New York Mets: Robbie Grossman

Series preview: Mets vs. Astros

August, 24, 2012
8/24/12
10:29
AM ET

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Tony DeFrancesco (left) was named interim manager by first-year GM Jeff Luhnow (center), replacing fired Brad Mills (right).
METS (57-68, fourth place/NL East) vs. HOUSTON ASTROS (39-86, sixth place/NL West)

Friday: LHP Jon Niese (10-6, 3.82) vs. RHP Jordan Lyles (2-10, 5.70), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP R.A. Dickey (15-4, 2.82) vs. TBA, 1:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (2-5, 5.11) vs. RHP Lucas Harrell (10-9, 4.04), 1:10 p.m. ET

Astros short hops

Tony DeFrancesco became interim manager Sunday, replacing fired Brad Mills. DeFrancesco had been managing Triple-A Oklahoma City. First-year GM Jeff Luhnow also replaced hitting coach Mike Barnett with Ty Van Burkleo and first base coach Bobby Meacham with Dan Radison.

• This series marks the last meeting before the Astros move to the American League West in 2013. Houston is 307-256 against the Mets all time in the regular season.

The Mets beat the Astros, 4-2, in the 1986 NLCS -- taking the clinching Game 6 in 16 innings. The Mets trailed, 3-0, entering the ninth, with the prospect of facing ace Mike Scott in Game 7 looming. But the Amazin’s scored three runs in the ninth on RBIs from Mookie Wilson, Keith Hernandez and Ray Knight. After trading runs in the 14th, the Mets produced three runs in the 16th and held on, 7-6, when Jesse Orosco struck out Kevin Bass.


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All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve remains on an otherwise dismantled Astros roster.


• The Mets and Astros own the two worst second-half records in the National League. Houston is 6-33 since the All-Star break. The Mets are 11-28. Next: The Cubs are 14-24, followed by the Marlins at 16-25 and the Rockies and Brewers, each at 17-21.

• The Astros’ pre-trading deadline dismantling included:

July 4: Sent first baseman Carlos Lee to Miami for third baseman Matt Dominguez and left-hander Rob Rasmussen.

July 20: Traded right-handers Brandon Lyon and David Carpenter and left-hander J.A. Happ to Toronto for right-hander Francisco Cordero, outfielder Ben Francisco, right-hander Joe Musgrove, right-hander Asher Wojciechowski, left-hander David Rollins, catcher Carlos Perez and a player to be named.

July 21: Traded Brett Myers to the Chicago White Sox for right-hander Matt Heidenreich and left-hander Blair Walters.

July 24: Traded left-hander Wandy Rodriguez to Pittsburgh for left-hander Rudy Owens, outfielder Robbie Grossman and left-hander Colton Cain.

July 27: Claimed right-hander Chuckie Fick off waivers from St. Louis.

July 28: Claimed outfielder/first baseman Steve Pearce off waivers from Baltimore.

July 29: Sent third baseman Chris Johnson to Arizona for infielder Bobby Borchering and outfielder Marc Krauss.

• All-Star Jose Altuve leads NL second baseman in average at .304, two points ahead of Arizona’s Aaron Hill.

• Outfielder Fernando Martinez, who was claimed off waivers from the Mets on Jan. 11, was promoted from Triple-A on Aug. 10. During a June stint with the major league club, he landed on the disabled list for 18 days with a concussion. Martinez is 7-for-44 with the Astros this season, but he produced a .314 average with 13 homers and 62 RBIs in 341 at-bats for Oklahoma City.

Jordan Lyles is the youngest active starting pitcher in the majors. He was born Oct. 19, 1990. Toronto’s Henderson Alvarez (April 18, 1990) ranks second. Miami’s Nate Eovaldi (Feb.13, 1990) is third. The Astros have the youngest active roster overall, at an average age of 26.4. Kansas City (26.5) and Colorado (26.8) are next.

Lucas Harrell (10-9) has logged more innings than any NL rookie and ranks second in wins to Arizona’s Wade Miley (14-8).

• With 50-year-old Roger Clemens pitching for the independent Sugar Land Skeeters on Saturday, there is speculation he could appear with the Astros before the end of the season.

• Reliever Rhiner Cruz (1-1, 6.90 ERA), a Rule 5 selection from the Mets, appears poised to last the season with the Astros and become Houston’s property.

Last series results

Houston won, 3-0, at Minute Maid Park, April 30-May 2 (AP game recaps)

Astros 4, Mets 3: Jordan Schafer had two hits and scored twice, including the go-ahead run on a single by Jed Lowie in the eighth inning. More

Astros 6, Mets 3: Chris Snyder hit a three-run home run and Jed Lowrie had a two-run shot. Lowrie's homer, off Jon Niese, which hit the inside of the foul pole in left field in the first inning, got things going for the Astros. More

Astros 8, Mets 1:Chris Johnson homered in consecutive at-bats among his four hits and drove in a career-high six runs to back up another solid outing by Wandy Rodriguez. Johnson's first homer of the season, off Chris Schwinden (0-1), was a three-run shot to the Crawford Boxes in left field that put Houston up 3-0 in the second inning. More

Around the minors 7.9.12

July, 9, 2012
7/09/12
11:11
PM ET
ALTOONA 3, BINGHAMTON 2: The Curve scored two runs against Adrian Rosario in the bottom of the ninth as Binghamton's four-game winning streak ended. Trying to protect a one-run lead, Rosario consecutively walked Matt Curry and Jarek Cunningham with one out. Stefan Welch then delivered a game-tying pinch-hit single. Brock Holt ended the game with a walk-off single, which provided Altoona its only lead of the three-game series. In the first nning, Binghamton's Sean Kazmar doubled against starter Phil Irwin and advanced to third on Eric Campbell's single. Allan Dykstra's sac fly opened the scoring. The Curve threatened to tie the score in the third, but were denied by center fielder Juan Lagares. With two outs and two aboard, Oscar Tejeda singled off B-Mets starter Darin Gorski. Irwin tried to score from second, but was gunned down by Lagares. The outfield assist, Lagares’ league-lead-tying 13th, preserved the 1-0 lead. Gorski threw 31 pitches in the fourth, with Cunningham wearing out Gorski in an 11-pitch at-bat. That set the stage for Robbie Grossman, who homered in the fifth to tie the score. Gorski rebounded to post a perfect sixth that ended his day. He allowed one run on four hits in a no-decision. Altoona reliever Kris Harvey tossed a perfect seventh before the B-Mets broke the tie in the eighth. Campbell singled and Harvey loaded the bases with consecutive walks. Dustin Martin then dumped an RBI single into left. Binghamton subsequently stranded the bases loaded, though, with Francisco Pena and Wilfredo Tovar retired in the infield. Brad Holt tossed two scoreless innings in relief of Gorski. He stood to be the winner until Rosario (1-2) suffered his second blown save. Box

ST. LUCIE 4, BRADENTON 1: Yohan Almonte limited the Marauders to one run on five hits and a walk in six innings and Taylor Whitenton and Adam Kolarek combined for three scoreless relief innings. Zach Lutz drove in two runs Box

PULASKI 7, KINGSPORT 6: Long Island native Steven Matz tossed a one-hitter over six scoreless innings, but the K-Mets squandered a six-run lead. Reliever Corey Oswalt was charged with seven runs in the seventh while recording only one out. Kingsport batters launched four homers -- by Eris Peguero, Jeyckol De Leon, Maikis De La Cruz and Jonathan Leroux. De La Cruz went 4-for-4. Box

JAMESTOWN 5, BROOKLYN 2: The Cyclones squandered a late one-run lead and were swept in the three-game series. With one out in the eighth and Brooklyn leading 2-1, Cyclones reliever Matt Bowman hit Juancito Martinez, who then stole second. Three consecutive Jamestown hits plated two runs. Tim Peterson surrendered a pair of ninth-inning runs. Brooklyn starter Hansel Robles had retired Yefri Perez on a flyout to center to begin the game. After that, the ball did not leave the infield against Robles through 4 1/3 innings. Robles walked Jesus Solorzano with two outs in the second before retiring the next eight batters. He held the Jammers hitless until a one-out single in the fifth by Solorzano. In the sixth, Jamestown scored the game's opening run, on Pedro Mendoza's sacrifice fly. The run ended Robles' outing. He went 5 1/3 innings, allowing the one earned run on three hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. In the bottom half of the sixth, Brooklyn took the lead, 2-1. Jamestown reliever Brian Ellington walked Juan Gamboa. Brandon Nimmo then singled. Ellington threw a wild pitch with Phillip Evans batting and both runners advanced. Evans' single then plated both Cyclones. Box

Compiled from team reports

Around the minors 7.8.12

July, 8, 2012
7/08/12
11:44
PM ET
BUFFALO 10, SCRANTON/WILKES-BARRE 3: Ex-Met John Maine surrendered homers to Matt den Dekker and Josh Satin as Buffalo entered its All-Star break on a four-game winning streak. Maine was charged with six runs on four hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings as his International League ERA swelled to 7.15. Jenrry Mejia left the game after being struck above the right ankle by a comebacker. He likely was due to depart for Josh Edgin at that point anyway with three of the next four hitters due up left-handed, but Mejia figures to be sore for the time being. Adam Loewen added a solo homer in the ninth against Manny Delcarmen. Den Dekker went 3-for-5 with three RBIs. Loewen had two hits and two walks and scored three times. Collin McHugh picked up his first Triple-A victory, allowing three runs (one earned) on six hits and a walk in 5 1/3 innings. Buffalo hosts the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday. Valentino Pascucci is due to participate in Monday's home run derby. Box

BINGHAMTON 10, ALTOONA 9: The B-Mets pounced on starter Brandon Cumpton in a three-run first with two hits, three steals and a costly error by second baseman Jarek Cunningham. With two outs, Cunningham booted a groundball, allowing two runs to score. The shaky defense continued for Altoona in the third. With runners on first and second, Oscar Tejeda misread a fly ball from Dustin Martin, allowing it to sail over his head for a two-run double. Wilfredo Tovar capped that inning with an RBI single, giving Binghamton a 6-0 lead. The Curve answered a half-inning later against Gonzalez Germen. Altoona took advantage of two walks and collected two hits in a three-run inning. Matt Curry capped the rally with a two-run double. Binghamton restored the lead to six in the fourth with another three-run inning. The first five batters reached against reliever Nathan Baker. Allan Dykstra supplied an RBI single, Jefry Marte walked with the bases loaded and Tovar added a sac fly. After allowing an RBI double to Cunningham in the fourth, Germen (5-6) retired 13 of the next 15 he faced. He tossed a season-high 7 1/3 innings. With the B-Mets leading 10-4, Germen allowed a triple and sac fly before being lifted for Jeff Stevens in the eighth. Stevens allowed all four batters he faced to reach -- on three walks and an RBI double by Jeremy Farrell. Ryan Fraser inherited the bases loaded and induced Robbie Grossman to fly out before surrendering a three-run double to Brock Holt that trimmed Binghamton’s lead to a run. Ex-Mets farmhand Stefan Welch nearly tied the score with a single to center, but Juan Lagares nailed Holt at the plate to end the inning. Bidding for his first save in more than a month, Adrian Rosario allowed a leadoff single to Curry, but was bailed out when Curry was thrown out attempting to steal. Rosario put the tying run back on base with a walk, but struck out Cunningham to secure his third save. Box

ST. LUCIE 9, BRADENTON 3: Rafael Fernandez had a three-run homer in a five-run first inning. T.J. Rivera capped the scoring with a two-run homer in the ninth. Tyler Pill (2-1) allowed one run on two hits and a walk in five innings. Box

CHARLESTON 8, SAVANNAH 4 (13 innings): Aderlin Rodriguez homered for the fourth in his last seven games, but Charleston broke a tie with four runs in the top of the 13th against Savannah reliever Jared West. The Dogs began the decisive inning with three straight singles, culminating in an RBI by Tyson Blaser, which put Charleston ahead 5-4. Blaser finished 4-for-6 with two RBIs. After a Rodriguez throwing error, Casey Stevenson doubled, driving in two to put the ‘Dogs up 8-4. Down 4-0 after two innings, the Gnats steadily ate away until Rodriguez tied the score with a two-run homer in the eighth after Yucarybert De La Cruz reached by walking. In the fifth, Charley Thurber had singled to score Dustin Lawley. In the seventh, Thurber’s RBI groundout brought home Brian Harrison. Rodriguez shot cleared a 16-foot wall in left-center. His 16th homer this season also extended his hitting streak to nine games. Charleston had raced to a 4-0 lead after two innings against Domingo Tapia. Tapia ultimately found his rhythm and retired the final 13 batters he faced while completing seven innings. Box

PULASKI 5, KINGSPORT 3: First-round pick Gavin Cecchini went 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles and a walk in the loss. Akeel Morris dropped to 0-4, after allowing three runs in five innings. Box

JAMESTOWN 5, BROOKLYN 2: Cyclones starter Luis Cessa did not allow a hit until the third, when Juancito Martinez produced a one-out homer. Jammers pitcher Helpi Reyes cruised through four innings, limiting Brooklyn to one hit. In the fifth, Kevin Plawecki and Stefan Sabol had consecutive one-out singles. Jayce Boyd then ripped a single past diving first baseman Viosergy Rosa to score Plawecki and advance Sabol to third. Jonathan Clark walked to load the bases that inning, but Reyes escaped having surrendered the lone run as Juan Gamboa and Brandon Nimmo struck out. The Jammers retook the lead a half-inning later. Cessa walked Yefri Perez. A bunt by Pedro Mendoza that the catcher Plawecki fielded and threw to second was unsuccessful. Rosa then singled, scoring Perez to give the Jammers a 2-1 lead. After a double play and a hit batter, Beck Wheeler entered and halted any further damage. The Jammers tacked on three more runs in the seventh charged to Wheeler. Box

Compiled from team reports

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
11 3.85 125 161
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .299
HRL. Duda 23
RBIL. Duda 69
RD. Murphy 70
OPSL. Duda .841
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.48
SOZ. Wheeler 148