New York Mets: Ricky Nolasco

Morning Briefing: Off to Jupiter

March, 22, 2014
Mar 22

FIRST PITCH: The Mets take a relatively short drive to Jupiter on Saturday to face the Miami Marlins.

Bartolo Colon, who appears lining up for the second game of the season, opposes Marlins left-hander Brad Hand at 1:05 p.m. at Roger Dean Stadium (WOR 710 AM).

Terry Collins expects Daniel Murphy to play in his first Grapefruit League game since Sunday, when Murphy injured his right calf.

Saturday’s news reports:

• A day after Ike Davis snapped an 18-day absence from Grapefruit League play, Lucas Duda snapped an absence of identical length. Duda belted a two-run homer and logged five innings at first base Friday against the Minnesota Twins. Duda also demonstrated that the left hamstring issue that hampered him for more than two weeks may truly be behind him. He hustled to score from first base on a first-inning double by Davis with no apparent ill effect. Collins said early season appearances for Duda in the outfield are pretty much off the table because the hamstring injury prevented Duda from getting work out there. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and

• Expected Opening Day starter Dillon Gee limited the Twins to one run in 5 1/3 innings as the Mets beat Minnesota, 9-1, at Hammond Stadium. Gee still has yet to walk a batter this spring training. The Mets scored seven first-inning runs against ex-Marlin Ricky Nolasco, capped by a two-run homer from Taylor Teagarden. Read more in the Post, Star-Ledger, Record and

• Free-agent Stephen Drew is willing to sign a one-year, $14 million deal with the Detroit Tigers, who have lost shortstop Jose Iglesias to stress fractures in his shins, John Lowe writes in the Detroit Free Press. The Tigers nonetheless helped address their shortstop deficiency by acquiring Andrew Romine from the Los Angeles Angels on Friday. Romine is a former teammate of Ike Davis at Arizona State.

• The 7 Line, which produces Mets-themed T-shirts, is now an officially licensed MLB brand and will have a kiosk near Shake Shack at Citi Field, the company announced. Founder Darren Meenan launched the business in 2010 “printing T-shirts in my parents’ basement,” he wrote.

Bobby Parnell skipped the three-hour trip to Fort Myers and instead allowed one hit in two scoreless innings in a minor-league game in Port St. Lucie. Parnell reportedly topped out at 94 mph, a good sign since his velocity has been down this spring training. Jose Valverde, who also is ticketed for the Opening Day bullpen, had a perfect frame against minor leaguers.

• Jared Diamond in the Journal studies the Mets’ plan to bat the pitcher eighth on occasion. The conclusion: There may be a benefit, but it is negligible.

Diamond writes that teams averaged 4.51 runs per game when batting the pitcher eighth since 1980. Those same teams averaged 4.33 runs per game batting the pitcher ninth during that span.

“You just can’t create runs -- or lose them -- by moving hitters around in the lineup,” renowned statistician Bill James told Diamond. “… To the small extent that it may matter, I think it is extremely likely that you’re better off with the pitcher batting eighth, rather than the pitcher batting ninth.”

The Mets’ logic in batting the pitcher eighth is that the No. 9 batter, likely Juan Lagares, essentially becomes a leadoff hitter, with No. 3 David Wright batting cleanup, the second time through the order. That should give Wright more opportunities to drive in runs.

• Columnist Kevin Kernan writes in the Post that Curtis Granderson’s positive disposition should help the Mets.

From the bloggers … Blogging Mets predicts more losing for the Amazin’s in 2014.

BIRTHDAYS: Ike Davis turns 27 today. ... Former Mets reliever Joe Smith, now with the Angels, is 30.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: How should Terry Collins divide playing time between Ike Davis, Lucas Duda and Josh Satin in April?

Mets 9, Twins 1: Amazin's jump on Nolasco

March, 21, 2014
Mar 21
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Seven straight batters reached base against Ricky Nolasco in a seven-run first inning and the Mets cruised to a 9-1 win against the Minnesota Twins on Friday at Hammond Stadium.

Opening Day starter Dillon Gee limited Minnesota to one run on five hits while striking out four and walking none in 5 1/3 innings. Scott Rice, Gonzalez Germen, Jeurys Familia and Carlos Torres combined to blank the Twins the rest of the way.

Ruben Tejada began the first-inning barrage against the ex-Marlin Nolasco with a one-out double. It marked the fifth straight at-bat in which Tejada produced a hit, after being 2-for-his-first-24. He finished the game 1-for-3 to lift his average to .226.

In his first Grapefruit League game since March 3, Lucas Duda next was plunked by a pitch. Ike Davis and Andrew Brown followed with consecutive doubles. Kirk Nieuwenhuis then tripled. Taylor Teagarden capped the inning’s scoring with a two-run homer.

Duda added a two-run homer in the fourth against Casey Fien.

What’s next: Bartolo Colon opposes Miami Marlins left-hander Brad Hand at 1:05 p.m. Saturday at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter (WOR 710 AM). Terry Collins expects Daniel Murphy (calf) to play for the first time since Sunday. Davis is due to man first base.

Rapid Reaction: Dodgers 4, Mets 2

August, 13, 2013
LOS ANGELES -- The Mets, well Daniel Murphy, gave the Los Angeles Dodgers too many outs in the sixth inning.

With Jenrry Mejia cruising against the red-hot Dodgers, Murphy failed to execute consecutive makeable plays to open the frame. Los Angeles eventually posted three runs in the inning en route to a 4-2 win against the Mets on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.

L.A. improved to 38-8 since June 22 -- the franchise’s best 46-game stretch in baseball’s modern era.

Harry How/Getty ImagesDaniel Murphy's near-miss of Mark Ellis' soft liner in the sixth contributed to a three-run frame.

With the Mets leading 2-0, Carl Crawford opened the bottom of the sixth with a grounder to Murphy’s right. Murphy knocked down the ball but could not handle it, on what was ruled an infield single.

Mark Ellis then produced a sinking liner that glanced off a retreating Murphy’s glove and dropped into shallow right field for another hit.

Adrian Gonzalez followed with a line single over shortstop that plated Crawford. And Juan Lagares’ throw back to the infield skipped past Wilmer Flores at third base for an E-8. That allowed Ellis to also race home and even the score at 2, while Gonzalez advanced to third. That put Gonzalez in position to score an unearned run and give the Dodgers the lead on Yasiel Puig’s sacrifice fly.

Mejia stopped the damage there, in what became his final inning.

Mejia’s line: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K. He threw 85 pitches (62 strikes).

The Mets chased Ricky Nolasco and eventually loaded the bases with one out the following half-inning.

On a controversial call, Ronald Belisario then struck out Juan Lagares looking at a full-count offering that plate umpire Chad Fairchild ruled was on the outside corner. With two outs, lefty Paco Rodriguez entered and coaxed Murphy into a flyout to right field as the Mets stranded three.

Nick Punto homered against Carlos Torres in the bottom of the seventh to give L.A. a 4-2 lead.

Mejia had retired the first eight Dodgers he faced, until Nolasco’s single. The Cuban phenom Puig struck out twice against Mejia before the sixth-inning sacrifice fly.

The Mets had taken a 2-0 lead in the second on four straight singles, including consecutive run-scoring hits by John Buck and Omar Quintanilla against Nolasco.

Medical attention: Flores received a visit at third base from trainer Ray Ramirez and Terry Collins after advancing there on Buck’s single in the second inning.

Flores remained in the game and later made a stellar diving stop toward the line to rob Mark Ellis of an extra-base hit to open the bottom of the fourth.

Viva Ike: Ike Davis reached base two more times, on a second-inning single and third-inning walk. He has reached base at least twice in each of his last 12 starts. That matches John Olerud's 1998 franchise record.

What’s next: Matt Harvey Day in L.A. Harvey (9-3, 2.09 ERA) opposes left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu (11-3, 2.99) at 10:10 p.m. ET Tuesday.

Series preview: Mets at Dodgers

August, 12, 2013

Getty ImagesThe Mets face (l to r) Ricky Nolasco, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Chris Capuano at Dodger Stadium.
METS (54-61, third place/NL East) vs. LOS ANGELES DODGERS (67-50, first place/NL West)

Monday: RHP Jenrry Mejia (1-1, 1.96) vs. RHP Ricky Nolasco (8-9, 3.65), 10:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Matt Harvey (9-3, 2.09) vs. LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (11-3, 2.99), 10:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Dillon Gee (8-8, 3.82) vs. LHP Chris Capuano (4-6, 4.50), 10:10 p.m. ET

Dodgers short hops

• The Dodgers are 37-8 since June 22, matching the best 45-game stretch in franchise history. They also posted that record in 1899 and 1953.

The turnaround spared manager Don Mattingly getting fired, he said last week while revealing a late-May meeting with team president Stan Kasten. The Dodgers were a season-low 12 games under .500 before their current 45-game surge.

"Stan was really honest. He didn't want to do anything but he said, 'Donnie, at some point I got to do something,'" Mattingly said, as quoted by "I understood it. I was fine with that. I understand. At some point you need a change of voice, a different voice."

Hanley Ramirez (.359, 11 HR, 37 RBIs) continues to experience pain in his right shoulder a week after diving into the stands during a catch attempt at Wrigley Field. He has not started any of the past seven games. The disabled list is a consideration, although the Dodgers lost some backdating ability when Ramirez was used as a pinch hitter Friday. Nick Punto and Dee Gordon have shared the shortstop duty with Ramirez banged up.

Brian D. Kersey/Getty ImagesYasiel Puig is a leading candidate for NL Rookie of the Year.

• First baseman Adrian Gonzalez departed Sunday’s game in the ninth inning with dizziness. Gonzalez leads the Dodgers in homers (16) and RBIs (72).

Ricky Nolasco was acquired from the Miami Marlins on July 6 for Angel Sanchez, Steve Ames and Josh Wall. Nolasco is 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA in six starts since joining L.A. He has exceeded 5 2/3 innings only once since arriving, in his Dodgers debut at Arizona.

• Cuban defector Yasiel Puig, a 22-year-old rookie, is hitting .441 (15-for-34) with 12 walks in 10 August games. Puig became the first player since Joe DiMaggio in 1936 to have 70 or more hits and 10 homers in his first 50 major league games.

Writes’s Dave Schoenfield: “Puig got two hits in his debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 3, then hit two homers the next game, and has been a lightning rod ever since for his play on the field and for his on-field antics that have upset opponents -- a brawl, a bat flip, a confident attitude, a spikes-high slide that Dusty Baker complained about. He plays the game with the flair of someone who escaped Cuba and enjoys displaying his talent for the entire world.”

• Former San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson, returning from Tommy John surgery, signed with the Dodgers and is working his way back. He tossed a perfect inning Sunday with Triple-A Albuquerque. He has another minor league appearance scheduled for Tuesday, the day before he is eligible to be activated from the disabled list. The Mets, including pitching coach Dan Warthen, flew to California to watch Wilson during the offseason, and were disappointed Wilson was not further along in his rehab from the elbow surgery at that point.

• Center field Matt Kemp has been sidelined since injuring his left ankle sliding into home plate on June 21. He shagged fly balls and took batting practice Sunday, signaling a return is getting closer.

• Closer Kenley Jansen had retired 27 straight batters -- the equivalent of a perfect game -- before surrendering a single to St. Louis’ David Freese on Thursday. Jansen became the first Dodger to retire 27 straight since Greg Maddux retired 32 straight from Aug. 13-19, 2006, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

• Ex-Met Chris Capuano allowed five runs on 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings against the Rays on Friday. The southpaw had combined to toss 13 scoreless innings over his previous two starts, against the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs.

• Reliever Carlos Marmol was acquired from the Cubs on July 2 for reliever Matt Guerrier. Marmol made his Dodgers debut 20 days later, after a minor league stint.

A.J. Ellis sees the most pitchers per plate appearance in the NL.

• Third baseman Juan Uribe became the victim of a hidden-ball trick by the Rays when he stepped off third base Saturday.

• L.A. acquired Drew Butera, a former Mets farmhand, from the Minnesota Twins for a player to be named and assigned the catcher to Albuquerque.

Series preview: Mets vs. Marlins

June, 6, 2013

Getty ImagesThe Mets are due to face (l to r) Jose Fernandez, Kevin Slowey and Tom Koehler this weekend at Citi Field.
METS (23-33, fourth place/NL East) vs. MIAMI MARLINS (16-44, fifth place/NL East)

Friday: RHP Matt Harvey (5-0, 2.17) vs. RHP Jose Fernandez (3-3, 3.34), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Shaun Marcum (0-6, 5.71) vs. RHP Kevin Slowey (1-5, 4.16), 1:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: LHP Jonathon Niese (3-5, 4.40) vs. RHP Tom Koehler (0-4, 3.70), 1:10 p.m. ET

Marlins short hops

Giancarlo Stanton, who has been out since straining his right hamstring against the Mets on April 29, began a rehab assignment Tuesday with Class A Jupiter. Also in the midst of rehab assignments: Donovan Solano (intercostal muscle), Joe Mahoney (hamstring) and Logan Morrison. Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (shoulder) has one remaining rehab start before returning from the disabled list.

Laurence Kesterson/Associated PressCasey Kotchman returned Monday, after a two-month absence.

Once Stanton returns, Chris Coghlan should get exposure at third base and rookie Marcell Ozuna in center field and left field. Coghlan hasn’t been an everyday third baseman since 2009 in Triple-A, but he manned the hot corner during his college career at Ole Miss.

• Ozuna, who has been starting in right field in Stanton’s absence, lost a 16-game hitting streak last Saturday against the Mets. It was the second-longest streak for a rookie in Marlins history, trailing only Edgar Renteria’s 22-game streak in 1996.

• After last weekend’s series against the Mets, the Marlins activated first baseman Casey Kotchman from the DL and promoted left-hander Edgar Olmos from Double-A. Left-hander Wade LeBlanc was designated for assignment and outfielder Jordan Brown was demoted to Triple-A.

• Highly regarded outfield prospect Christian Yelich, who excelled against the Mets during spring training, landed on the disabled list at Double-A Jacksonville with an abdominal strain. That will delay his promotion.

Ed Lucas, whose first major league hit came last weekend in Miami against the Mets, is the oldest position player ever to make his major league debut with the Marlins. The oldest players ever to debut for the Marlins, regardless of position: Joe Strong (2000, 37 years 245 days), Lucas (2013, 31 years 9 days), Chuck Smith (2000, 30 years 326 days), Joe Dillon (2005, 29 years 289 days) and Tommy Phelps (2003, 29 years 27 days).

Lucas’ four-hit game Sunday made him the fastest ever to accomplish that feat to begin his major league career with the Marlins -- his third game, and second start. Hanley Ramirez had a four-hit game in his fourth career game. Ozuna did it in his sixth career game, earlier this season.

Tom Koehler is a Stony Brook University product.

• Closer Steve Cishek blew a save Tuesday, serving up an extra-innings homer to Philadelphia’s John Mayberry Jr. He has converted five of seven chances.

• Former Marlins manager Jack McKeon, who remains a presence around the organization, underwent heart bypass surgery Monday. He is 82.

• Miami is 6-3 against the Mets this season.

Juan Pierre has a .322 career average against the Mets. His 157 hits against the Mets are his most against any club. Only Jimmy Rollins (245) has more hits against the Mets among active players.

Ricky Nolasco and reliever Ryan Webb are available via trade, but not Cishek or left-hander Mike Dunn, according to’s Joe Frisaro.

Mets 4, Marlins 1: Nearly a 1-hit wonder

March, 7, 2013
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The Mets came within an out of a one-hit shutout and beat the Miami Marlins, 4-1, Thursday at Tradition Field.

The lone hit through 8 2/3 innings came on a sixth-inning infield single by Juan Pierre against Josh Edgin. The lone run came on a two-out homer in the ninth by J.T. Realmuto against submariner Greg Burke.

After 4 1/3 no-hit innings by Matt Harvey, Pedro Feliciano, Edgin, Brandon Lyon and Scott Rice carried the shutout bid to the ninth.

Anthony Recker opened the scoring with an RBI single against Ricky Nolasco in the second. Matt den Dekker added a solo homer in the fifth against Mitch Talbot. Andrew Brown had an RBI double and Justin Turner drove in a run with a single an inning later, also against Talbot.

Game tidbits:

BUCK SHOT: Talbot plunked John Buck on the arm with a sixth-inning pitch, but Buck said it was a nonissue postgame.

OUT AND ABOUT: Turner logged two innings in left field -- his first outfield action since his first season as a professional, in 2006.

Mets morning briefing 9.24.12

September, 24, 2012
After an intentional walk to Fred Lewis with with first base open loaded the bases, Ruben Tejada delivered a game-ending RBI single against Ryan Webb as the Mets completed a sweep of the Miami Marlins with a 3-2 win Sunday at Citi Field. It became the second walk-off hit of Tejada's career, joining a Sept. 28, 2010 two-run double against John Axford that beat the Milwaukee Brewers.

David Wright opened the scoring Sunday with a two-run homer in the first inning against Ricky Nolasco. Wright now has 1,415 career hits, within three of matching Ed Kranepool's franchise record.

The Mets now welcome the plummeting Pittsburgh Pirates to Flushing for the last home series of the season. The four-game series begins with Jenrry Mejia (0-1, 9.00 ERA) making his second major league start this season, opposite right-hander Kyle McPherson (0-1, 2.25). Collin McHugh faces left-hander Wandy Rodriguez on Tuesday and Jeremy Hefner faces left-hander Jeff Locke on Wednesday. The home finale Thursday features R.A. Dickey bidding for his 20th victory. He opposes right-hander Kevin Correia at 1:10 p.m.

Pittsburgh (75-77), which has faded to 6 games back and irrelevancy in the wild-card race, is bidding for its first winning season since 1992. The Pirates have won only five of their past 22 games.

Monday's news reports:

• Closer Frank Francisco, who last appeared Sept. 16, continues to be unavailable because of right elbow woes.

Charles LeClaire/US Presswire
Frank Francisco may not reappear this season.

Francisco underwent an MRI a week ago, and the team continues to label the injury tendinitis. With the season concluding in nine days and Francisco under contract for next season at $6.5 million, it may be most wise to shut the closer down for the season. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Record.

• Wright's first and second halves have been dramatically different. In fact, the third baseman is struggling to stay above .300 for the season. After a 1-for-4 game Sunday that included the long ball, he is only four points above the mark. Writes Roderick Boone in Newsday:

After an impressive first half in which he hit .351, Wright's hitting has tailed off significantly these past three months. Sure, he's three hits shy of tying Ed Kranepool for the franchise's all-time hits mark at 1,418. But he's batting just .253 since July 1. So something as simple as drilling his second home run since Aug. 24 can certainly be seen as a positive development for Wright, whose manager wants to see him end the season on a high note. "I think it's really important for David to finish strong. I really do," Terry Collins said. "For what he did the first 2 months of the season, I don't think you're going to see that very often. I want him to finish strong. I want him to break the hit record at home." ...

Wright, who entered Sunday's action batting .225 this month, seemed like he was just glad to have something tangible to hang his fitted cap on after all his struggles at the plate. "I felt like recently I've had some good at bats and not much to show for it," he said. "That's kind of the way it happens sometimes, the law of averages kicks in at some point. [Hitting] .350 is tough to keep up the entire year. I've felt good with where I've been at. As far as the at-bats I've been having, I'm disappointed in the results lately. I haven't been seeing exactly the results that I've wanted to. But I'm happy with the process and hopefully can finish up strong."

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

• Israel failed to qualify for the World Baseball Classic, which will be held during spring training. The squad lost 9-7 to Spain in 10 innings in the finals of a qualifier in Jupiter, Fla. Mets farmhand Josh Satin went 1-for-6 with one RBI in the defeat. Fellow Mets minor leaguer Jeff Kaplan allowed one run in 1 1/3 innings in middle relief. Check the box score here.

TRIVIA: Which pitcher led the Pirates in victories during their last winning season?

Sunday's answer: Dickey joined Tom Seaver (five times), Dwight Gooden (twice), Jerry Koosman and David Cone as the only pitchers in franchise history to notch 19 wins and 200 strikeouts while logging 220 innings.

Mets morning briefing 5.13.12

May, 13, 2012
David Wright lifted his average to .402 with a 4-for-6 performance that included a homer and three RBIs. And the Mets rebounded from a series-opening late-inning meltdown to beat Miami, 9-3, on Saturday at Marlins Park.

Sunday's news reports:

R.A. Dickey was drilled on the inside of the right wrist on a pitch from Ricky Nolasco while the knuckleballer batted in the fifth inning. Dickey said he did not believe X-rays would be necessary, but he noted he was curious how the wrist would feel this morning. Read more in Newsday, the Star-Ledger, Daily News, Post and Record.

• Read game recaps, including coverage of Wright's big game, in the Record, Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger and Times.

• My take on Wright: It's becoming increasing clear he will remain a Met long term:

After this season, once Chipper Jones has retired, you will be able to count on Antonio Alfonseca's right hand the number of active players who have appeared in more major league games than David Wright and done so in only one uniform. Derek Jeter. Todd Helton. Ichiro Suzuki. Michael Young. Jimmy Rollins. Brian Roberts. And it is difficult to envision Wright, who has logged 1,136 games as a New York Met, moving elsewhere and getting sidetracked from ascending that list.

Read the full column here.

Jose Reyes went 4-for-5 -- all singles -- in the loss. He is now hitting .256. "I got four hits today, but I'm still not quite where I want to be," Reyes said, according to Mark Herrmann in Newsday. "But it's getting close."

Mike Kerwick in the Record offers a reminder that the next wave of pitching -- Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familia and Zack Wheeler -- will be given time to develop in the minors and not rushed soon to the big leagues. Writes Kerwick:

What the Mets pluck from this season is a bonus, a tribute to Mets manager Terry Collins' ability to coax the most out of three dominant starters (Johan Santana, R.A. Dickey, Jon Niese) and the top of his lineup (Is David Wright having a nice season or what?). Next season that changes. Expectations inflate. If at least one of those kids is not on the opening day roster, something will have gone wrong. For now: Patience, young Skywalker. The kids will get here, maybe even by season's end. Until then, put up with these short-term rental agreements. More-promising tenants will be here before you know it.

Charley Thurber, Albert Cordero and Travis Taijeron all homered in Savannah's 8-4 win at Hickory. Read Sunday's full minor league recap here.

Anthony McCarron in the Daily News profiles Octavio Dotel, who has played for 13 teams, including the Mets, his original organization. Dotel's April 7 appearance for the Detroit Tigers allowed him to pass Matt Stairs, Mike Morgan and Ron Villone for the major league record for most uniforms donned, according to the Daily News. Writes McCarron:

He chuckles when someone suggests he pursue an endorsement deal with Samsonite, the luggage company. “It’s easy for me,” Dotel says of the record, which he embraces and even admits he looked forward to holding. “Some guys, it might be difficult, but for me, going from one city to another city, one stadium to another stadium, one team to another team, it’s normal.”

Dwight Gooden, Rusty Staub, Howie Rose and Evan Roberts will serve as judges, along with one later addition, for the May 27 revival of Banner Day, according to the Daily News.

Daniel Murphy discusses his relationship with God, his engagement and dealing with the pressures of baseball with Andy McCullough in the Star-Ledger.

TRIVIA: Who produced the first Mets hit at Marlins Park?

Saturday's answer: Mike Marshall has the single-season major league record for relief appearances. Marshall appeared in 106 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1974.

Dickey: Wrist shot not serious

May, 12, 2012
R.A. Dickey had a mark on his right wrist, but the knuckleballer said after Saturday's 9-3 win that he should not require X-rays as the result of being struck by a fifth-inning pitch from opposing starter Ricky Nolasco.

Dickey completed one more inning before departing.

Steve Mitchell/US Presswire
Terry Collins checks on R.A. Dickey's right wrist after the knuckleballer was plunked by Ricky Nolasco in the fifth inning.

"It's pretty sore," Terry Collins said. "My concern, obviously, was if the wrist stiffened up. He came off after the sixth inning and said it was really starting to throb. So I thought that was enough."

Said Dickey: "It hit me on the inside of my right wrist. ... Nothing serious. I'd say that I probably would have pitched a couple of more innings. I certainly felt OK [pitching-wise]. But it's better to be precautionary at that stage, I think. So we'll see how it feels in the morning.

"You don't know until the initial sting of it dissipates how bad it may really be with the wrist. And I was thankful it hit me in a meatier part of the wrist. But you just never know. I got feeling back in my hand pretty quickly, and I felt like I was going to be OK."

As for his outing on the mound (6 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K), Dickey said: "As far as the knuckleball goes, it was a real fight today. I threw a lot of tumbleweeds up there -- balls that were just kind of over-rotating on me. Fortunately, I didn't have my swing-and-miss knuckleball tonight, but they were hitting enough pieces of it to get me some groundballs in bigger situations, and I was able to make a big pitch occasionally when I needed it.

"But that's a good club over there. It's hard to compete against that club with less than your best stuff. And I didn't have my best stuff today. And I'm fortunate to get out of it the way I did."

• The Mets' Nos. 3-4-5 hitters had three-plus hits apiece for the first time since May 16, 2009 at San Francisco, when Carlos Beltran, Gary Sheffield and David Wright all did so.

Wright was 4-for-6. Lucas Duda was 3-for-6. Daniel Murphy was 3-for-4.

• Wright's .402 average is the second-best in franchise history on May 12 (min. 50 plate appearances). Cleon Jones was hitting .411 on May 12, 1969. Next on the list: Joe Torre (.393, 1976) and Mike Piazza (.389, 2000).

Rapid Reaction: Mets 9, Marlins 3

May, 12, 2012

Recap | Box score | Photos

WHAT IT MEANS: David Wright went 4-for-6 to lift his average to a National League-leading .402. He also homered and produced three RBIs as the Mets bounced back from a ninth-inning defeat in the series opener.

R.A. Dickey limited Miami to two runs in six innings in the 9-3 victory Saturday at Marlins Park. The knuckleballer improved to 5-1.

Steve Mitchell/US Presswire
David Wright went 4-for-6 with three RBIs on Saturday to lift his average to .402.

Dickey was plunked by Ricky Nolasco on the right forearm with a pitch in the fifth inning with the bases loaded to force in a run, but remained in the game.

Nolasco remained stuck at 68 career wins, tied with Dontrelle Willis for the most in a Marlins uniform.

Wright delivered a first-inning RBI single after consecutive walks to Andres Torres and Kirk Nieuwenhuis to open the game. Two innings later, after Miami had pulled even at 1, Wright restored the lead with an opposite-field solo homer against Nolasco, against whom he is now hitting .400 with five homers and 15 RBIs in 60 career at-bats.

The Mets' lead grew to 3-1 in the fourth after Brett Hayes was called for catcher's interference on a would-be flyout by Torres, which prolonged the inning for an RBI single by Nieuwenhuis.

After Mike Nickeas and Dickey were consecutively hit by pitches by Nolasco in the fifth, the Mets grabbed a 6-1 lead when Torres delivered a two-run single that chased Nolasco.

BYRD THE WORD: Tim Byrdak entered in the seventh inning to bail out Manny Acosta after the Marlins had pulled within 7-3. For the second straight game, Byrdak struck out Logan Morrison to strand a runner in scoring position, although Morrison complained to plate umpire Tony Randazzo about his called third strike this time. Byrdak was making his 20th appearance. He now is on pace for 98 appearances.

REYES OF LIGHT: Jose Reyes went 4-for-5 Saturday against his former club.

WHAT'S NEXT: Jon Niese (2-1, 4.01 ERA) opposes Carlos Zambrano (1-2, 1.98) in Sunday’s 1:10 p.m. series finale.

Mets morning briefing 4.27.12

April, 27, 2012
Marlins closer Heath Bell walked four batters in the ninth inning, including Justin Turner to cap a 13-pitch plate appearance that forced in the tying run, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis followed by producing a walk-off RBI as the Mets rallied to sweep Miami with a 3-2 victory in Thursday afternoon's series finale. The Mets used an all-homegrown starting lineup for only the third time in franchise history, with the other two instances occurring in September 1971.

Jose Reyes went just 1-for-12 in the series, in his return to Flushing as a visitor. He misfired on a double-play turn in the series' middle game that prolonged an inning. That allowed for David Wright's game-changing two-run homer off Mark Buehrle (and career RBIs Nos. 734 and 735, which moved Wright ahead of Darryl Strawberry for sole possession of first place on the franchise's all-time list).

Bell suffered a 47-pitch meltdown Thursday -- the most pitches thrown in a ninth-inning blown save in the majors since Danys Baez with the Cleveland Indians on Sept. 8, 2002 against Jerry Manuel's Chicago White Sox, according to's Jayson Stark. It marked the second time in the series the Marlins had walked four batters in an inning to force in a critical run. The Mets had been 0-for-17 with the bases loaded until Nieuwenhuis' walk-off hit against Bell -- the worst start to a season in franchise history, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

The Mets, who swept a division opponent at home for the second time in April, improved to 11-8 overall and 10-5 against NL East opponents. They also bounced back from a disappointing series against San Francisco that saw the Amazin's drop to .500 for the only time this season.

The Mets now open a six-game trip in Denver on Friday, with Chris Schwinden set to make his season debut for the Mets, opposite Rockies left-hander Drew Pomeranz -- the centerpiece of the trade that sent Ubaldo Jimenez to the Indians at last year's trading deadline. Schwinden, who is taking Mike Pelfrey's spot in the rotation, was 2-2 with a 2.05 ERA at Triple-A Buffalo.

Coors Field is the site of the collision between Ike Davis and Wright last May 10 that resulted in Davis' season-ending left ankle injury.

Nieuwenhuis, who could shift to left field Monday, when Andres Torres is due to rejoin the Mets in Houston following a rehab assignment for a strained left calf, grew up in Denver. He once rushed for 267 yards in the snow in a Class 2A high school championship game for Denver Christian as a junior. Nieuwenhuis was recruited to play college football by Colorado, Colorado State and Air Force, but went on a recruiting trip to Boulder and was intimidated by the size of the first Buffs football player he saw working out -- which turned out to be the kicker, future Green Bay Packer Mason Crosby. So Nieuwenhuis instead went to Azusa Pacific, then an NAIA program, in California to play college baseball. He became a third-round pick of the Mets in 2008.

Meanwhile, please join me for a noon ET Mets chat on Friday here.

Friday's news reports:

Debby Wong/US PresswireMike Pelfrey's Mets career may be over.
• Pelfrey's Mets career may be over. After experiencing a grabbing sensation in his pitching elbow as he began each inning during Saturday's stellar start against the Giants, Pelfrey underwent an MRI at the Hospital for Special Surgery that revealed a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament. After consulting with Dr. James Andrews, Pelfrey is prepared to travel to Birmingham, Ala., to have Andrews perform Tommy John surgery.

Pelfrey indicated he is 99 percent sure the procedure will be performed during the visit. The right-hander said there was an option presented to inject platelet-rich plasma -- obtained via the blood-spinning process -- into the elbow area to try to enhance healing, but the success rate would be as little as 10 percent. And pitching with a defective elbow could lead to an unintentionally altered delivery that could lead to other problems, such as shoulder woes.

Pelfrey is not eligible for free agency until after the 2013 season, but the Mets would need to tender him a contract in December in order to retain his services -- and that seems unlikely. Pelfrey is earning $5.6875 million this season. He must earn at least 80 percent of that amount in 2013 if the Mets tender him a contract. and an arbitrator could award him the same salary as this season, so there's no guarantee he'd even get the 20 percent pay cut. Given Tommy John surgery generally has a 12-month recovery time, it's unlikely the Mets would commit that type of dollars to a pitcher likely to spend at least the first month of next season on the disabled list.

Once Pelfrey is non-tendered, the Mets have the right to re-sign him for any salary. But Pelfrey and agent Scott Boras also can shop his services to all 30 teams at that point. Pelfrey likely would get a contract with a relatively modest base salary and serious incentives that could set up a bigger contract the following offseason.

Assuming Pelfrey departs, Johan Santana will become second in seniority on the Mets behind Wright. Daniel Murphy would rank third, followed by Jon Niese and then Bobby Parnell.

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

• Niese limited the Marlins to two runs on four hits and no walks in a duel with Ricky Nolasco. Also Thursday, Jordany Valdespin started his first professional game in left field and Davis snapped an 0-for-11 skid with an infield single in the 3-2 win against Miami. Niese, who was pulled at 97 pitches, has a 2.81 ERA in the first season of a deal that guarantees him $25.5 million over five seasons. Read game recaps in the Times, Daily News, Post, Record, Star-Ledger, Journal and Newsday.

Terry Collins speculated the boos directed at Reyes might have been attributable to -- or at least more intense because -- the shortstop departed last season's finale after a first-inning bunt single that all but locked up the NL batting title. "Jose Reyes is a human being, and one of the nicest people I’ve ever been around,” the manager added. “If [the boos] didn’t bother him I’d be shocked, because he gave his heart and soul to the people here.’’

Reyes, who is batting .205 with a .262 on-base percentage, concluded regarding his Flushing return to the Post: "I didn't do anything here. ... After the first game everything was fine for me. I came here to play my game. Things just didn’t go the way you want to. It’s going to happen sometimes.We just need to turn it around. It’s all about winning.”

• After the series finale, left-handed reliever Robert Carson was returned to Double-A Binghamton to clear roster room for the activation of Schwinden for Friday's start against the Rockies. Carson did not appear in a game during his three-day major league cameo. If Schwinden does not succeed in the rotation, the Mets can always bring back Jeremy Hefner, who tossed three scoreless innings against the Giants in relief on Monday. Longer term, and barring a setback, Chris Young should be ready by mid-May to return from May 16, 2011 surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his right shoulder. And there are always prospects Matt Harvey (4.85 ERA) and Jeurys Familia (5.30 ERA) sitting in Triple-A.

• ESPN New York 1050 is moving to your FM radio dial. Beginning this Sunday at 12:01 a.m., you can now also listen to the signal on 98.7 FM. In September, 1050 AM will become ESPN Deportes and deliver 24-hour Spanish-language sports news/talk. Armed with the new FM signal, Newsday reported, ESPN is expected to make a run at Yankees radio rights for the 2013 season.

• Columnist Bill Madden in the Daily News suggests the Mets should be rejoicing for fielding an all-homegrown lineup. (Of course, austerity and injuries can lead any team to that being the case.) Writes Madden:

No doubt, the Wilpons should be feeling proud, if not totally exonerated, considering the beating they took all winter as they reduced the Mets’ payroll by nearly $50 million -- at the same time Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria was increasing his by more than $60 million with the free- agent signings of Reyes, lefty starter Mark Buehrle and closer Heath Bell. No doubt, too, Loria is beginning to wonder what he got for his money while slowly learning the painful baseball lesson of so many other disillusioned owners before him -- you can’t buy pennants.

• According to George Willis in the Post, Turner said of his 13-pitch faceoff with Bell that resulted in a game-tying walk in the ninth: “When you get two strikes on you, it’s a fight. You just battle, and try to put the ball in play somewhere.”

• Collins said the Mets have missed too many hit-and-run signs. The manager has now simplified things.

• Outfielder Adam Loewen, who had been wearing a boot, was diagnosed with a stress fracture of the second metatarsal in his right foot and landed on Triple-A Buffalo's disabled list. UCLA product Erik Goeddel tossed five scoreless innings for St. Lucie on Thursday. Read the full minor league recap here.

Cheap Trick, which is touring with Aerosmith, had to bail on a July 20 postgame appearance at Citi Field after Aerosmith decided to add that date to its performance calendar. The Mets are replacing Cheap Trick with Daughtry for a performance following that Friday night game against the LA. Dodgers. The other planned postgame concerts: REO Speedwagon on June 15 (Cincinnati Reds) and Christian artists MercyMe on Aug. 10 (Atlanta Braves).

• The children of victims of 9/11 visited Citi Field on Thursday as part of a "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day," sponsored by Tuesday's Children. Read more in Newsday.

TRIVIA: Rockies pitching coach Bob Apodaca pitched for the Mets from 1973-77. Including coaching, he spent 30 seasons in the Mets organization. His last duty was pitching coach for the 2002 Class A St. Lucie Mets. Which current Met played for that Florida State League team?

Thursday's answer: Jarrod Washburn surrendered the first homer of Reyes' career, a grand slam on June 15, 2003 at Anaheim.

Series preview: Mets vs. Marlins

April, 24, 2012

US Presswire
The Mets face (l to r) Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle and Ricky Nolasco during a midweek series that marks Jose Reyes' return to Flushing with the Marlins.
METS (8-8, third place/NL East) vs. MIAMI MARLINS (7-8, fourth place/NL East)

Tuesday: LHP Johan Santana (0-2, 3.97) vs. RHP Josh Johnson (0-2, 5.94), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP R.A. Dickey (2-1, 5.71) vs. LHP Mark Buehrle (1-2, 2.66), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: LHP Jon Niese (2-0, 2.89) vs. RHP Ricky Nolasco (2-0, 3.93), 1:10 p.m. ET

Marlins short hops

Jose Reyes is off to a slow start in his first season with the Marlins, with a .230 average, .294 on-base percentage and five errors through 15 games, albeit with a handful of highlight-reel defensive plays as well. After the Mets failed to make an offer, or even send a box of chocolates, Reyes signed a six-year, $106 million deal with Miami.

• Manager Ozzie Guillen served a five-game suspension after making comments praising Fidel Castro, which angered those in the Cuban-American community, particularly among the Marlins’ fan base. Other than at the off-day press conference held by Guillen in Miami to apologize, which drew about 50 protestors, there have been no visible demonstrations outside Marlins Park.

Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
Ozzie Guillen served a five-game suspension for praising Fidel Castro.

Heath Bell, who did not blow consecutive saves at any point during his San Diego Padres career, opened his era with the Marlins by failing to convert his first two opportunities. The ex-Met Bell, who was traded to San Diego with Royce Ring for Jon Adkins and Ben Johnson on Nov. 15, 2006, nonetheless has the fourth-highest save percentage in the majors over the last three-plus seasons, at 89.3 percent. He trails only John Axford, Jose Valverde and Mariano Rivera. Bell signed a three-year, $27 million free-agent deal and was introduced as a Marlin during the winter meetings. After the two blown saves, both of which deprived Carlos Zambrano of wins, Bell saved his next two chances.

• Miami’s new stadium, known as Marlins Park, is a pitcher-friendly ballpark with a seating capacity of 37,442. The dimensions (from left to right): 344, 386, 418, 392, 335. Despite the imposing dimensions, the Marlins have out-homered opponents 5-1 at the stadium so far, with Hanley Ramirez producing three of the long balls. Owner Jeffrey Loria also rebranded the Marlins, dropping “Florida” for “Miami” and changing the team logo to more of a South Beach feel.

• Ramirez (.263, 4 HR, 12 RBIs) has moved to third base to accommodate Reyes after logging his first 829 career major league games in the field at shortstop. He has committed only one error and generally looked solid. Slowed by a left shoulder injury last season, Ramirez hit only .243 with 10 homers in 92 games. Ramirez currently is tied with Miguel Cabrera for third on the Marlins’ all-time home run list with 138. He trails Dan Uggla (154) and Mike Lowell (143).

Josh Johnson’s 2011 season ended after a five-inning start on May 16 against the Mets at Citi Field because of right shoulder inflammation. He actually was removed from that outing after getting hit in the right forearm with a comebacker off the bat of Carlos Beltran. Johnson threw live batting practice at the end of September, but ran out of time to return during that season. He did not undergo surgery. This season, Johnson rebounded from allowing six runs on 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings against the Phillies on April 11 by limiting the Cubs to two runs on seven hits in seven innings in his most recent start.

• Second baseman Omar Infante (left groin tightness) expects to return to the lineup for Tuesday’s series opener at Citi Field. Infante has not played since last Tuesday, except for a pinch-hit appearance Saturday in D.C. Donnie Murphy (three games) and Emilio Bonifacio (one game) started at second base in Infante’s absence. Bonifacio otherwise has exclusively served as the Marlins’ starting center fielder. He had not taken grounders at second base this season, but Guillen wanted a lefty-dominated lineup Saturday against Washington phenom Stephen Strasburg. Infante was on fire before being sidelined. He is hitting .325 with four homers in 40 at-bats. The pinch-hit out against the Nats snapped Infante’s eight-game hitting streak.

• The Reyes-Bonifacio combo gives Miami two switch-hitters atop the order as well as a pair of speedsters. The Marlins’ 18 steals (in 21 attempts) leads the majors. Bonifacio already has nine steals, the most in the first 15 games of a season by a Marlin in franchise history. Quilvio Veras formerly held the record with eight.

• Marlins newcomer Mark Buehrle texted former White Sox teammate Philip Humber congratulations on becoming one of the 21 major league pitchers to throw a perfect game in the sport’s history. Buehrle tossed his perfecto against the Tampa Bay Rays on July 23, 2009. Despite a 13-year major league career, Buehrle has never faced the Mets. That is largely because the Mets and Buehrle’s former club, the Chicago White Sox, have not met in interleague play since 2002 -- the longest stretch the Mets have gone in not seeing an American League opponent. Buehrle signed a four-year, $58 million deal with the Marlins on Dec. 8. He is the only major league pitcher to log 200 innings each of the past 11 seasons. His 10-plus wins per year for the past 11 seasons is tied with CC Sabathia for the longest active streak in the majors.

Logan Morrison played only five spring-training games because of right-knee soreness. Giancarlo (formerly Mike) Stanton appeared in only eight spring-training games because of left-knee inflammation. Neither is 100 percent, so they are spotted days off in the outfield. Stanton’s full name is Giancarlo Cruz-Michael Stanton. Teachers in middle school in Los Angeles butchered his first name so frequently, he requested to be called Mike. But he has now decided to revert to his actual name. Morrison is one of the most active (and tawdry) players on Twitter at @LoMoMarlins.

• The Marlins are featured in the second-annual Showtime series “The Franchise.” The first episode debuted Saturday night. The first episode included Guillen being informed of his suspension. The San Francisco Giants were featured last season.

Ricky Nolasco is two wins shy of matching Dontrelle Willis’ franchise record for wins as a Marlin at 68.


Santana vs. Marlins (career: 6-1, 1.47 ERA)
Gaby Sanchez .800, 5 PA
Chris Coghlan .333, 1 RBI, 6 PA
Jose Reyes .250, 4 PA
John Buck .235, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K, 18 PA
Omar Infante .205, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 9 K, 42 PA
Hanley Ramirez .143, 2 BB, 7 K, 23 PA
Austin Kearns .133, 3 K, 15 PA
Emilio Bonifacio .083, 4 K, 12 PA
Donnie Murphy .000, 2 K, 3 PA

Dickey vs. Marlins (career: 5-2, 3.91 ERA)
Omar Infante .500, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 24 PA
Hanley Ramirez .400, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 16 PA
Gaby Sanchez .333, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K, 19 PA
Austin Kearns .333, 1 K, 3 PA
John Buck .300, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 11 PA
Chris Coghlan .286, 2 BB, 3 K, 9 PA
Emilio Bonifacio .200, 1 BB, 3 K, 11 PA
Greg Dobbs .200, 3 K, 10 PA
Logan Morrison .182, 2 BB, 4 K, 13 PA
Brett Hayes .167, 1 K, 6 PA
Donnie Murphy .143, 3 K, 7 PA
Giancarlo Stanton .125, 3 K, 8 PA
Jose Reyes .000, 2 K, 6 PA

Niese vs. Marlins (career: 1-4, 5.67 ERA)
Emilio Bonifacio .500, 3 PA
Logan Morrison .429, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 10 PA
Brett Hayes .333, 1 RBI, 3 PA
Hanley Ramirez .273, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, 13 PA
Gaby Sanchez .214, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 1 K, 17 PA
Chris Coghlan .200, 1 K, 11 PA
Omar Infante .167, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K, 19 PA
Giancarlo Stanton .000, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, 6 PA
Donnie Murphy .000, 3 PA
Austin Kearns .000, 3 PA
John Buck .000, 1 K, 3 PA

Johnson vs. Mets (career: 8-1, 2.68 ERA)
Justin Turner .500, 1 RBI, 2 PA
Jason Bay .417, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 4 K, 12 PA
Daniel Murphy .294, 2 BB, 2 K, 19 PA
David Wright .207, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 8 K, 30 PA
Josh Thole .200, 2 K, 5 PA
Ike Davis .143, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, 9 PA
Scott Hairston .000, 1 BB, 2 K, 6 PA
Ruben Tejada .000, 1 BB, 3 PA
Ronny Cedeno .000, 1 K, 2 PA
Lucas Duda .000, 1 PA

Buehrle vs. Mets (career: never faced)
Ronny Cedeno .444, 1 RBI, 1 K, 9 PA
Jason Bay .235, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 7 K, 19 PA

Nolasco vs. Mets (career: 5-7, 5.27 ERA)
David Wright .389, 4 HR, 13 RBI, 3 BB, 15 K, 57 PA
Daniel Murphy .353, 1 RBI, 3 K, 18 PA
Ruben Tejada .333, 1 K, 6 PA
Scott Hairston .333, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 6 PA
Jason Bay .273, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, 24 PA
Josh Thole .250, 1 K, 8 PA
Ike Davis .182, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K, 12 PA
Lucas Duda .000, 1 K, 6 PA
Ronny Cedeno .000, 1 K, 6 PA
Mike Nickeas .000, 1 K, 3 PA

Last series results

Mets won, 2-1, at Dolphin Stadium, Sept. 5-7, 2011 (AP game recaps)

Marlins 9, Mets 3: Chris Capuano failed to reach the fifth inning for the first time in 27 starts this season, lasting only four innings and taking the loss. Capuano (10-12) allowed six runs and eight hits, walked one and struck out three. Florida took a 2-0 lead in the first. Emilio Bonifacio opened with a double, took third on Omar Infante's sacrifice and scored on Capuano's wild pitch. Gaby Sanchez doubled with two outs and scored on Logan Morrison's single to center. Jose Lopez homered with two outs in the third to make it 3-0. Angel Pagan's RBI groundout in the fourth cut Florida's lead to 3-1. The Marlins responded with Bryan Petersen's RBI single and Bonifacio's two-run single in the bottom of the inning. Mike Cameron had an RBI double in the fifth and Sanchez had a two-run single in the sixth to stretch the lead to 9-1. Javier Vazquez pitched seven solid innings for the win. Jason Bay hit his 11th homer, a two-run shot off reliever Chris Hatcher, in the ninth.

Mets 7, Marlins 4 (12 innings): Nick Evans drove in three runs, including a go-ahead single in the 12th inning, to lead New York over Florida. Jose Reyes, Justin Turner, Angel Pagan and Evans each had three hits for New York, which lost a two-run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning. Marlins reliever Jose Ceda (0-1) gave up three straight hits to begin the 12th, including Evans’ soft liner to center that scored Pagan. Later in the inning, Reyes hit an RBI single and Lucas Duda drew a bases-loaded walk to give the Mets a 7-4 lead. Ryota Igarashi (4-1) got the win in a game that lasted 4 hours, 29 minutes, including a 1:14 rain delay.

Mets 1, Marlins 0: R.A. Dickey made an early run stand up, blanking Florida for seven innings. Dickey is 3-0 against the Marlins this season. The knuckleballer allowed only one run -- it was unearned -- in 20 innings over that span. Jose Reyes led off the game with a single and scored on a one-out double down the left-field line by Lucas Duda for the only run. Dickey (8-11) and relievers Josh Stinson and Manny Acosta combined on a five-hitter. The Mets played their final game at the Marlins’ stadium before Florida moves into a new home next season. The Mets finished 75-74 at the park the Marlins had shared with the Dolphins since 1993. Dickey gave up four hits and three walks. He struck out three. Brad Hand (1-6) allowed one run, three hits and four walks in six innings. In the eighth, the Marlins put Emilio Bonifacio on third base, but Stinson struck out Gaby Sanchez swinging to end the inning. Acosta pitched the ninth and recorded his first save since Aug. 11, 2010, at Houston.

Mets morning briefing 4.2.11

April, 2, 2011
After Josh Johnson took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning and Mike Pelfrey served up a grand slam to John Buck in Terry Collins' first game managed since 1999, the Mets try to regroup with Jon Niese opposing Ricky Nolasco.

Saturday's news reports:

Steven Marcus of Newsday reports that principal owner Fred Wilpon wants to select a minority parnter by the end of April. Writes Marcus:

There is a sense of urgency about the timetable because the team has mounting financial obligations due to the startup of its players' payroll and a loan coming due from Major League Baseball. The Mets took out a $25-million loan from Major League Baseball last November because the team had used up its $75-million line of credit. ... Several minority ownership candidates have met with Wilpon and will do so again, said a person close to the discussions. After the winning bidder is selected, Major League Baseball will conduct a full vetting process, delaying the transaction another four to six weeks. The interested parties have been given access to the Mets' financial records.

• Newsday columnist Ken Davidoff notes about the Opening Day loss:

You'd be an absolute fool to take the first of 162 games and try to extrapolate any serious conclusions from it. The Mets won't be the last team to get shut down by Johnson, and once they broke up his no-hitter with Willie Harris' seventh-inning double, they put a slight scare into the home team, bringing the tying run to the plate and prompting Florida manager Edwin Rodriguez to go to his bullpen. Yet the reality is that, even with the more patient and intelligent [Sandy] Alderson at the helm, the Mets' 2011 campaign trudges forward carrying an unwanted gravity.

• SNY has been pulled from the Dish Network, which no longer is carrying any New York regional sports channels. Read more in the Times and Newsday. YES and DirecTV also were negotiating with the sides facing a deadline.

Lou Gorman, the general manager of the '86 Boston Red Sox team that lost to the Mets in the World Series, died Friday in Boston at age 82. Gorman served earlier as Frank Cashen's assistant general manager with the Mets. Read Gorman's obituary in the Times. It reads in part:

The Mets were in bad shape -- they were 67-95 in 1980 -- but Cashen and Gorman constructed a team that by midseason 1983 had players like the young pitcher Ron Darling, the young slugger Darryl Strawberry, the veteran first baseman Keith Hernandez and outfielder Mookie Wilson. In the wings was the future star Dwight Gooden, who was just about ready for the big leagues. The next year, Gorman left for the Red Sox, and the Mets he left behind won 90 games, finishing second in the National League East. Gorman was returning to the team he loved as a boy in Providence, R.I.

• Read game stories in Newsday, the Times, Star-Ledger, Record, Daily News, Post and Journal. "It's the first game. There's 161 more," David Wright said. "It is what it is. It's a loss and let's move on."

Clark Spencer in The Miami Herald game recap quotes Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez dryly saying: “Two home runs. That’s pretty good for a team with no power.” It was a reference to the trade of Dan Uggla to the Braves supposedly taking away Florida's long ball potential.

David Waldstein in the Times also wonders if this is Jose Reyes' final season as a Met -- or final months if he is dealt by the July 31 trading deadline. “The biggest compliment I can give him is that we are a completely different team with him as opposed to him not being in the lineup,” Wright tells Waldstein. “He’s a difference-maker, a game-changer. As far as being one of the most dynamic players in the game, I put him up there with pretty much anybody, just as far as his ability to get the crowd excited, his ability to get the teammates excited and really change the game in a number of ways.”

Andy Martino of the Daily News talks to Ike Davis and Josh Thole about the different comfort level now that they're sophomores. "It took me awhile to get to bed [Thursday] night, but at least once I got to bed, I slept, unlike last year," Thole tells Martino. "Especially when I got called up and Rod [Barajas] got sent out, I was sitting there going, 'Wow, this is my job to lose.' Not sleeping, tossing and turning, anxiety all the time -- and now I'm just excited."

• The Daily News objects to the amount of money trustee Irving Picard is making while attempting to recover funds for the victims of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme. A report from the inspector general of the Securities and Exchange Commission reveals some lawyers associated with the case are billing up to $742 an hour, according to the newspaper.

• Daily News columnist Filip Bondy notes about Collins after the Opening Day loss:

What was Collins going to do? Resign? He grinned and bore it, as many of his predecessors have done before him. He sounded like Jerry Manuel, Willie Randolph and Art Howe, only a bit peppier. It was probably good practice for what comes next, and next, and next. "I thought the guys hung in there, played hard, I wasn't deflated at all," Collins said. "It was one of those nights. We just ran into a really, really good pitcher. I've done this for a lot of years. We'll forget all about this if we win our share of games."

Lucas Duda should be stationed in left field for Game 2. "Obviously you want Jason Bay in left field, you don't want me," Duda tells the Post's Mike Puma. "But all the guys, it's a great group of guys here, have come up to me and offered congratulations. It's a little better than being called up in September, because I know the guys a little better. I know what to expect, in a sense."

• Post columnist Mike Vaccaro writes: In so many ways, Pelfrey's quagmire reflected something the Mets are going to encounter time and again this season. They have good players; other teams have better players, and more of them. They have tried to eliminate the slapstick from their workday existence, have injected more professionalism, and that will put them in position to win more games than normal. It's just that actually winning them isn't quite that simple.

• The Miami Herald looks at the hero Buck, who came from Toronto on a three-year, $18 million deal. Writes Adam H. Beasley:

After last year’s nightmare season of catcher-by-committee -- with John Baker and Brett Hayes sustaining year-ending injuries and Ronny Paulino suspended for the last 42 games for a positive PED test -- stability at the position is a must. Of course, that part of Buck, who has never appeared in more than 118 games in a season, remains a mystery. But this much seems clear: Buck will not be a liability in the seventh spot of Florida’s lineup. Buck added a sixth-inning double to finish the night with a gaudy stat line – 2-for-4 with the run scored and four RBI. Naturally, his grand slam was the night’s highlight, an opposite-field shot on a 2-2 fastball that sent the 41,237 in attendance -- the largest Marlins home crowd in two years -- into a frenzy. … “I felt like I was up there forever,” Buck said. “[And then] I thought I missed it, thought it would be a deep fly ball.”

• The Herald's Clark Spencer notes about Nolasco: For his career, Nolasco is 15-16 with a 5.53 ERA in April and May. But, in the other months, he is 39-23 with a 3.92 ERA. “I don’t want that to be something that happens every year,’’ he said.

BIRTHDAYS: Hisanori Takahashi, who already has served up a homer to Kansas City's Jeff Francoeur this season after leaving for a two-year, $8 million deal with the Angels, turns 36. ... Al Weis, an infielder for the Mets from 1968 to '71, was born on this date in 1938 in Franklin Square, N.Y. ... Outfielder Mike Howard, who appeared in 48 games as a Met in the early '80s, was born in 1958.



Bartolo Colon
11 3.85 125 161
BAD. Murphy .299
HRL. Duda 23
RBIL. Duda 69
RD. Murphy 70
OPSL. Duda .841
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.48
SOZ. Wheeler 148