New York Mets: Ron Roenicke

TC protects Wright; Carrasco denies intent

May, 15, 2012
5/15/12
10:52
PM ET
Mike Stobe/Getty ImagesRyan Braun reacts to getting plunked as D.J. Carrasco walks off the mound after being ejected.
Terry Collins fully admitted pulling David Wright as well as Daniel Murphy the half-inning after D.J. Carrasco was ejected for plunking Ryan Braun because the manager did not want his marquee players as targets for retribution in the 8-0 loss to Milwaukee.

Collins said the Brewers had every right to retaliate, and figured they would go after his star, Wright, who was due to lead off the next half-inning. The manager added that plate umpire Gary Darling had every right to eject Carrasco.

Wright persistently argued in the dugout with Collins about being removed from the game, but said afterward he loved his manager and was merely upset with the situation. Wright wanted to take any retaliatory blow for the team.

"He wasn't getting hurt," Collins said about his reason for pulling Wright, who was 2-for-2 to up his average to .408. "I'm not accusing anybody of the possibility of retaliation. But I don't blame the umpires for doing what they did. I don't blame the other team for any perception they had of what happened. But I've got news for you: In this game, there are unwritten rules. And one of the unwritten rules is you hit my guy, I'm hitting your guy.

"They're not hitting my guy tonight. I'm not exposing him to being hit. He said, 'If anybody gets hit, I want it to be me.' I said, 'I'm sorry, it isn't going to be you.' They're not going to hit Jordany Valdespin. But if they're going to retaliate, they're going to hit David Wright. And that ain't happening tonight. ...

"And I'm not saying they were going to hurt him. Believe me, I'm not accusing them of anything. I just know what might have taken place. And I was trying to avoid it."

Said Wright: "Terry's the manager, and I've got all the respect in the world for Terry. I try to go to battle for Terry every day. He's got to make the move that he thinks is best for the team, and he obviously did that. Whether I agree with it or disagree with it, I respect him. I've loved playing for him the short amount of time that we've had together. And I've got all the respect in the world for Terry specifically.

"You get caught up in the moment. Things probably looked a lot worse than they really were and we go on from here. Terry and I have no issue. It's one of those things, like I said, in the heat of the moment it probably looked worse than it really was. ...

"I guess my thinking at the time was Ryan gets hit and then I go up there and get hit and then everything is settled."

Carrasco, incidentally, denied intent in hitting Braun with the first pitch after Rickie Weeks' homer. Wright said it would be handled inside the clubhouse whether Carrasco actually meant to hit Braun, since it put the third baseman in a perilous spot.

"I was just trying to throw a sinker in first pitch and it got away from me and hit him," Carrasco insisted.

As for the ejection, Carrasco added: "It was a really quick decision. There was not even like a time to read my emotion or take into account the score of the game or the situation there that I was there to throw a few innings out of the bullpen. I'm not trying to get tossed out of the game two or three hitters into the game."

Carrasco didn't think there was a heightened sensitivity to Braun being hit because of beating a 50-game MLB suspension. The umpire made it clear to Carrasco that he was ejected for hitting Braun a pitch after Weeks' homer. Braun has been hit an NL-high five times. Braun declined to comment to Milwaukee reporters.

"I think it was more the fact that there was a home run hit and then a guy was hit right after that," Carrasco said about Darling's motivation. "I told [the umpire] I wasn't trying to hit him right there. It's a seven-, eight-run game, and I'm trying to throw some innings. I'm not trying to hit a guy and get thrown out. He didn't feel that way. He thought it was a retaliation kind of deal for a home run hit. But I don't play that way."

Said Wright about Carrasco's action and the motivation: "That's something that we'll take care of in here. It's not something I'm going to get into right now. But it'll be taken care of. I think it's one thing when the emotion of the game is there and things are said. And it's another thing after you get a few hours or sleep on it and figure it out the next day. ... I'm not sure why he got hit. I don't know."

Wright is playing with a broken right pinkie. He also was infamously beaned by Matt Cain in 2009.

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said about plunking Braun: "I didn't like it, and I don't understand it."

Asked about Collins pulling his stars, Roenicke added: "It was interesting what that was showing."

Collins noted there may not have been retaliation because the umpire had given a warning. Any retaliation would have fallen on Zack Greinke, who was working on a shutout. What would have happened if Wright stayed in the game to face Greinke?

“It made sense,” Greinke said about Collins' move. “I don’t know what would have happened if he stayed in. They don’t want anyone important to get hurt, just like we don’t want someone important getting hurt. That’s kind of the main thing.”

The Mets and Brewers don't meet again until Sept. 14-16 in Milwaukee.

Wright said he regretted venting in the dugout to Collins.

"I was up first that inning, so I didn't have the luxury -- I probably should have picked a better spot for it," Wright said. "But in the heat of the moment, like I said, I was up first and was ready to get my stuff on and Terry kind of got me at a moment where I was upset with the situation and got me at a moment that I was pretty hot. It wasn't directed at Terry at all. I talked to him a handful of times after it happened and we made it very clear -- or I made it very clear to him -- that was not directed at him or the coaching staff whatsoever."

Series preview: Mets vs. Brewers

May, 13, 2012
5/13/12
9:30
PM ET

Associated Press/Getty Images
The Mets face Yovani Gallardo and Zack Greinke during a two-game miniseries at Citi Field.
METS (19-15, third place/NL East) vs. MILWAUKEE BREWERS (15-19, fourth place/NL Central)

Monday: RHP Miguel Batista (0-1, 5.89) vs. RHP Yovani Gallardo (2-3, 5.35), 7:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Dillon Gee (2-2, 4.78) vs. RHP Zack Greinke (3-1, 3.35), 7:10 p.m. ET

Brewers short hops

• 2011 MVP Ryan Braun has nine homers since April 21, the most in the National League since that date. St. Louis’ Carlos Beltran, who again went deep Sunday, is second during that span with eight long balls. Braun successfully contested a 50-game suspension for a positive drug test by challenging the chain of custody of his sample. He has received mixed fan reaction on the road this season -- vociferous booing, for instance, in Atlanta and a rather tame response in San Francisco.

Rickie Weeks suffered a painfully bruised left hand/wrist injury when he was hit by a 96 mph fastball from Cubs reliever Lendy Castillo in the 13th inning Friday -- the second time he was plunked in that game. X-rays were negative, but the Brewers are waiting for swelling to subside to retest him for a possible hairline fracture. Weeks is not on the DL, but may miss both games of the Mets series. Edwin Maysonet started at second base Saturday in Weeks’ place and belted a grand slam after an intentional walk to Travis Ishikawa. Brooks Conrad manned second base Sunday with Maysonet at shortstop so that Cesar Izturis could have a day off, but the Mets may see Maysonet both games at second base.


Mike McGinnis/Getty Images
Ryan Braun has received a mixed reaction from fans on the road since successfully combatting a suspension.


• The Brewers actually are without three-quarters of their original infield. The other two absentees are not returning this season.

Mat Gamel, the successor to Prince Fielder at first base, was lost for the season with a torn ACL. Shortstop Alex Gonzalez also is out for the season after suffering the identical injury. Ishikawa and Taylor Green, with limited Conrad, now are sharing first base. Milwaukee recently spoke with unsigned Derrek Lee, but could not reach terms on a contract. The defensively oriented Izturis has taken over at shortstop.

• Closer John Axford’s streak of consecutive saves ended Friday at 49 with a blown save against the Cubs. Axford was not around after that game to discuss his outing. His wife Nicole unexpectedly had gone into labor, and he left this playful note for reporters: "I put my wife into contractions with my performance tonight! The streak is over so now you can talk about it. The luck I’ve had in the past didn’t show up tonight! All I can do is start another streak and keep my head up! Cliché ... cliché ... cliché ... another cliché. Gotta go! Love, Ax."

Francisco Rodriguez is 0-3 with a 5.28 ERA through 17 appearances, but his numbers actually have been skewed by three bad outings; otherwise, he largely has produced in an eighth-inning role, albeit with his familiar tendency to allow baserunners. K-Rod produced his first save as a Brewer on April 10 at Wrigley Field. He had been offered arbitration last offseason with Milwaukee trying to get draft-pick compensation for him signing elsewhere. But with the closer market congested, Rodriguez accepted the arbitration offer and returned for this season for a guaranteed $8 million.

• The Brewers signed Aramis Ramirez to a three-year, $36 deal as a free agent to succeed Fielder in the cleanup spot, but the ex-Cub is hitting only .230 with two homers and 19 RBIs through 126 at-bats.

• Milwaukee brass has tabled extension talks with Zack Greinke, who is due to be a free agent after the season. The shelving of talks came shortly after Matt Cain signed a five-year, $112 million extension to remain with the San Francisco Giants. Greinke, who formerly acted as his own representative, has hired agent Casey Close to handle the negotiations.

• GM Doug Melvin and manager Ron Roenicke received contract extensions last week. Melvin, who also gained the title president of baseball operations, was extended through 2015. Roenicke’s deal now goes through ’14, with a team option for the following season.

• Ex-Met Carlos Gomez has landed on the disabled list with a hamstring strain. He is due to begin a rehab assignment Wednesday with Class A Wisconsin. Lefty hitters Norichika Aoki and Nyjer Morgan have shared center-field duties -- with Aoki starting against southpaws and the struggling Morgan (.200, no RBIs) against righties. Aoki joined the Brewers from the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, where he was a .329 career hitter and won Central League batting titles in 2005, ’07 and ’10.

Yovani Gallardo’s season totals look a whole lot better if you subtract a pair of starts against the Cardinals. He is 0-2 with a 22.24 ERA (14 ER in 5.2 IP) against St. Louis this season. Against others, he is 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA.

• Catcher Jonathan Lucroy was batting .333 as a catcher (29-for-87) before going hitless Sunday in four at-bats. That average matched Carlos Ruiz’s for tops in the NL at that position. Overally, Lucroy now is hitting .326.

• Milwaukee has bunted in a run an MLB-leading five times this season.

Matchups

Batista vs. Brewers (career: 1-0, 2.72 ERA)
Jonathan Lucroy .500, 1 RBI, 2 PA
Rickie Weeks .333, 1 BB, 1 K, 8 PA
Travis Ishikawa .333, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 4 PA
Cesar Izturis .222, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 28 PA
Aramis Ramirez .143, 2 BB, 16 PA
Ryan Braun .000, 2 K, 4 PA
Brooks Conrad .000, 1 PA

Gee vs. Brewers (career: 0-1, 3.00 ERA)
Corey Hart .333, 3 PA
Rickie Weeks .250, 2 K, 4 PA
Jonathan Lucroy .000, 1 RBI, 3 PA
Ryan Braun .000, 1 BB, 3 PA
Aramis Ramirez .000, 1 K, 3 PA
Nyjer Morgan .000, 3 PA

Gallardo vs. Mets (career: 2-2, 3.47 ERA)
Lucas Duda .500, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 K, 6 PA
Mike Nickeas .500, 1 K, 2 PA
Scott Hairston .333, 2 RBI, 1 K, 6 PA
Ronny Cedeno .300, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K, 11 PA
David Wright .214, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 7 K, 16 PA
Daniel Murphy .167, 1 RBI, 3 K, 6 PA
Justin Turner .167, 2 K, 6 PA
Andres Torres .000, 1 BB, 1 K, 8 PA
Ike Davis .000, 2 BB, 2 K, 6 PA

Greinke vs. Mets (career: 0-1, 6.43 ERA)
Ronny Cedeno .300, 1 RBI, 2 K, 10 PA
Scott Hairston .000, 1 K, 3 PA
Rob Johnson .000, 2 PA

Last series results

Milwaukee won, 3-0, at Citi Field, Aug. 19-21, 2011 (AP game recaps)

Brewers 6, Mets 1: The Mets became the first team in major league history to lose the opening game in their first 10 homestands of a season, STATS LLC said. Prince Fielder hit a pair of RBI singles and later confronted Mets reliever Tim Byrdak in a late dustup that caused the benches and bullpens to empty. Shaun Marcum pitched the Brewers to their 20th win in 23 games. They closed out this testy victory at 12:51 a.m. Fielder already was 2-for-2 with two walks when he came up in the eighth. Byrdak's first pitch was a fastball at Fielder's chest that backed him away from the plate. Fielder grounded out on the next pitch, then took a sudden right turn after hitting first base, curling back to intercept Byrdak on the way to the dugout. Terry Collins, Josh Thole and plate umpire Angel Campos intervened to prevent any escalation. Order was quickly restored. Brewers reliever Frankie De La Cruz plunked Mike Baxter in the ninth, without incident. Ryan Braun wasn't around at the end. He looked at strike three in the third inning, loitered in the batter's box and was eventually ejected by Campos. Marcum (11-3) improved to 4-0 in nine starts since losing at Yankee Stadium on June 29. He allowed one run in seven innings.

Brewers 11, Mets 9: Prince Fielder hit a long home run early and a key single in the ninth inning, spoiling the Mets' chances of a win against former closer Francisco Rodriguez. Casey McGehee followed Fielder's tying hit with a two-run single off Manny Acosta, capping a four-run rally. The Brewers blew a late 7-1 lead, but came back after Angel Pagan hit a two-run homer off Rodriguez (5-2) in the eighth. Mets reliever Jason Isringhausen (3-3) couldn't get an out in the ninth and left after a bases-loaded walk. Fielder, Ryan Braun and Yuniesky Betancourt all homered for the Brewers, who have won eight of their last nine games. John Axford pitched the ninth for his 37th save.

Brewers 6, Mets 2: Prince Fielder drove in the go-ahead run on a botched potential double-play grounder in the eighth and Yovani Gallardo shut down the Mets for seven innings, leading Milwaukee to its first series sweep in New York. Casey McGehee homered off R.A. Dickey in the fourth and Ryan Braun had three hits, an RBI and scored twice after stealing bases for the Brewers. Gallardo (14-8) gave up six hits in the finale to match a career high for wins.

Mets morning briefing 7.16.11

July, 16, 2011
7/16/11
9:00
AM ET
The Mets opened the second half with a loss at Citi Field to the Phillies, which dropped the Amazin's 12 games behind the division leaders as well as 8½ games behind the Braves in the wild-card race.

Saturday's news reports:

Taylor Buchholz opened up to Patch.com of his Springfield, Pa., hometown about his depression/anxiety issues. Buchholz opens up about a May 2010 emotional breakdown in a hotel room while he was rehabbing from Tommy John surgery in the minors with Modesto.

“I really didn’t know what was going on,” Buchholz recalled to Joseph Santoliquito about the incident. “But when I think back on it, maybe it was a sign that the team psychologist [Ron Svetich] was there in Modesto when I broke down. I saw Svetich the day before in the clubhouse and I remember him asking me how I felt. I told him I was great. I lied to him. Then the next morning, I was showering, and I broke out into this crying fit. When I went back to the clubhouse later that day, I pulled Svetich aside.

“I literally broke down right then and let him know everything. It was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life. I’m there crying to another man. But Svetich recognized there was a problem. He was fantastic and someone that helped me get through this. At that point, I didn’t want anything to come out, because I was totally embarrassed about it. I’m a man’s man who’s supposed to be tough and not breaking down into tears for no reason. I didn’t feel like a man, I’ve been the one that’s been the rock in my relationships.”

Buchholz's agent, Dave Pasti, apprised Sandy Alderson of Buchholz's issue before signing last offseason.

Said Buchholz's wife Ashley: “He’d have such strong convulsions in the middle of the night that I used to think they were seizures. We’d watch a movie on the couch, or be lying up in bed, and he’d start crying. We like going out to eat, and he never went out. The times he did, he’d go out in sweatpants and really didn’t care what anyone thought. I know Taylor. He’s the most giving, caring person I ever met. This person wasn’t my husband. He was that different.”

Francisco Rodriguez and new agent Scott Boras waived his $17.5 million vesting option for $500,000. Instead, the sides converted it to a mutual $17.5 million option that both sides would have to approve. The Brewers will not do that, which means K-Rod will receive a $4 million buyout -- up from the original $3.5 million in his contract -- and the closer will hit the free-agent market next offseason. In the interim, the Brewers can freely use K-Rod in a closing role without regard for the games finished. "From my point of view and that of the staff, it will be nicer on us," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "These things, these contracts, most of the time a manager doesn't know about them so you don't have to worry about anything. But when it's so public and I knew exactly all the numbers, it's just not comfortable." Read more in the Times and Newsday.

David Wright began a rehab assignment with Class A St. Lucie at Lakeland, Fla., by playing five innings at third base. Wright is expected to return Friday in Miami, when the Mets open a series against the Marlins. "A little rusty, and obviously I need a few more at-bats, but overall, I'm excited about how the first game went," Wright said. "So far, so good."

Carlos Beltran's days as a Met appear to be dwindling. Said Beltran: I've made it very clear to this organization that I want to finish my career here. But, at the same time, you understand that organizations have plans -- sometimes they're not plans you think of -- so like I said, I'm prepared for everything." Read more in Newsday and Daily News.

Jose Reyes ran at Citi Field. He will try to round bases on Sunday. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Newsday.

Jason Isringhausen would have received the first shot at closing on Friday night had the Mets held a late, narrow lead. Terry Collins indicated he will settle on one pitcher eventually, with Bobby Parnell and Pedro Beato also in the mix. Izzy goes first because of his closing experience and the pressure of a packed stadium while facing the Phillies.

Mike Sielski of the Journal wonders in a world of Brian Wilson's beard and Heath Bell's sliding entrance at the All-Star Game whether Parnell is too normal to be a closer. "I try not to be weird," Parnell told Sielski. "Some of the good ones have been. I don't think it's a necessity."

Post columnist Joel Sherman notes the Mets no longer being reliant on one closer follows the major league trend. In fact, the Phillies -- because of assorted injuries -- have gone through Brad Lidge (injured all season), Jose Contreras, Ryan Madson and Antonio Bastardo yet only have three blown saves. Writes Sherman:

In other words, this is the model that another big-market, northeast team called the New York Mets must follow. The Phillies have built a team structurally and mentally that can navigate through one closer after another for half a season, never flinch and never make a concession in seeking a fifth straight NL East title. Terry Collins is trying to impart the same mental toughness now in this group. He met with the team after Thursday's workout to say the clubhouse would remain a no-excuse zone despite the money-centric trade of K-Rod. The Mets manager told his players opportunities, not alibis, were now available.

Read more on the closing situation in the Record and Post.

• Read game stories from the Mets' second-half-opening 7-2 loss in the Times, Star-Ledger, Record, Post, Daily News and Newsday.

BIRTHDAY: Catcher Norm Sherry, who spent the bulk of his career with the Dodgers, was born in 1931. Sherry compleyed his major league career in 1963 with the Mets, hitting .136 in 63 games.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
11 3.85 125 161
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .297
HRL. Duda 22
RBIL. Duda 66
RD. Murphy 69
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.49
SOZ. Wheeler 145