New York Mets: Ross Ohlendorf

Series preview: Mets vs. Nationals

September, 9, 2013
9/09/13
9:24
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USA TODAY SportsThe Mets face (l to r) Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmermann and Dan Haren to open a four-game series.
METS (64-77, fourth place/NL East) vs. WASHINGTON NATIONALS (73-69, second place/NL East)

Monday: RHP Carlos Torres (3-3, 2.89) vs. LHP Gio Gonzalez (9-6, 3.49), 7:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Dillon Gee (11-9, 3.53) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (16-8, 3.30), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Zack Wheeler (7-4, 3.38) vs. RHP Dan Haren (8-13, 5.23), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: LHP Jonathon Niese (6-7, 3.86) vs. RHP Tanner Roark (5-0, 0.94), 1:10 p.m. ET

Nationals short hops

Bryce Harper’s season is in jeopardy because of his latest ailment -- a left hip injury. Harper, who turns 21 on Oct. 16, has been banged up nearly all season. His issues began with crashing into a chain-link fence at Turner Field in Atlanta on April 30 and suffering a bruised left rib cage.


Joy R. Absalon/USA TODAY SportsBryce Harper's latest ailment is a hip injury.


“Ever since I hit the wall, pretty much every day I feel something different,” Harper told Nats beat writer Mark Zuckerman. “Or something will feel better, and then something else hurts. It’s pretty much just the left side of my body. That’s what hurts me right now. Everything on the right side of my body feels great. If the right side of my body felt like the left side of my body, I’d probably just say, ‘Screw it.’ But the last time I probably felt pretty good was that first month.”

Denard Span has a career-high 19-game hitting streak, which is the longest active streak in the majors. He is hitting .397 (31-for-78) during that stretch.

• Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman has three homers in the past two days. He has gone deep five times in his last six games, giving him 20 long balls for the season.

• Shortstop Ian Desmond needs one more steal for his second straight 20-homer, 20-steal season. The only other Nationals player ever to reach those thresholds was Alfonso Soriano, who had 46 homers and 41 steals in 2006.

• Right-hander Tanner Roark displaced Ross Ohlendorf from the rotation on Saturday in Miami. After nine relief appearances to begin his major league career, Roark tossed six scoreless innings against the Marlins to improve to 5-0 with a 0.94 ERA. Originally drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 25th round in 2008, Roark was acquired by the Nats on July 30, 2010 with Ryan Tatusko for Cristian Guzman.

Wilson Ramos has started 16 straight games behind the plate. He was limited to 25 games in 2012 because of a torn ACL in his right knee, and has appeared in only 61 games this season because of multiple hamstring strains.

• Out-of-favor infielder Danny Espinosa was snubbed for a September call-up. Espinosa served as the Nationals’ Opening Day second baseman, but was demoted with a .158 average after 158 at-bats. Rookie Anthony Rendon since has taken over at second base, with some contribution from Stephen Lombardozzi. Espinosa hit only .216 with a .280 on-base percentage and struck out 101 times in 313 plate appearances at Triple-A Syracuse.

The Nats’ September call-ups: infielder Zach Walters, outfielders Eury Perez and Corey Brown, utilityman Jeff Kobernus and left-hander Xavier Cedeno.

• The Nats are on the ropes in their attempt to reach the postseason. They trail the Cincinnati Reds by eight games for the second wild-card spot with 20 games remaining.

Series preview: Mets at Nats

August, 30, 2013
8/30/13
10:00
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Getty ImagedsThe Mets are scheduled to face (l to r) Jordan Zimmermann, Dan Haren and Ross Ohlendorf this weekend.
METS (60-72, third place/NL East) vs. WASHINGTON NATIONALS (68-65, second place/NL East)

Friday: RHP Dillon Gee (9-9, 3.69) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (15-7, 3.32), 7:05 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Zack Wheeler (6-3, 3.42) vs. RHP Dan Haren (8-11, 4.66), 7:05 p.m. ET

Sunday: LHP Jonathon Niese (6-6, 3.69) vs. RHP Ross Ohlendorf (2-0, 2.58), 8:05 p.m. ET

Nationals short hops

• The Nats have moved within 6 games of the Cincinnati Reds for the second wild-card spot by winning 14 of their past 19 games. Washington has 29 games remaining. The Nats were a season-worst six games under .500 on Aug. 7, after getting swept at home by the Atlanta Braves.

Bryce Harper on Thursday clubbed his 41st career homer. That is the third most in major league history before turning 21, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The only with more: Mel Ott (61) and Tony Conigliaro (56). Harper isn’t legally able to drink until Oct. 16. Harper has a career-high 11-game hitting streak. He is hitting .409 (18-for-44) during that stretch.


G Fiume/Getty ImagesJayson Werth was the NL Player of the Month in July.


Ian Desmond produced his 20th homer Thursday, which trails only Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki (22) among National League shortstops. Desmond’s 55 extra-base hits lead that group, as do his 33 doubles. He is two steals shy of his second straight 20-20 season. The only other Nat to reach that plateau in homers and steals in a season: Alfonso Soriano, who had 46 homers and 41 steals in 2006.

• After his Wednesday outing was cut short after two innings and 22 pitches by rain, the Nats considered using Stephen Strasburg on Sunday against the Mets, but passed. Manager Davey Johnson is leaning strongly toward using Ross Ohlendorf. Strasburg experienced back tightness during a 72-minute delay.

Ohlendorf’s rotation security is tenuous. The Nats plan to insert rookie Tanner Roark into the rotation. Although Ohlendorf is 3-0 with a 2.49 ERA in 12 appearances (four starts) this season, he has stalled in the fifth inning in his two starts since returning from the disabled list.

• Right fielder Jayson Werth enters the series one plate appearance shy of qualifying to be listed among the league’s batting leaders (3.1 PAs/team game). Werth would be tied with Chris Johnson at .329 for second in the NL in average, trailing only Yadier Molina (.333). Since July 4, Werth is hitting .405 with 13 homers and 37 RBIs in 48 games. He was the NL Player of the Month for July.

Jordan Zimmermann’s 15 wins are tied with Adam Wainwright for the NL lead. Zimmermann is one of many examples of a successful return from Tommy John surgery. He underwent the procedure in Aug. 19, 2009 and was back pitching in the majors 12 months, seven days later.

• Center fielder Denard Span has a 12-game hitting streak.

• The Nats traded catcher Kurt Suzuki to the Oakland Athletics last Friday for Class A right-hander Dakota Bacus. They also acquired a player to be named from the Tampa Bay Rays for David DeJesus, four days after claiming DeJesus off waivers from the Chicago Cubs.

Rapid Reaction: Nats 2, Mets 1

July, 26, 2013
7/26/13
10:00
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WASHINGTON -- It did not end up being a happy anniversary after all, although do not blame Matt Harvey.

With an opportunity to pull within a half-game of second place in the NL East, the Mets instead wasted a gem from Harvey and split a day-night doubleheader.

Exactly one year after his major league debut, Harvey limited Washington to one unearned run in eight innings on Friday night, but the Nats produced a 2-1 walk-off win in the nightcap.

LaTroy Hawkins surrendered the decisive run, on Ryan Zimmerman’s homer in the bottom of the ninth.

The Mets (46-54) would have moved into a virtual third-place tie with Washington and within a half-game of second-place Philadelphia had they won.

Instead, the Mets remained locked into fourth place, where they have resided since May 11.

The Mets had a stellar opportunity in the top of the ninth.

Harvey (8 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K) departed for pinch-hitter Ike Davis with the ace’s pitch count at 99 and the score tied at 1 after Andrew Brown’s one-out double against Rafael Soriano.

With Davis at the plate, Brown advanced to third on a wild pitch. Davis then walked. But Juan Lagares popped out to first base in foul territory and Daniel Murphy flied out to center field to end the threat.

Ouch: Shortstop Justin Turner and the left fielder Brown both appeared to take jolts to the head when they got tangled on Denard Span’s pop fly in shallow left field to open the bottom of the first. Turner ended up on the ground, having made the catch. After a visit from trainer Ray Ramirez, both initially remained in the game.

However, Omar Quintanilla replaced Turner for the bottom of the seventh. Turner had a sore right shoulder, the team announced.

Oh, Danny boy: Murphy mostly had a stellar day, with the ninth-inning missed opportunity and one other notable exception.

With two runners on base, one out and the Mets leading 1-0 in the fifth, Turner made a stellar lunging stop and shoveled the ball to Murphy to initiate a double-play attempt. But Murphy’s throw to first base was offline, hit runner Wilson Ramos and kicked away, allowing Jayson Werth to score from second base on the play.

Had Murphy converted the chance, the inning would have been over. Had Murphy eaten the ball, Werth would have held at third base with pitcher Ross Ohlendorf due up. The E-4 resulted in an unearned run for Harvey.

At the plate, Murphy went 2-for-4 with a walk in the nightcap and 6-for-9 on the day.

What’s next: Dillon Gee (7-7, 4.07 ERA) opposes right-hander Dan Haren (4-11, 5.79) at 3:05 p.m. Saturday.

Series preview: Mets at Nationals

July, 25, 2013
7/25/13
11:21
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Getty ImagesThe Mets face Jordan Zimmermann (left) and Ross Ohlendorf (right) in Friday's doubleheader in D.C.
METS (45-53, fourth place/NL East) vs. WASHINGTON NATIONALS (49-53, second place/NL East)

Friday: RHP Jenrry Mejia (0-0, -.--) and RHP Matt Harvey (8-2, 2.23) vs. RHP Jordan Zimmermann (12-5, 3.01) and RHP Ross Ohlendorf (2-0, 2.03), 1:35/7:05 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Dillon Gee (7-7, 4.07) vs. RHP Dan Haren (4-11, 5.79), 3:05 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Carlos Torres (1-1, 0.94) vs. RHP Taylor Jordan (0-3, 3.68), 1:35 p.m. ET

Nationals short hops

• The Nats fired hitting coach Rick Eckstein this week and replaced him with Rick Schu. The 51-year-old Schu had been a minor league hitting instructor for the Nats for the past four seasons. He played in the majors for parts of nine seasons, primarily with the Philadelphia Phillies. He previously had served as hitting coach with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Washington ranks 28th in the majors in runs (370), 27th in batting average (.239), 28th in on-base percentage (.299) and 24th in slugging percentage (.382).


Nick Wass/Associated PressRick Schu took over as hitting coach this week.


• The exception to the Nats’ struggles at the plate has been right fielder Jayson Werth. His gaudy production over the past month included consecutive two-homer games this week. Since June 23, Werth is hitting .354 (34-for-96) with eight homers and 22 RBIs in 28 games.

Bryce Harper produced his first career walk-off homer as the Nats snapped a six-game losing streak to open the second half with a 9-7 win against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday afternoon. Washington nonetheless is 8-13 in July.

Rafael Soriano and Ian Krol had combined to surrender four runs in the top of the ninth as Pittsburgh had evened the score at 7. Until Thursday’s long ball, Harper had been having a quiet month at the plate since returning from the DL on July 1. He missed five weeks with a left knee injury.

• The Nats acquired ex-Met Scott Hairston from the Chicago Cubs on July 8 for minor leaguer Ivan Pineyro, a player to be named and cash. Hairston hit .172 with eight homers in 99 at-bats in part-time use with the Cubs.

• Left-hander Ross Detwiler is due to spend another month on the DL with a pinched nerve in his lower back. Rookie Taylor Jordan, who faces the Mets on Sunday, has stepped into the rotation. But not too far removed from Tommy John surgery, Jordan is due to reach a season innings cap in 20-30 innings and be shut down.

Ross Ohlendorf, who has started for Triple-A Syracuse and primarily relieved at the major league level this season, could bridge the rotation gap between Jordan’s shutdown and Detwiler’s return. The Princeton-educated Ohlendorf gets a spot start Friday against the Mets with the need for an extra starter created by the doubleheader.

Jordan has a 76.2 percent rate of groundballs.

• Catcher Wilson Ramos returned July 4 after missing nearly two months. During two stints on the DL for a balky left hamstring this season, Ramos has missed a combined 58 games. Ramos missed most of 2012 recovering from right knee surgery.

• Rookie second baseman Anthony Rendon is hitting .182 in his past 23 games after hitting .354 in his first 26 major league games.

• Reliever Tyler Clippard has produced 13 consecutive scoreless innings.

Jordan Zimmermann has allowed two earned runs or fewer in 11 of his 13 career starts against the Mets.

Stephen Strasburg on Wednesday became the second pitcher in modern major league history to lose a start in which he recorded at least 12 strikeouts, allowed two or fewer hits and surrendered no walks, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The other: James Shields in 2012, for the Tampa Bay Rays against the Baltimore Orioles. Strasburg has a major league-high four losses this season in which he allowed one earned run of fewer.

Morning briefing: Jenrry Mejia gets started

February, 26, 2013
2/26/13
6:45
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PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla.

FIRST PITCH: Right-hander Jenrry Mejia, delayed in the Dominican Republic while his identity and age were scrutinized and eventually confirmed, makes his first 2013 Grapefruit League appearance this afternoon as the Mets visit the Miami Marlins in Jupiter, Fla.

Mejia already had pitched 1 2/3 innings in an outing at the Mets’ complex in the Dominican Republic, so he should be prepared for the spring-training start.

Although Johan Santana is “making strides,” Mejia and Jeremy Hefner likely would receive the most consideration to be part of the initial rotation if Santana were to open the season on the DL.

Mejia only will work as a starting pitcher, at least in camp and early this season. With Triple-A Buffalo in 2012, Mejia had a 2.75 ERA as a starter and 5.48 ERA in the bullpen.

Also due to face the Marlins this afternoon: Scott Atchison, Jeurys Familia, Cory Mazzoni, Hansel Robles and Carlos Torres. See the full travel roster here.

Right-hander Ricky Nolasco is scheduled to start for Miami, which underwent a fire sale during the offseason.

Tuesday’s news reports:


Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports
Ruben Tejada has a right quadriceps injury.


Ruben Tejada has a “little strain” of his right quadriceps, Terry Collins said. While the injury was downplayed by the shortstop, it is worth noting that Tejada strained the same muscle last May 6 against the Arizona Diamondbacks and did not return until June 24. Read more in Newsday and the Daily News.

Frank Francisco played catch with Collins on flat ground, making 25 tosses at 60 feet. That marked Francisco’s first time tossing a baseball since he reported to camp with right elbow inflammation. Read more in the Star-Ledger and Post.

Lucas Duda will be held out of Grapefruit League games for at least a couple of days. Duda insisted his surgically repaired wrist is fine, and that he just needs more time in a batting cage in order to be ready for spring-training games. Duda has been working to adjust his stance. He is 0-for-7 with six strikeouts early in Grapefruit League play. Read more in the Journal, Newsday, Post, Times, Star-Ledger, Record and MLB.com.

• Assistant professors Stephen Shapiro of Old Dominion University and Joris Drayer of Temple University analyzed Mets ticket pricing data for the 2012 season. Read the results, which compare the Mets’ dynamically priced tickets to StubHub prices, here.

• Howard Megdal at Capital New York finds Amway’s new storefront at Citi Field unsavory. Writes Richard Sandomir in the Times:

Amway is something of a strange partner for a baseball team. It is a multi-billion-dollar direct seller, which deploys millions of independent sales agents worldwide to sell mostly vitamins, dietary supplements, energy drinks and home cleaning products.

It would also appear to be a strange choice for the Mets, whose ownership last year settled a lawsuit brought against them by the trustee for the victims of the Ponzi scheme perpetrated by Bernard L. Madoff. In 2011, Amway, which has been accused of being a pyramid scheme, settled a class-action suit for $56 million over allegations that it had misled its distributors about how they would make money.

R.A. Dickey made his Grapefruit League debut with the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday. He allowed two runs on four hits and a walk in two innings against the Boston Red Sox. The opposing starting pitcher: another knuckleballer, Steven Wright.

• Mike Puma in the Post profiles 40-year-old LaTroy Hawkins, who was converted to relief by manager Tom Kelly with the Minnesota Twins in 2000. Hawkins recalls a young Santana “just rotting” in the Twins bullpen. As for Hawkins’ subpar performance in the Bronx, which included upsetting Yankees fans by wearing Paul O’Neill’s No. 21, the reliever says: “Everything that could go wrong went wrong.”


Chris Trotman/Getty Images
Center field prospect Matt den Dekker robbed a home run on Monday night.


Ike Davis homered against Ross Ohlendorf and Matt den Dekker robbed Washington prospect Anthony Rendon of a homer, but the Mets lost to the Nationals, 6-4, Monday night at Tradition Field.

• Collins is considering having the diminutive-but-aggressive Collin Cowgill platoon in the leadoff spot with Kirk Nieuwenhuis in addition to platooning them in center field. In two spring-training games against the Nats, Cowgill already has scored from second on a ball booted in the infield and tagged up to third base on a fly ball to left field. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Daily News and Record.

• Columnist David Lennon in Newsday notes the Mets and Yankees both have outfield woes, especially now that Curtis Granderson is sidelined 10 weeks with a fractured forearm.

• Anthony DiComo at MLB.com profiles lefty relief candidate Scott Rice, who has never appeared in the majors. Writes DiComo:

Scott Rice was stuck in independent ball again. It was 2011 and, with no other options, Rice hooked on with the York (Pa.) Revolution as a 29-year-old journeyman reliever. He did not want to be there. So each Monday, he flipped open a phone-book-thick baseball directory and dialed the office number for every minor league executive he could find.

Rice went in ascending order, from those with few lefties at the high levels of their organizations to those with many, cold-calling 20 to 30 farm directors per week. All he wanted was an opportunity.

But "nine times out of 10," Rice said, "you don't get a call back."

• Less than 10 months after Tommy John surgery, Mike Pelfrey is thriving in Minnesota Twins camp, writes Tyler Kepner in the Times.

• Former ’86 Mets manager Davey Johnson, in his final season with the Nats as a skipper, has a World Series-contending team. “He’s perfect for that club,” Bobby Ojeda tells columnist John Harper in the Daily News. “They’re loaded and he knows it. But with all the expectations, if you don’t handle it the right way it could blow up on him. But that’s where Davey is so good -- he’s a genius at handling men.”

In the Post, Darryl Strawberry and John Franco weigh in on the 2013 Mets.

From the bloggers The Eddie Kranepool Society wonders if someone can steal Daniel Murphy’s second-base job. … At Mets Police, Dan Twohig wonders if we have forgotten about the 1973 Mets? … Amazin’ Avenue chats with Paul DePodesta.

BIRTHDAYS: Nobody to ever appear in a regular-season game for the Mets celebrates a birthday today. Michael Bolton, Johnny Cash and Fats Domino all were born on this date, though.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should Jenrry Mejia be used as a starting pitcher … or as a reliever, where many scouts as well as pitching coach Dan Warthen ultimately project him?

Please use the comments section to weigh in

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TEAM LEADERS

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