New York Mets: Roy Halladay

Morning Briefing: den Dekker debut on tap

August, 29, 2013

FIRST PITCH: Another day, another major league debut.

Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY SportsMatt den Dekker is due to make his major league debut today.

Matt den Dekker is due to start in center field in today’s matinee series finale between the Mets and Philadelphia Phillies, marking his Mets debut.

Den Dekker has four “SportsCenter” top-10 catches on his resume in his career -- two from his days at the University of Florida, and another couple from Grapefruit League action.

Six of Wednesday’s Mets starters also saw action at Las Vegas this season, while Daisuke Matsuzaka spent most of the year at Triple-A Columbus in the Cleveland Indians organization.

Meanwhile, before departing for Port St. Lucie, Fla., to ramp up his rehab from a right hamstring strain, David Wright plans to speak with the media this morning.

Carlos Torres, the fill-in for Matt Harvey for now, starts opposite Phillies rookie right-hander Ethan Martin (2-2, 6.33 ERA) in the 1:10 p.m. game.

Thursday’s news reports:

• At Terry Collins’ request, Roy Halladay spoke with Harvey about his own elbow injury. Halladay avoided surgery and has pitched for years without issue, although the Phillies right-hander suggested his injury turned out to be more related to the flexor pronator than the ulnar collateral ligament. Earlier Wednesday, Sandy Alderson reiterated on ESPN New York 98.7 that whether Tommy John surgery will be required will not be firmly known for two or three weeks. Read more in the Times, Newsday and

Gene J. Puskar/Associated PressVic Black has served as a hard-throwing Triple-A closer.

• The Mets reportedly will acquire right-hander Vic Black, an upper-90s-throwing Triple-A closer, from the Pittsburgh Pirates to complete this week’s trade.

“I feel I have two pretty good options. I can go fastball and I can go slider, and that shortens my thought process,” Black told earlier this season about his repertoire. “As a short-inning reliever, I don’t want to start thinking about too many ways to get a guy out. …

“I think velocity is a big deal. It gives you an extra addition. To me, 98 is another pitch. You don’t really need to locate it a lot. There are times -- like early in the count -- when you can get away with rearing back and throwing it down the middle. It’s like, ‘Go ahead and swing and we’ll see if you‘ve got it. If you don’t, I’ll throw it again.’”

Marlon Byrd batted cleanup and had a three-run homer in his Pirates debut. "A new stadium, new fans, new everything -- it's like the first day of school in a new school," Byrd said afterward, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "You want to feel accepted."

John Buck joined Michael Kay on ESPN New York 98.7 on Wednesday. Listen here.

• Matsuzaka needed 110 pitches while lasting only 4 1/3 innings and the Mets lost to the Phillies, 6-2, Wednesday at Citi Field. Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record and

• Jacob deGrom departed Game 1 of Las Vegas’ doubleheader with an apparent injury and the 51 split with Colorado Springs. Jeyckol De Leon’s walk-off RBI clinched Kingsport’s first postseason appearance in nearly two decades. John Gant tossed a one-hit shutout as Brooklyn moved into first place in its New York-Penn League division. Read the full minor league recap here.

• 2013 first-round pick Dominic Smith was promoted from the Gulf Coast League to Kingsport.

Jeremy Hefner underwent Tommy John surgery and Jenrry Mejia underwent surgery to remove a bone spur from his pitching elbow on Wednesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

• Even though Wilmer Flores started at second base Wednesday, Collins said Flores is not auditioning for Daniel Murphy’s job. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Read more on den Dekker in the Journal.

BIRTHDAYS: Anthony Recker turns 30. … Noah Syndergaard turns 21. … Fellow catcher Henry Blanco is 42.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: How should Terry Collins handle Matt den Dekker versus Juan Lagares in center field?

Doc Halladay discusses Harvey, UCL tears

August, 28, 2013

Christopher Szagola/Associated PressRoy Halladay spoke with Matt Harvey on Tuesday.

NEW YORK -- Matt Harvey had no interest in speaking about his sudden optimism about potentially avoiding Tommy John surgery.

"I gave a press conference," the New York Mets ace tersely said Wednesday, referring to the announcement two days ago that he has a partially torn elbow ligament.

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay, however, did speak with media Wednesday, a day after Harvey consulted with the two-time Cy Young Award winner.

Read the full news story here.

Harvey consults with Doc ... Halladay

August, 28, 2013

Getty ImagesMatt Harvey and Roy Halladay spoke Tuesday about UCL tears.
NEW YORK -- There may be an explanation for Matt Harvey's tweet stating he would be pitching in the majors on April 1, 2014.

Sandy Alderson told Mike Lupica on ESPN New York 98.7 FM that Harvey spoke at length with Roy Halladay on Tuesday. Halladay told Harvey that he, too, had a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow and never had it surgically repaired.

Still, Alderson portrayed Harvey's optimism about avoiding Tommy John surgery as partly denial. Alderson would only say there is "some possibility" surgery could be avoided.

An ESPN Stats & Information look at pitchers who have landed on the DL since 2010 with UCL tears found none returned to the majors in quicker than 11 months.

"I think anybody would be in denial to some extent," Alderson said. "And so, typically, in these situations where denial is part of one's reaction, the passage of time usually helps with that. The plan here is we're going to wait a couple of weeks, at least. I think the doctors also believe that we should wait a couple of weeks, three weeks, and then test it -- see if he's hurting, see if he's not hurting.

"I know Matt had a long conversation yesterday with Roy Halladay, who is here with Philadelphia. Halladay said that, look, I had the same problem 10 years ago and I still haven't had surgery. So there is some reason for hope in that regard. So I don't think that when Matt tweeted that it was just because he's in deep denial. There's some possibility this can be avoided. Now will there always be a risk that it will tear further or tear completely? Yes. And, I guess, one of the questions is: Well, does that make any difference? It certainly would change the timetable for when he comes back. And if he doesn't have the surgery, there will always be the risk lingering that it could go.

"But there is some possibility that surgery will not occur and Matt will decide to do something else. I think we just need to wait, in this case, a few weeks to see exactly where we are."

Series preview: Mets vs. Phillies

August, 25, 2013

USA TODAY SportsRyne Sandberg has replaced Charlie Manuel as Phillies manager.
METS (58-70, third place/NL East) vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (59-71, third place/NL East)

Monday: RHP Zack Wheeler (6-2, 3.49) vs. LHP Cliff Lee (10-6, 3.16), 7:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: LHP Jonathon Niese (5-6, 4.03) vs. RHP Kyle Kendrick (10-10, 4.51), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka (0-1, 9.00) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (5-13, 3.62), 7:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: RHP Matt Harvey (9-5, 2.27) vs. RHP Ethan Martin (2-2, 6.33), 1:10 p.m. ET

Phillies short hops

• The Phillies fired manager Charlie Manuel on Aug. 16 and named former Chicago Cubs star Ryne Sandberg the interim manager. Sandberg most recently served as Philadelphia’s third-base coach. He previously managed the organization’s Triple-A Lehigh Valley affiliate for two seasons.

Manuel, 69, began managing the club in 2005 and compiled a 780-636 record. He has the most wins in franchise history, and managed the Phillies’ 2008 World Series title team. Manuel’s firing came four days after he earned his 1,000th career win, combined with a 2½-season stint managing the Cleveland Indians.

Laurence Kesterson/Associated PressEx-Nat Roger Bernadina signed with the Phillies last week.

Ryan Howard appears done for the season after undergoing left knee surgery on July 10. Although Howard has resumed baseball activities, Sandberg indicated it would not be productive to try to get the first baseman in major league shape by the season’s conclusion. Michael Young primarily has played first base minus Howard.

• Rookie Ethan Martin, the 15th overall pick in the 2008 draft, was acquired at last year’s trade deadline in the deal that sent Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Martin has a 6.33 ERA in five major league starts. He is coming off an outing Saturday against the Arizona Diamondbacks in which he was knocked out after recording only two outs. Martin surrendered three hits, including a homer to Martin Prado, and walked three.

That game ended up lasting 18 innings. Its length prompted scheduled Sunday starter Tyler Cloyd to pitch five innings in relief Saturday, which then prompted the Phillies to bring back Roy Halladay early from the disabled list to start Sunday. Halladay had planned to pitch in another minor league rehab game after recovering from right shoulder surgery. The Phillies also used outfielder Casper Wells and infielder John McDonald as relief pitchers in the 18-inning game.

• Wells was claimed off waivers from the Chicago White Sox on Aug. 8.

• The Phillies signed outfielder Roger Bernadina on Wednesday and optioned Michael Martinez to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Bernadina had batted .178 with two homers and six RBIs in 85 games with the Washington Nationals this season.

• The Phillies have won two straight series, after winning only one other series since the All-Star break.

Darin Ruf has a National League-high nine homers in August. His long ball total is the most by a Phillies rookie in a calendar month since Howard had 10 in September 2005.

John Lannan will undergo left-knee surgery. Fellow starting pitcher Jonathan Pettibone also is expected to miss the remainder of the season, with rotator-cuff inflammation.

Domonic Brown departed Saturday’s game with right heel soreness. He then pinch hit on Sunday. Brown recently missed 11 games with a concussion.

Jimmy Rollins needs two homers for 200 in his career.

Series preview: Mets vs. Phillies

April, 25, 2013

Associated Press/USA TODAY Sports
The Mets face (l to r) Kyle Kendrick, Jonathon Pettibone and Cole Hamels this weekend at Citi Field.
METS (10-10, second place/NL East) vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (9-14, fourth place/NL East)

Friday: RHP Dillon Gee (1-3, 5.95) vs. RHP Kyle Kendrick (1-1, 3.28), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Shaun Marcum (0-0, -.--) vs. RHP Jonathan Pettibone (0-0, 3.38), 1:05 p.m. ET

Sunday: LHP Jonathon Niese (2-1, 3.81) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (0-3, 5.40), 1:10 p.m. ET

Phillies short hops

Jonathan Pettibone is making his second major league start Saturday. He is the son of right-hander Jay Pettibone, who started four games -- all losses -- for the Minnesota Twins in 1983, on a team that included Tim Teufel and Frank Viola. The younger Pettibone debuted Monday against the Pittsburgh Pirates and accomplished something his father failed to do: participate in a win. Pettibone, 22, limited the Pirates to a pair of solo homers and four other hits in 5 1/3 innings while striking out six and walking none. The Phillies won, 3-2.

Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports
Carlos Ruiz is due to be activated Sunday after serving a season-opening 25-game suspension.

Carlos Ruiz is eligible to be activated Sunday after completing a 25-game suspension for testing positive for a banned amphetamine. Ruiz’s tune-up for activation was slowed because he was hit on his left wrist with a pitch in an extended spring training game last Friday. X-rays were negative. Erik Kratz and Humberto Quintero have handled the catching in Ruiz’s absence.

Delmon Young, who signed for a guaranteed $750,000 and incentives on Jan. 22, has started a rehab assignment and is due to join the Phillies within weeks -- although not for this Mets series. He underwent right ankle surgery during the offseason. Young is the projected right fielder, although he must get acclimated. He had not played in a game there since 2007 until rehab games this week. John Mayberry Jr. has produced with Young out.

• The Phillies, who are struggling on offense, went four full games without a walk until Chase Utley got a free pass on April 19. How rare is that? In the NL, the last teams to have gone four straight games without a walk were the 2009 Arizona Diamondbacks, 1976 Montreal Expos, 1952 New York Giants and 1935 Chicago Cubs.

• Utley already has four errors.

Ryan Howard homered for only the second time this season on Wednesday, against Wandy Rodriguez. In that game, Charlie Manuel split up Utley and Howard in the lineup so opposing managers could not insert one lefty specialist to face both without seeing a righty batter in between.

• This is the deepest Cole Hamels has gone into a season without a win since 2009, when it took the southpaw until his fifth start on May 8 for a victory.

• Manuel is in the final year of a contract. He told ESPN’s Jayson Stark: "I plan to keep managing -- unless I decide all of a sudden I don't want to do it."

Said GM Ruben Amaro about the subject: “Honestly, I don't think about his situation at all. I don't think the players give two craps about it. I don't think it's even a factor, not with our guys … I don't know if a contract for the manager should be a motivating factor for any player. They should be motivated by winning. That's it."

• Center fielder Ben Revere is battling a nagging quadriceps injury. After Revere started every previous game this season, ex-Mets farmhand Ezequiel Carrera instead was inserted in the lineup Thursday afternoon.

• The Phillies have lost three in a row (with Hamels, Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee pitching) and eight of 11.

• Since surrendering seven runs in four innings against the Mets on April 8, Halladay is 2-0 with a 1.71 ERA in three starts. He has allowed eight hits in 21 innings over that span.

• At 9-14, the Phillies are in the midst of their worst start since 2006.

Morning briefing: What's up with Doc?

April, 9, 2013

FIRST PITCH: Just like the Yankees, the Philadelphia Phillies are aging before our eyes.

Roy Halladay was charged with seven runs in four-plus innings Monday night against the Mets, marking the first time since 2004 he has lasted four or fewer innings in consecutive starts.

“I got a text from my son saying I am his hero,” Halladay told reporters afterward. “It meant a lot.”

Matt Harvey, meanwhile, became the second pitcher in Mets history to open a season with consecutive starts of seven-plus innings while allowing three or fewer hits. The other: Nolan Ryan, who opened the 1970 season with three straight such games.

Philadelphia has massive payroll commitments remaining:

Cliff Lee, at age 34, still is owed $87.5 million.

Cole Hamels, 29, $144 million.

Halladay, 36, $20 million.

Ryan Howard, 33, $105 million.

Chase Utley, 34, $15 million.

Jonathan Papelbon, 32, $39 million.

Jimmy Rollins, 34, $22 million.

Contrast that with the Mets, who have existing contracts with only David Wright and Jonathon Niese for 2014 -- plus plenty of other players under their control.

Dillon Gee and Lee meet tonight at 7:05 in Game 2 of the series.

Tuesday’s news reports:

• Harvey improved to 2-0 by limiting Philadelphia to one run in seven innings and John Buck belted a three-run homer against Halladay as the Mets beat the Phillies, 7-2 in the opener. Read game recaps in the Times, Post, Daily News, Record, Star-Ledger, Newsday and

• Read more on Buck in the Post.

• Halladay has now allowed 12 runs in 7 1/3 innings over two starts this season.

Howard Smith/USA TODAY Sports
Roy Halladay has been shelled in consecutive starts.

“Definitely command is the biggest thing,” Halladay told reporters afterward. “When you're really trying to force the ball to a spot instead of letting a ball go there, the more it goes away from there. I'm going up there thinking 'I gotta get ahead. I gotta get ahead. I gotta get ahead.' Ball one. 'Crap.'

“It's a mental game, and you'll fight yourself. I've overcome it in the past and I plan to overcome it now.

"One of my biggest mentors, [the late sports psychologist] Harvey Dorfman, told me if you're trying to catch a bird, if you're flailing at it, you're never going to catch it. You have to let it land in your hands. It's the same way with pitching. The more you're grasping at it, the more you're reaching for it, the harder it is to get it, especially when you want it so bad."

Read more on Halladay in the Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, CSN Philly and South Jersey Times.

Aaron Laffey should get several starts in the rotation in place of Shaun Marcum, although the Mets plan to wait until next Tuesday at Colorado for Laffey’s next turn. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Journal, Daily News and

Jeurys Familia picked up his first professional save in Las Vegas’ 4-3 win at Fresno. Logan Taylor tossed five scoreless innings in his Savannah debut, but the Gnats lost to Augusta, 6-5. Zack Wheeler makes his second Las Vegas start tonight at 10:05 ET, opposite Fresno’s Yusmeiro Petit, a former Mets farmhand. Read the full minor league recap here.

Frank Francisco (elbow) is not particularly close to joining the Mets from the disabled list. Read more in Newsday and the Record.

• The Mets are unlikely to pursue Aaron Harang, writes Mike Puma in the Post. Harang was obtained by the Colorado Rockies and then designated for assignment.

Daniel Murphy is hitting .308 a week into the season, despite getting only 10 Grapefruit League at-bats because of an intercostal strain on his right side that sidelined him for several weeks of spring training. Read more in the Times.

• David Wright tells Jared Diamond in the Journal that Ruben Tejada is a Gold Glove-caliber shortstop, despite Tejada picking up four errors in the season’s first week.

• Bill Evans in the South Jersey Times features Mets sidearmer Greg Burke, who grew up in the Philly suburb of Bellmawr, N.J.

From the bloggers … Shannon from Mets Police enjoys the new uniform combinations, but thinks the Mets should wear them sparingly. … John Delcos at Mets Report advocates Mike Baxter as leadoff hitter.

BIRTHDAYS: Australian-born reliever Graeme Lloyd turns 46.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Are the Phillies headed for a long few years?

Harvey stymies Phils, can keep the check

April, 8, 2013

PHILADELPHIA -- Terry Collins pulled out from the desk in the visiting manager’s office at Citizens Bank Park a white envelope with the words “IN ESCROW” handwritten on it.

“I’ve got it right here,” the manager said.

Collins had fined Matt Harvey $250 for a late ballpark arrival and good-naturedly offered to return the money if Harvey blanked the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night.

Harvey surrendered one run in seven innings.

The manager offered the money back anyway.

Harvey declined.

“I gave up a run,” Harvey said after the Mets beat Philadelphia 7-2. “I told him I didn’t want it. I didn’t live up to what was going on. He keeps it. He can take his wife out to dinner or whatever. I think he was going to double it if I went nine, so I was trying.”

Said Collins: “In escrow. It’s accruing interest as we speak. He’s not going to get it today, but I’m not going to spend it. I know that. He’ll get it one of these days, I’ll tell you that. He deserves it. That’s a tough lineup to get through, especially when he didn’t have his best stuff.”

Harvey (2-0) has limited the San Diego Padres and the Phillies to one run on four hits and four walks while striking out 19 in 14 innings this season. This outing, though, Harvey struggled with his fastball command. So he relied on his secondary pitches, particularly his slider, to navigate the outing.

The lone damage came when Jimmy Rollins doubled to open the fourth inning and scored on a Ryan Howard sacrifice fly. By then, the Mets had built a 4-0 lead, buoyed by a three-run homer by catcher John Buck against Roy Halladay.

“There was definitely a difference between the first start and this one,” Harvey said. “I could tell in the bullpen I was going to have to battle a little harder than I did the first outing. ... Today I really had to mix in a lot of everything. Fortunately, the slider was working good tonight.”

Said Buck: “I don’t think he had his A-stuff tonight, but he was able to ... throw his slider and some curveballs to get him back in the zone, and then he pitched a lot better.”

Harvey said he genuinely got excited facing Halladay.

“How could you not? You get the name ‘Doc’ for a reason,” Harvey said. “He’s going to be fine. He’s fun to watch. It’s pretty interesting that I watched him when I was growing up. Stepping into the batter’s box against him was pretty surreal. That was a fun matchup.”

Rapid Reaction: Mets 7, Phillies 2

April, 8, 2013
PHILADELPHIA -- Matt Harvey is on the rise. Roy Halladay is on the decline. And the New York Mets now own a 5-2 record.

John Buck continued his torrid start with a three-run homer and Harvey limited the Philadelphia Phillies to one run in seven innings as Halladay was handed his first loss against the Mets in 12 years.

The final score Monday night at Citizens Bank Park: Mets 7, Phillies 2.

Harvey improved to 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA after allowing three hits and two walks and striking out nine in a 110-pitch effort. He has allowed only four hits in 14 innings this season.

Dwight Gooden tweeted during Monday's game: "I am sitting here watching @MattHarvey33 … this kid is better than advertised … looking forward to watching him every 5th day"

Through seven games, Mets starting pitchers have a 1.87 ERA (nine earned runs in 43 1/3 innings).

Halladay suffered his first loss against the Mets since July 16, 2001 at Shea Stadium, as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. Halladay had been 7-0 with a 1.78 ERA in eight previous starts with the Phillies against the Mets.

In four-plus innings, Halladay was charged with seven runs on six hits, three walks and a hit batter as his ERA ballooned to 14.73. He repeatedly was behind in the count -- a far cry from the pinpoint control he has displayed through his career.

Buck now has three homers and 12 RBIs through seven games. Throw in an RBI on Sunday from Anthony Recker and the Mets have received 13 RBIs from their catchers. They received three homers and 48 RBIs from the catching position all of last season.

The Mets have homered in seven straight games, their longest streak to open a season since a franchise-record eight straight games with a homer to begin the 1987 campaign.

Ruben Tejada, batting with the bases loaded and two out in the fifth, contributed a two-run single against Chad Durbin with the count full to close the book on Halladay and push the Mets’ lead to 7-1. The Phillies’ bullpen has now allowed 12 of 13 inherited runners to score this season.

WHAT’S NEXT: Dillon Gee (0-1, 1.42 ERA) opposes left-hander Cliff Lee (1-0, 0.00) at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday.

Morning briefing: Harvey-Halladay on tap

April, 8, 2013

Brad Barr/USA TODAY Sports
Matt Harvey opposes a seemingly diminished Roy Halladay tonight at Citizens Bank Park.
FIRST PITCH: After winning two straight series at home to open the season, the Mets (4-2) hit the road for a three-city trip.

The first stop: Philadelphia, with Matt Harvey facing Roy Halladay in tonight’s 7:05 p.m. opener.

Harvey, coming off seven scoreless innings in his season debut against the San Diego Padres, was flattered by recent unsolicited praise from Tampa Bay Rays ace David Price.

Halladay, although clearly diminished, is 7-0 with a 1.78 ERA against the Mets since 2010. He aims for career win No. 200 tonight.

Read the Mets-Phillies series preview here.

Monday’s news reports:

Marlon Byrd produced a two-run, walk-off single to cap a 4-3 comeback win against the Marlins on Sunday at Citi Field as the Mets completed their homestand on a positive note. The Mets have homered in each of their first six games, their longest streak to begin a season since going deep in eight straight to open the 1987 season. The ninth-inning comeback against Marlins closer Steve Cishek spoiled a stellar outing from Jose Fernandez in his major league debut. Scott Rice collected his first major league win. Read game recaps in the Post, Record, Star-Ledger, Daily News, Times, Newsday, Journal and

• Despite allowing 10 hits, a walk and hitting a batter in 4 1/3 innings in his Mets debut, Terry Collins pledged Aaron Laffey would get another start. The Mets may delay using Laffey again, though, until a fifth starter is absolutely required -- Tuesday in Colorado, after a series in Minnesota. Read more in the Post and Record.

• Anthony Rieber in Newsday asks: If Fernandez is pitching in the majors for the Marlins at 20, why can’t top prospect Zack Wheeler be with the Mets with Shaun Marcum and Johan Santana out? But columnist Joel Sherman in the Post believes the Mets, not the Marlins, made the right call. If a team is not in contention, there’s no sense starting free agency and arbitration clocks early. Writes Sherman:

I know the Citi fans want to see Wheeler. Heck, I would have loved to see Wheeler (Baseball America’s No. 11 prospect) versus Fernandez (No. 5), but I am going to take Mets executives’ word for it that Wheeler still has polishing to do in the minors. And also see the logic in not allowing Wheeler to accumulate service time toward arbitration and free agency prematurely when seventy-something wins again seems all but pre-determined.

Instead, the Mets are still playing for a future when they envision Wheeler (and, perhaps, Rafael Montero), joining Jon Niese and Matt Harvey in a rotation that is the backbone for sustained contention. Of course, this is not being done in a vacuum. The Marlins have Fernandez, the Braves have Julio Teheran and the Nationals have Stephen Strasburg, still just 24.

Columnist Bill Madden in the Daily News contrasts yesterday’s pitchers, too. Read more in the Star-Ledger.

• Noah Syndergaard, the pitching prospect acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays for R.A. Dickey, tossed four scoreless innings in his debut with the organization and Cam Maron drove in the lone run and withstood a game-ending plate collision as St. Lucie completed a four-game, home-and-home sweep of Jupiter on Sunday. Read the full minor league recap here.

• Dickey surrendered eight runs against the Boston Red Sox on Sunday, including five runs in the first inning -- as many runs as he allowed in the first inning all of last season as a Met. Dickey has an 8.44 ERA through two starts with Toronto.

• Marc Narducci in the Philadelphia Inquirer catches up with Mets sidearmer Greg Burke, who hails from outside of Philly in Gloucester, N.J. "He was the first guy we tried to sign, because of the ground-ball factor in Coors Field," Colorado Rockies scout Will George told Narducci.

"He is a great kid who has persevered, and that tells you a lot about what is inside him."

From the bloggers Faith and Fear in Flushing gives gold stars to Ruben Tejada and Kirk Nieuwenhuis. … John Delcos at Mets Report reviews the team’s opening homestand. … At Mets Police, a request to throw your support in the Honorary Bat Girl contest behind Lisa, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 36.

BIRTHDAYS: The late Gary Carter was born on this date in 1954. … Timo Perez, most recently a Long Island Duck, turns 38. … Former first-round pick Eddie Kunz, who was released by the San Diego Padres late in spring training, turns 27. .. Former Mets reliever Pete Walker is 44.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Who made the right call: the Marlins using Jose Fernandez, or the Mets not using Zack Wheeler?

Series preview: Mets at Phillies

April, 7, 2013

Getty Images/USA TODAY Sports
The Mets face (l to r) Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Kyle Kendrick this week in Philly.
METS (4-2, second place/NL East) at PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (2-4, fourth place/NL East)

Monday: RHP Matt Harvey (1-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Roy Halladay (0-1, 13.50), 7:05 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Dillon Gee (0-1, 1.42) vs. LHP Cliff Lee (1-0, 0.00), 7:05 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (0-1, 1.50) vs. RHP Kyle Kendrick (0-1, 7.94), 7:05 p.m. ET

Phillies short hops

• Roy Halladay’s fastball averaged 89.6 mph and he used it far less often than is customary while surrendering five runs in 3 1/3 innings in his season opener at Atlanta. The fastball velocity is down from an average of 90.6 mph last season, 92.0 mph in 2011 and 92.6 mph in 2010. Halladay dealt with shoulder issues last season. He is seeking his 200th career win Monday. He is 7-0 with a 1.78 ERA against the Mets since 2010.

• Phillies pitchers have surrendered an NL-leading 32 runs. The relief corps has allowed 10 of 11 inherited runners to score.

Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports
Former Cubs great Ryne Sandberg is Philadelphia's new third-base coach.

Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley have started 962 games as a middle-infield combo, second to the Yankees’ Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano (1,036 games) among active double-play partners. Rollins passed Richie Ashburn on Thursday for the second-most games played in Phillies history, with No. 1,795. Mike Schmidt is the franchise leader with 2,404 games played as a Phillie.

• Third baseman Michael Young was acquired from the Texas Rangers in December for right-handers Josh Lindblom and Lisalverto Bonilla.

• Center fielder Ben Revere was acquired from the Minnesota Twins in December for right-handers Vance Worley and Trevor May. Revere has played 166 straight error-free games. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Revere has 1,092 career plate appearances without a homer -- the most among active players. The next 35 on that list are pitchers.

• Opening Day starter Cole Hamels, whom the Mets do not face, is 0-2 with a 10.97 ERA.

• First baseman Ryan Howard is hitting .167 with no homers and eight strikeouts in 24 at-bats. He has yet to produce an extra-base hit through six games.

• Backup outfielder Ezequiel Carrera, who was claimed off waivers from the Cleveland Indians last Tuesday, originally was signed by the Mets out of Venezuela. He was part of the three-team trade on Dec. 11, 2008 that landed J.J. Putz and Sean Green in Flushing.

Cliff Lee -- who was winless until a July 4 victory at Citi Field last season, and who went 6-9 overall in 2012 despite a 3.16 ERA -- is off to a more favorable start this season. Lee tossed eight scoreless innings at Atlanta on Thursday, limiting the Braves to two hits and no walks while striking out eight. Lee’s victory snapped Atlanta’s streak of winning 23 straight games started by Kris Medlen. Lee has made 18 straight starts of six-plus innings with one or fewer walks. That is a modern-era record, topping the 14 straight by Christy Mathewson (1908) and Greg Maddux (1997).

• Catcher Carlos Ruiz is serving a 25-game MLB suspension to open the season after testing positive for the stimulant Adderall. Fill-in Erik Kratz caught 40 percent of would-be base stealers last season.

• The Phillies overhauled Charlie Manuel’s coaching staff. The newcomers: third base coach Ryne Sandberg, hitting coach Steve Henderson, assistant hitting coach Wally Joyner and bullpen coach Rod Nichols.

Delmon Young, who signed with the Phillies in January, is playing in extended spring training games. He underwent ankle surgery in November.

• The Phillies’ primary batting order is:

Revere, cf
Rollins, ss
Utley, 2b
Howard, 1b
Young, 3b
Domonic Brown, lf
John Mayberry Jr. (RH)/Laynce Nix (LH), rf
Kratz, c

Series preview: Mets vs. Phillies

July, 2, 2012

US Presswire
The Mets are expected to face (l to r) Vance Worley, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels during the midweek series.
METS (43-37, second place/NL East) vs. PHILADLEPHIA PHILLIES (36-45, fifth place/NL East)

Tuesday: LHP Jon Niese (6-3, 3.55) vs. RHP Vance Worley (4-4, 2.92), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Chris Young (2-1, 3.30) vs. LHP Cliff Lee (0-5, 4.13), 1:10 p.m. ET

Thursday: RHP R.A. Dickey (12-1, 2.15) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (10-4, 3.08), 7:10 p.m. ET

Phillies short hops

• The underwhelming Phillies traded a pair of veterans to the American League during the weekend. They dealt Jim Thome to the Baltimore Orioles for minor league catcher Gabriel Lino and right-hander Kyle Simon. A day later, reliever Chad Qualls was sent to the Yankees for cash or a player to be named. Thome, 41, was hitting .242 with five homers and 15 RBIs in 62 at-bats, but back woes made it difficult for him to man first base. Qualls (4.60 ERA) had been designated for assignment Thursday.

Ex-Met Jason Pridie and left-hander Jeremy Horst took their roster spots. Horst had been acquired by the Phillies in January in the trade that sent infielder Wilson Valdez, another ex-Met, to Cincinnati. Pridie had signed with Oakland as a minor league free agent during the winter, was suspended 50 games by MLB for a second positive test for a drug of abuse in March, was released by the A’s last month and signed with Philadelphia on June 15.

Howard Smith/US Presswire
Chase Utley made his season debut last week after dealing with chronic knee woes.

• ESPN’s Buster Olney reports the dismantling may not be limited to peripheral players, with pending free agent Cole Hamels as well as Shane Victorino also potentially available.

• Hamels, catcher Carlos Ruiz and closer Jonathan Papelbon will represent the Phillies in the July 10 All-Star Game in Kansas City, although San Francisco’s Buster Posey will start over Ruiz behind the plate. Ruiz, a first-time All-Star, leads the majors in batting at .356, two points ahead of David Wright.

• Second baseman Chase Utley made his season debut last Wednesday with a three-hit game. He homered against the Pirates’ James McDonald in his first at-bat. Utley, who played in 10 rehab games, has started three of five games since being activated from the DL. The absence was caused by chronic left knee woes. Mike Fontenot has started the other two games at second base since Utley’s return.

• First baseman Ryan Howard may not be too far behind Utley. He began a rehab assignment Thursday with Class A Lakewood. Howard underwent surgery in October on his left Achilles and suffered a setback when the area got infected.

• Rookie infielder Freddy Galvis, who had started 45 games at second base in Utley’s absence, was suspended by MLB for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. He already was sidelined with a back injury and will be allowed to serve the suspension while on the disabled list. In a statement, Galvis denied knowingly using the banned substance.

• The Phillies are nine games under .500 for the first time since July 25, 2006, when they were 44-53. A loss in the series opener against the Mets would drop Philadelphia 10 games under .500 for the first time since July 22, 2002. The Phillies had not had this bad a record at the midpoint of a season since they were 23-58 in 1997.

• After using Vance Worley in the series opener, the Phillies are expected to skip Kyle Kendrick and go with Cliff Lee and Hamels in the series.

• Lee remains winless through 13 starts. The last MLB pitchers to open a season with that many starts and not have one victory to show for it? They would be Kenshin Kawakami with Atlanta and Kevin Millwood with Baltimore, two seasons ago. They both failed to be credited with a win in their first 14 starts of 2010. Lee has allowed five or more earned runs in three straight starts, one shy of matching his career high, which came with Cleveland in 2007.

Roy Halladay threw a bullpen session Friday for the first time since landing on the DL with a back strain.

Last series results

Philadelphia won, 2-1, at Citi Field, May 28-30 (AP game recaps)

Phillies 8, Mets 4: Ty Wigginton drove in a career-high six runs with a homer and a pair of two-out hits and Cole Hamels won his eighth straight decision. Scott Hairston and Vinny Rottino each hit tying two-run homers for the Mets. Down 5-4, the Mets threatened in the eighth when pinch hitter Andres Torres doubled. With one out and Torres on third, Daniel Murphy grounded out and then David Wright also grounded out to end the inning. Wright has gone hitless in his last 14 at-bats, dropping his average to .373. More

Mets 6, Phillies 3: Jeremy Hefner earned his first victory in the majors and highlighted the occasion by homering for his first big league hit. The 26-year-old rookie became the first major league pitcher to hit his first homer in his first win since 2002, when Dennis Tankersley did it with San Diego, STATS LLC said. Pinch hitter Scott Hairston had a two-run homer, and newcomer Omar Quintanilla doubled twice and singled. More

Phillies 10, Mets 6: Carlos Ruiz came off the bench with a sore hamstring to hit a tying homer in the seventh inning, Jimmy Rollins added a three-run shot and the Phillies busted loose late. Shane Victorino drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth and Philadelphia bailed out winless Cliff Lee to take two of three in the series. Ty Wigginton also homered for the Phillies, who improved to 3-6 against the Mets this season. Lucas Duda went deep twice, including a two-run shot off Lee in the sixth that gave the Mets a 3-1 lead. Dillon Gee pitched 6 2/3 effective innings, but the New York bullpen was battered after he left -- beginning with the pinch-hit homer by Ruiz. More

Batista may bump Hefner from rotation

May, 30, 2012
Despite homering and picking up his first major league win Tuesday, Jeremy Hefner may not get another chance to start.

Terry Collins said he will not decide Monday's starter against the Cardinals at Citi Field until at least the weekend. A team source said it was correct to interpret that comment as an indication Miguel Batista is likely the preference rather than Hefner, assuming Batista has a successful rehab start tonight with Double-A Binghamton.

Batista was forced to depart a May 19 start at Toronto after two innings with an oblique/lower-back strain. He is eligible to return from the disabled list Monday, which coincides with when Hefner's next turn otherwise would occur.

Josh Thole is DHing and batting second for Triple-A Buffalo tonight. Sandy Alderson said he expected Thole would be activated Friday. Collins was less sure that would be the precise date, noting the Mets need to be assured Thole looks sharp at the plate before being activated. Collins insisted he had not been involved in any internal debate yet about whether Mike Nickeas or Rob Johnson might be demoted when Thole is activated.

Jason Bay's rehab tour from a fractured rib could take him to Buffalo this weekend.

• Phillies ace Roy Halladay (shoulder) sought a second opinion from Mets doctor David Altchek.

• An hour before Wednesday's game, the Mets officially placed Ronny Cedeño on the DL with a left calf strain and promoted Jordany Valdespin.

Mets morning briefing 5.30.12

May, 30, 2012
Jeremy Hefner became the first Met to deliver his first homer and earn his first major league win in the same game and the Mets beat the Phillies, 6-3, Tuesday at Citi Field.

Cliff Lee and Dillon Gee now face off in tonight's 7:10 p.m. rubber game -- the finale of a 20-games-in-20-days stretch for the Mets. Before the series finale, the NFL Giants' 2012 draft class, including first-round pick David Wilson from Virginia Tech, will visit Citi Field and be recognized on the field.

Wednesday's news reports:

Sandy Alderson said he will engage the agents for David Wright in-season about the possibility of retaining the third baseman long term. The Mets have a $16 million option on Wright for 2013 -- really a net of $15 million, since there otherwise is a $1 million buyout. So Wright is not in danger of imminently becoming a free agent regardless. Read more at and in the Star-Ledger, Post, Daily News and Record.

Justin Turner, speaking with reporters for the first time since suffering Monday's right-ankle sprain, said he felt fortunate the injury was not more serious. Turner was wearing a boot. He also had crutches, but was not using them. Turner officially landed on the DL on Tuesday as part of a flurry of roster moves. The Mets also designated reliever Manny Acosta for assignment. They promoted Omar Quintanilla to start at shortstop as well as right-hander Chris Schwinden.

• Quintanilla matched a career high with three hits and also scored twice in his Mets debut, while Scott Hairston delivered the knockout blow to Phillies starter Joe Blanton with a pinch-hit two-run homer. Frank Francisco converted his 14th save, tying him for the National League lead. Read game recaps in the Post, Star-Ledger, Record, Times, Daily News, Newsday and Philadelphia Inquirer.

Josh Thole, nearing a return to the Mets from a concussion, is slated to DH for Triple-A Buffalo tonight and catch Chris Young on Thursday morning with the Bisons. Thole then is expected to be activated Friday. The Mets could ever-so-briefly carry three bona fide catchers, but eventually they likely will have to make a choice of whom to retain at the major league level between Rob Johnson and Mike Nickeas. Either can be demoted without being exposed to waivers.

• The news is not as positive for Ruben Tejada (quadriceps) as is the case with Thole. Alderson said the shortstop, who was examined by team doctors Tuesday in Manhattan, will remain in New York getting treatment at least through Friday. Meanwhile, Jason Bay is only DHing in Port St. Lucie. The organization is taking it slowly with Bay (fractured rib) and has not yet allowed him to play the outfield, Terry Collins said.

Miguel Batista's intended rehab start Tuesday with Double-A Binghamton was rained out at Reading. That outing is now scheduled for Wednesday, pushing top prospect Zack Wheeler back another day in the rotation to Thursday with the B-Mets. Batista (oblique/lower-back strain) is eligible to be activated from the DL Monday, which happens to be the next time Hefner's turn comes up. But given Hefner's generally positive performance Wednesday, it may be more logical to instead return Batista to the bullpen at that point.

• Read an injury recap in the Times.

• Columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post sizes up the NL East this way, writing:

The Phillies, five-time defending champions, endured a rough day, placing future Hall of Famer Roy Halladay on the 15-disabled list with a strain of his right latissimus dorsi. They take pride in shrugging off injuries, and manager Charlie Manuel noted his teams always post a better record in the second half. In nine full seasons, only the 2001 Indians defied that trend. Nevertheless, the Phillies will be particularly challenged with Halladay, Ryan Howard and Chase Utley all on the disabled list. The Mets probably have the least talent among the five NL East teams, and that’s why most industry folks don’t see them sustaining this run. The Nationals and Braves join the Phillies in being riddled by injuries, though, and remember, the extra wild card opens up this pennant race like none before. Fairy-tale nights occur for every team, good and bad. Fairy-tale seasons are far more rare.

• Here's columnist Tim Smith's take in the Daily News.

• Hairston now has a team-high six homers, including one in each of his past three games. Read more in the Post.

Matt Harvey allowed one run and three hits in six innings in Buffalo's 3-1 win against Columbus. Pedro Beato pitched a scoreless relief inning as his rehab assignment nears a conclusion. Beato is eligible to be activated from the 60-day DL on Sunday. Read Tuesday's full minor league recap here.

R.A. Dickey was named NL Player of the Week on Tuesday. He limited the Pirates and Padres to a combined one run in 14 1/3 innings while posting a pair of wins. Dickey had tweeted earlier in the day that dental concerns were on his mind, too. "Got my first cavity in 37 years," the knuckleballer wrote. "Need a root canal in it to boot. Too much red velvet cake." Andrew Keh in the Times covered a pregame Q&A that Dickey had with fans who paid to attend at Citi Field.

• The Yankees love their ex-Mets. The Bombers just claimed Ryota Igarashi off waivers from the Blue Jays and assigned him to Triple-A. Read more in the Record.

• Former Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson discussed the intricate data-based system the organization developed in 2004 to offer insights into opponent tendencies.

• The Phillies have major health issues. Roy Halladay was diagnosed with a right shoulder strain and joined Ryan Howard and Chase Utley on the disabled list. Read more in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Times and Post.

• Columnist Bob Klapisch in the Record chronicles reliever Jack Egbert's three-year journey back to the majors, which included the Rutherford, NJ., native undergoing Tommy John surgery and at least contemplating retirement. Writes Klapisch:

He spent the summer of 2010 with a cast on his arm, thinking about Plan B, which he’d never really considered. “I had a year left at (Rutgers) in criminal justice,” Egbert said. “But honestly, I didn’t know what I was going to do.” Family and friends urged him to hang in there. Everyone meant well, but what else could they say to a baseball lifer who was on the bullet train to 30, with a bad arm and no job? Egbert could’ve hooked on with an independent team like the Newark Bears or New Jersey Jackals. But he knew that was the equivalent of buying a Power Ball ticket at 11:59 -- good luck waiting for the fates to be generous. The rehab took a full year, but, incredibly, the Mets called before spring training a few months ago.

• The Mets have out-homered opponents 8-7 in long balls that only would have been out with the new Citi Field dimensions. "It's not a band box," hitting coach Dave Hudgens told Brian Costa in the Journal about the stadium's revised configuration. "It's not Cincinnati. It's not Philadelphia. It's not Yankee Stadium. It's still a legitimate baseball field. You have to hit the ball good to get it out of here. Guys aren't going to hit jam shots to right field like at Yankee Stadium. That's just not going to happen."

TRIVIA: Besides Hefner, who was the only Mets pitcher to homer in his debut season in the majors? (Hint: Think 1996.)

Tuesday's answer: Ex-Mets Brian Schneider and Ty Wigginton played in Monday's game for the Phillies.

Series preview: Mets vs. Phillies

May, 28, 2012

Getty Images
The Mets face (l to r) Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton and winless Cliff Lee this series.
METS (27-21, second place/NL East) vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (25-24, fifth place/NL East)

Monday: LHP Jon Niese (3-2, 4.29) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (7-1, 2.17), 1:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Jeremy Hefner (0-2, 6.17) vs. RHP Joe Blanton (2-2, 4.55), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Dillon Gee (4-3, 4.92) vs. LHP Cliff Lee (0-2, 2.82), 7:10 p.m. ET

Phillies short hops

Cliff Lee is winless on May 28 for the first time since 2003, when he did not make his season debut until June 30 and opened the season as a minor leaguer. During Lee’s most recent outing, center fielder Shane Victorino and the southpaw were caught on camera in a verbal altercation in St. Louis in the dugout. The spat came after Victorino and Hunter Pence each lost fourth-inning fly balls in the twilight at Busch Stadium.

• The Phillies remain without the duo of Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. Howard, who is trying to recover from an infection in his surgically repaired left Achilles’ tendon, has taken live batting practice at the team’s complex in Clearwater, Fla. Utley (knee) has started taking grounders, but has yet to run the bases.

Jeff Curry/US Presswire
Shane Victorino and Cliff Lee jawed in St. Louis after Victorino lost a fly ball.

In Utley’s absence, Freddy Galvis has heated up at second base. Galvis is hitting .314 (22-for-70) with 15 RBIs in his past 18 games.

Ty Wigginton, Hector Luna and John Mayberry Jr. all have seen time at first base of late. Luna was promoted from Triple-A Lehigh Valley on May 11 when Laynce Nix landed on the disabled list with a strained left calf. He delivered a grand slam in his first at-bat as Phillie, while pinch-hitting five days later. Luna became the first player to produce a slam in his first at-bat as a Phillie since Gene Freese on April 18, 1959. Mayberry is 5-for-28 in his past 11 games (seven starts). Jim Thome (back) -- who also has logged time at first base this season -- has been on the disabled list for the past month, although he has resumed swinging a bat.

Cole Hamels’ seven wins are tied with R.A. Dickey, St. Louis’ Lance Lynn and ex-Met Chris Capuano for the National League lead. Hamels, a free-agent-to-be at season’s end, took a no-hit bid one out into the sixth inning in his most recent start. He ultimately tossed eight scoreless innings against the Nationals.

Joe Blanton has been knocked out in the fifth inning in each of his past two starts. He allowed seven runs apiece against Boston and St. Louis. The consecutive subpar outings have lifted his ERA from 2.96 to 4.55.

Roy Halladay departed Sunday’s game at St. Louis after two innings with right shoulder soreness. Halladay has logged 220 innings in each of the past six seasons. Since ’06, Halladay’s 1,487 innings are the most in the majors, ahead of runner-up CC Sabathia’s 1,463 and Dan Haren’s 1,429. Halladay had surrendered a grand slam to Yadier Molina before departing. Brian McCann also had a slam against Halladay this month. They are the first two slams allowed by the ace since Evan Longoria accomplished it in 2008. Fellow starter Vance Worley (elbow inflammation) may throw a bullpen session during the series in Queens but has yet to be activated from the DL.

• The Phillies are hitting .282 with 85 extra-base hits in May. They are averaging 4.8 runs per game this month. In April, they hit .247 with 47 extra-base hits and averaged 3.3 runs per game. Among the top May performers: catcher Carlos Ruiz (.410, 4 HR, 19 RBIs), Victorino (.288, 16 RBIs), Galvis (.283, 18 RBIs), Pence (.272, 8 HR, 18 RBIs) and left fielder Juan Pierre (.310). Ruiz has batted in the cleanup spot four of the past five games, with Pence moving to No. 3 and Victorino to fifth. Ruiz had never batted in the No. 4 hole in his seven-year career before this stretch.

• Philadelphia is carrying four left-handed relievers -- Antonio Bastardo, Jake Diekman, Joe Savery and ex-Met Raul Valdes. Bastardo has allowed one run over his past 12 appearances, spanning 10 1/3 innings. Diekman and Valdes were promoted immediately after the meltdown series early this month against the Mets at Citizens Bank Park, when Philadelphia failed to hold a lead in three straight games and was swept.

Jonathan Papelbon’s 14 saves lead the NL. He has converted every chance this season. His lone loss remains May 7, when Jordany Valdespin delivered a tiebreaking, pinch-hit three-run homer.

Jimmy Rollins took until at-bat No. 136 to homer. That was the second-longest drought to start a season in his career, only shy of the 155 at-bats required in 2004. Rollins missed three games last week on paternity leave for the birth of his first child, a daughter. If Rollins starts all three games this series, he will match Larry Bowa in Wednesday’s finale with 1,667 games played at shortstop for the Phillies.

Last series results

Mets won, 3-0, at Citizens Bank Park, May 7-9 (AP game recaps)

Mets 5, Phillies 2: Jordany Valdespin had a pinch-hit three-run homer off Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth inning for his first major league hit. David Wright hit a tying two-run double off Roy Halladay in the sixth. On the same day Ruben Tejada was placed on the disabled list, Josh Thole left with a concussion after colliding with Ty Wigginton at the plate. More

Mets 7, Phillies 4: Lucas Duda had a tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh. The Mets took the lead with four two-out runs on four hits, including Duda's single off Antonio Bastardo (1-2). Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ RBI single pulled New York within 4-2. Chad Qualls replaced starter Joe Blanton and gave up an RBI single to David Wright. On Hunter Pence's throw home, Wright got caught in a rundown between first and second. After Jimmy Rollins threw to first while second base was uncovered, Pete Orr tried to get Nieuwenhuis off the bag at third. The throw bounced past Placido Polanco, allowing Nieuwenhuis to score. More

Mets 10, Phillies 6: Ike Davis hit a three-run homer and Andres Torres also connected as the Mets completed their first three-game sweep in Philadelphia in six years. The Mets rallied to win all three against slumping Philadelphia. They trailed after five innings against Roy Halladay in the opener, then after six against Joe Blanton, and after six against Cliff Lee in the series finale. The Mets (18-13) moved five games above .500 for the first time since July 19, 2010. The loss prompted manager Charlie Manuel to address his team. Lee left with a 4-2 lead, but Kyle Kendrick (0-3) quickly gave that up. More

Rapid Reaction: Mets 5, Phillies 2

May, 7, 2012

WHAT IT MEANS: Omir Santos … again?

Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon, who had not allowed a hit in the last 18 at-bats against him entering the series, surrendered a one-out walk to Ike Davis, two-out double to Mike Nickeas, then a three-run homer to pinch hitter Jordany Valdespin in the top of the ninth inning to lift the Mets to a 5-2 win Monday at Citizens Bank Park.

It was Valdespin’s first major league hit. He is due to start at shortstop Tuesday in place of injured Ruben Tejada.

Papelbon, of course, served up the infamous two-run homer on May 23, 2009 to Santos at Fenway Park in a blown save.

GAMER: Ex-Met Ty Wigginton knocked Josh Thole from the game in the bottom of the eighth on a play at the plate. Thole took a jolt to the head from Wigginton’s left shoulder. He walked off under his own power, but seemingly will need to be monitored for a concussion. Thole held onto the ball, preserving the 2-2 score. Tim Byrdak recorded the final out of the eighth to strand the go-ahead run at third base with a strikeout.

Wigginton has a history of hard-nosed plate collisions. As a Met in 2003 in San Juan, he locked his arms and struck Montreal Expos catcher Michael Barrett, jarring a ball loose.

In the six weeks after he was traded from the Mets to the Pirates in the Kris Benson deal at the July 2004 deadline, Wigginton broke Koyie Hill's ankle and bruised St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina in jarring home-plate collisions while playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

DRIVEN: David Wright pulled the Mets even at 2 with a two-out, two-run double in the sixth against Roy Halladay. It was the 740th and 741st RBIs of Wright’s Mets career, extending his franchise record.

HALLADAY SPREE: Halladay’s streak of winning eight straight starts against the Mets ended with a no-decision. Barely.

In the bottom of the seventh, in an inning in which Halladay departed for a pinch hitter with the score tied at 2, the Phillies loaded the bases with one out against Bobby Parnell. Parnell then induced a groundball to Daniel Murphy, who initiated a 4-6-3 inning-ending double-play attempt.

First base ump Alan Porter ruled Hunter Pence had beaten the relay throw from Justin Turner, seemingly allowing Juan Pierre -- who walked as the pinch hitter for Halladay -- to score the go-ahead run. Terry Collins got halfway to first base to argue the call when Pence then was ruled out.

The out call came from second base ump Ron Kulpa, who ruled Shane Victorino had left the base line to interfere with Turner.

It’s not the first time at Citizens Bank Park an interference call affected a game late.

Back on Aug. 29, 2007, during a four-game sweep of the Mets by the Phillies, the third game ended with Marlon Anderson called by umpire C.B. Bucknor for an illegal takeout slide against second baseman Tadahito Iguchi.

Halladay, who received a no-decision, fell short of matching Juan Marichal and Sandy Koufax for the fourth-longest streak all time of consecutive starts with a win against the Mets. They both had wins in nine straight starts. Only Larry Jackson (13 straight), Don Drysdale (12) and Bob Friend (10) have longer streaks.

Coming off an outing against Atlanta in which he surrendered eight runs, Halladay had limited the Mets to one hit entering the sixth. Then, in that inning, he issued a two-out walk to Andres Torres and single to Kirk Nieuwenhuis preceding Wright’s game-tying double.

FIVE AND DIVE: Jon Niese limited the Phillies to two runs, but the southpaw walked four and departed Monday’s game having logged 101 pitches in five innings. He received a no-decision. It was the most pitches in a five-inning-or-less outing by a Mets starter since Chris Capuano went 4 2/3 innings in a 103-pitch outing at St. Louis last Sept. 22.

WHAT’S NEXT: Miguel Batista steps into the rotation slot that Chris Schwinden occupied for two unsuccessful turns. And this is not a make-or-break start for the 41-year-old Batista, according to Collins. “He’s going to get a few chances to show us what he can do,” Collins said. The manager added that Batista is not a placeholder for Chris Young, although it certainly seems that’s the case. Young, working back from May 16, 2011 surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule in his right shoulder, is scheduled to throw 75 pitches Thursday for Class A St. Lucie in his first official minor league game.



Daniel Murphy
.289 9 57 79
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
WB. Colon 15
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187