New York Mets: Nolan Arenado

Rapid Reaction: Mets 2, Rockies 0

September, 10, 2014
9/10/14
10:05
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Reaching .500 may not be an insurmountable goal after all.

The playoffs? That still seems too ambitious.

Rafael Montero tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings and earned his first major league win as the Mets completed a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies with a 2-0 victory Wednesday at Citi Field.

With their seventh win in their past eight games, the Mets improved to 71-75. They have not been this close to .500 since Aug. 2 (53-57).

The Pittsburgh Pirates, who occupy the second wild-card spot, won 6-3 in Philadelphia, so the Mets remain 5˝ back with 16 games remaining.

The Mets won despite mustering five hits. Eric Young Jr. had three of the hits, including a run-scoring triple in the second for the game’s opening run. Juan Lagares provided a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the seventh.

For those into run differential, the Mets are back in the black at plus-one for the season.

The Mets tossed consecutive shutouts for the first time since June 29-30, 2012 at Dodger Stadium.

Jenrry Mejia tossed a perfect ninth to record the save.

Spot shine: Despite a high pitch count and effort that included issuing four walks, Montero took a no-hit bid two outs into the fifth inning. Opposing pitcher Tyler Matzek then doubled over Young’s head in left field to place two in scoring position. Montero rebounded. He coaxed a flyout from Charlie Blackmon that stranded two in scoring position.

Still nursing a 1-0 lead in the sixth, Montero allowed a leadoff double to Drew Stubbs and single to Justin Morneau that placed runners on the corners with none out. He struck out Nolan Arenado and then departed with his pitch count at 106.

Fellow rookie Dario Alvarez entered and retired Corey Dickerson on a squibber that moved Morneau to second base. Carlos Torres entered and retired Michael McKenry to leave both runners in scoring position.

Montero’s final line: 5.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 7 K.

Terry Collins said pregame that it is undecided whether Montero would get another start this month. The Mets promoted him in part to gauge his ability in a relief role. And the Mets are reluctant to have their incumbent starting pitchers work with more than one extra day of rest between outings. Monday already is a team off-day.

Quiet night: In his first game at third base in more than three years, Daniel Murphy had no grounders he was required to field.

What’s next: If the Mets are going to make it interesting over the final 16 games, they’ll have to make noise against the first-place Washington Nationals. Two series remain between the teams, including a four-game set at Citi Field that opens Thursday. Bartolo Colon (13-11, 3.96 ERA) opposes right-hander Tanner Roark (12-10, 2.97) in the opener.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 3, Rockies 2

September, 8, 2014
9/08/14
10:10
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Who needs home runs?

The New York Mets don't hit many of them at home, and they gave up two to the Colorado Rockies on Monday night. But a ninth-inning rally off ex-Met LaTroy Hawkins gave the Mets a 3-2 win.

Travis d'Arnaud began the rally with a leadoff double, the Mets' fourth double of the night. Curtis Granderson followed with a game-tying triple, the Mets' second triple. Wilmer Flores followed with a sacrifice fly to center field.

The Mets didn't hit any home runs, and they haven't homered twice in the same game at home since July. Their opponents have had seven multihomer games at Citi Field since then.

But who needs home runs when you have four doubles and two triples?

Nice start for Niese: Last week in Miami, Jonathon Niese became the first Mets pitcher in 14 years to allow six run on 10 hits and get a win. Monday, he became just another Mets pitcher to fail to win because the offense struggled. Niese went 6 2/3 innings and allowed just one run, on a Michael Cuddyer home run in the second, but he left a 1-1 tie because the Mets managed only three hits off Rockies starter Jordan Lyles.

Another Lagares save: Juan Lagares is so good in center field that he doesn't often need to leave his feet to make a catch that ends up on a highlight tape. But he can dive to catch a ball, and he did exactly that to rob Nolan Arenado and save Niese with a runner on first base and one out in the first inning.

And an assist to Carlyle: Niese allowed a leadoff double to DJ LeMahieu in the seventh inning, but the Rockies didn't score. Niese got two ground-ball outs, and when manager Terry Collins went to the bullpen for Buddy Carlyle, Carlyle struck out Josh Rutledge to end the threat.

Black is back: The Mets activated Vic Black from the disabled list before Monday's game. Black, who missed two weeks with a herniated disk in his neck, hung an 0-2 curveball to Arenado, the first batter he faced.

Recognize these names? The Rockies are playing without their two biggest stars, Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, both out for the season with injuries. They've spent most of the past three months without Cuddyer, too, and the Mets and Niese wish he had missed at least one more game.

Cuddyer came off the disabled list Monday, and his second-inning home run off Niese tied the game at 1-1.

Small "crowd": With school back in session and with the New York Giants opening their season on "Monday Night Football," the Mets and Rockies played before what had to be one of the smallest gatherings in Citi Field history. The Mets' announced attendance was 21,710, and possibly two or three of those numbers actually reflected the number of people in the ballpark.

What's next: Jacob deGrom (7-6, 2.79) makes his 20th big league start Tuesday night against the Rockies. Right-hander Christian Bergman (2-2, 5.23) starts for Colorado.

Morning Briefing: Back to work

August, 26, 2014
8/26/14
5:28
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: The Mets will have a chance to play spoiler as the Atlanta Braves visit Citi Field for a three-game series.

Atlanta (68-63) trails the first-place Washington Nationals by 7˝ games in the division race, but the Braves are right in the thick of the wild-card hunt.

One aspect to watch Tuesday: Will David Wright and Daniel Murphy return to the lineup? Wright departed Sunday’s game at Dodger Stadium in the third inning with muscle spasms in his neck. Murphy departed in the ninth inning with a right-calf issue.

Dillon Gee (4-6, 3.84 ERA) opposes left-hander Alex Wood (9-9, 3.05) in the 7:10 p.m. series opener.

Read the Mets-Braves series preview here.

Tuesday’s news reports:

• With teams apparently leery about taking on Bartolo Colon's $11 million salary for 2015, the veteran righty went unclaimed and cleared waivers Monday. That makes Colon eligible to be traded to any team through the end of the month, although it clearly means the Mets would have to kick in money. It appears more likely the Mets deal Colon in the offseason. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels would appear potential destinations if a trade did materialize before Sunday’s deadline.

Still, Mike DiGiovanna in the Los Angeles Times writes:

If the Angels absorbed Colon’s $11 million salary for 2015, it would push them right up against the $189 million luxury-tax threshold, which owner Arte Moreno does not want to pass, and leave them virtually no flexibility to pursue a free-agent pitcher next winter. It is still possible for the Angels to trade for Colon, but they would probably want the Mets to assume a chunk of the pitcher’s 2015 salary to do so.

Read more in Newsday and at MLB.com.

• The left shoulder issue that has tormented Wright since before the All-Star break has hindered his production, hitting coach Lamar Johnson said.

Meanwhile, Terry Collins has at least considered moving Wright out of the No. 3 spot in the lineup, Marc Carig writes in Newsday.

"There's not a segment of this team that isn't talked about every day. Not a segment. Who to play, and when to play? Where to hit him? Who should be hitting behind him? Who should be hitting in front of him?" Collins told Carig. "Not a segment."

Columnist Bob Klapisch in the Record wonders if Wright will still be productive when the Mets finally become a contender.

Writes Jared Diamond in the Journal:

Over the past month, Wright has been arguably the worst regular offensive player in the major leagues. Among players with at least 100 plate appearances since July 26, he ranks last with a .231 slugging percentage and second-to-last with a .492 on-base-plus-slugging-percentage. He has just one extra-base hit during the month of August and hasn't hit a homer since July 11.

The slump has dropped his on-base percentage to a career-low .324, especially troubling considering that Wright had a combined .307 batting average and .391 OBP in 2012 and 2013. But the year before that, in 2011, Wright injured his back early in season and saw his batting average fall to a career-low .254 after he emerged from the disabled list.

As in 2011, it seems easy to attribute his issues this year to an injury -- in this case his shoulder, which he hurt while sliding headfirst into second base at a muddy Citi Field in June.

Nolan Arenado beat out Lucas Duda for the NL Player of the Week honor.

Mike Puma in the Post caught up with former hitting coach Dave Hudgens about Duda’s surge, which includes five homers in his past six games.

“There were a lot of times where everybody said he took pitches early, which he did, there is no question,” Hudgens told Puma. “But I think a lot of times he was just late on balls as far as timing went.”

Read more on Duda in the Daily News.

• The Mets may use Rafael Montero as part of a six-man rotation in September. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post reviews external shortstop options for the Mets to pursue during the offseason.

• The Mets are a “very strong possibility” to remain affiliated with Las Vegas through 2016, Sandy Alderson told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The door was closed on one attractive alternative when Rochester announced it had renewed its agreement with the Minnesota Twins.

• Dustin Lawley had a tiebreaking RBI double in the eighth as Binghamton beat New Britain, 4-1. T.J. Chism surrendered a ninth-inning grand slam and St. Lucie lost to Charlotte, 8-5. Read the full minor-league recap here.

From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear questions Collins' commitment to winning.

BIRTHDAYS: Ricky Bottalico turns 45. ... Alex Trevino was born on this date in 1957.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets give David Wright several days off?

Lucas Duda snubbed for NL honor

August, 25, 2014
8/25/14
3:42
PM ET
lastname
Duda
lastname
Arenado
Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado claimed the National League Player of the Week honor, beating out Mets first baseman Lucas Duda.

Arenado hit .545 (12-for-22) with two homers, three RBIs and an MLB-best 1.045 slugging percentage for the week ending Sunday.

Capped by a two-homer game Sunday at Dodger Stadium, Duda hit .348 (8-for-23) with five homers, 11 RBIs and a 1.000 slugging percentage.

Wright overtaken in latest All-Star voting

June, 23, 2014
6/23/14
7:51
PM ET

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.

Morning Briefing: Back to work

June, 10, 2014
6/10/14
5:30
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: The Mets will attempt to avoid their first seven-game losing streak since the first month Terry Collins was on the job in 2011 when they host the National League Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m.

Although the Mets could have skipped Daisuke Matsuzaka’s start and used a four-man rotation this turn because of Monday’s off-day, the Amazin’s will proceed with Matsuzaka (2-0, 3.21 ERA) opening the series. He opposes right-hander Marco Estrada (5-2, 4.19).

Read the Mets-Brewers series preview here.

Tuesday’s news reports:


Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY SportsHow hot is Terry Collins' seat? It depends which publication you read.


• Mike Puma in the Post writes that Collins’ managerial seat is “sizzling,” while Kristie Ackert in the Daily News reports the manager is “not yet on the hot seat.”

Writes columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post:

My sense is the Mets, who begin a critical homestand Tuesday night against National League Central-leading Milwaukee, would rather keep Terry Collins at least through the duration of the 2014 season. Likewise, I don’t see the Mets players quitting on Collins. If anything, they’re trying too hard to alleviate the pressure.

Which is why it makes sense to give Collins more rope before removing him from his office.

Writes columnist Bill Madden in the Daily News:

You wonder what [Sandy] Alderson or anyone can do to make this team better and give Mets fans at least some hope.

They’ve already fired the hitting coach, which changed nothing. If the team continues to lose like this, Terry Collins’ job could be on the line -- although, that, too, would be nothing more than a “need-a-scapegoat” firing, unless you feel it’s fair to blame all the wild pitches, failure to turn double plays, baserunning blunders, etc. on the manager.

Daniel Murphy visited the White House on Monday’s off-day to take part in the Working Families Summit. Murphy had received talk-radio flak for going on paternity leave to be present for the birth of his first child. Read more in the Times and Star-Ledger.

David Wright has overtaken Nolan Arenado for first place among National League third basemen in the latest voting tally released by MLB for the 2014 All-Star Game. Wright has a 92,718-vote lead over the slick-fielding-but-injured Rockie. Read more in the Daily News and at MLB.com.

Travis d’Arnaud’s demotion resonated with Lucas Duda and Ruben Tejada, both of whom have suffered the same fate, writes Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger. "You go down there and it’s more like a humbling," Duda told Vorkunov. "It humbles you. You kind of -- not sulk -- but those first two, three days, you kind of feel bad for yourself. At least I did. ‘Poor me. Why?’ Then when you look at it, it kind of fuels you." Read more in the Daily News.

• Michael Salfino in the Journal writes that, statistically, things do not bode well for d’Arnaud having a bright career. Writes Salfino:

Since 1930, only eight catchers have seen their OPS after their age-25 season improve at least 100 points compared to before, according to Stats, LLC. (A minimum of 250 plate appearances were required through age 25 and 3,000 after, indicating sustained success.)

Of that group, the biggest gainer is familiar to Mets fans. Todd Hundley managed only a .626 OPS through age 25, then improved that by nearly 200 points for the balance of his career. That included a 41-homer season in 1996, one of four post-age-25 seasons for Hundley with at least 24 homers.

Jeremy Hefner plans to make roughly 15 throws off a mound on Tuesday. Those will mark his first tosses off a mound since undergoing Tommy John surgery on Aug. 28, 2013.

• Marc Carig in Newsday details the Mets’ hitting woes during their six-game losing streak.

Gonzalez Germen inherited two runners with two outs in the sixth and coaxed a groundout from the lone batter he faced in what should be his final rehab appearance with Class A St. Lucie.

• Relief prospect Jeff Walters, who is on the 40-man roster, has a torn UCL in his pitching elbow.

• ESPN’s Keith Law breaks down NL teams’ drafts here (ESPN Insider content). In one part of his Mets review, Law writes:

Eudor Garcia-Pacheco (Round 4) is a third baseman out of El Paso Community College who just turned 20 a few weeks ago; he'll move to first in pro ball but has very quick, strong hands, and power from the left side. Righty Josh Prevost (Round 5) had just 73 innings pitched in total over his first three years at Seton Hall, but threw 116 this year and walked only 20 men, sitting 91-94 with some downhill plane (you'd hope so, since he's 6-foot-8) and an above-average slider in the 79-83 mph range. Tyler Moore (Round 6) of LSU is a solid college catcher but probably a backup in the majors. Dash Winningham (8th round) can't run, which is just a shame.

Their late flier was on Iowa righty Keaton McKinney (Round 28), a strong commit to Arkansas but well worth a seven-figure bonus if the Mets have room for it, and they should have some extra coin left over given the signable guys they took after round three.

Rafael Montero allowed six runs (one earned) in three innings in his second start since returning to Triple-A. Zach Lutz committed two errors behind him and also homered as the 51s lost to Colorado Springs, 11-5. Las Vegas has lost 17 of 22. Read the full minor-league recap here.

Eric Young Jr. (hamstring) will attempt to run the bases on Tuesday in Port St. Lucie, the Daily News reports.

San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy believes he knows why Zack Wheeler hit Hunter Pence with a pitch Sunday but would not reveal his logic, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Hank Schulman tweets.

John Lannan, who dealt with a personal matter for seven weeks, has rejoined the organization.

• Triple-A outfielder Cesar Puello is interviewed at MetsMinors.

• SNY announced it will televise a slate of “limited-commercial” games beginning Thursday.

BIRTHDAYS: Hofstra product/YES commentator Ken Singleton, who began his major league career with the Mets, turns 67. ... St. Lucie infielder Jairo Perez is 26.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets leave the manager and coaching staff intact?

Wright overtakes Arenado at 3B

June, 9, 2014
6/09/14
9:34
PM ET
NEW YORK -- David Wright has leapfrogged Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado for the NL All-Star lead at the position in the latest intermediate tally released by MLB:

lastname
Arenado
lastname
Wright
Wright, Mets, 859,082
Arenado, Rockies, 766,364
Pablo Sandoval, Giants, 714,548
Aramis Ramirez, Brewers, 615,597
Juan Uribe, Dodgers, 581,440

Meanwhile, Daniel Murphy remains a distant fifth at second base:

Chase Utley, Phillies, 1,342,480
Dee Gordon, Dodgers, 735,831
Neil Walker, Pirates, 614,273
Brandon Phillips, Reds, 441,076
Murphy, Mets, 435,701

The All-Star Game will be staged July 15 at Minnesota.

Morning Briefing: Mets hit the road

May, 29, 2014
5/29/14
7:24
AM ET
NEW YORK

FIRST PITCH: Considering the Mets play better on the road than at home, they are in luck. Twenty-five of the Amazin’s next 33 games are away from Citi Field, beginning with a swing through Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco.

The Mets play a five-game series in Philly because of an April 30 rainout at Citizens Bank Park.

Zack Wheeler (1-5, 4.63 ERA) opposes rookie right-hander David Buchanan (1-0, 3.60) in Thursday’s 7:05 p.m. series opener as the Mets attempt to go 3-0 in the Lamar Johnson era. Buchanan allowed two runs in five innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers in his major-league debut Saturday.

Sixteen days after being struck on the top of the head with a backswing at Yankee Stadium and receiving a concussion, Travis d’Arnaud will be active. Juan Centeno has been returned to Triple-A Las Vegas. Centeno hit .238 with two RBIs in six starts.

Thursday’s news reports:

Bartolo Colon and Jeurys Familia combined on the shutout as the Mets beat the Pirates, 5-0, Wednesday afternoon at Citi Field to complete a 4-5 homestand. Colon notched his 2,000th career strikeout by catching Ike Davis looking in the sixth. The 41-year-old Colon threw 121 pitches, his most since logging 128 with the Angels at Tampa Bay on Aug. 18, 2004.


Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY SportsJeurys Familia had a five-out save and a hit Wednesday.


Familia recorded his first major-league hit in addition to a five-out save. Jenrry Mejia and Familia produced multi-inning saves on consecutive days against the Pirates. It marked the first time a pair of Mets had produced back-to-back saves of at least five outs apiece since Roberto Hernandez and Aaron Heilman had consecutive two-inning saves Sept. 26-27, 2005 at Philadelphia, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Six different Mets have saves his season -- more than any other team.

David Wright and Lucas Duda homered. With Duda uncharacteristically having difficulty scooping balls at first base, Wright also had two errors.

Davis had a quiet return to Citi Field, going 0-7 with a walk and two strikeouts.

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

• Read more on Duda in the Post and Daily News.

• Wright -- who may end up getting hurt by so many Mets road games during the voting period -- ranks third at third base in the initial NL All-Star voting tally released by MLB on Wednesday. Wright (278,840) trails Colorado’s Nolan Arenado (318,111) and Milwaukee’s Aramis Ramirez (282,843). Arenado, who is hitting .305 with six homers and 28 RBIs, broke his left middle finger on a headfirst slide into second base last Friday.

No other Mets position player appears in the top five at his position in voting (or top 15 in the outfield). Read more at MLB.com.

• The Mets labeled the report that Jeff Wilpon ordered the firing of Dave Hudgens “substantively inaccurate.” Substantively, of course, means a considerable amount. In reality, Sandy Alderson, as would be predicted, acknowledged some ownership input in that decision.

“What I try to do is evaluate what’s going on on the field and make the appropriate judgments, and that’s my responsibility,” Alderson told John DeMarzo in the Post. “I talk to ownership from time to time. I talk to Fred. I talk to Jeff, and I have a sense of what they’re thinking or what their frustrations may be. But, ultimately, I have to make a baseball decision, I guess, and that’s what this was.”

• Terry Collins says the back end of the bullpen is taking shape with Mejia, Familia and Vic Black. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger, Record and at MLB.com.

Chris Young, now hitting .195, has all but lost his starting job with the Mets. He started Thursday after three straight days out of the lineup. “It’s my responsibility to swing the bat better and play better,” Young told Anthony Rieber in Newsday. “I hold myself fully accountable for that. When I do get that opportunity, I do need to take more advantage of it to where I force myself into the lineup everyday like I want to be.”

• Columnist Bill Madden in the Daily News sums up the Mets’ hitting-coach change this way:

Either you can hit or you can’t.

• Columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post writes:

Yes, the Mets stink, but so do a lot of teams.

The key is for the Mets to stink less.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis had two homers and Jeff Francoeur ended up pitching a scoreless inning with a walk and hit batter for El Paso as Las Vegas won, 13-7. Starting pitcher Rainy Lara was injured on a play at the plate and Binghamton split with New Hampshire. Brandon Nimmo reentered the lineup and stole a base a day after leaving a game with a sprained ankle as St. Lucie beat Brevard County, 3-2. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Read more about 50 Cent’s awful ceremonial first pitch at Citi Field in the Post.

Nick Evans is back in the big leagues for the first time since 2011, when he was a Met. The Arizona Diamondbacks promoted the 28-year-old Evans, a Phoenix native, on Thursday. The year after leaving the Mets, Evans missed most of the season with the Pirates in the minors because he shattered bones in his left hand diving to catch a foul ball. Read more in the Arizona Republic and at ArizonaSports.com.

• Denis Hamill in the Daily News writes about Wright’s monthly salute to the NYPD.

From the bloggers … Mets Police seeks your help in crowdsourcing 41 amazin’ ideas for the Mets.

BIRTHDAYS: Long Islander Steven Matz, who has a 1.95 ERA in nine starts for St. Lucie, turns 23. … Binghamton right-hander Tyler Pill is 24.

TWEETS OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Is playing 25 of the next 33 on the road a good or bad thing for the Mets?

Morning Briefing: Rocky Mountain low

May, 4, 2014
5/04/14
5:29
AM ET
DENVER

FIRST PITCH: Suddenly, the Mets need a quality performance from Dillon Gee to avoid getting swept in a four-game series at Coors Field and avoid dropping to .500 for the first time since April 22.

Gee (2-1, 2.88 ERA) opposes Colorado Rockies right-hander Jhoulys Chacin in Sunday’s 4:10 p.m. ET game. Chacin is making his season debut after dealing with a right shoulder strain. He went 14-10 with a 3.47 ERA in 31 starts last season.

Sunday’s news reports:


Doug Pensinger/Getty ImagesKyle Farnsworth walks off the field after surrendering a game-ending two-run homer to Charlie Culberson.


Kyle Farnsworth surrendered a walk-off two-run homer to Charlie Culberson and the Mets lost to the Rockies, 11-10, Saturday night. The Mets led 6-0, but Jenrry Mejia surrendered eight fifth-inning runs, capped by a one-out grand slam by Nolan Arenado. It marked the second straight season the Mets had blown a six-run lead at Coors Field.

Terry Collins suggested leaving Mejia in to face Arenado made sense, since Arenado had hit groundballs the previous two at-bats. “Arenado did not have particularly good swings on Jenrry Mejia,” Collins said. “I thought he could get another groundball out of him.”

Opponents are now hitting .438 against Mejia the third time through the order this season, which raises the question of whether Mejia might instead be better in a late-inning role.

As for Culberson’s decisive homer, Farnsworth said: “Fastball up and away. It just came middle, I guess. He put a good swing on it.”

The Mets dropped to 15-14.

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

Daisuke Matsuzaka has a right-calf injury, but downplayed the severity.

Juan Lagares is now the “everyday” center fielder, Collins said, while allowing for periodic rest to avoid Lagares irritating his right hamstring.

Collins nonetheless said he would “try” to get Eric Young Jr. in Sunday’s lineup, after E.Y. Jr. was on the bench for three straight games.

Read more in the Star-Ledger, Record, Daily News and at MLB.com.

David Wright has not homered since Opening Day, when he went deep in the 10th inning against Washington’s Jerry Blevins. Wright has gone a career-high 115 at-bats without a long ball.

Wright nonetheless had three hits and an intentional walk Saturday to lift his season average to .275, albeit with a .333 slugging percentage.

“To me, you expect results when you do things you're supposed to do right,” Wright told Marc Carig in Newsday. “And when you don’t get those results, I think it’s easy to try to hit the ball extra hard next time. Sometimes you can get yourself into a bit of a hole. …

“There were some balls that I hit at Citi Field that quite frankly, I hit very well. They catch them on the track in right-center. You try to tell yourself to keep with the plan and they’ll start falling. But it’s only natural in the next at-bat to instinctively try to hit it even more hard.”

• Outfield prospect Jared King proposed to his girlfriend Maggie Watson at Savannah’s game Saturday.

• Pitching prospect Rob Whalen has been hospitalized with an infection on his pitching hand.

• Matt Clark scored the tiebreaking run on a wild pitch as Binghamton won the opener of a doubleheader against Portland. Luis Cessa allowed one run on two hits in five innings as St. Lucie salvaged a doubleheader split with a 5-1 win in its nightcap at Bradenton. Gavin Cecchini went 3-for-6 as Savannah beat Rome, 12-2. Read the full minor-league recap here.

Matt Harvey’s rehab from Tommy John surgery is set to advance to throwing on flat ground at 120 feet.

Lucas Duda started at first base against a left-handed pitcher Saturday and likely will be doing that more in the future, according to Collins.

• Marc Carig in Newsday suggests one reason the Mets kept Duda over Ike Davis is that the speed of balls off Duda’s bat is among the elite in the league, rivaling Joey Votto’s. Writes Carig:

The Mets noticed the trend playing itself out last season, when [Sandy] Alderson said Duda finished “in the upper echelon” of big-league hitters.

According to the team’s internal metrics, the number of Duda’s batted balls above 100 mph was more than double the league average. It was enough to make him second among National League first basemen in exit speed, behind only the Reds’ Joey Votto.

Of course, nobody is mistaking Duda for Votto, a perennial MVP contender. But the Mets believe Duda is capable of bridging that gap in production.

• A former Mets massage therapist has been accused of sexually abusing two female trainers, Julia Marsh reports in the Post.

• Sal Cacciatore in Newsday gets fan reaction to the Mets’ “True New Yorkers” pitch.

• Reigning NL batting champ Michael Cuddyer was eligible to come off the DL on Saturday to face the Mets, but remains day-to-day as he mends a left hamstring strain, writes Nick Groke in the Denver Post. No. 1 Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario is dealing with the flu and did not play Saturday, Groke also writes.

• Tyler Kepner in the Times catches up with ex-Met Collin McHugh, who is 2-0 with a 0.59 ERA in two starts for the Houston Astros.

From the bloggers ... NY Mets Life suggests the Mets need to allow Matt Harvey to be Matt Harvey.

BIRTHDAYS: Miguel Cairo turns 40. ... Robinson Cancel is 38. ... Manny Aybar is 42.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets consider using Jenrry Mejia as closer (or, at least, in a late-inning reliever) and place Daisuke Matsuzaka or a Triple-A arm in the big-league rotation?

Rapid Reaction: Rockies 11, Mets 10

May, 4, 2014
5/04/14
12:01
AM ET
DENVER -- It happened again!

For the second straight season, the Mets coughed up a six-run lead en route to a loss at Coors Field.

It ended painfully, too. After Juan Lagares drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth against ex-Met LaTroy Hawkins, Kyle Farnsworth could not hold the lead. Charlie Culberson delivered a walk-off two-run homer as the Colorado Rockies beat the Mets 11-10 on Saturday night.

The Mets have lost 21 of 29 games at Coors Field since 2007.

This time, Jenrry Mejia surrendered eight fifth-inning runs, capped by a grand slam from Nolan Arenado, as the Rockies turned a 6-0 deficit into an 8-6 lead. Unbelievably, Mejia threw only 19 pitches in that inning while surrendering eight runs and recording one out.

During a snowy, frigid series in Denver last season, the Mets lost the second game of an April 16 doubleheader to the Rockies in extra innings after taking an 8-2 lead into the bottom of the fifth.


Doug Pensinger/Getty ImagesAnthony Recker consoles Jenrry Mejia during a rocky outing at Coors Field.


This marked the second straight start for Mejia in which he squandered a large lead in the middle innings, perhaps validating those who suggest he is better suited for late-inning relief. Staked to a 5-1 lead last Saturday at Citi Field, Mejia was charged with five sixth-inning runs against the Miami Marlins, and the Mets lost in extra innings.

Mejia’s line: 4.1 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 2 HR. His ERA swelled to 5.23. He was hurt by Lucas Duda’s drop of a potential double-play turn in the eight-run fifth. Mejia had held the Rockies scoreless until Ryan Wheeler’s leadoff homer in the fifth.

He received a no-decision when Chris Young and Curtis Granderson had run-scoring hits in the sixth that pulled the Mets even at 8. Young also had a game-tying RBI single in the eighth, a half-inning after Daisuke Matsuzaka had surrendered a sacrifice fly to Jordan Pacheco. Granderson (2-for-4, 2 RBIs, HBP) has hit safely in four straight games.

Mets starting pitchers had logged at least five innings in each of the team’s first 26 games -- the last remaining MLB team to reach that threshold in every game this season. Since then, however, they have failed to reach that threshold in three straight games in Colorado. Bartolo Colon went 4 2/3 innings in the series opener. Zack Wheeler went four innings Friday.

Wright stuff: David Wright loves hitting at Coors Field. He went 3-for-5 with an intentional walk, RBI and two runs scored Saturday and is now hitting .391 (52-133) in his career at the ballpark.

Wrecker: The Mets fell to 6-1 in games started by Anthony Recker, but don’t blame the backup catcher. He had an RBI single in a three-run first inning against left-hander Franklin Morales and added an RBI double in his next at-bat as the Mets built a 6-0 lead after three innings.

One hit wonder: Mejia went 0-for-3 at the plate and Matsuzaka struck out bunting to give the Mets a record for hitting futility. Mets pitchers are 0-for-48 -- the worst start to a season in MLB history (since 1900), according to SNY. The previous record: Pitchers with the St. Louis Browns opened the 1914 season hitless in 45 straight at-bats.

Medical attention: Matsuzaka received a visit from trainer Ray Ramirez before surrendering the seventh-inning sac fly to Pacheco that had given the Rockies a 9-8 lead. Matsuzaka completed the inning and allowed only the one run in 2 2/3 innings.

Mile(high)stones: Troy Tulowitzki recorded his 1,000th career hit. ... With the grand slam, Arenado extended his hitting streak to 23 games, longest active in the majors. ... Daniel Murphy had a four-hit game.

What’s next: Dillon Gee (2-1, 2.88 ERA) faces right-hander Jhoulys Chacin in Sunday’s 4:10 p.m. ET series finale as the Mets try to avoid getting swept. Chacin will be making his 2014 debut after opening the season on the disabled list with a right-shoulder strain.

Series preview: Mets at Rockies

April, 30, 2014
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Cary Edmondson/USA TODAY SportsLaTroy Hawkins, who signed for $2.5 million with the Rockies, is 9-for-9 in save conversions at age 41.
METS (15-11, second place/NL East) at COLORADO ROCKIES (16-12*, second place/NL West)

Thursday: RHP Bartolo Colon (2-3, 4.50) vs. RHP Juan Nicasio (2-1, 5.27), 8:40 p.m. ET

Friday: RHP Zack Wheeler (1-2, 3.99) vs. LHP Jorge De La Rosa (2-3, 5.23), 8:40 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Jenrry Mejia (3-0, 3.49) vs. LHP Franklin Morales (3-1, 4.40), 8:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Dillon Gee (2-1, 2.88) vs. RHP Jhoulys Chacin (0-0, -.--), 4:10 p.m. ET

* Rockies play at Arizona on Wednesday night

Rockies short hops

• Ex-Met LaTroy Hawkins is 9-for-9 in save conversions. The 41-year-old reliever signed a one-year, $2.5 million deal on Nov. 21. The contract includes a team option for 2015 at $2.25 million or a $250,000 buyout. Hawkins’ nine saves trail only Milwaukee’s Francisco Rodriguez (13) and San Diego’s Huston Street (10) in the National League. Dating to Hawkins’ Mets days, he actually has converted 19 straight saves. That is the second-longest streak of his career. He saved 23 straight from 2000 through ’01 while with the Minnesota Twins.

• The Rockies have the top three batting leaders in the National League: Charlie Blackmon (.379), Troy Tulowitzki (.376) and Justin Morneau (.357). Tulowitzki also has seven homers, one shy of league leaders Adrian Gonzalez and Giancarlo Stanton.

Morneau signed a two-year, $12.5 million deal with Colorado on Dec. 13 to succeed the retired Todd Helton at first base, after finishing last season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He entered Wednesday’s series finale at Phoenix with a 13-game hitting streak, during which he is hitting .396 with five homers, 19 RBIs and a 1.223 OPS. Morneau was named NL Player of the Week for April 14-20. Colorado will retire Helton’s No. 17 on Aug. 17.


David Zalubowski/Associated PressEric Young Jr. will spot a familiar face in the opposing dugout -- his father, Rockies first-base coach Eric Young.


• The Mets-Rockies series will be a family reunion for Eric Young and Eric Young Jr. The elder E.Y. was hired by the Rockies to serve as first-base coach, a position he held with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2011 and ’12.

Tyler Chatwood left Tuesday’s start experiencing right-elbow tightness. Chatwood had surgery in October to remove a bone chip from that elbow. He also missed a month last season with tightness there. He opened this season on the DL with a left hamstring strain.

Jhoulys Chacin may step into that rotation spot Sunday against the Mets, although that has not yet been confirmed by the club. Chacin has been on the disabled list the season’s first month with a shoulder strain. He has appeared in four minor-league rehab games.

Michael Cuddyer may be activated from the disabled list on Saturday when he is eligible. He is recovering from a strained left hamstring. Cuddyer was hitting .317 with three homers in 60 at-bats when he suffered the injury. Brandon Barnes and Blackmon have handled the right-field duty in Cuddyer’s absence. The lefty-hitting Blackmon is stationed in center field when the righty-hitting Barnes starts in right field.

• Third baseman Nolan Arenado has a 19-game hitting streak through Tuesday. That is the longest hitting streak in the majors this season, surpassing 17-gamers from the Marlins’ Christian Yelich and White Sox’s Alexei Ramirez earlier this season.

• No. 1 catcher Wilin Rosario has been sidelined since Saturday with a bruised left hand, which he injured swinging. There was no fracture detected. Jordan Pacheco has started three straight games through Tuesday.

Carlos Gonzalez has not homered since April 11. He is hitting .156 (10-for-64) with three RBIs and three walks (one intentional) in his past 16 games (15 starts) through Tuesday. Gonzalez nonetheless is the only active player in the majors with a streak of four straight 20-homer, 20-steal seasons.

Wright, Young fall short in Gold Glove bids

October, 29, 2013
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David Wright came up short in his bid for his third career Gold Glove. Colorado rookie Nolan Arenado instead won the award.

The honor was announced on ESPN2 on Tuesday night. Wright won Gold Gloves in 2007 and 2008.

Juan Uribe was the other finalist for the third-base honor in the National League.

Eric Young Jr., one of three finalists in left field in the NL, did not earn the Gold Glove either. The award went to Carlos Gonzalez.

Wright, Young are Gold Glove finalists

October, 25, 2013
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Getty ImagesDavid Wright and Eric Young Jr. are Gold Glove finalists.
David Wright and Eric Young Jr. have been nominated for Gold Glove awards.

The other National League finalists at third base are Colorado's Nolan Arenado and Los Angeles' Juan Uribe.

The other finalists in left field are Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez and Pittsburgh's Starling Marte.

The winners will be announced at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday on ESPN2.

Despite producing a franchise rookie record with 14 outfield assists, Juan Lagares was not among the finalists in center field. The finalists are Milwaukee's Carlos Gomez, Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen and Washington's Denard Span.

Wright has won two previous Gold Gloves -- in 2007 and 2008. San Diego's Chase Headley won the award in 2012.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 5, Rockies 0

August, 7, 2013
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NEW YORK -- Terry Collins did not need to worry about identifying a fill-in closer Wednesday night. Matt Harvey went the distance for the first time in his career, in a 106-pitch effort.

Harvey produced the first shutout by a Mets starting pitcher this season and Wilmer Flores produced his first two major league hits and first three major league RBIs as the Mets beat the Colorado Rockies, 5-0, at Citi Field.

The Mets (51-60) clinched only their second home-series victory since the Subway Series in May.


Frank Franklin II/Associated PressMatt Harvey tossed a four-hit shutout Wednesday night.


Harvey limited the Rockies to four hits and no walks.

R.A. Dickey had three shutouts and Johan Santana had two shutouts a season ago, but the Mets had not produced one in 2013 until Harvey’s latest gem. In fact, the Mets had only one other complete game this season. And that ended badly, when Dillon Gee took a shutout bid into the ninth inning in Atlanta on June 17 and ended up serving up a walk-off two-run homer to Freddie Freeman.

When Harvey allowed a two-out single to Wilin Rosario in the second inning, there was an audible groan at Citi Field from fans who have come to expect flirtations with no-hitters deep into games.

The third hit surrendered by Harvey came with one out in the eighth and snapped a string of 11 straight batters retired by the ace. Nolan Arenado was awarded an infield single by first base ump David Rackley, although replays appeared to suggest Arenado was out. No matter. Harvey coaxed an inning-ending double play from ensuing batter DJ LeMahieu.

The final hit allowed by Harvey was a liner that struck him in the lower right leg off the bat of Charlie Blackmon with two outs in the ninth.

Harvey will get an extra day of rest before his next start, Tuesday at Dodger Stadium, because the Mets are reverting to a six-man rotation once Jonathon Niese reenters the rotation Sunday.

It’s a first: On Day 2 as a major leaguer, Flores produced his first major league hit in his fifth career at-bat. Flores delivered a one-out single to center in the second inning against fellow Venezuelan Jhoulys Chacin. Flores became the 706th player in franchise history to produce a hit, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Flores scored the game’s opening run later in the inning on Omar Quintanilla’s single.

Flores then produced his first three career RBIs with a bases-loaded, two-out double in the eighth against Manny Corpas that gave the Mets a 5-0 lead. The three-bagger came after the Rockies intentionally walked Ike Davis with first base open.

Six Mets have produced a three-RBI game within their first two career games: Duffy Dyer, Lee Mazzilli, Jason Hardtke, Kazuo Matsui, Mike Jacobs and Flores, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Davis had produced his third double in two days and scored on John Buck’s fourth-inning single as the Mets grabbed a 2-0 lead.

What’s next: The Mets complete their homestand with a 12:10 p.m. matinee against the Rockies. Dillon Gee (7-8, 3.97 ERA) opposes right-hander Tyler Chatwood (7-4, 3.15). Chatwood originally was scheduled to start Tuesday’s series opener, but was given two extra days of rest to allow a balky hamstring to heal.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 3, Rockies 2

June, 27, 2013
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DENVER -- Three time zones and 11 games later, the Mets have completed a four-city trip and are ready to return to Citi Field.

Marlon Byrd sent them home happy.

In a makeup game from a snowy April series, Byrd’s two-run homer in the eighth against Matt Belisle lifted the Mets to a 3-2 victory against the Colorado Rockies on Thursday at Coors Field and spared Jeremy Hefner a hard-luck loss.

Byrd now has 12 homers, tied with David Wright and John Buck for the team lead. Byrd also threw out Michael Cuddyer trying to stretch a leadoff single into a double in the bottom of the ninth.

The first-pitch temperature this time: 95 degrees -- nearly 70 degrees warmer than the Mets' last trip here, when team executives were forced to pitch in with the snow removal at the stadium.

The Mets finished their trip to Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago (AL) and Colorado with a 7-4 record.

Scott Rice helped secure the victory, retiring Carlos Gonzalez for the final out of the eight with a runner in scoring position. Bobby Parnell earned his 14th save, benefiting from the Byrd throw.

Hef: Hefner again pitched strongly, limiting the Rockies to two runs (one earned) on five hits and one walk in six innings. He departed for pinch-hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis with his pitch count at 80 and the Mets trailing 2-1 in the top of the seventh and received a no-decision.

In each of Hefner's past four starts, errors have contributed to unearned runs. In fact, nine of the 14 runs Hefner has surrendered during that span have been unearned.

In Colorado's two-run second, Hefner surrendered a leadoff single to Cuddyer, which extended the cleanup hitter’s hitting streak to a Rockies-record 24 games. Wilin Rosario's double and Todd Helton's sacrifice fly then plated Cuddyer.

Rosario scored an unearned run from second base for a 2-0 Rockies lead on Nolan Arenado's ensuing groundout. Third baseman Zach Lutz, filling in for a resting Wright, fielded Arenado’s grounder cleanly and retired the Rockie at first base. But Josh Satin's throw back across the diamond to try to catch Rosario advancing to third was wide for an E-3 and Rosario trotted home.

Batty: The Mets did not muster a hit against Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood until Lutz's bloop single to right field in the fifth, after Satin had walked to lead off the inning. Juan Lagares followed with a bunt single down the third-base line to load the bases with none out, but the Mets came away with only one run.

Anthony Recker grounded into a fielder’s choice forceout at the plate. Hefner then narrowly beat out a double play at first as Lutz scored to trim the Mets' deficit to 2-1. Eric Young Jr., in his return to Colorado as a visitor, flied out in foul territory to end the threat.

An inning later, the Mets again loaded the bases, this time with two outs, but Chatwood struck out Lagares looking.

Quiet night: The ex-Rockie Young went 1-for-5 and grounded into a double play in his return to Coors Field. His hit came in his ninth-inning at-bat, with a two-out bloop over second base. Young had been 11-for-21 with six RBIs and two walks over his previous five games.

What’s next: Matt Harvey Day at Citi Field.

Harvey (7-1, 2.05 ERA) opposes Washington Nationals left-hander Ross Detwiler (2-6, 4.18) in Friday’s 7:10 p.m. series opener. Harvey flew directly from Chicago to New York on Wednesday, bypassing the Denver leg of the trip to ensure optimal rest.

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TEAM LEADERS

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