the Los Angeles Angels, 14-2.

Three of the long balls came consecutively in the first inning, by Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Raul Ibanez.

The last time a Mets pitcher allowed three straight homers? That was Johan Santana in the start after his no-hitter, when the Yankees’ Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher and Andruw Jones consecutively went deep in the Bronx on June 8, 2012.

Hank Conger capped Sunday’s long-ball barrage with a two-run homer in the fifth. It marked the eighth extra-base hit against Colon, a career high.

Colon had tossed seven scoreless innings against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on Tuesday to begin the trip.

Colon’s nine runs allowed were only one shy of matching his career high -- 10 runs (five earned) on April 26, 2005 as a member of the Angels. That day, the Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez homered three times against Colon en route to a 10-RBI game.

The Angels added two runs in the sixth against Scott Rice, who issued a bases-loaded walk and run-scoring wild pitch. John Lannan uncorked a run-scoring wild pitch and surrendered a two-run homer to Ian Stewart in the eighth.

With the five-homer game by the Angels, Mets pitchers have now surrendered an MLB-high 21 homers, in 12 games.

Yer out: David Wright and Daniel Murphy were ejected in the seventh inning by plate umpire Toby Basner for arguing balls and strikes from the dugout. A scout at the game was highly critical of Basner’s strike zone low. It was Wright’s fourth career ejection.

What’s next: The Mets head to Phoenix for the final stop on their three-city trip -- a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Zack Wheeler (0-2, 5.73 ERA) opposes right-hander Josh Collmenter (0-0, 2.25) in Monday’s 9:40 p.m. ET opener.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 7, Angels 6 (13)

April, 13, 2014
Apr 13
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Anthony Recker had been poised to be a hero until a ninth-inning meltdown from Jose Valverde.

Recker, in only his second start of the season, ultimately highlighted the win anyway.

The backup catcher took Matt Shoemaker deep in the top of the 13th and John Lannan contributed his second scoreless inning in the bottom half of that frame as the Mets survived for a 7-6 win against the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night.

Papa not-so-grande: Oops, Raul Ibanez did it to Valverde again!

With the Mets one out from victory, Valverde allowed a pair of baserunners, then surrendered a game-tying three-run homer to Ibanez in the bottom of the ninth.

Fans of the crosstown Yankees might remember that Ibanez-Valverde pairing combining for dramatics in the ALCS two years ago.

On Oct. 13, 2012, Ibanez delivered a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth against Valverde in the Bronx, although the Tigers eventually won that Game 1 anyway in 12 innings en route to a series sweep.

On Friday, Mets relievers had run their scoreless streak to 20 1/3 innings before Jeurys Familia uncorked a bases-loaded hit-by-pitch to force in the game-ending run.

Backup power: Recker and Omar Quintanilla, who had no hits and one start between them entering Saturday, lifted the Mets to victory with a combined five RBIs.

Recker dropped a two-run single in front of lunging center fielder Mike Trout in the seventh, after Fernando Salas inherited a pair of runners from Jered Weaver. That capped a three-run inning and provided the Mets with a 4-3 lead.

Quintanilla supplied a two-run single in the ninth as the Mets’ lead swelled to 6-3 before Valverde entered.

Less Cowgill: Until the Mets’ three-run seventh, it had been the Collin Cowgill show.

Cowgill, the Mets’ Opening Day starter in center field last season, threw out Eric Young Jr. at the plate attempting to tag on a shallow fly ball to end the top of the first inning, homered against Jonathon Niese and scored twice as the Angels carried a 3-1 lead into the seventh.

Entering that frame, Weaver had limited the Mets to one hit -- a solo homer by Lucas Duda with two outs in the second that had evened the score at 1.

Then, in the seventh, Curtis Granderson walked and Duda advanced him to third base with a single. With runners on the corners, Juan Lagares singled to plate Granderson, pulling the Mets within a run and ending Weaver’s night. Recker followed with the go-ahead two-run single.

Cowgill, who had a .180 average in 61 at-bats when he was traded to the Angels last June 25 for minor-league outfielder Kyle Johnson, had staked the Angels to a 3-1 lead in the sixth with a solo homer against Niese.

Niesely done: Niese surrendered a pair of homers in his second outing since returning from the disabled list, but ultimately departed with a 4-3 lead with one out in the bottom of the eighth. Former Rockie Chris Iannetta took the southpaw deep in the fifth to break a 1-all tie.

Niese’s line: 7.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 2 HR. He threw 96 pitches (64 strikes).

Deep thoughts: Duda, who started at designated hitter, with Ike Davis at first base, now has a team-leading three homers. No other Met has more than one.

What’s next: The Mets conclude their three-game series against the Angels at 3:35 p.m. ET Sunday. Bartolo Colon (1-1, 2.08 ERA) opposes left-hander C.J. Wilson (1-1, 4.61).

Rapid Reaction: Angels 5, Mets 4 (11)

April, 12, 2014
Apr 12

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The bullpen could not be perfect forever.

With the relief corps' scoreless-inning streak at 20 1/3 innings, Jeurys Familia surrendered a leadoff single to Raul Ibanez, then uncorked a wild pitch in the 11th inning. Familia ultimately hit Hank Conger with a pitch after a pair of intentional walks had loaded the bases to force in the winning run and the Mets suffered a 5-4 walk-off loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.

Familia was pitching his career-high third inning of relief work.

The Mets' bullpen had allowed 14 runs (13 earned) in the season's first four games before the 180-degree turnaround.

Gee fizz: In his third 2014 start, Dillon Gee surrendered a pair of homers while failing to hold a two-run lead.

Mike Trout homered against Gee in the first inning. Then, with the Mets ahead 4-2 in the fifth, Gee walked Howie Kendrick and surrendered a two-run homer to J.B. Shuck. Shuck was making his season debut in place of injured Josh Hamilton.

Gee’s line in a no-decision: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 2 HR.

First thing: Josh Satin, starting for only the second time this season, delivered a tiebreaking two-run double in the fourth as the Mets took a 4-2 lead against Tyler Skaggs.

Satin entered the game with only six plate appearances this season. The Mets had faced only one other left-handed starter before Friday: Washington’s Gio Gonzalez in Game 2 of the season.

Deep thoughts: Travis d’Arnaud went deep for the first time in 110 at-bats when he took Skaggs deep in the third inning to even the score at 2. D’Arnaud’s only other big-league homer came last Aug. 25 against Detroit’s Rick Porcello.

Touched by an Angel fan: Curtis Granderson, who was throwing a ball back into the infield after catching a flyout in the right-field corner in the eighth inning, was touched in the back by a fan who reached onto the field. Granderson turned and said something to the fan, who subsequently was escorted from his seat by security.

What’s next: Jonathon Niese makes his second start of the season Saturday. Niese (0-1, 3.18 ERA) opposes right-hander Jered Weaver (0-2, 6.00) at 9:05 p.m. ET. Ike Davis and Lucas Duda both are due to be in the lineup.

Series preview: Mets at Angels

April, 11, 2014
Apr 11

USA TODAY SportsThe Mets are due to face Tyler Skaggs, Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson this weekend in Anaheim.
METS (4-5, fourth place/NL East) at LOS ANGELES ANGELS (4-5, third place/AL West)

Friday: RHP Dillon Gee (0-0, 4.50) vs. LHP Tyler Skaggs (1-0, 0.00), 10:05 p.m. ET

Saturday: LHP Jonathon Niese (0-1, 3.18) vs. RHP Jered Weaver (0-2, 6.00), 9:05 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Bartolo Colon (1-1, 2.08) vs. LHP C.J. Wilson (1-1, 4.61), 3:35 p.m. ET

Angels short hops

• Left fielder Josh Hamilton, the reigning American League co-Player of the Week, fully tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb on a headfirst slide into first base Tuesday and may miss as much as two months. Ex-Met Collin Cowgill should see increased playing time in Hamilton’s absence, potentially platooning with J.B. Shuck. Cowgill, the Mets’ Opening Day starter in center field a season ago, was traded last June 25 to the Angels for minor-league outfielder Kyle Johnson, who currently is playing for Double-A Binghamton. Hamilton had been hitting .444 with two homers and six RBIs in 27 at-bats.

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty ImagesWith Josh Hamilton injured, that means more Collin Cowgill in the starting lineup for the Angels.

• Ex-Mets reliever Joe Smith signed a three-year, $15.75 million deal with the Angels as a free agent on Nov. 27. One reason for choosing L.A., aside from the money: His fiancée, Allie LaForce, is a CBS Sports host based at an Orange County studio. She is a former Cleveland sports anchor. While with the Cleveland Indians last season, the sidearmer jawed with now-ex-Met Justin Turner after a heated plate appearance.

• Center fielder Mike Trout, a 22-year-old Millville, N.J., native, signed a six-year, $144.5 million extension with the Angels on March 28. Based on average annual value, the contract became the largest ever for a player who had not yet reached three years of MLB service, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The deal is worth $24.08 million per year, which tops Buster Posey’s $18.56 million average annual salary that runs through 2021. By total value, Posey’s $167 million guarantee ranks No. 1 for a player with less than three years of MLB service, although that contract covers nine years. Trout would not have been eligible for arbitration for the first time until after this season. He was not eligible for free agency until after the 2017 season.

Albert Pujols, 34, had career lows last season with a .258 average, 17 homers, 64 RBIs, 99 games played and 443 plate appearances. He has a 10-year, $240 million contract that includes full no-trade protection. The contract runs through 2021, escalating to $30 million the final year. After a slow start to 2014, Pujols has homered in two straight games, giving him 494 long balls for his career. He would become the 26th player to reach the 500-homer plateau. Pujols also crossed 1,500 career RBIs this week, making him the only active player at that level -- unless you count Alex Rodriguez as active.

• The Angels are an MLB-best 84-44 in interleague play since 2007.

• When manager Mike Scioscia took over as manager of the Angels for the 2000 season, he essentially succeeded Terry Collins in that role (although Joe Maddon had managed the final 29 games in 1999).

• The Angels acquired third baseman David Freese and right-handed reliever Fernando Salas from the St. Louis Cardinals on Nov. 22 for Peter Bourjos and Randal Grichuk.

• Left-hander Tyler Skaggs limited Houston to one unearned run in eight innings in his season debut. The 22-year-old southpaw had been traded by the Angels to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 7, 2010 in the Dan Haren deal. He was reacquired from the D-backs in a three-team deal this past offseason that included Mark Trumbo landing in Phoenix.

• Catcher Chris Iannetta is hitless in his past 15 at-bats.

• DH Raul Ibanez, who is 41 years old and off to a 5-for-26 start, is two hits shy of 2,000 for his career. He would become the 12th active player with 2,000 hits and 300 homers.

• The Angels desperately need lefty relief help in a division that now includes Prince Fielder, Shin-Soo Choo and Robinson Cano. The two planned left-handers in the bullpen have experienced medical issues. Rule 5 pick Brian Moran will require season-ending Tommy John surgery. And Sean Burnett, limited to 13 appearances last season due to an elbow injury that required surgery, had renewed discomfort during spring training and is not active. The lone lefty in the bullpen right now is Nick Maronde, who made his first career Opening Day roster. But lefty batters are hitting .323 with a .450 on-base percentage against Maronde in his three-year big-league career. Among the lefty relievers in Triple-A for the Angels: ex-Met Robert Carson.

• Hitting coach Don Baylor broke his right thigh bone catching the ceremonial first pitch from Vladimir Guerrero on Opening Day. Baylor, 64, hopes to return to the Angels by late May, but the standard recovery time for a fractured femur can be four to six months.

Jered Weaver, plagued by shoulder tendinitis for the past three seasons, has allowed nine runs (eight earned) in 12 innings through two starts. He has surrendered four homers. Weaver’s fastball velocity is averaging 85.9 mph this season. It has steadily declined each season since 2010, from 89.9 to 89.1 to 87.8 to 86.5 and now to its current level.

Dickey-Ruiz combo works, Wright quiet

July, 10, 2012

R.A. Dickey surrendered a leadoff single to Mike Trout upon entering with an eight-run lead in the sixth inning, and Trout swiped second base, but the 37-year-old knuckleballer eventually stranded the Angels phenom to post a scoreless frame in his first All-Star Game appearance.

Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz got through the inning unscathed as well, although Dickey told reporters in Kansas City afterward that Ruiz on one knuckleball "looked like he was catching with chopsticks."

Dickey struck out Mark Trumbo and hit Paul Konerko with a pitch before coaxing a 6-4-3 double play from Miguel Cabrera to post the scoreless frame and preserve the NL's eight-run lead.

Speaking to reporters afterward, Dickey said about his knuckleball: "I didn't throw many super-duper ones."

David Wright went 0-for-2. After Pablo Sandoval contributed a three-run triple in the first inning, Wright eventually entered at third base. He grounded into a fielder's choice in the fifth against Jered Weaver and struck out looking against Ryan Cook in the seventh.

Matt Cain, who started over Dickey for the NL, tossed two scoreless innings.

Terry Collins, a coach on Tony La Russa's staff, made a ninth-inning pitching change to get some air time.



Daniel Murphy
.284 7 38 57
HRL. Duda 16
RBIL. Duda 51
RD. Murphy 57
OPSL. Duda .850
WB. Colon 9
ERAJ. Niese 3.13
SOZ. Wheeler 112