New York Mets: Ryan Hanigan

Series preview: Mets vs. Reds

April, 4, 2014
Apr 4
8:45
AM ET

Getty ImagesThe Mets face Mike Leake, Johnny Cueto and Alfredo Simon this weekend at Citi Field.
METS (0-3, fifth place/NL East) vs. CINCINNATI REDS (1-2, third place/NL Central)

Friday: RHP Jenrry Mejia (0-0, -.--) vs. RHP Mike Leake (0-0, -.--), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Dillon Gee (0-0, 5.40) vs. RHP Johnny Cueto (0-1, 1.29), 1:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: LHP Jonathon Niese (0-0, -.--) vs. RHP Alfredo Simon (0-0, -.--), 1:10 p.m. ET

Reds short hops

• Cincinnati opened the season with an MLB-high eight players on the disabled list. The most gruesome injury occurred to flame-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman, who was struck by a line drive off the bat of Kansas City’s Salvador Perez on March 19. Chapman suffered eye and nose fractures and also a mild concussion. He had a plate and screws inserted to stabilize the bones near his left eye.


Mark Sheldon/Associated PressAroldis Chapman is taken off the field after being struck by a March 19 line drive.


Also opening the season on the DL: right-handers Mat Latos (Oct. 11 elbow surgery and Feb. 14 knee surgery), Jonathan Broxton (Aug. 23 forearm surgery) and Brett Marshall (finger tendon), left-hander Sean Marshall (shoulder), catcher Devin Mesoraco (oblique), infielder Jack Hannahan (shoulder) and free-agent infielder/outfielder signee Skip Schumaker (shoulder).

Alfredo Simon, who has 19 career saves, steps into the rotation as the fifth starter until Latos returns. Latos tossed four innings for Double-A Pensacola in a rehab start Thursday.

• Bryan Price, 51, is the first-year manager of the Reds. He served the previous four seasons as the team’s pitching coach under Dusty Baker.

J.J. Hoover may take the lead in a closer-by-committee scenario until Broxton and then Chapman returns. Broxton may be back within a week. Hoover’s co-closers for now include Logan Ondrusek, Manny Parra and Sam LeCure. Hoover had 23 straight scoreless appearances last summer, a franchise record for a right-hander.

Mike Leake, still 26 year old, already has made five Opening Day rosters with the Reds. His 57 hits are the most by any MLB pitcher since his 2010 debut.

• Cincinnati opened its season by failing to score in its first 17 innings, until Chris Heisey’s walk-off single against St. Louis’ Carlos Martinez won Game 2 of the season, 1-0. Heisey had six spring-training homers, tied for the MLB lead.

• Speedster Billy Hamilton is hitless in 12 at-bats with six strikeouts to open the season. Four of the Ks came on Opening Day. He has been caught stealing only once in his big-league career -- by the Mets’ Juan Centeno last season. Hamilton is handling center field (and playing shallow to take advantage of his speed) with Shin-Soo Choo’s defection to the Texas Rangers on a seven-year, $130 million deal.

• First baseman Joey Votto, the 2010 NL MVP, notched his 1,000th career hit Wednesday.

• Toms River/Rutgers product Todd Frazier had his fourth career multihomer game Thursday.

Johnny Cueto, who made his third straight Opening Day start, was a tough-luck loser against St. Louis. He surrendered a solo homer to Yadier Molina while allowing only two other hits and a walk in seven innings in the Reds’ 1-0 loss to Adam Wainwright. Cueto made only 11 starts last season because of three disabled-list trips.

• Cincinnati experienced a combined 6 hours, 22 minutes of rain delays on Wednesday and Thursday.

• Left fielder Ryan Ludwick had a better Opening Day this season than a year ago, even though he went 0-for-4. In the 2013 opener, Ludwick tore the labrum in his right shoulder on a headfirst slide into third base. He required surgery and did not return until Aug. 12.

• Catcher Brayan Pena, who played with the Detroit Tigers in 2013, signed a two-year, $2.275 million contract in November. Incumbent catcher Ryan Hanigan was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays in December.

• Right-hander Homer Bailey signed a six-year, $105 million extension with the Reds on Feb. 19. He went 11-12 with a 3.49 ERA in 32 starts last season and would have been eligible for free agency next winter.

Series preview: Mets vs. Reds

May, 19, 2013
5/19/13
10:56
PM ET

Getty Images
The Mets face (l to r) Johnny Cueto, Mike Leake and Mat Latos during a three-game series at Citi Field.
METS (17-24, fourth place/NL East) vs. CINCINNATI REDS (26-18, second place/NL Central)

Monday: RHP Shaun Marcum (0-4, 6.75) vs. RHP Johnny Cueto (1-0, 2.60), 7:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: LHP Jonathon Niese (3-4, 5.40) vs. RHP Mike Leake (3-2, 3.72), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Matt Harvey (5-0, 1.55) vs. RHP Mat Latos (4-0, 2.91), 1:10 p.m. ET

Reds short hops

• Right-hander Johnny Cueto will make his first start since April 13, after which he landed on the disabled list with a strained right lat muscle. He also experienced an oblique issued while on the DL. Cueto tossed 58 pitches over five scoreless innings for Double-A Dayton on Tuesday, then threw an additional 23 pitches in the bullpen. Rookie Tony Cingrani (2-0, 3.27 ERA in six starts) was dispatched to Triple-A Louisville.

• Catcher Ryan Hanigan was hitting .079 with no extra-base hits through 12 starts in April before landing on the disabled list with a sore right thumb and strained left oblique that diminished his production. Since returning May 10, Hanigan has hit .300 (6-for-20) with a homer, three RBIs and three walks in seven games (six starts). His homer Saturday was his first long ball since July 6, 2012.


Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Former NL MVP Joey Votto's home run stroke has returned.


• First baseman Joey Votto reached base in eight straight plate appearances before the streak ended Sunday. He has an eight-game hitting streak during which he is hitting .515. Votto has 12 multi-hit games in his past 19.

Votto, who went homerless in 30 games between the regular season and postseason last year after returning Sept. 5 from knee surgery, has rediscovered his power after a slow April. He has six homers, including long balls Friday and Saturday at Philly. He reached base a career-high six times Saturday.

Votto (.473) and teammate Shin-Soo Choo (.456) rank first and second in the majors in on-base percentage.

• Choo, a 30-year-old South Korea native represented by Scott Boras, plays center field and bats leadoff with the Reds after previously playing right field with the Cleveland Indians. He is a free agent after the season and likely will draw interest from the Mets. Choo was acquired by Cincinnati on Dec. 11 in a three-team deal. The Reds are only responsible for $3.5 million of his $7.375 million salary this season.

• Three-time Gold Glove winner Brandon Phillips ranks second in the NL with 36 RBIs, one behind leader Troy Tulowitzki. The cleanup hitter benefits from Choo and Votto hitting ahead of him. Phillips has 220 doubles with Cincinnati, tied with Joe Morgan for the franchise record by a second baseman.

• Third baseman Todd Frazier, a Rutgers prospect from Toms River, N.J., snapped a career-high 0-for-19 skid Saturday. He then went 2-for-4 Sunday at Philly. Frazier has pronounced home-road splits: He is hitting .293 with six homers and 19 RBIs in Cincy and .164 with no homers and eight RBIs on the road.

• The Reds on Sunday suffered only their second loss in 18 starts by left fielder Xavier Paul.

• Outfielder Donald Lutz is regarded as the first German player in MLB. While children of American servicemen have been born in Germany and reached MLB, Lutz actually was born in the U.S. but moved with his German mother back to her native country at eight months old after his parents divorced.

• Flame-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman has suffered consecutive blown saves after converting his first eight opportunities of the season. The second setback came Sunday, when Freddy Galvis and Erik Kratz homered against Chapman for a 3-2 walk-off win by the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

• Right fielder Jay Bruce has a 10-game hitting streak, during which he has produced a .390 average (16-for-41) with four homers and 12 RBIs. Bruce had 40 strikeouts and one homer in 115 April at-bats. During the height of his struggles, Bruce had a Twitter rant during which he wrote to critical fans (via blogredmachine.com):

I appreciate all the tweets, good and bad, actually. You guys are what drive the game. I’m obviously not hitting as well as I’d like to, yet….I actually feel sorry for the people on here who feel that it’s necessary to try and put me down on twitter. It really just explains…Further who you are, and there are obviously things in your life that you’re unhappy about and you take it out on me via twitter…I suggest you look into talking with a life coach or something to help you get over whatever you have going on in your life. There is obviously a….lack of something going on, and I hope you guys get it straightened out, because you all sound like idiots Everyone have a good night. Haha.

• Shortstop Zack Cozart was scratched Sunday after becoming sick.

• Left fielder Chris Heisey has been on the DL since April 29 with a strained right hamstring. He tweaked the muscle in a rehab game last Monday.

Mat Latos nearly was 5-0 heading into a Wednesday matchup with 5-0 Matt Harvey. In Latos’ last start, he gave up a ninth-inning triple at Miami and departed with a 2-1 lead. Then Chapman gave up a game-tying triple. Cincinnati won in extra innings.

Series preview: Mets vs. Reds

June, 15, 2012
6/15/12
10:00
AM ET
Getty ImagesThe Mets face (l to r) right-handers Bronson Arroyo, Homer Bailey and Johnny Cueto this weekend at Citi Field.
METS (35-29, second place/NL East) vs. CINCINNATI REDS (35-27, first place/NL Central)

Friday: RHP Dillon Gee (4-4, 4.42) vs. RHP Bronson Arroyo (2-4, 3.79), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: LHP Jon Niese (4-2, 3.69) vs. RHP Homer Bailey (4-4, 4.35), 7:15 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Chris Young (1-0, 3.38) vs. RHP Johnny Cueto (7-3, 2.46), 1:10 p.m. ET

Reds short hops

Scott Rolen is scheduled for a weekend rehab assignment with Triple-A Louisville before being activated Monday. He has been on the DL since May 12 with a left shoulder strain. Rutgers product Todd Frazier has started 26 of 31 games at third base in Rolen's absence, with sporadic appearances otherwise by ex-Met Miguel Cairo. Frazier's seven homers already are the fourth-most by a Reds rookie third baseman, trailing only Grady Hatton (14, 1946), Chris Sabo (11, 1988) and Edwin Encarnacion (eight, 2005).

• Closer Aroldis Chapman (seven saves) allowed his first earned run since last Sept. 10 when he surrendered consecutive doubles to Pittsburgh's Clint Barmes and Michael McKenry last Thursday. The outing also snapped a club-record eight straight appearances of one-plus innings without allowing a hit, topping Danny Graves' previous franchise record (seven in 2001). The 24 appearances without an earned run allowed to open the season topped John Hudek's franchise record (18 games in 1998).

Joe Robbins/Getty ImagesJoey Votto is one point off the lead for the top batting average in the National League.


• Manager Dusty Baker turns 63 Friday.

Joey Votto's .362 average ranks second in the National League, one point behind San Francisco's Melky Cabrera and one point ahead of Philadelphia's Carlos Ruiz. David Wright is fourth at .358. Votto signed a 10-year extension on April 4 that locks him up through 2023.

Chris Heisey left Thursday afternoon's game in the fifth inning with a groin strain. Heisey had taken over in center field for Drew Stubbs. Stubbs has been sidelined since straining an oblique swinging on June 5, although he has remained on the active roster.

• Rookie catcher Devin Mesoraco, who shares duties with Ryan Hanigan, also was pulled from the series finale against the Indians with discomfort on his side, potentially related to dehydration.

• Second baseman Brandon Phillips signed a six-year, $72.5 million contract on April 10. He went 3-for-5 with a homer and four RBIs Thursday. Phillips has four straight multi-hit games and 20 RBIs in his past 17 appearances.

• Shortstop Zack Cozart returned to the lineup Thursday after missing two games with flu-like symptoms.

• The Reds are one of only three teams to use only five starting pitchers this season. The others: the Mariners and Marlins. It marks the longest streak for the Reds without using a sixth starter since 1992, when Keith Brown broke the streak in Game No. 80, after Cincinnati exclusively used Jose Rijo, Tom Browning, Tim Belcher, Greg Swindell and Chris Hammond before that.

• Ex-Red Barry Larkin will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on July 22.

Bronson Arroyo leads all NL pitchers in starts (213) and innings (1,362 1/3) since he joined the Reds in 2006. He has three complete games and five other eight-inning appearances in 12 starts against the Mets.

Last series results

Mets split 1-1 at Citi Field, May 16-17, 2012 (AP game recaps)

Reds 6, Mets 3: Todd Frazier had a big audience -- and a big night in front of it. The former Rutgers player homered twice in front of about three dozen friends and family members and Brandon Phillips hit a tying single off Jon Rauch in the eighth. Pinch hitter Jay Bruce drove in the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly one out after the Reds put together three straight hits off Rauch (3-2), ending with Phillips' single. Rauch retired Chris Heisey on a popup before left-hander Tim Byrdak came on to face the lefty-hitting Bruce. After that, D.J. Carrasco entered and gave up Frazier's second homer on his first pitch. Carrasco was designated for assignment after the game. More

Mets 9, Reds 4: David Wright lined his second double of the game, a tiebreaking drive in the eighth inning that raised his major league-leading average to .411, and the Mets scored nine unanswered runs to top the Reds. Ronny Cedeño’s three-run homer capped a five-run eighth against Logan Ondrusek (3-1), a burst that began with a neatly placed bunt single by backup catcher Rob Johnson with one out. Wright was up next and, after his shot down the left-field line was inches foul, sent a one-hopper off the wall in center for a 5-4 lead. Playing despite a cold that had him sniffling, he went 2-for-2, drew three walks, scored three runs and stole a base. More

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Carlos Torres
WINS ERA SO IP
2 2.08 11 8
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Lagares .314
HRL. Duda 3
RBIL. Duda 8
RE. Young Jr. 12
OPSJ. Lagares .816
ERAJ. Mejia 2.81
SOJ. Mejia 18

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