New York Mets: Pablo Sandoval

Rapid Reaction: Mets 7, Giants 2

July, 10, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO -- Zack Wheeler certainly showed the San Francisco Giants what they’re missing without him.

Wheeler, 18 days shy of the two-year anniversary of his trade from the Giants to the New York Mets for Carlos Beltran, took a scoreless effort into the seventh inning in his fifth major league start and first matchup with his former employer.

The Mets ultimately completed their first sweep in San Francisco since 1994 with a 7-2 win Wednesday afternoon at AT&T Park.

Eric Risberg/Associated PressZack Wheeler earned the win against the team that drafted him sixth overall in 2009.

Wheeler (3-1) held the Giants hitless until Pablo Sandoval’s two-out dunk single into center field in the fourth.

Brandon Crawford, Wheeler’s former teammate in Class A San Jose in 2011 before the trade, delivered a two-out RBI single in the seventh for the lone damage surrendered by the rookie.

His final line: 7 IP (a career high), 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 5 K. He threw 101 pitches, including 64 strikes.

Wheeler even contributed his first career major league RBI, on a double against Michael Kickham in the sixth that plated John Buck and staked the Mets to a 6-0 lead.

The Giants have lost 14 of their past 16. The Mets climbed to eight games under .500 for the first time since May 31.

Tweeted Justin Turner: "That's how you treat the team that traded you! That a boy @Wheelerpro45 and doing with the stick too! #LGM"

Tweeted Dwight Gooden: "Fun watching @Wheelerpro45 performance today on the mound... He looked pretty good swinging the bat as well!"

Cain not able: Matt Cain had the shortest start of his major league career. He was knocked out after pitch No. 36 -- Buck’s bases-loaded, two-run single with two outs in the first, which gave the Mets a 3-0 lead.

Cain’s previous shortest start had been on July 11, 2009, against the San Diego Padres, when he was knocked out after 1 2/3 innings, after getting struck on the right arm by a line drive off the bat of opposing pitcher Tim Stauffer.

Word on Byrd: Marlon Byrd produced his 15th homer of the season, a two-run shot against Kickham in the fifth. The homer total is the second highest of Byrd’s career. He had 20 homers with the Texas Rangers in 2009.

What’s next: The Mets spend an off-day in Pittsburgh before concluding their first half with a weekend series against the Pirates. Jeremy Hefner (4-6, 3.39 ERA) opposes right-hander Charlie Morton (1-2, 3.38) in Friday’s 7:05 p.m. series opener. Carlos Torres replaces Matt Harvey as Saturday’s starter.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 10, Giants 6

July, 10, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Mets no longer are double-digit games under .500.

Hey, it’s a start.

Daniel Murphy delivered a tiebreaking sacrifice fly and Marlon Byrd followed later in the eighth with his seventh career grand slam as the New York Mets beat the freefalling San Francisco Giants 10-6 on Tuesday night at AT&T Park.

With their third straight win, the Mets (39-48) have ascended to nine games under .500 for the first time since June 1.

Kyle Terada/USA TODAY SportsAnthony Recker had a two-run homer and stood his ground in a plate collision.
Gee-pers: Dillon Gee surrendered five runs in seven innings and was unable to hold a 5-3 lead.

A half inning after the Mets left the bases loaded on consecutive strikeouts by Josh Satin and Andrew Brown against Jose Mijares, Pablo Sandoval’s sacrifice fly evened the score at 5-5 in the bottom of the seventh.

Gee’s line: 6.2 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 3 K. His five walks were his most since 2011, when he walked five once and twice issued a career-high six.

Train Reck: Anthony Recker has started to seriously chip away at John Buck's playing time.

Five innings after standing his ground in a plate collision, Recker delivered a two-run homer in the sixth against left-hander Barry Zito that handed the Mets a 5-3 lead.

Recker has now started four of the past eight games behind the plate. Four of his five homers this season have either tied the score or given the Mets the lead. The Mets are 6-1 in his past seven starts.

Buck is hitting .143 (8-for-56) in his past 15 games.

Recker also delivered a crushing blow to the Giants while behind the plate. Marco Scutaro attempted to score from first on Sandoval’s two-out double into the left-field corner in the first. However, the Brown-to-Omar Quintanilla-to-Recker combination threw out Scutaro at the plate. Recker lowered his right shoulder and leveled Scutaro in the collision.

Recker did have one blemish Tuesday.

San Francisco opened the scoring in the second when Recker errantly threw the baseball into center field on a steal attempt with runners on the corners, allowing Hunter Pence to trot home. San Francisco took a 2-0 lead that inning when Murphy’s throw home was high on Guillermo Quiroz’s grounder to second base. Brandon Belt, who had advanced to third on the steal and E-2, scored on Murphy’s misthrow.

What’s next: Zack Wheeler faces the club that drafted him sixth overall in 2009. Wheeler (2-1, 4.29 ERA) opposes right-hander Matt Cain (5-5, 4.85) in Wednesday’s 3:45 p.m. ET series finale. The Mets have not swept a series in San Francisco since 1994.

Series preview: Mets at Giants

July, 8, 2013

USA TODAY SportsThe Mets face (l to r) Tim Lincecum, Barry Zito and Matt Cain during a three-game series in San Francisco.
METS (37-48, fourth place/NL East) vs. SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS (40-47, fourth place/NL West)

Monday: RHP Matt Harvey (7-2, 2.27) vs. RHP Tim Lincecum (4-9, 4.66), 10:15 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Dillon Gee (6-7, 4.45) vs. LHP Barry Zito (4-6, 4.44), 10:15 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Zack Wheeler (2-1, 4.29) vs. RHP Matt Cain (5-5, 4.85), 3:45 p.m. ET

Giants short hops

• The Giants placed catcher Buster Posey, second baseman Marco Scutaro and pitcher Madison Bumgarner on the NL All-Star team, which will be managed by San Francisco skipper Bruce Bochy. Hunter Pence is on the five-man NL ballot for additional fan voting. A year after having four starters selected to the game, including Pablo Sandoval over David Wright, the Giants will have none in the opening lineup at Citi Field on July 16.

Angel Pagan is likely out for the season after undergoing left hamstring surgery in late June. The ex-Met signed a four-year, $40 million deal in September. Pagan originally was injured on May 25, when his inside-the-park homer lifted the Giants past Colorado. He aggravated the tear during a rehab game. Fellow ex-Met Andres Torres primarily has played center field in Pagan’s absence. Torres was forced to leave Friday’s game with a right calf cramp, but since has returned.

Daniel Shirey/USA TODAY SportsAndres Torres has taken over for injured fellow ex-Met Angel Pagan in center field.

• Posey has been starting at first base more frequently of late because of leg tightness.

• San Francisco was no-hit by Cincinnati’s Homer Bailey last Tuesday. The Giants last had been no-hit in 2003, by Kevin Millwood of the Philadelphia Phillies. Since the move to San Francisco, the Giants have been no-hit 11 times. The others to accomplish the feat against them: Warren Spahn (1961), Sandy Koufax (1963), Ryan Washburn (1968), Jerry Reuss (1980), Charlie Lea (1981), Mike Scott (1986), Terry Mulholland (1990), Kevin Gross (1992) and Kevin Brown (1997).

• San Francisco has lost 11 of 13 and 16 of 21. The Giants have scored two runs or fewer in 12 of their past 16 games. They are 2-for-their-last-36 with runners in scoring position.

• Scutaro, in a 5-for-34 slump, recently has dealt with back problems. Also slumping: Pence is 0-for-his-last-22. Sandoval is 5-for-45 since returning from the DL for a foot injury. The Big Panda is homerless in his last 24 games. Brandon Crawford is 7-for-his-last-58 with no extra-base hits or RBIs in his past 18 games.

• The Giants got caught batting out of order Saturday. After the third hitter, Posey, delivered an RBI double in the first inning, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly informed umpires Posey was listed as the cleanup hitter, so it really had been Sandoval’s turn to bat. Sandoval was ruled out, the runner returned to third and Posey had to bat again. He flied out.

Tim Lincecum is winless since June 4. He is 0-for-4 with a 4.45 ERA in his past five starts.

Matt Cain enters the series off an outing against the Dodgers in which he allowed eight runs while recording only seven outs. Cain had produced a 1.82 ERA in his previous five starts and had been unbeaten in his past 11 starts against the Dodgers. Cain had retired the final 20 batters he faced against the Colorado Rockies in his previous start.

Santiago Casilla should return to the bullpen this week, after two more rehab appearances. Casilla had mid-May surgery to remove a bone cyst near his knee.

• Closer Sergio Romo allowed a three-run double in the ninth inning Sunday as San Francisco lost its rubber game to Los Angeles. Romo had mocked Hanley Ramirez after earning a save Saturday.

Mike Kickham was demoted Sunday, after going 0-3 and surrendering 16 earned runs in 10 1/3 innings as a starter. His 13.94 ERA is the highest ever by a Giants starter in his first three outings. The decision coincided with Chad Gaudin’s return from the disabled list.

• The Giants had scout Lee Elder watching Minnesota Twins relievers, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Ryan Vogelsong suffered a broken right hand getting hit by a pitch May 20. He may resume throwing next week.

• Outfielder Gregor Blanco snapped an 0-for-25 drought Saturday with a three-hit game.

Morning Briefing: Satin's second chance?

July, 7, 2013

FIRST PITCH: After two days on the bench, Josh Satin is due to be back in the starting lineup today, according to Terry Collins.

Satin, who has a 10-game hitting streak, benefited from the Milwaukee Brewers making a late switch in pitching assignment. Left-hander Tom Gorzelanny replaces right-hander Wily Peralta, to allow Peralta a couple of extra days to rest a strained hamstring.

Collins would not reveal where Satin will start. First base would not seem the best bet, since Ike Davis just returned and now has reached base in seven of 11 plate appearances. Perhaps it will be second base, where Satin worked pregame Saturday -- although Daniel Murphy’s bat seemed to wake up with a three-hit game after going 0-for-11 the previous two days. Or might it be in left field, where Satin has only appeared in one minor league game, plus a brief and ill-fated stint in winter ball in Venezuela in October 2011?

Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, Anthony Recker should find himself at catcher. Recker was in Saturday’s original lineup, but Shaun Marcum preferred to throw to John Buck, and Collins obliged and made the switch.

Jeremy Hefner (3-6, 3.54 ERA) pitches for the Mets. Hefner has a 1.70 ERA and has struck out 29 in 37 innings over his past six starts.

Sunday’s news reports:

• After trailing 5-0, the Mets rallied to within a run three different times, only to lose 7-6 to the Brewers on Saturday night. Marcum dropped to 1-10, becoming the quickest Met to double-digit losses since Steve Trachsel in 2001. Afterward, Marcum acknowledged he again dealt with numbness, tingling and coldness in his pitching hand.

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

David Wright and Matt Harvey will represent the Mets in the July 16 All-Star Game at Citi Field. Wright topped San Francisco’s Pablo Sandoval by more than 1.9 million votes for the NL starting assignment at third base. Harvey received the most votes among starting pitchers on the players’ ballot.

Read more in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Times and

• See more photos from Harvey’s ESPN The Magazine “Body Issue” shoot in the Daily News.

Ruben Tejada no longer is on the disabled list. Instead, he officially is a minor leaguer, having been removed from his rehab assignment and optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger and Record.

• Davis told Newsday he appreciated Jeff Wilpon dropping by Las Vegas two days before the first baseman's promotion to assure him he still was part of the future. "It's nice to hear that the guy that I'm working for has confidence in me," Davis said. "If they didn't have confidence in me and they didn't want me here, [it] would have been a little tougher."

• Steve Serby in the Post has a Q&A with Hefner. Hefner revealed he tries to pattern his delivery after Adam Wainwright. Among the other exchanges:

Q: What is it like watching Matt Harvey?

A: "We played together in Buffalo last year, we both started the year in Triple-A together, and to see where he was then, to where he is now, is not even the same person. If you would have told me last year at the beginning of the year that he would be doing what he is now, I would have told you no way. Not that he didn’t have it in him, but I didn’t see it on the field in Buffalo, as far as that killer instinct, the stuff. ... The stuff was there, but not what it is right now, as far as velocity, location, the delivery being repeated, the ability to throw strikes with all of his pitches -- his changeup was nonexistent at the beginning of the year last year."

Kirk Nieuwenhuis banged his right knee getting tangled with Eric Young Jr. on an eighth-inning-ending catch by Young on the track in left-center, but did not suffer serious damage.

• Mookie Wilson will have an autobiography coming out next year. “People know me, but they only know me because of that groundball,” Wilson tells the Daily News, referring to Bill Buckner’s World Series gaffe. “Basically [the book] is going to provide a little more light on who I am, how I came to be who I am and where I’m headed.”

• Binghamton launched five homers and Darrell Ceciliani had a career-high five RBIs as Binghamton routed New Hampshire, 14-3. Charley Thurber, Jayce Boyd and Dustin Lawley homered in St. Lucie’s 6-3 win against Fort Myers. Steven Matz had a seven-inning shutout as Savannah split a doubleheader. Patrick Biondi had three hits and scored three runs in Brooklyn’s 5-3 win at Aberdeen. Read the full minor league recap here.

• Wayne Coffey in the Daily News profiles lefty reliever Scott Rice, who spent 14 seasons in the minors before making his major league debut this year.

• Ken Belson in the Times reports how technology has allowed players to scout rivals on their iPads at their lockers or on planes.

Zack Wheeler is looking forward to facing the San Francisco Giants, his former organization, on Wednesday, notes the Daily News.

• Anthony McCarron in the Daily News catches up with 72-year-old Ron Hunt, who represented the Mets as a starter in the 1964 All-Star Game at Shea Stadium.

BIRTHDAYS: John Buck turns 33. … Third-base coach Tim Teufel is 55. … Infielder Andy Green, now the manager of Double-A Mobile for the Arizona Diamondbacks, is 36.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets let Shaun Marcum continue in the rotation, put him on the disabled list or designate him for assignment?

Morning Briefing: Niese check-up on tap

July, 4, 2013
FIRST PITCH: Jonathon Niese’s Fourth of July plans are expected to include an MRI of his left shoulder.

The medical exam at the Hospital for Special Surgery was planned two weeks ago when Niese originally was diagnosed with a partially torn rotator cuff.

The expectation -- or, at least hope -- is Niese’s injury shows signs of healing and he can be cleared to begin tossing a baseball, with an eye toward returning to the majors in early August. Otherwise, he may face season-ending surgery.

Courtesy of Major League BaseballThe Mets wear "Stars & Stripes" hats at Citi Field today.

Today at 11:59 p.m. is also the deadline to complete a ballot online for the July 16 All-Star Game at Citi Field. David Wright held a seemingly commanding 842,186-vote lead over San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval for the NL starting nod in a tally released Tuesday, but there should never be complacency when it comes to casting a ballot. (Vote here.)

The All-Star squads will be announced Saturday.

Meanwhile, with game No. 81 having been completed last night, the Mets season is now halfway in the books. Their 35-46 is their worst at the midway point since Art Howe’s first season as manager in 2003, when they had the identical record.

The Mets nonetheless aim for the series win when Dillon Gee (6-7, 4.60 ERA) opposes right-hander Ian Kennedy (3-4, 5.36) at 1:10 p.m. today.

The Mets will wear special “Stars & Stripes” caps. All of MLB’s proceeds from the sale of the caps go to Welcome Back Veterans, which was co-founded by Fred Wilpon in 2008.

Thursday’s news reports:

• After a nearly two-hour rain delay, Matt Harvey was charged with a career-high-matching five runs as the Mets lost to the Diamondbacks, 5-3, before a season-high, sellout crowd of 41,257 on Fireworks Night at Citi Field. The big blow: Cody Ross belted a three-run homer in the sixth on a hanging two-out slider, which got Arizona on the scoreboard. The final run charged to Harvey scored after he departed with a pair of runners in scoring position in the seventh and none out. Harvey’s ERA rose to 2.27, which ranks fifth in the NL. Leader Clayton Kershaw is at 1.93.

The Mets produced three solo homers. Wright and Josh Satin had long balls in the fourth against Randall Delgado to stake the Mets to a 2-0 lead. Daniel Murphy blasted a homer to the base of the Shea Bridge in right-center in the eighth against David Hernandez to complete the game’s scoring. It was Satin’s first career major league homer.

ESPN The MagazineMatt Harvey declared his independence from clothing in ESPN The Magazine.

Harvey’s next start comes Monday in San Francisco, with NL skipper Bruce Bochy watching from the home dugout.

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

• ESPN The Magazine has released a handful of behind-the-scenes photos of Harvey’s shoot for the “Body Issue,” which is due to hit newsstands July 12.

• Anthony Rieber in Newsday could not care less whether Harvey starts the All-Star Game. Writes Rieber:

Confession: I used to love the All-Star Game. I used to follow the voting closely in the papers in the age before Twitter. I'd get really ticked if the players from my favorite team didn't make the squad or the starting lineup. I never missed an inning.

Then I turned 11.

Please remember this if you're stressing about whether Matt Harvey hurt his chances of starting the July 16 All-Star Game at Citi Field by allowing five runs in six-plus innings in a 5-3 loss to the Diamondbacks. If you're a Mets fan, you should be more concerned with when Harvey is going to start Game 1 of a playoff series. In his lifetime, hopefully?

Courtesy of New York MetsMrs. Met returned to Citi Field on Wednesday night.

• Mrs. Met was reintroduced to Citi Field on Tuesday night, now sporting a ponytail. She last regularly appeared at Mets games in 2005, according to a team marketing official. She also appeared alongside Mr. Met in a 2008 SportsCenter commercial, minus the ponytail, and with kids in the backseat. The plan is to have Mrs. Met make regular game appearances, although not on an everyday basis.

Ike Davis homered for a second straight day, this time off former Mets farmhand Yusmeiro Petit. Davis finished 3-for-4 as Las Vegas beat Fresno, 2-0. He is hitting .293 with seven homers and 13 RBIs through 75 at-bats. Ruben Tejada, getting his first start with the 51s, went 0-for-4. Mexican League signee Giancarlo Alvarado tossed six scoreless innings for the second straight outing.

In Double-A, Cory Mazzoni allowed six runs (five earned) in six innings as Binghamton lost to Altoona, 6-3. Domingo Tapia, Hamilton Bennett and Tim Byrdak combined on a two-hit shutout as St. Lucie beat Jupiter, 1-0. Matt Oberste’s walk-off sac fly scored Patrick Biondi as Brooklyn snapped a four-game losing streak with a 2-1 win against Staten Island. Read the full minor league recap here.

• Terry Collins indicated that Shaun Marcum is on track to start Saturday against the Milwaukee Brewers, his former organization. Still, Carlos Torres is being kept on standby just in case and likely will not be inserted in a game in relief beforehand.

Collins acknowledged Marcum underwent an MRI on his tight upper back Tuesday after experiencing tingling in his fingers during Monday’s start. Marcum had a similar issue that landed him on the disabled list to open the season.

The Mets weighed putting Marcum on the DL before Tuesday’s game, but instead demoted Zach Lutz to open the roster spot for reliever Gonzalez Germen. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Times, Star-Ledger, Record and

• Read more on Satin’s performance in the Record.

John Franco is facing a civil lawsuit alleging he intimidated a sales agent, the Staten Island Advance reports.

• Ten of the 25 active players on the Mets also saw action at Las Vegas this season, notes Jared Diamond in the Journal.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear notices the Mets have a tendency to make their fans wait and wait some more. … John Delcos at Mets Report notes one-third of the Mets’ roster has turned over since Opening Day and analyzes the impact for 2014.

BIRTHDAYS: Former shortstop Jose Oquendo, now the third base coach for the St. Louis Cardinals, turns 50.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Do you approve of the reintroduction of Mrs. Met? Or should Mr. Met be able to be a bachelor at the ballpark?

Wright takes commanding lead over Panda

July, 2, 2013

US PresswireDavid Wright has overtaken Pablo Sandoval at third base in All-Star voting released Sunday.
NEW YORK -- David Wright is moving toward claiming the starting assignment at third base for the National League in the All-Star Game.

Wright has surged ahead of Pablo "Kung Fu Panda" Sandoval by 842,186 votes in the final tally released before the completed results. He led the Giants third baseman by 128,831 votes nine days earlier.

Internet voting concludes Thursday at 11:59 p.m. Starting lineups will be announced Saturday.

The game will be held July 16 at Citi Field.

First base
Joey Votto, Reds 3,622,608
Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks 3,035,114
Allen Craig, Cardinals 2,525,399
Brandon Belt, Giants 1,804,152
Freddie Freeman, Braves 1,494,604

Second base
Brandon Phillips, Reds 3,411,839
Matt Carpenter, Cardinals 3,186,423
Marco Scutaro, Giants 3,142,783
Daniel Murphy, Mets 1,598,297
Chase Utley, Phillies 1,355,750

Third base
David Wright, Mets 4,452,282
Pablo Sandoval, Giants 3,610,096
David Freese, Cardinals 2,376,121
Chris Johnson, Braves 1,234,095
Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals, 1,072,563

Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies 4,072,834
Brandon Crawford, Giants 2,383,248
Jean Segura, Brewers 2,072,083
Pete Kozma, Cardinals 1,867,781
Andrelton Simmons, Braves 1,192,066

Yadier Molina, Cardinals 5,093,645
Buster Posey, Giants 4,674,847
John Buck, Mets 1,446,565
Miguel Montero, Diamondbacks 997,791
Brian McCann, Braves, 997,322

Carlos Beltran, Cardinals 5,013,806
Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies 2,928,606
Justin Upton, Braves 2,917,659
Bryce Harper, Nationals 2,902,393
Matt Holliday, Cardinals 2,697,608
Andrew McCutchen, Pirates 2,510,614
Hunter Pence, Giants 2,379,606
Ryan Braun, Brewers 2,331,774
Angel Pagan, Giants 2,016,370
Shin-Soo Choo, Reds 1,960,385
Jon Jay, Cardinals 1,825,513
Carlos Gomez, Brewers 1,746,318
Gregor Blanco, Giants 1,717,194
Jay Bruce, Reds 1,454,721
Domonic Brown, Phillies 1,427,696

Morning Briefing: 3 DL, 2 walk-off, good job

June, 24, 2013

Rich Schultz/Getty ImagesMatt Harvey and David Wright could end up starting the All-Star Game at Citi Field.

FIRST PITCH: The Mets lost on walk-off homer in Atlanta, when Freddie Freeman took Dillon Gee deep in the ninth inning last Monday. They also lost on a walk-off homer in Philadelphia, courtesy of Kevin Frandsen going deep against Carlos Torres.

Yet Terry Collins and the Mets still could pronounce the week a success, and not just because of the successful debut of Zack Wheeler and a pair of dominating performances from Matt Harvey.

The Mets won consecutive road series, at Atlanta and Philadelphia, despite losing Justin Turner, Jonathon Niese and Lucas Duda to the disabled list while on the trip.

The team has a day off today before beginning a two-game interleague series at the Chicago White Sox. The Mets then swing by Denver to make up a game on Thursday that was snowed out in April.

“I’ve got to tell you: I feel very good about what’s gone on on this trip,” Collins said. “That’s a very good seven days. They’re tired. They’re beat up. They lost three players to the DL in the last five days. To come out of here with another series, and to win the first two series on the road trip, is a huge lift for us.”

Monday’s news reports:

• Harvey tossed six scoreless innings before a 20-minute rain delay prompted Collins to pull him, and David Wright had a franchise-record-tying four extra-base hits, as the Mets won Sunday’s rubber game, 8-0, against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Harvey likely will leapfrog Gee and pitch Friday at Citi Field.

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

• Read more on Harvey in Newsday.

• Wright passed San Francisco’s Pablo Sandoval and now leads by 128,831 votes in balloting for the starting third-base nod for the National League in the July 16 All-Star Game at Citi Field. Harvey is making a strong bid to start the game too, although that decision will come from NL skipper Bruce Bochy.

Writes Tim Marchman in the Journal:

Wright will make the roster, and Matt Harvey may well start, especially if Wright doesn't. They're probably the only Mets going, unless someone in power takes a liking to Bobby Parnell's beard, which they might. The Yankees, meanwhile, have Robinson Cano and Mariano Rivera and maybe Hiroki Kuroda. (The only Yankee other than Cano to rank in the top five in voting at his position is Derek Jeter, suggesting that baseball fans don't actually watch baseball.)

Say four New York players take the trip to Citi Field; that would be the smallest, saddest delegation in a long time. The year was 1995. Bobby Bonilla, for the second time in three years, was the Mets' sole All-Star; the Yankees sent three to the game, including, for some reason, Mike Stanley. It was the end of an era, stretching back to 1989, in which you'd never once have needed all the fingers on a hand to count all the city's All-Stars, an era that reached its nadir in 1992, when David Cone and Roberto Kelly were the lonely two representatives of their town.

Read more in the Daily News and Newsday.

• Wheeler flew from Las Vegas to Chicago on Sunday to join the Mets in advance of Tuesday’s start against the White Sox, which will be the second of his major league career. Greg Burke is the likely player to demoted, although he was summoned into Collins’ office postgame Sunday and told to accompany the team from Philadelphia to the Windy City.

Ike Davis was bypassed for a return to the big leagues with Lucas Duda landing on the DL in large part because the Mets faced a lefty in the series finale in Philly (John Lannan) and will also see southpaws in both games in Chicago (Chris Sale and John Danks). The expectation is Davis will return to the majors as soon as Thursday’s makeup game at Colorado. Davis did not play Sunday for Triple-A Las Vegas after appearing in 12 straight 51s games. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Newsday.

• Noah Syndergaard earned the win in his Double-A debut as Binghamton improved to 46-28 with a 7-2 victory against Erie. Jacob deGrom tossed six scoreless innings in his second Triple-A start, but Salt Lake rallied to beat Las Vegas, 6-3. Jayce Boyd had a two-run homer in St. Lucie’s 4-2 loss against Bradenton.

“I didn’t really have a lot of time to think about things,” Syndergaard told the Press & Sun-Bulletin, referring to learning about his promotion Saturday and debuting Sunday. “I think it was beneficial because I wasn’t able to get nervous. I just woke up, came to the field and pitched. What else can you ask for?”

Read the full minor league recap here.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear in Flushing relishes the midday flub of Ben Revere. … Shannon from Mets Police wonders who in franchise history is an icon. … The Kings of Queens praises Eric Young Jr.

BIRTHDAYS: Right-hander Mike Bruhert, who started 22 games for the Mets, was born on this date in 1951.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Who is Matt Harvey’s biggest competition to start the All-Star Game for the National League?

Wrightfully his: David leapfrogs Panda

June, 23, 2013

US PresswireDavid Wright has overtaken Pablo Sandoval at third base in All-Star voting released Sunday.
PHILADELPHIA -- Pablo Sandoval has lost his lead over David Wright in NL All-Star balloting at third base.

Wright now leads the Giants third baseman by 128,831 votes.

A week ago, Sandoval held a 126,403-vote lead, down from 200,776 the previous week.

The game will be held July 16 at Citi Field.

"I've said it all along: I think it's a little early to be talking, but it would be a tremendous honor," Wright said. "It's something I would really like to do. First and foremost, I'd like to be there to play the All-Star Game. To be able to start it in your home park would be pretty special, I think is an understatement."

First base
Joey Votto, Reds 2,677,813
Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks 2,270,886
Allen Craig, Cardinals 1,801,138
Brandon Belt, Giants 1,323,511
Freddie Freeman, Braves 1,181,657

Second base
Brandon Phillips, Reds 2,597,742
Marco Scutaro, Giants 2,272,484
Matt Carpenter, Cardinals 2,251,248
Chase Utley, Phillies 1,136,890
Daniel Murphy, Mets 1,088,224

Third base
David Wright, Mets 2,917,819
Pablo Sandoval, Giants 2,788,988
David Freese, Cardinals 1,728,322
Chris Johnson, Braves 1,008,552
Aramis Ramirez, Brewers 881,559

Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies 3,104,285
Brandon Crawford, Giants 1,757,255
Jean Segura, Brewers 1,625,753
Pete Kozma, Cardinals 1,354,974
Andrelton Simmons, Braves 965,016

Yadier Molina, Cardinals 3,596,858
Buster Posey, Giants 3,506,402
John Buck, Mets 1,087,519
Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers 845,519
Miguel Montero, Diamondbacks 799,837

Carlos Beltran, Cardinals 3,473,030
Justin Upton, Braves 2,453,531
Bryce Harper, Nationals 2,363,965
Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies 2,060,388
Ryan Braun, Brewers 2,010,310
Matt Holliday, Cardinals 1,947,864
Andrew McCutchen, Pirates 1,777,568
Hunter Pence, Giants 1,732,843
Shin-Soo Choo, Reds 1,566,597
Angel Pagan, Giants 1,541,055
Carlos Gomez, Brewers 1,393,464
Jon Jay, Cardinals 1,321,149
Gregor Blanco, Giants 1,210,892
Domonic Brown, Phillies 1,107,632
Jay Bruce, Reds 978,994

Morning Briefing: 'Spin 2nd chance fading?

June, 17, 2013

Kathy Willens/Associated PressKirk Nieuwenhuis is welcomed by teammates after hitting a walk-off three-run homer Sunday.
FIRST PITCH: How much longer does Jordany Valdespin’s second-base audition last?

In six starts since becoming an everyday player, Valdespin is 3-for-23. And that’s not to mention tossing a throw over Jonathon Niese’s head for an error during Saturday’s sloppy game against the Cubs.

So while most of the attention rightfully will be focused on Zack Wheeler during a five-game series in Atlanta over four days, how Terry Collins handles second base also is worth monitoring.

The Mets face left-handed starters in Tuesday’s split doubleheader matinee (rookie Alex Wood) as well as Thursday (Mike Minor), giving Collins at least two chances right off the bat to sit Valdespin.

Dillon Gee (5-6, 4.84 ERA) opposes right-hander Tim Hudson (4-6, 4.41) in the 7:10 p.m. series opener today. Over his past three outings, Gee is 3-0 with a 1.29 ERA. He has struck out 26 and walked three in 21 innings during that span.

Wheeler, who was due to fly to Atlanta on Sunday, is scheduled to hold an afternoon press conference today in advance of his Tuesday night major league debut.

Monday’s news reports:

Kirk Nieuwenhuis delivered a walk-off three-run homer against Carlos Marmol to cap a four-run ninth inning as the Mets salvaged the series finale against the Chicago Cubs with a 4-3 win on Sunday at Citi Field. It marked the first walk-off homer with the Mets trailing by two or more runs since Bobby Bonilla had a three-run walk-off homer against Cincinnati’s Rob Dibble on Aug. 30, 1992 at Shea Stadium, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Nieuwenhuis had been 1-for-15 with seven strikeouts since returning from the minors before the long ball.

The win absolved Jeremy Hefner of getting charged with a loss in an outing in which two of the three runs he surrendered in five innings were unearned. Carlos Torres, who bumped Greg Burke from the roster, tossed two scoreless relief innings in his Mets debut. Marlon Byrd homered to open the ninth. Byrd now has 11 homers in 33 games. That is his quickest to that homer total in his career. His previous best: 11 homers in his first 91 games in 2009 with the Texas Rangers.

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

• Read more on Torres in the Star-Ledger.

US PresswireDavid Wright gained ground on Pablo Sandoval in All-Star voting.

• Whether it was cougars, Mets employees punching mass ballots or otherwise, David Wright moved closer to injured Pablo Sandoval for the vote lead to be the NL’s starting third baseman in the July 16 All-Star Game at Citi Field. Wright now trails Sandoval by 126,403 votes.

• Wright called a players-only meeting after Saturday’s loss to the Cubs. “We got some new faces here, you got some younger players, and I want to make sure this isn't something where we're OK with where we're at, we're OK with kind of playing the rest of this season out and going through the motions,” Wright told Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger. “I want to make sure that doesn't happen."

Anthony DiComo at reported LaTroy Hawkins and John Buck also spoke during the meeting. "I really hate team meetings," Wright told DiComo. "They're one of my least-favorite things, because it usually means that things aren't going so well. But there's times where it's good to get together and get some things off of my chest."

• At least one Met took issue with Bob Costas’ characterization of the team’s walk-off celebration Sunday. Costas, narrating game highlights, said: “Two on, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis, just up from Triple-A, takes Carlos Marmol deep. Nieuwenhuis with a walk-off three-run home run. The Mets with four in the bottom of the ninth to win it, 4-3. And the team 14 games under .500 celebrates as if it just won the seventh game of the World Series. Another indication of the ongoing decline of Western civilization.”

Said recent Mets call-up David Aardsma, a veteran of eight major league seasons, in a pair of tweets: “I love Bob Costas but are we supposed to roll over and die on the season? Or should we celebrate the excitement of a huge comeback? This ... Might be the beginning of something huge, we needed that win as a team! That's what we were celebrating!!!!”

• Dave Caldwell in the Journal discussed Byrd’s Mets contribution with the outfielder.

• The Brooklyn Cyclones open their season tonight at Staten Island. Robert Gsellman is the Opening Day starter in the 7 p.m. game. Gsellman, a 13th-round pick in 2011 out of high school in Los Angeles, had made a combined seven starts this season for St. Lucie and Savannah, going 3-3 with a 3.55 ERA.

• One week after a demotion to Triple-A Las Vegas, Ike Davis went 0-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts Sunday. He is hitting .174 (4-for-23) with four walks and seven strikeouts through six Pacific Coast League games.

• Joe Bonfe’s walk-off solo homer lifted Binghamton to a 5-4 win against Bowie. Zach Lutz’s three-run homer highlighted a six-run eighth that pulled Las Vegas even at 6, but the 51s suffered a 9-7 loss to Colorado Springs after Robert Carson surrendered three ninth-inning runs.

Savannah headed into its All-Star break on a six-game winning streak after routing Greenville, 8-0. Gabriel Ynoa tossed five scoreless innings to pick up his South Atlantic League-leading eighth win. Greg Pron’s two-run double in the fourth opened the scoring. Florida State product Jayce Boyd went 2-for-2 with three walks. Boyd, who likely is being promoted to St. Lucie after Savannah’s All-Star break, was 11-for-13 with six walks and two homers in the four-game series against Greenville.

From the bloggers … Rising Apple takes exception to Costas’ characterization of the Mets’ walk-off celebration as an indicator of the decline of civilization. … Ninety-seven percent of Sunday's Mets game was sublimely awful. But the other three percent was awfully sublime, Faith and Fear writes.

BIRTHDAYS: Shortstop Brian Ostrosser, who appeared in four games for the Mets in 1973, was born on this date in 1949 in Ontario, Canada.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Are you ready to pull the plug on Jordany Valdespin’s second-base audition?

Wright cuts into injured Panda's ASG lead

June, 16, 2013

US PresswirePablo Sandoval's lead over David Wright shrunk in voting released Sunday.
NEW YORK -- Pablo Sandoval's lead over David Wright dipped to 126,403 votes this past week, down from 200,776 a week earlier.

The game will be held July 16 at Citi Field.

First base
Joey Votto, Reds, 2,047,945
Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks, 1,524,517
Allen Craig, Cardinals, 1,191,229
Brandon Belt, Giants, 997,066
Freddie Freeman, Braves, 924,937

Courtesy of New York Mets

Second base
Brandon Phillips, Reds, 2,021,277
Marco Scutaro, Giants, 1,717,875
Matt Carpenter, Cardinals, 1,508,313
Chase Utley, Phillies, 982,966
Daniel Murphy, Mets, 786,414

Third base
Sandoval, Giants, 2,180,147
Wright, Mets, 2,053,744
David Freese, Cardinals, 1,152,038
Chris Johnson, Braves, 829,420
Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals, 686,905

Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies, 2,443,772
Brandon Crawford, Giants, 1,293,476
Jean Segura, Brewers, 1,188,317
Pete Kozma, Cardinals, 905,976
Andrelton Simmons, Braves, 771,665

Buster Posey, Giants, 2,606,434
Yadier Molina, Cardinals, 2,543,588
John Buck, Mets, 866,471
Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers, 630,902
Brian McCann, Braves, 627,056

Carlos Beltran, Cardinals, 2,385,240
Justin Upton, Braves, 2,054,225
Bryce Harper, Nationals, 1,981,030
Ryan Braun, Brewers, 1,645,094
Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies, 1,508,355
Matt Holliday, Cardinals, 1,330,471
Andrew McCutchen, Pirates, 1,319,419
Hunter Pence, Giants, 1,286,163
Shin-Soo Choo, Reds, 1,274,755
Angel Pagan, Giants, 1,131,176
Carlos Gomez, Brewers, 1,027,684
Gregor Blanco, Giants, 934,174
Jon Jay, Cardinals, 884,323
Domonic Brown, Phillies, 837,748
B.J. Upton, Braves, 733,744

Morning Briefing: Flushing shakeup

June, 10, 2013

Kathy Willens/Associated PressMike Baxter reacts to popping out to shortstop in the sixth inning on Sunday, before receiving demotion news.
FIRST PITCH: The Mets did not exactly fire the players, but they came pretty darn close.

After 30 innings of ugly baseball against the Miami Marlins over two days that included nearly 900 pitches thrown and 10 hours on the dot of game time, the Mets again pause to regroup with an off-day today. When they do return to Citi Field on Tuesday to face the St. Louis Cardinals, they will be minus Ike Davis as well as Mike Baxter and Robert Carson.

This season, the Marlins are 8-3 against the Mets and 10-41 against the rest of baseball. Enough said.

Meanwhile, the last time two teams played an extra-inning game the day after playing 20 innings? That came back in 1989, when the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros played 22 innings, then 13 innings on consecutive days, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Monday’s news reports:

• Davis, Baxter and Carson were demoted to Triple-A Las Vegas after Sunday’s loss. The Mets plan to promote Josh Satin, Collin Cowgill and Josh Edgin for Tuesday’s series opener against St. Louis.

Getty Images/USA TODAY SportsThe Mets sent Ike Davis, Mike Baxter and Robert Carson packing for Las Vegas on Sunday.

Davis’ demotion came on the anniversary of the start of his 2012 turnaround -- after he staved off getting dispatched to the minors last season. Last June 9, Davis went 1-for-2 with two walks at Yankee Stadium, beginning a nine-game hitting streak that began to lift his average from .158 to eventually over .200 in early July.

A scout told on Sunday: “Davis is off-balance on every single swing. I’ve never seen a hitter with so many moving parts.”

Baxter was in a 2-for-31 rut and failed to get down a bunt in the ninth inning Sunday. Carson served up his eighth homer in 13 relief appearances this season.

With the weekend additions of Kirk Nieuwenhuis and David Aardsma from Las Vegas, the Mets have turned over one-fifth of the roster in a two-day span.

Sandy Alderson said the issue is player-related and Terry Collins and his staff are not in jeopardy. Collins had called a postgame meeting Sunday “about what it takes to play here.”

Said Collins: “There’s a lot of veterans in that room that certainly know. … This is when you reach down inside. You find out who belongs here and who doesn’t.”

Satin, who exclusively has played first base this season, was hitting .305 with nine homers and 32 RBIs and had a .420 on-base percentage with the 51s. Cowgill had hit .268 with five homers and 12 RBIs in 32 Triple-A games since a demotion. Edgin had a combined 6.75 ERA in 16 appearances between Double-A Binghamton and Las Vegas.

Writes columnist Kevin Kernan in the Post:

The bottom line is the Mets have grown weary of losing with the same cast of characters. Collins told his team that after the game.

“We’ve been talking all along about the future, the future, the future,’’ a frustrated Collins said. “We have to start getting everybody to understand what it takes to play here. Are you going to make changes just to make changes or are you going to make changes to make guys better? If you are going to get beat, get beat with guys that hopefully can get better.’’

Writes columnist Bill Madden in the Daily News:

There were 21,747 gluttons for punishment at Citi Field Sunday for the conclusion of another Mets-Marlins series, which now qualify for the worst baseball on the planet.

Not satisfied with having tortured their fans for 20 innings of record-tying ineptitude the day before, the Mets lost in similar fashion -- just not so long in doing it, and when it was over, when they had gone another 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position, on top of the 0-for-19 the day before that equaled the worst performance of clutch hitting by a team in the last 50 years, and gotten one infield hit after David Wright’s two-run double in the third inning, it was as if Alderson and Collins couldn’t wait another minute to start shipping the bums out of here.

They could’ve waited until the off-day Monday, but clearly Alderson and Collins had seen enough and wanted to make a statement.

Read more in the Post, Daily News, Times, Journal, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and

• Sunday’s postgame mass demotions were precipitated by the Mets getting swept for a second straight weekend by the Marlins with an 8-4, 10-inning loss. Daniel Murphy had a critical extra-inning error and Bobby Parnell suffered the loss. One positive: Jonathon Niese, who logged 6 2/3 innings and departed with a lead, said his pitching shoulder felt its best all season. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record and

Matt Harvey said his lower back, which forced him from Saturday’s game, is fine. He will start Thursday against the Cardinals, after Jeremy Hefner and Dillon Gee open the series. Harvey’s Thursday assignment potentially sets up Zack Wheeler and Harvey handling a day-night doubleheader in Atlanta on June 18, although HoJo isn’t sure Wheeler is ready. Read more in the Post, Daily News and Newsday.

Pablo Sandoval, although injured, leads David Wright by more than 200,000 votes to become the starting NL third baseman in the July 16 All-Star Game at Citi Field.

• First-round pick Dominic Smith took batting practice Sunday morning at Citi Field. Tim Marchman in the Journal looks at the history of first-round picks who play first base.

• Travis Taijeron continued his torrid production since a promotion to Binghamton with a tiebreaking three-run homer in the ninth as the B-Mets beat Altoona, 5-2. Right-hander Carlos Torres tossed his second straight complete game as Las Vegas beat Tacoma, 7-1. Read the full minor league recap here.

• Locally produced Tom Koehler, starting for the Marlins, received a no-decision Sunday with his family on hand, writes Steven Braid in Newsday.

From the bloggers … Faith and Fear in Flushing thinks sending Davis down is a start, but cannot be the finish.

BIRTHDAYS: Outfielder Ken Singleton, who began his major league career with the Mets before getting traded to the Montreal Expos for Rusty Staub, turns 66.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: How long do you think Ike Davis will spend in the minors?

Injured Panda widens lead on Wright

June, 9, 2013

US PresswireA banged up Pablo Sandoval has opened an even larger lead in All-Star voting over David Wright.
NEW YORK -- Pablo Sandoval's lead expanded to more than 200,000 over David Wright in the latest tally of NL All-Star voting at third base released Sunday, even though Sandoval appears headed to the disabled list with a strained left foot.

Although he has no chance to catch the leaders at second base, Daniel Murphy did move into fifth place, bumping Dan Uggla from the leading voter-getters. John Buck maintained a distant third at catcher.

The game will be held July 16 at Citi Field.

First base
Joey Votto, Reds, 1,569,477
Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks, 928,657
Brandon Belt, Giants, 778,883
Allen Craig, Cardinals, 767,645
Freddie Freeman, Braves, 704,578

Courtesy of New York Mets

Second base
Brandon Phillips, Reds, 1,541,720
Marco Scutaro, Giants, 1,285,076
Matt Carpenter, Cardinals, 913,778
Chase Utley, Phillies, 774,314
Murphy, Mets, 566,874

Third base
Sandoval, Giants, 1,674,157
Wright, Mets, 1,473,381
David Freese, Cardinals, 720,939
Chris Johnson, Braves, 635,138
Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals, 532,493

Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies, 1,691,262
Brandon Crawford, Giants, 1,015,633
Jean Segura, Brewers, 835,329
Pete Kozma, Cardinals, 595,416
Andrelton Simmons, Braves, 592,286

Buster Posey, Giants, 1,961,861
Yadier Molina, Cardinals, 1,684,700
Buck, Mets, 692,170
Brian McCann, Braves, 467,522
Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers, 423,115

Justin Upton, Braves, 1,666,026
Bryce Harper, Nationals, 1,616,784
Carlos Beltran, Cardinals, 1,550,844
Ryan Braun, Brewers, 1,283,103
Shin-Soo Choo, Reds, 1,043,839
Hunter Pence, Giants, 984,734
Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies, 955,568
Andrew McCutchen, Pirates, 952,618
Angel Pagan, Giants, 871,143
Matt Holliday, Cardinals, 868,829
Gregor Blanco, Giants, 722,441
Carlos Gomez, Brewers, 704,106
B.J. Upton, Braves, 582,401
Jon Jay, Cardinals, 577,251
Jay Bruce, Reds, 556,894

Morning Briefing: Zack not 'savior'

June, 5, 2013

FIRST PITCH: Jeremy Hefner or Dillon Gee? Whoever loses his rotation spot when Zack Wheeler ultimately arrives, Terry Collins again cautioned Tuesday the top prospect will not solve the Mets’ woes.

"He's not going to be the savior," Collins said. "There are a lot of pieces that have to work. One guy is not going to turn this around, of course. It takes 25.

“Everybody is excited because he's a prospect. You look down the road with that arm and that stuff, he can be a good pitcher for a long time. But there are a lot of adjustments that have to be made by him, as Matt [Harvey] made them. That's why I had them locker next to each other in spring training. Maybe Matt could give him some of his advice -- some of the stuff he went through."

The Mets try to get on track at 7:05 tonight when Gee (3-6, 5.68 ERA) opposes right-hander Dan Haren (4-6, 5.09).

Before the game, the Mets will continue their annual tradition of visiting Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

Thursday, the team hosts a blood drive at the Caesars Club at Citi Field from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Donors receive two tickets to a Mets game.

Wednesday’s news reports:

Bobby Parnell’s streak of seven straight successful save conversions ended with a 3-2 loss to the Nationals on Tuesday night, spoiling a solid outing from Hefner.

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

• Read more on Hefner in the Post.

US PresswireDavid Wright is second among NL third basemen in early All-Star voting, again trailing Pablo Sandoval.

• The Mets had a weak showing in the first balloting released for the July 16 All-Star Game at Citi Field. David Wright trails San Francisco’s Pablo Sandoval by 127,176 votes at third base. John Buck ranks a distant third at catcher, trailing overall NL vote leader Buster Posey as well as Yadier Molina. Read more in the Daily News.

• Double-A Binghamton outfielder Cesar Puello could receive a hefty suspension now that Biogensis founder Tony Bosch has agreed to assist MLB’s performance-enhancing-drug investigation, Outside the Lines reports.

Jonathon Niese will test his shoulder today by throwing a bullpen session at Nationals Park. Niese, who missed his last start with tendinitis, is aiming to reenter the rotation Saturday against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field.

Al Leiter tells’s Andrew Marchand he would be interested in filling the U.S. Senate seat vacated with the death of Frank Lautenberg. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will make a temporary appointment until a special election is held Oct. 19.

Jeurys Familia will undergo surgery today in Manhattan to remove a bone spur and loose bodies from his right elbow. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger and Newsday.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis has eight homers in his past 14 Triple-A games, and Collins said the center fielder is back on the radar for a promotion.

• Nieuwenhuis’ two-homer game Tuesday lifted Las Vegas to a 6-5 win at Fresno. Erik Goeddel tossed seven scoreless innings in Binghamton’s 8-0 win against Trenton, the Yankees’ Double-A affiliate. Read the full minor league recap here.

Juan Lagares is active but not playing much, write Andrew Keh in the Times and Jared Diamond in the Journal. Arguably, that is a mistake by the organization, since the Mets might as well play youth and get them ready for when the team one day is again contending. At least there should be an opportunity for Lagares in the series finale. Right-hander Stephen Strasburg won’t face the Mets on Thursday because of a lat strain, but he is not landing on the DL. Left-hander Gio Gonzalez instead pitches on regular rest against the Mets.

From the bloggersRising Apple implores Mets fans to vote responsibly (unlike Giants fans) and send the deserving Wright and Daniel Murphy to the All-Star Game. … Wright personifies the Mets’ struggles, writes John Delcos at Mets Report.

BIRTHDAYS: Left-hander Paul Siebert, who appeared in relief for 52 games with the Mets in the ’70s, was born on this date in 1953.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should the Mets promote Kirk Nieuwenhuis?

Wright trails Panda in 1st ASG balloting

June, 4, 2013
WASHINGTON -- David Wright, who was overtaken by Pablo Sandoval late in the 2012 All-Star Game voting process, this time trails the Panda at the get-go.

Sandoval has a 127,176-vote lead over Wright in the first balloting released by MLB for the July 16 game at Citi Field.

The only other Mets position player appearing among the leading vote-getters at his position is John Buck, who ranks third at catcher.

First base
Joey Votto, Reds, 1,044,742
Brandon Belt, Giants, 513,371
Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks, 473,513
Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers, 464,845
Freddie Freeman, Braves, 438,868

Courtesy of New York Mets
Second base
Brandon Phillips, Reds, 1,019,240
Marco Scutaro, Giants, 801,754
Chase Utley, Phillies, 524,219
Matt Carpenter, Cardinals, 439,239
Dan Uggla, Braves, 384,462

Third base
Sandoval, Giants, 1,094,475
Wright, Mets, 967,299
Chris Johnson, Braves, 386,811
David Freese, Cardinals, 375,428
Todd Frazier, Reds, 343,201

Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies, 1,025,844
Brandon Crawford, Giants, 668,140
Jean Segura, Brewers, 554,403
Andrelton Simmons, Braves, 372,844
Pete Kozma, Cardinals, 311,852

Buster Posey, Giants, 1,275,956
Yadier Molina, Cardinals, 938,911
Buck, Mets, 523,843
Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers, 313,574
Brian McCann, Braves, 285,600

Justin Upton, Braves, 1,184,249
Bryce Harper, Nationals, 1,182,532
Ryan Braun, Brewers, 945,665
Carlos Beltran, Cardinals, 847,924
Shin-Soo Choo, Reds, 734,755
Hunter Pence, Giants, 624,972
Andrew McCutchen, Pirates, 576,201
Angel Pagan, Giants, 572,400
Matt Holliday, Cardinals, 491,629
Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies, 482,719
Gregor Blanco, Giants, 475,662
Carlos Gomez, Brewers, 472,272
B.J. Upton, Braves, 420,104
Matt Kemp, Dodgers, 389,372
Jay Bruce, Reds, 374,852

Series preview: Mets at Giants

July, 30, 2012

Associated Press/Getty Images
The Mets face (l to r) Madison Bumgarner, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain during the opening three games of a series in San Francisco.
METS (49-53, third place/NL East) vs. SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS (55-46, first place/NL West)

Monday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (1-4, 5.40) vs. LHP Madison Bumgarner (11-6, 3.10), 10:15 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Matt Harvey (1-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Tim Lincecum (4-11, 5.88), 10:15 p.m. ET

Wednesday: LHP Jon Niese (7-5, 3.86) vs. RHP Matt Cain (10-3, 2.80), 10:15 p.m. ET

Thursday: RHP Chris Young (2-5, 4.58) vs. LHP Barry Zito (8-7, 3.89), 3:45 p.m. ET

Giants short hops

• Infielder Marco Scutaro made his Giants debut Saturday, starting at third base. Scutaro was acquired from the Rockies for 23-year-old infielder Charlie Culberson. Scutaro, 36, hit .271 (102-for-377) with four homers and 30 RBIs in 95 games with Colorado. He last had manned third base in 2008 with Toronto. Scutaro had roughly $2 million remaining on his contract, which the Rockies are subsidizing. He took No. 19, pushing pitching coach Dave Righetti to No. 33.

Middle infielder Emmanuel Burriss was designated for assignment to clear the roster spot. He was hitting .214 with no homers in 131 at-bats.

Scutaro is being used at third base because NL All-Star starter Pablo Sandoval (.299, 8 HR, 33 RBIs) landed on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring. Sandoval suffered the injury while doing a split manning first base on a double play. It was Sandoval’s third game appearing at first base this season.

• San Francisco TV station KPIX reports the Giants are poised to acquire Hunter Pence from the Phillies, but the San Francisco Chronicle did not corroborate the report.

Cary Edmondson/US Presswire
Marco Scutaro made his Giants debut Saturday after being acquired from Colorado.

Aubrey Huff (.150 in 60 at-bats) played Saturday for the first time since July 28. He missed 35 games with a sprained right knee, which he suffered jumping over the dugout railing to celebrate Matt Cain’s perfect game. Huff will serve as a reserve first baseman/pinch hitter.

• Ex-Met Angel Pagan, who was shipped to San Francisco for Andres Torres and Ramon Ramirez, is hitting .218 (17-for-78) in July. Pagan was caught Sunday for only the fourth time in 21 steal attempts this season. He has started 92 of San Francisco’s 101 games in center field.

• First baseman Brandon Belt went 1-for-3 Sunday, but is hitting .140 (8-for-57) with four RBIs in 21 games (13 starts) since July 3.

• After limiting Houston and Philadelphia to a combined two runs and 10 hits in 15 innings while striking out 17 and walking three in consecutive starts, Tim Lincecum was roughed up by San Diego last week. Lincecum allowed five runs in 4 2/3 innings, including homers by Chase Headley and Jesus Guzman.

• Cain’s .214 opponent batting average ranked fourth in the National League entering Sunday, trailing only Washington’s Gio Gonzalez (.197), San Diego’s Edinson Volquez (.209) and Chicago’s Ryan Dempster (.210).

• All-Star Melky Cabrera’s .353 average ranks second in the NL, trailing only Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen (.368).

• The Dodgers completed a weekend sweep of the Giants with a 4-0 win Sunday to pull even in the NL West standings. The teams finish the season with a three-game series at Dodger Stadium from Oct. 1-3.

• A handful of Mets players noticed while watching on TV on Saturday that catcher Buster Posey is gun shy on plays at the plate after suffering last year’s season-ending leg fracture. Posey stands in fair territory fielding outfield throws and tries to reach back toward the plate for the tag. The positioning added to the scoring damage against Barry Zito over the weekend.

Hector Sanchez (left knee sprain) is likely to return from the DL on Thursday and catch Zito.

• Against Cincinnati on June 28, Madison Bumgarner became the fourth Giants pitcher age 22 or younger in the live-ball era to throw a shutout while allowing one hit or fewer, according to ESPN Stats & Information. The others: Mike McCormick in 1959, Juan Marichal in 1960 and Cain in 2006.

• With closer Brian Wilson out for season following elbow surgery, Santiago Casilla has 24 saves, which ranks third in the NL. However, Casilla has blown six chances, tied for the league high. That includes five blown saves in his past nine attempts.

• Left-handed reliever Jeremy Affeldt had an 8 1/3-inning scoreless streak and lefty batters were hitting only .136 against him this season before L.A. touched him for two runs Sunday.

Brad Penny, who began the season with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks in Japan, signed a minor league deal with San Francisco on May 18 and was promoted June 29. Working in relief, Penny has allowed nine runs (eight earned) on 15 hits and two walks in his past six appearances, spanning eight innings.

• Ex-Met Joaquin Arias, who had arrived in New York in a trade with Texas for Jeff Francoeur, is 3-for-his-last-45 with runners in scoring position.

• The Giants’ AT&T Park will host the semifinals and finals of the World Baseball Classic during spring training.

Last series results

San Francisco won, 3-1, at Citi Field, April 20-23 (AP game recaps)

Giants 4, Mets 3 (10 innings): Clay Hensley came in and escaped a two-on, none-out jam in the 10th to preserve the win. Hector Sanchez tagged out Kirk Nieuwenhuis to prevent the Mets from winning in the ninth, then singled home the go-ahead run off Frank Francisco in the 10th. San Francisco took a 3-0 lead in the third when Angel Pagan homered in his return to New York, Buster Posey hit an RBI double and Jon Niese threw a run-scoring wild pitch. New York's first two hits off Zito were homers, by Jason Bay in the fourth and Nieuwenhuis in the fifth. Bay reached on an infield hit to deep shortstop off Santiago Casilla leading off the ninth. Javier Lopez entered and retired pinch hitter Lucas Duda, then threw a wild pitch. Nieuwenhuis walked and Josh Thole singled to drive in the tying run. More

Mets 5, Giants 4: A high popup that started twisting in the wind turned the ninth inning into an adventure at Citi Field. In one of the craziest endings imaginable, Ruben Tejada scored the winning run on a throwing error by catcher Buster Posey and the Mets won after blowing a three-run lead moments earlier. Mike Pelfrey tossed eight terrific innings, outpitching Ryan Vogelsong and helping the Mets build a 4-1 cushion. Emmanuel Burriss hit an RBI single in the ninth, but New York appeared poised to lock up a fairly simple victory when Jon Rauch entered with two outs and got pinch hitter Brandon Belt to hit a high fly to shallow center. Tejada had trouble with it immediately, though, fighting to get under the ball behind shortstop as it swirled around in the wind. Rookie center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis came rushing in and overran the ball, which dropped behind him for a two-run double. More

Giants 6, Mets 1
Giants 7, Mets 2:
Madison Bumgarner pitched seven neat innings, Pablo Sandoval homered to match a team mark set by Willie Mays and the Giants notched a doubleheader sweep. The Giants took the opener as Tim Lincecum posted his first win of the season. Sandoval hit a three-run homer in the first inning to back Bumgarner. He has a 16-game hitting streak, tying the San Francisco record at the start of a season set by Mays in 1960, STATS LLC said. Hector Sanchez later hit his first big league homer, a two-run shot. Bumgarner (3-1) allowed one run and three hits. He won his third straight start, a streak that began shortly before the 22-year-old lefty signed a $35.56 million, six-year contract. Both games were similar: Sandoval put San Francisco ahead for good in the first inning, the Giants supported their starter with two homers, and they got plenty of pitching. Nate Schierholtz and Buster Posey homered in the opener. Schierholtz had six hits during the day, including two triples. Battered in his first three starts, Lincecum (1-2) allowed one run in five innings and struck out eight. He also walked five and gave up four hits in lowering his ERA from 10.54 to 8.20. More



Juan Lagares
.314 1 7 8
HRL. Duda 3
RBIL. Duda 8
RE. Young Jr. 12
OPSJ. Lagares .816
WC. Torres 2
ERAJ. Mejia 2.81
SOJ. Mejia 18