New York Mets: Reid Brignac

Rapid Reaction: Mets 5, Phillies 4

August, 8, 2014
8/08/14
9:20
PM ET
PHILADELPHIA -- Bartolo Colon joined exclusive company as the Philadelphia Phillies continued a season in which they’ve become the team to beat up on.

The 41-year-old Colon recorded career win No. 200 as the Mets beat the Phillies 5-4 in Friday’s series opener at Citizens Bank Park.

Colon departed with a 5-1 lead after eight innings. After Dana Eveland allowed the first two batters of the ninth to reach, Jenrry Mejia converted the save -- barely.

Mejia, who had experienced lower-back tightness Monday and calf tightness Thursday, allowed a single to Marlon Byrd that loaded the bases with none out. He then allowed a two-run double to Grady Sizemore. Cody Asche eventually contributed a run-scoring groundout for the second out, but Mejia left the tying run at third base by striking out Reid Brignac.

Colon joined Juan Marichal (243 wins) and Pedro Martinez (219) as the only Dominican-born pitchers to reach the 200-win plateau.

He also became the third pitcher to achieve No. 200 as a Met, joining Orel Hershiser in 1999 and Martinez in 2006.


Eric Hartline/USA TODAY SportsBartolo Colon earned his 200th career win Friday.


There are only two active pitchers with more wins than Colon: Tim Hudson (213) and CC Sabathia (208).

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only three pitchers in the past 90 years have notched win No. 200 when they were older than Colon: Tim Wakefield (age 45), Charlie Hough (44) and Jamie Moyer (42).

The Mets improved to 9-4 in the season series against the Phillies. The Amazin’s have won 11 of their past 13 games at Citizens Bank Park.

A.J. Burnett surrendered 11 hits -- matching Atlanta’s Julio Teheran on July 8 for the most a starting pitcher has allowed against the Mets this season. Burnett departed trailing 5-0 after six innings.

He managed to keep the game scoreless by coaxing a bases-loaded groundout from Lucas Duda in the third. Travis d'Arnaud, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Juan Lagares and Wilmer Flores then consecutively produced hits to open what became a four-run fourth. Over that two-inning span, eight Mets in a 10-batter stretch reached base against Burnett. (And, really, it’s 8 of 9 reaching, since Colon’s strikeout shouldn’t count, right?)

A fifth-inning solo homer by d’Arnaud, who originally was drafted by the Phillies, upped the lead to 5-0. (D’Arnaud was traded to Toronto for Roy Halladay, who threw out Friday’s ceremonial first pitch.)

Colon took a scoreless effort into the seventh inning.

After a leadoff single by Chase Utley in the fourth, Colon survived consecutive shots from Ryan Howard and Byrd that settled into Lagares’ glove just in front of the 401-foot marker on the center-field wall. Byrd’s leadoff homer in the seventh finally got Philadelphia on the scoreboard.

Colon’s line: 8 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 1 HR.

Kids' play: In the first game since Terry Collins announced Flores and Nieuwenhuis would get legitimate auditions, both contributed. Flores finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored. Nieuwenhuis went 1-for-4 with a run scored.

Ouch: Plate ump Mike Winters was struck by a pitch from Burnett in the first inning. He completed the game with a huge welt on his right wrist.

What’s next: Dillon Gee (4-4, 3.73 ERA) opposes left-hander Cole Hamels (6-6, 2.42) at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. Gee is 0-4 with a 6.85 ERA since the All-Star break.

Morning Briefing: Mets change scenery

June, 3, 2014
6/03/14
5:45
AM ET
PHILADELPHIA

FIRST PITCH: The Mets finally get a change of scenery. After a five-game series in Philly that included consecutive 14-, 14- and 11-inning games, the Mets open a three-game set against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Tuesday at 8:05 p.m. ET.

Zack Wheeler, coming off a dominating performance against the Philadelphia Phillies in which he allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings and struck out nine, starts the opener for the Mets, who look to reach .500. Wheeler (2-5, 4.31 ERA) opposes right-hander Jake Arrieta (1-1, 3.20).

“To go through what we went through, we’re tired,” Terry Collins said. “I’m not going to make any bones about it. This team is tired. We’re going to try to get some guys some days off this week.”

Asked if the firing of Dave Hudgens and release of Jose Valverde may have spurred the 6-1 week against the Pittsburgh Pirates and Phillies, Collins added: “I don’t know. I can’t answer that. We did something that a lot of places do it, a lot of businesses do it. They made a change they thought was necessary. I don’t know what the players thought of it. We haven’t necessarily gone crazy, but I think it got people’s attention, that’s for sure.”

Tuesday’s news reports:

Matt den Dekker robbed Philadelphia of two runs -- reaching over the wall to take away a homer from Ryan Howard and also throwing out Reid Brignac at the plate -- as the Mets beat the Phillies, 11-2, Monday at Citizens Bank Park. Wilmer Flores finished with a career-high six RBIs, capped by a ninth-inning grand slam. Dana Eveland recorded a pair of big outs in his first major league game in two years. The Mets (28-29) took four of five from the Phillies to move within a game of .500.


Drew Hallowell/Getty ImagesBartolo Colon pitched into the eighth inning Monday at Philly.


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

David Wright and Daniel Murphy are scheduled to get days off during the remainder of this road trip, with Wright’s potentially coming in the series opener at Wrigley Field.

• Den Dekker batted No. 1 Tuesday and will get the first chance in the leadoff role. Beyond that, Collins is not sure who he might try. It could even be Kirk Nieuwenhuis, presuming he gets promoted once the Mets shed a relief pitcher and return to a five-man bench. Read more in the Post.

Juan Lagares officially landed on the disabled list Monday afternoon with a strained intercostal muscle on his right side. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Newsday and at MLB.com.

Matt Harvey remains on track to throw off a mound Monday for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery on Oct. 22. Read more in Newsday.

Eric Young Jr. is due to test his strained right hamstring running outdoors Tuesday for the first time since landing on the disabled list. He is not eligible to return until next Tuesday.

Gonzalez Germen (infection) restarted a rehab assignment Monday with Class A St. Lucie.

• Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger writes that the Mets set the single-day cheesesteak consumption record in the visitors’ clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park on April 30 by collectively downing 103 of the Philly delicacies. Of course, bullpen catchers Dave Racaniello and Eric Langill did plenty of the damage. And it came during a rainout in which the Mets spent hours at the ballpark awaiting their flight to Denver. Writes Vorkunov:

Though impressive, perhaps it should not have been surprising. When it comes to eating cheesesteaks, the Mets are the 1961 Yankees, and their bullpen catchers, Dave Racaniello and Eric Langill, are the Mantle and Maris.

Last season, from April 8-10, Langill set the three-game series record by eating 17 cheesesteaks. He broke Racaniello’s record of 14 -- which had stood for years.

The cheesesteak-eating competition is not without rules and calls for prior planning. To viably set a record, cheesesteaks can only be eaten after getting to the ballpark until batting practice, from the end of batting practice until the game begins, and for an hour window after the game has concluded. There are moratoriums during batting practice and the game, likely so that players and coaches can proceed with their day jobs.

• Former Mets executive Dave Howard is out as president of MSG Sports.

• Although the Mets have settled on Jenrry Mejia as the closer, former pitcher C.J. Nitkowski writes at Foxsports.com that the club has an opportunity to test sabermetric theories by not having a specific ninth-inning arm. Writes Nitkowski:

The Mets have an opportunity here to say to their best relievers, we have no closer, be ready from the sixth or seventh inning on because you could be called upon to get the biggest outs of the game. It is a great way to develop these young arms. Pitching in tight spots late in the game only makes you better as those games test your fortitude. If the Mets put their best young relievers in these games regardless of the inning, the result will be a group of battle-tested arms that will be ready to handle any and all situations.

Expensive closer are great when they are consistent, but so few are. Why force someone into the closer role when you don’t really have one? The Mets have some bright young arms both in their bullpen and in their rotation. This is an ideal time to train those relievers differently, both physically and mentally.

• Demoted Rafael Montero is due to start for Las Vegas on Tuesday. Noah Syndergaard (forearm) is penciled in to reenter the rotation Thursday for the Triple-A club.

Andrew Brown and Danny Muno had two-run homers and Miguel Socolovich earned his first save with two scoreless innings as Las Vegas beat Reno, 6-4. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Anthony DiComo at MLB.com previews Thursday’s opening round of the draft. The team web site, like ESPN’s Keith Law, continues to project the Mets selecting University of Hartford left-hander Sean Newcomb.

• Jared Diamond in the Journal calculates where historically the Mets and Phillies playing 57 innings in a series fits.

BIRTHDAYS: Racaniello, the bullpen catcher, turns 36. ... Las Vegas infielder Zach Lutz is 28. ... Ex-catcher Barry Lyons is 54. ... Savannah outfielder Victor Cruzado is 22.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Who should bat leadoff for the Mets?

Rapid Reaction: Mets 11, Phillies 2

June, 2, 2014
6/02/14
10:23
PM ET
PHILADELPHIA -- Matt den Dekker was Juan Lagares before Juan Lagares.

Given his first 2014 major league start on Monday, den Dekker displayed why as the New York Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 11-2, at Citizens Bank Park.

The rookie center fielder took away two Phillies runs, reaching over the center-field wall to rob Ryan Howard of a homer in the second, then throwing out Reid Brignac at the plate on an ill-advised send by third-base coach Pete Mackanin an inning later.

Playing five straight days in a road city for the first time in franchise history, the Mets went 4-1 against the Phillies to move within a game of .500. The teams played a total of 57 innings. Add in two wins to close the last homestand against the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Mets are 6-1 since the firing of hitting coach Dave Hudgens and release of Jose Valverde. New York (28-29) moved into third place in the NL East for the first time since May 13.


Drew Hallowell/Getty ImagesMatt den Dekker takes away a would-be second-inning homer from Ryan Howard.


Bobby Abreu and Lucas Duda had consecutive one-out doubles in the second inning Monday as the Mets took a 1-0 lead against Roberto Hernandez. After inning-opening singles by den Dekker and Daniel Murphy in the sixth, David Wright produced a two-run double for a 3-0 lead. Later that inning, second baseman Chase Utley’s error on a would-be inning-ending double play loaded the bases. Wilmer Flores then delivered a two-run double that snapped the Mets’ 14 at-bat hitless streak with the bases loaded.

Flores' grand slam capped a six-run ninth. He finished with six RBIs, doubling his previous career high. The Mets went 3-for-4 with the bases loaded. Ike Davis had the Mets' other grand slam this season, on April 5 against Cincinnati.

Bartolo Colon, aided by den Dekker, took a scoreless effort into the bottom of the sixth. Howard then delivered an RBI groundout, snapping Colon’s scoreless streak at 16⅓ innings.

The 26-year-old den Dekker had been the ballyhooed outfield defensive whiz in Mets camp in 2013, but he broke the wrist on his right, non-throwing hand in Grapefruit League play late that spring training and missed the first two months of the minor league season. When the opportunity for an in-season promotion arose, Lagares -- another human highlight film -- had leapfrogged den Dekker.

With the Mets having played consecutive 14-inning games, den Dekker actually had been demoted before Sunday’s matinee to clear a roster spot for an extra arm. He never even started to pack for a scheduled 8:30 p.m. flight to Las Vegas, though. Once Lagares departed Sunday’s game with an injury, den Dekker was told to sit tight in Philly. He officially was re-promoted to the Mets on Monday afternoon when Lagares was placed on the disabled list with a strained rib cage.

Colon, incidentally, now has been saved from serving up homers by both den Dekker and Lagares. Lagares took away a would-be homer from Jayson Werth in D.C. on May 17.

Mets manager Terry Collins indicated den Dekker will get first dibs at trying to claim the leadoff spot in Lagares’ absence. He led off three different innings and finished 1-for-5.

Debutant: Left-hander Dana Eveland made his Mets debut in the eighth inning, inheriting a 5-1 lead and two baserunners from Colon with none out. He coaxed a fly out from Utley, struck out Howard and departed with righty-hitting Marlon Byrd next up. Jeurys Familia entered and uncorked a wild pitch on his first offering as the Phillies moved within three runs. Byrd then flied out.

Eveland, 30, last pitched in a major game on July 13, 2012, with the Baltimore Orioles. He spent last season in South Korea.

What’s next: The Mets head to the Windy City. Zack Wheeler (2-5, 4.31 ERA) opposes Chicago Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta (1-1, 3.20) in Tuesday’s 8:05 p.m. ET series opener.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 4, Phillies 3 (11)

June, 1, 2014
6/01/14
5:06
PM ET
PHILADELPHIA -- The Mets won! And it only took 11 innings to do it!

After consecutive 14-inning games, the Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 4-3, Sunday afternoon courtesy a tiebreaking two-run homer in the 11th by Lucas Duda against Phillippe Aumont.

The Mets tied a franchise record with their third straight extra-inning game. It has now happened four times, most recently with three straight 10-inning affairs at Houston from July 31 through Aug. 2 in 2001.

Josh Edgin earned the win after striking out the side in the 10th. Jenrry Mejia recorded the save despite surrendering a solo homer to Marlon Byrd with one out in the bottom half.

Ouch: Juan Lagares left Sunday's game in the 10th inning with right rib-cage pain and appears headed to the disabled list.

Deep thoughts: Ryan Howard produced a two-run homer against Jonathon Niese in the fourth to stake Philadelphia to a 2-1 lead. It was Howard’s 40th homer against the Mets, more than any other active player. Teammates Chase Utley (31) and Jimmy Rollins (28) are next on the list, followed by Atlanta’s Dan Uggla and Washington’s Adam LaRoche (24 apiece).

Sloppy play: The Mets evened the score at 2 in the sixth on an unearned run against Cole Hamels. After a leadoff double, Eric Campbell advanced to third base on Rollins’ throwing error to first base on Chris Young’s grounder. That put Campbell in position to score on Curtis Granderson’s ensuing sacrifice fly.

The Mets had a chance to take the lead in the seventh after more Phillies sloppiness. Lagares reached on an error by third baseman Reid Brignac. Daniel Murphy then hit into a would-be 4-6-3 double play. However, second baseman Cesar Hernandez's flip to Rollins at second base was wide and Lagares was safe there. The Mets eventually stranded two baserunners when Campbell and Young consecutively struck out.

The Phillies had more sloppiness against Niese the following half-inning. With Hernandez on second base and one out, Domonic Brown -- pinch-hitting for Hamels -- singled to left field to advance Hernandez to third base. But Brown got caught between first and second and was tagged out. Niese then stranded Hernandez at third base by retiring Ben Revere.

Niese departed after eight innings and 91 pitches with the score tied at 2 when his spot came up to lead off the ninth. He likely would have been able to continue pitching had he batted in the eighth as planned. Instead, with Niese at the plate, Ruben Tejada was caught stealing to end that frame, delaying Niese’s at-bat until the ninth.

What’s next: The teams complete the five-game series at 7:05 p.m. Monday. Bartolo Colon (4-5, 4.73 ERA) opposes right-hander Roberto Hernandez (2-2, 3.76).

Rapid Reaction: Mets 5, Phillies 4 (14)

May, 31, 2014
5/31/14
8:41
PM ET
PHILADELPHIA -- Jacob deGrom again was deprived of his first major league win in agonizing fashion. At least this time the New York Mets salvaged a victory.

With Jenrry Mejia unavailable after working the previous two days, Jeurys Familia tried to protect a one-run lead in the ninth inning. Instead, the Philadelphia Phillies evened the score.

Ex-Met Marlon Byrd had a leadoff double and Domonic Brown followed with a game-tying single against Familia.

The Mets finally notched a 5-4 win in the 14th at Citizens Bank Park after David Wright delivered an RBI single against Antonio Bastardo. It was the Mets' first hit since the ninth inning. Bastardo had entered only because Jeff Manship, after four no-hit innings, had suffered a left quad strain as a batter unsuccessfully trying to beat out a two-out grounder with the winning run at third base to end the 13th.

It was the second straight start that deGrom departed with a lead only to be deprived of his first win. After tossing 6 2/3 scoreless innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Memorial Day at Citi Field, Jose Valverde eventually blew the lead by surrendering four runs. Valverde was released after that game. DeGrom remains 0-2.

With his fourth straight quality start to begin his major league career, deGrom now has a 2.42 ERA. The only other pitcher in franchise history to be winless through four career appearances while producing a quality start in each outing is Ron Darling in 1983.

The Mets, meanwhile, have now played seven games of at least four hours this season, matching the Los Angeles Dodgers for the most in the majors.

These two teams have now played consecutive 14-inning games. The only other instance in which the Mets played consecutive 14-plus-inning games in one season was Sept. 7-8, 1979, against the Pirates (14 and 15 innings). The Mets played consecutive five-hour games for the first time in franchise history. Saturday's lasted five hours and 32 minutes.

DeGrom had taken a one-hit shutout into the seventh. He retired the first 11 batters he faced, until Chase Utley’s two-out single in the fourth. The 25-year-old right-hander ultimately struck out a career-high 11, the most by a Mets pitcher this season.


Chris Szagola/Associated PressJacob deGrom again was deprived of his first major league win Saturday.


His sterling outing unraveled in the seventh, however. Staked to a 4-0 lead, deGrom allowed a leadoff single to Jimmy Rollins and then walked Utley. Ryan Howard followed with an opposite-field, three-run homer. DeGrom remained in to strike out Byrd, then departed with his pitch count at 101 and the Mets holding a 4-3 lead.

His line: 6 1/3 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 11 K, 1 HR.

About the only issue for deGrom before the seventh inning? A mound visit from trainer Ray Ramirez after the rookie delivered a first-pitch ball to Reid Brignac with two outs in the fifth. DeGrom threw one warm-up pitch for the staff, manager Terry Collins and Ramirez retreated to the dugout, and deGrom’s dominance continued until the seventh.

Ruben stud: Ruben Tejada snapped the longest active homerless drought in MLB with a fourth-inning solo shot against Kyle Kendrick that gave the Mets a 3-0 lead. He finished 3-for-4 with a home run, two RBIs and two walks to lift his batting average 17 points, to .227.

It was Tejada’s first homer since Aug. 1, 2012, against San Francisco’s Matt Cain. Tejada had gone 552 at-bats without a homer.

The longest active homerless streak in MLB now belongs to Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Kyle Lohse (434 at-bats). Chicago Cubs catcher John Baker (430 at-bats) is the new leader among position players, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Philadelphia’s Ben Revere had paved the way for Tejada to briefly sit atop the active leaderboard. Revere’s first career homer came in his 1,466th career at-bat, on Tuesday.

Debutant: Buddy Carlyle tossed three scoreless innings in his Mets debut, from the 11th through the 13th. The 36-year-old call-up from Las Vegas last had appeared in the majors on June 25, 2011, with the Yankees. He earned his first major league win since Sept. 24, 2008, with the Braves. Carlos Torres notched the save with a scoreless 14th despite allowing the first two batters to reach.

Bobby O: Bobby Abreu, starting for the second straight day, finished 2-for-4 with a double and RBI. He is 10-for-21 with five walks in his past six starts.

The Mets took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on two-out run-scoring hits by Abreu and Lucas Duda.

Last call: Daisuke Matsuzaka, slated to enter the rotation Wednesday at Wrigley Field with Rafael Montero’s demotion, made a final relief appearance. Matsuzaka overcame an error from Daniel Murphy by striking out Brignac to record the final out of the seventh inning. Matsuzaka then surrendered a one-out triple to Revere in the eighth. Revere ultimately was stranded at third base. Scott Rice entered with two outs and walked Utley on four pitches, but then struck out Howard to preserve the 4-3 lead.

In a pinch: Juan Lagares pinch hit for bunting purposes and delivered a sacrifice in the 14th. He had been scratched from the starting lineup with a right rib cage spasm.

Bad form? The Mets were incredulous that second-base ump Doug Eddings ruled Brown safe on a two-out steal attempt in the fifth inning. So Collins challenged the ruling on the field. Once the Mets saw the replay on the scoreboard and concluded they were in the right, they left the field, even though the crew had yet to formally reverse the safe call.

The Phillies, under similar circumstances in the top of the ninth, stayed on the field until umps confirmed the ruling of a third out even though scoreboard replays already suggested they would prevail.

What’s next: Jonathon Niese (3-3, 2.74 ERA) opposes left-hander Cole Hamels (1-3, 4.43) on Sunday at 1:35 p.m. Hamels is 7-14 with a 4.51 ERA in 28 career starts against the Mets.

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TEAM LEADERS

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