New York Mets: Ryan Howard

Rapid Reaction: Mets 6, Phillies 5

August, 31, 2014
Aug 31
4:25
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Enjoy last place, Philly!

Anthony Recker produced a tie-breaking three-run homer against A.J. Burnett in the sixth inning Sunday, and the New York Mets held on to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6-5 at Citi Field.

The Mets completed the season series with a 13-6 record against the Phillies. That matches the most wins in a season against Philadelphia in franchise history. The Mets went 13-5 against the Phillies in 1970, ’71, ’72 and ’87.

The victory prevented the Mets (64-73) from dropping into last place in the NL East for the first time since June 27.


Kathy Kmonicek/Associated PressAnthony Recker receives congratulations after delivering a tie-breaking three-run homer in the sixth inning.


Recker, whose three-run shot staked the Mets to a 5-2 lead, now has 12 career long balls. Nine of those home runs have tied the score or given his team a lead, including four of five this season.

Jeurys Familia surrendered a solo homer to Domonic Brown in the eighth inning as Philadelphia (62-74) pulled to within 5-4. Dilson Herrera's first career RBI in the bottom half of the inning restored a two-run cushion for Jenrry Mejia, who needed the insurance. Mejia notched his 21st save despite allowing a run in the ninth.

In the seventh, Dana Eveland allowed a runner inherited from starter Dillon Gee to score, but left a pair of Phillies in scoring position by retiring Chase Utley on a pop-out and consecutively striking out Ryan Howard and Grady Sizemore.

Not him again: Gee must have nightmares about Howard, right? Howard’s solo homer in the sixth against Gee evened the score at 2. Earlier, Howard’s RBI double in the fourth opened the game’s scoring -- although Gee left the bases loaded in that frame by coaxing a double-play grounder from Wil Nieves.

Howard is hitting .423 with seven home runs and 16 RBIs in 26 career at-bats against Gee.

Howard also is the active leader in long balls against the Mets with 41, ahead of a pair of his Phillies teammates -- Utley (33), and No. 3 Jimmy Rollins (30).

Gee entered Sunday’s start with a 6.53 ERA in 13 career appearances (12 starts) against the Phillies. He departed with a 5-2 lead after walking Freddy Galvis to open the seventh. Gee’s final line: 6+ IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 1 HR.

Halted! David Wright snapped a career-high 14-game RBI-less drought when his two-out single in the sixth against Burnett plated Matt den Dekker and staked the Mets to a 2-1 lead. Wright’s previous high without an RBI had been 13 straight games in Aug. 2010.

Wright’s hit also gave the Mets seven in the game. That snapped a streak of 10 straight games at Citi Field with six hits or fewer, which had matched the longest home streak in the majors since 1900, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Den Dekker’s RBI double had pulled the Mets even at 1.

Three cheers: Wilmer Flores went 3-for-4 and also recorded his first career stolen base, although a good throw from the Nieves would have nailed him at third base. It marked the third time Flores produced that career-high three-hit total.

What’s next: The Mets head to Miami for a three-game series. Zack Wheeler (9-9, 3.44 ERA) opposes right-hander Henderson Alvarez (10-6, 2.75) in the 1:10 p.m. opener on Labor Day. Wheeler is 2-0 with a 0.65 ERA in four starts against the Marlins this season.

Rapid Reaction: Phillies 7, Mets 2

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
10:08
PM ET
NEW YORK -- The 90-win dream is dead.

Bartolo Colon surrendered six runs in 5 1/3 innings, and the Mets suffered a 7-2 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday at Citi Field in the 1,500th major league game managed by Terry Collins.

The Mets dropped to 63-73, which makes it mathematically impossible to reach the win total Sandy Alderson ambitiously articulated to team personnel during an internal spring training meeting.

The last-place Phillies (62-73) returned to within a half-game of the Mets, which sets up a battle for fourth place in Sunday’s final 2014 meeting between the clubs.

Colon had limited the Phillies to one hit until ex-Met Marlon Byrd, on his 37th birthday, opened the fifth with a homer that broke a scoreless tie. Byrd notched his career-high 25th homer and surpassed last year’s previous high, which he produced while with the Mets (21) and Pittsburgh Pirates (three).

An inning later, Philadelphia took a 6-0 lead. Colon surrendered singles to six of the first seven batters -- including a two-run single to Ryan Howard -- and departed. Buddy Carlyle entered and immediately surrendered an RBI single to Cody Asche for the sixth and final run charged to Colon.

The Mets, who had been limited to one hit through six innings, finally mounted a threat in the seventh. Wilmer Flores delivered an RBI single, and Juan Lagares walked with the bases loaded to force in a run. However, left-hander Antonio Bastardo entered and struck out Curtis Granderson to leave the bases loaded and preserve a 6-2 lead.

It’s a hit! Dilson Herrera notched his first major league hit with a seventh-inning single that loaded the bases with one out and chased Phillies starter Jerome Williams. Herrera finished 1-for-3 with a walk in his second major league game.

What’s next: Dillon Gee (5-6, 3.77 ERA) opposes A.J. Burnett (7-14, 4.30) on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. in the final meeting between the clubs this season. The Mets, who are 12-6 against Philadelphia in 2014, can match their most wins ever against the Phillies in a single season. The Amazin’s went 13-5 against Philadelphia in 1970, ’71, ’72 and ’87.

Series preview: Mets vs. Phillies

August, 28, 2014
Aug 28
11:45
PM ET

Associated PressThe Mets face David Buchanan, Jerome Williams and A.J. Burnett at Citi Field this weekend.
METS (62-72, fourth place/NL East) vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (61-72, fifth place/NL East)

Friday: RHP Jacob deGrom (6-6, 3.13) vs. RHP David Buchanan (6-7, 4.21), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Bartolo Colon (12-10, 3.82) vs. RHP Jerome Williams (2-5, 6.71), 7:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Dillon Gee (5-6, 3.77) vs. RHP A.J. Burnett (7-14, 4.30), 1:10 p.m. ET

Phillies short hops

• Manager Ryne Sandberg reportedly has been having difficulty with veteran players treating him disrespectfully. The latest incident occurred Monday, when Cole Hamels began walking off and did a “handoff” of the baseball to Sandberg before the manager reached the mound to remove the southpaw, according to CSNPhilly.com’s Jim Salisbury. Kyle Kendrick reportedly pulled the same antics a couple of weeks earlier and subsequently apologized.

• The Phillies arrive at Citi Field coming off a three-game sweep of the Washington Nationals that capped a 7-2 homestand.

• Right-hander Jerome Williams was claimed off waivers by the Phillies from the Texas Rangers on Aug. 10. Williams, 32, is 2-0 with a 1.77 ERA in three starts since the change of scenery. He began the season with the Houston Astros and was released on July 8.

A.J. Burnett was 0-6 with a 7.41 ERA in his first seven starts after the All-Star break. He then limited the Nats to one run on three hits while striking out 12 in seven innings Monday.

Ben Revere's .310 batting average ranks second in the National League. With his next steal, Revere will become the 12th different player in Phillies history with a 40-steal season. The last was Jimmy Rollins in 2008.

• Ex-Met Marlon Byrd's 24 homers rank fifth in the league.

Ryan Howard's 81 RBIs rank fourth.

• Closer Jonathan Papelbon has 33 saves in 36 chances. Papelbon notched his 100th save as a Phillie on Tuesday. He had 219 with the Boston Red Sox. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first closer in major league history to produce 200 saves with one team and 100 saves with a team in the other league.

• Phillies president David Montgomery, 68, has taken a leave of absence from the ballclub as he attempts to recover from jaw cancer surgery. Former GM Pat Gillick will fill in during Montgomery’s absence.

• The Phillies and Dodgers completed the trade on Thursday that sent Roberto Hernandez to L.A. Philadelphia obtained right-hander Victor Arano, who was pitching for Class A Great Lakes.

• Infielder Freddy Galvis was recalled Saturday from Triple-A, where he had been optioned on May 9. He is hitting .085 (4-for-47) at the major league level this season … and that’s with a two-hit game Tuesday.

Morning Briefing: What next?

August, 11, 2014
Aug 11
5:25
AM ET
PHILADELPHIA

FIRST PITCH: After a ninth-inning meltdown capped the squandering of a five-run lead, the Mets now need a victory Monday to avoid a split of their four-game series against the last-place Philadelphia Phillies.

Jonathon Niese (5-8, 3.41 ERA) opposes right-hander David Buchanan (6-5, 4.39) at 1:05 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park.

Monday’s news reports:

Jacob deGrom will be examined in New York on Monday and has been scratched from Tuesday’s scheduled start against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field because of shoulder soreness. DeGrom does not believe the issue is serious.


Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY SportsJacob deGrom's shoulder is due to be examined Monday in New York.


Assistant GM John Ricco suggested Carlos Torres could make a spot start if deGrom is only going to miss one rotation turn, with Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard candidates if deGrom’s absence requires a DL stint. However, Terry Collins suggested Torres may be needed in the bullpen on Monday because other relievers have been heavily used.

Montero, who has produced two straight scoreless appearances with Triple-A Las Vegas and already has appeared at the major league level, would appear more likely among the call-up options. Sandy Alderson did not reply to an inquiry from ESPNNewYork.com.

Read more in the Post, Daily News, Journal, Star-Ledger, Record, Newsday and at MLB.com.

Jenrry Mejia revealed he has a hernia that will require surgery. He hopes to take medication and pitch with the discomfort for the remainder of the season, but it is possible he is shut down before then and undergoes the procedure sooner. Read more in the Star-Ledger, Daily News and at MLB.com.

• Mejia failed to hold a one-run lead in the ninth and the Phillies rallied for a 7-6 win against the Mets on Sunday at Citizens Bank Park. The Mets suffered their 11th walk-off loss of the season. No other team has suffered more than eight, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Zack Wheeler produced a quality start, but expressed disappointment with his high pitch count (112 in six innings). Wilmer Flores' failure to throw out Ben Revere on a two-out grounder in the seventh proved costly. Terry Collins explained several managerial moves afterward, including intentionally walking Chase Utley with the count already full to get to Ryan Howard for the walk-off RBI single.

Read game recaps in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Post, Daily News, Newsday, Times, Star-Ledger, Record and at MLB.com.

• Read more on Flores in Newsday.

• Pitching coach Dan Warthen tells columnist Ken Davidoff in the Post that John Smoltz offered advice to Wheeler during a June 30-July 2 series in Atlanta, which coincided with the beginning of Wheeler’s current streak of eight straight quality starts. “I do give credit to John for a couple of comments he made to him,” Warthen told Davidoff. “[It] really pumped him up. And he’s been outstanding since.”

Daisuke Matsuzaka (elbow inflammation) is due to make a rehab start for Class A St. Lucie on Monday. Matsuzaka then should be set to return from the DL.

Jeremy Hefner, who had a forearm issue arise as he returns from Tommy John surgery, is due to be examined in New York.

Bobby Abreu officially has been released by the Mets.

• Logan Verrett notched his 10th win as Vegas beat Albuquerque, 7-5. Steven Matz and Randy Fontanez combined on the shutout as Binghamton blanked Harrisburg, 3-0. Stefan Sabol had a game-tying RBI triple and scored the go-ahead run on Yeixon Ruiz’s single as Savannah beat Augusta, 6-4, in a rain-shortened game. Amed Rosario had a tiebreaking two-run double in Brooklyn’s 5-2 win against Batavia. Read the full minor-league recap here.

From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear takes note of some unusual Met stability.

BIRTHDAYS: Double-A infielder Wilfredo Tovar turns 23. ... Right-hander John Mitchell was born on this date in 1965.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Should Jenrry Mejia shut down his season now and undergo hernia surgery?

Rapid Reaction: Phillies 7, Mets 6

August, 10, 2014
Aug 10
4:57
PM ET
PHILADELPHIA -- Jenrry Mejia and his cranky calf suffered a blown save Sunday.

After a day off to allow the leg to rest and a doctor's exam that labeled the issue cramping, Mejia entered for the ninth with the Mets leading by a run. He proceeded to surrender a leadoff double to Cody Asche and game-tying single to pinch hitter Marlon Byrd.

The game-ending blow came on Ryan Howard’s two-out RBI single as the Phillies rallied for a 7-6 win.

The Mets had led 6-1 entering the bottom of the sixth. Their largest lead blown this season in a loss came May 3 at Colorado, when a 6-0 lead turned into an 11-10 defeat.

The Mets still are 10-5 against the Phillies this season, including 7-2 at Citizens Bank Park.

Mejia has allowed at least two hits in each of his past four appearances.

Zack Wheeler turned a 6-3 lead over to the bullpen for the seventh. Josh Edgin eventually bailed out the Mets after a letdown by Wilmer Flores opened the door for the Phillies to move within a run.

Flores, getting an extended look at shortstop, threw wide of first base on Ben Revere’s two-out grounder. The play officially was ruled an infield single, although a more accomplished defensive shortstop would have recorded the out. After Jimmy Rollins then singled, Chase Utley delivered a two-run triple as the Phillies moved within 6-5.

Edgin entered and struck out Howard to strand the tying run at third base. Howard is now 2-for-9 with two homers and three strikeouts in his career against Edgin.

Edgin also struck out the side in the eighth. He became only the second reliever in franchise history to face four or more batters and strike them all out. Manny Acosta also struck out all four batters he faced on July 30, 2010 against Arizona.

Wheel deal: Wheeler surrendered only one hit through five innings -- a two-out solo homer by Utley in the first that evened the score at 1.

With the Mets leading 6-1 in the sixth, Wheeler got tripped up. He surrendered a one-out single to Utley and two-out walk to Grady Sizemore, then a two-run double to Domonic Brown.

Wheeler’s final line in a 112-pitch effort that became a no-decision: 6 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 1 HR.

Brown’s two-RBI shot snapped Wheeler’s streak of allowing two runs or fewer while logging at least six innings at seven straight starts. It had been the franchise’s longest single-season streak since Masato Yoshii went eight straight starts in 1999.

Wheeler nonetheless is 4-0 with a 1.93 ERA over his past eight starts.

How they scored: Daniel Murphy’s sacrifice fly gave the Mets a 2-1 lead in the second. An inning later, Juan Lagares had a two-run triple.

The lead swelled to 6-1 in the fifth when Lucas Duda and Travis d'Arnaud homered on consecutive pitches from Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick. It marked only the second time this season back-to-back batters homered for the Mets. Curtis Granderson and the now-departed Chris Young consecutively homered against Oakland’s Scott Kazmir on June 24.

First audition: Matt den Dekker went 2-for-5 in his first start since returning from Las Vegas. Den Dekker was robbed by retreating center fielder Ben Revere on a third-inning shot to the warning track. In his next at-bat, den Dekker followed Duda and d’Arnaud’s long balls with a single. He also had a ninth-inning single.

What’s next: Jonathon Niese (5-8, 3.41 ERA) opposes right-hander David Buchanan (6-5, 4.39) at 1:05 p.m. Monday.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 2, Phillies 1 (11)

August, 9, 2014
Aug 9
11:31
PM ET
PHILADELPHIA -- Terry Collins started Lucas Duda against a left-handed pitcher to gauge his aptitude in those situations as the Mets answer questions for 2015. In extra innings, Duda delivered a clutch hit against a southpaw.

Duda delivered a tiebreaking, bases-loaded, one-out single against Antonio Bastardo and the Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies 2-1 in 11 innings on Saturday night.

The Mets improved to 7-1 at Citizens Bank Park this season.

The victory came after the Phillies inducted former manager Charlie Manuel into their Wall of Fame in a pregame ceremony that involved such greats as Jim Bunning, Steve Carlton and Mike Schmidt.

Jeurys Familia produced his second save of the season, with Collins as promised staying away from Jenrry Mejia, who had worked the previous two days and is dealing with a tight calf. Familia did allow a pair of two-out baserunners. He had recorded a five-out save on May 28 against Pittsburgh.

Duda also had a fifth-inning single against Cole Hamels.

Solid showing: Dillon Gee got back on track after an underwhelming start to the second half.

Gee, who entered with a 6.85 ERA in four starts since the All-Star break, took a scoreless effort into the seventh inning, when he surrendered a two-out game-tying solo homer to Carlos Ruiz.

Gee’s final line in a no-decision: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 HR.

Gee entered Saturday with a career 7.11 ERA in 12 appearances (11 starts) against the Phillies.

One key proved keeping Ryan Howard in check. Howard entered the game hitting .450 with six homers in 20 career at-bats against Gee, but went 0-for-3 with a strikeout Saturday.

Silent night: The Mets were hitless against Hamels until Curtis Granderson's leadoff bunt single in the fourth. The Amazin’s missed several chances to hand more than a 1-0 lead to Gee.

The game’s opening run came on Wilmer Flores' fielder’s choice with the bases loaded and none out in the fifth. The Mets failed to produce any additional runs that inning, with Gee popping out in foul territory on a bunt and Granderson flying out.

The Mets also placed runners on the corners with one out in the sixth, but Duda grounded into a double play. Juan Lagares had a one-out double into the right-center gap in the seventh, but Flores flied out and Gee struck out.

What’s next: Zack Wheeler (7-8, 3.48 ERA) opposes right-hander Kyle Kendrick (5-11, 4.74) at 1:35 p.m. Sunday. Wheeler is 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA in his past seven starts.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 5, Phillies 4

August, 8, 2014
Aug 8
9:20
PM ET
PHILADELPHIA -- Bartolo Colon joined exclusive company as the Philadelphia Phillies continued a season in which they’ve become the team to beat up on.

The 41-year-old Colon recorded career win No. 200 as the Mets beat the Phillies 5-4 in Friday’s series opener at Citizens Bank Park.

Colon departed with a 5-1 lead after eight innings. After Dana Eveland allowed the first two batters of the ninth to reach, Jenrry Mejia converted the save -- barely.

Mejia, who had experienced lower-back tightness Monday and calf tightness Thursday, allowed a single to Marlon Byrd that loaded the bases with none out. He then allowed a two-run double to Grady Sizemore. Cody Asche eventually contributed a run-scoring groundout for the second out, but Mejia left the tying run at third base by striking out Reid Brignac.

Colon joined Juan Marichal (243 wins) and Pedro Martinez (219) as the only Dominican-born pitchers to reach the 200-win plateau.

He also became the third pitcher to achieve No. 200 as a Met, joining Orel Hershiser in 1999 and Martinez in 2006.


Eric Hartline/USA TODAY SportsBartolo Colon earned his 200th career win Friday.


There are only two active pitchers with more wins than Colon: Tim Hudson (213) and CC Sabathia (208).

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only three pitchers in the past 90 years have notched win No. 200 when they were older than Colon: Tim Wakefield (age 45), Charlie Hough (44) and Jamie Moyer (42).

The Mets improved to 9-4 in the season series against the Phillies. The Amazin’s have won 11 of their past 13 games at Citizens Bank Park.

A.J. Burnett surrendered 11 hits -- matching Atlanta’s Julio Teheran on July 8 for the most a starting pitcher has allowed against the Mets this season. Burnett departed trailing 5-0 after six innings.

He managed to keep the game scoreless by coaxing a bases-loaded groundout from Lucas Duda in the third. Travis d'Arnaud, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Juan Lagares and Wilmer Flores then consecutively produced hits to open what became a four-run fourth. Over that two-inning span, eight Mets in a 10-batter stretch reached base against Burnett. (And, really, it’s 8 of 9 reaching, since Colon’s strikeout shouldn’t count, right?)

A fifth-inning solo homer by d’Arnaud, who originally was drafted by the Phillies, upped the lead to 5-0. (D’Arnaud was traded to Toronto for Roy Halladay, who threw out Friday’s ceremonial first pitch.)

Colon took a scoreless effort into the seventh inning.

After a leadoff single by Chase Utley in the fourth, Colon survived consecutive shots from Ryan Howard and Byrd that settled into Lagares’ glove just in front of the 401-foot marker on the center-field wall. Byrd’s leadoff homer in the seventh finally got Philadelphia on the scoreboard.

Colon’s line: 8 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 1 HR.

Kids' play: In the first game since Terry Collins announced Flores and Nieuwenhuis would get legitimate auditions, both contributed. Flores finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored. Nieuwenhuis went 1-for-4 with a run scored.

Ouch: Plate ump Mike Winters was struck by a pitch from Burnett in the first inning. He completed the game with a huge welt on his right wrist.

What’s next: Dillon Gee (4-4, 3.73 ERA) opposes left-hander Cole Hamels (6-6, 2.42) at 7:05 p.m. Saturday. Gee is 0-4 with a 6.85 ERA since the All-Star break.

Series preview: Mets at Phillies

August, 7, 2014
Aug 7
11:38
PM ET

Getty ImagesThe Mets will face A.J. Burnett, Cole Hamels and Kyle Kendrick in the opening three games of the series, as they did July 28-30 in New York.
METS (54-61, fourth place/NL East) vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (52-63, fifth place/NL East)

Friday: RHP Bartolo Colon (10-9, 4.12) vs. RHP A.J. Burnett (6-11, 4.16), 7:05 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Dillon Gee (4-4, 3.73) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (6-6, 2.42), 7:05 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Zack Wheeler (7-8, 3.48) vs. RHP Kyle Kendrick (5-11, 4.74), 1:35 p.m. ET

Monday: LHP Jonathon Niese (5-8, 3.41) vs. RHP David Buchanan (6-5, 4.39), 1:05 p.m. ET

Phillies short hops

• After no activity at the non-waiver trade deadline, the Phillies scratched 33-year-old Roberto Hernandez from his scheduled start on Thursday. Hernandez (formerly Fausto Carmona) instead was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for two players to be named from the low minors. Hernandez, owed $1.5 million the remainder of this season, was 6-8 with a 3.87 ERA in 23 appearances (20 starts) for the Phillies.


Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY SportsRoberto Hernandez was traded to the Dodgers on Thursday.


Sean O'Sullivan was promoted from Triple-A Lehigh Valley, which was playing at Toledo, and made it in time to take the start. The journeyman right-hander surrendered three homers in six innings and departed trailing 5-1, but Ryan Howard's grand slam capped a fifth-run eighth as the Phillies rallied to complete a three-game sweep of the Houston Astros.

• The Phillies announced Thursday that a Grade 2 strain of the left elbow will prevent Cliff Lee from pitching again this season. Lee does not intend to undergo surgery. He received an opinion from Mets doctor David Altchek and has been treated with platelet-rich plasma therapy. Lee essentially is owed $37.5 million next season -- $25 million in salary, plus a $12.5 million buyout of a $27.5 million team option for 2016. David Buchanan took Lee's rotation spot.

Chase Utley's homer Wednesday, his 10th of the season, made him the fifth second basemen in major league history to produce double-digit long balls in 11 straight seasons, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Jeff Kent (1997-2008) and Bobby Doerr (1939-51, minus 1945 while serving in World War II) had 12-season streaks. Lou Whitaker (1982-92) and Joe Gordon (1938-50, minus two years of military service) had 11-season streaks.

• Center fielder Ben Revere produced his fourth four-hit game of the season Wednesday, matching the major league high. The only Phillie with more four-hit games in a season in the past three decades was Shane Victorino, who had five in 2009. After a two-hit game Thursday, Revere is now hitting .385 since June 26.

A.J. Burnett lasted only 1 2/3 innings in his last start. He was ejected for the first time in his major league career after allowing five runs (one earned) against Washington and arguing with plate umpire Chris Guccione about the strike zone.

• With his 94th save as a Phillie on Thursday, closer Jonathan Papelbon tied Tug McGraw for fifth on the club’s all-time list. Papelbon’s 87.0 save-conversion percentage is tops in Phillies history among relievers with at least 100 chances. Jose Mesa ranks second at 86.8 percent. Papelbon reportedly has cleared waivers, which allows the Phillies to trade him to any team this month.

Antonio Bastardo on Tuesday became the only major league pitcher since 1900 to have two separate games notching at least six outs, with all of the outs recorded via strikeout. His other such appearance came April 8, 2011 at Atlanta.

• Left fielder Domonic Brown pinch hit Thursday, but has not started in the past nine games because of a tonsil infection.

Grady Sizemore has hit safely in 15 of 19 starts since joining the Phillies. After going 1-for-3 Thursday, he is hitting .333 (27-for-81) with the club. Sizemore started in center field on Opening Day for the Boston Red Sox. He hit .216 with two homers in 185 at-bats before being designated for assignment on June 17. He was released the following day.

• The Chicago Cubs reportedly claimed Cole Hamels but have no intention of trading for him. Ex-Met Marlon Byrd reportedly also was claimed, with the 48-hour period to negotiate a deal expiring Friday.

• The Phillies signed Tony Gwynn Jr. to a minor-league contract a week after releasing him from the big-league squad.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 11, Phillies 2

July, 30, 2014
Jul 30
3:39
PM ET
NEW YORK -- It's safe to say the Philadelphia Phillies are no longer the team to beat.

Zack Wheeler continued to make the case he is becoming an elite pitcher and Daniel Murphy launched a three-run homer as the Mets beat the Phillies, 11-2, in Wednesday’s rubber game at Citi Field.

Officially two-thirds of the way through the season, the Mets are 52-56.

Wheeler was in position to match a franchise record until Jimmy Rollins launched a pinch-hit homer to lead off the seventh that pulled Philadelphia with 4-2. With the long ball, Wheeler’s streak of limiting opponents to one earned run while completing at least six innings ended at five straight games -- one shy of matching the franchise record.

Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports Zack Wheeler allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings.
His final line: 6.2 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR.

Four Mets pitchers have made six straight starts logging at least six innings and surrendering no more than one earned run in each outing: R.A. Dickey (2012), David Cone (1988), Nolan Ryan (1971) and Jerry Koosman (1969).

Wheeler improved to 6-8 with a 3.60 ERA.

He entered the outing with the most pitches per batter of any qualified NL starter (4.11). Consistent with that statistic, his pitch count swelled early Wednesday, rising to 45 after two innings and 60 after three innings. But Wheeler ultimately worked into the seventh inning before departing with his pitch count at 112.

Until Rollins’ homer, Wheeler limited the Phillies to a two-out RBI double in the fifth by Ryan Howard, which opened the game’s scoring.

Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick had taken a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the fifth, when his outing unraveled.

After Juan Lagares and Ruben Tejada singled and Wheeler bunted them ahead, Curtis Granderson walked to load the bases with one out. Kendrick issued a wild pitch that evened the score. Murphy then deposited an opposite-field homer over the left-field wall for a 4-1 lead.

Kathy Willens/Associated PressDaniel Murphy's three-run homer staked the Mets to a 4-1 lead.
Murphy had gone 94 at-bats since his last homer, on July 1 against Atlanta’s Mike Minor.

Tejada finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and an intentional walk. He snapped an 0-for-13 drought. Lagares finished 3-for-5.

Bruised and battered: Dana Eveland, struck in the left elbow in the series opener and forced to depart, struggled two days later in his return to the mound. Taking over for Wheeler with two outs and none on in the seventh to face the lefty-hitting Chase Utley, Eveland issued a walk.

Utley then swiped second base after getting a huge jump. He advanced to third base on a passed ball. Eveland then plunked the lefty-hitting Howard with a pitch and departed.

Jeurys Familia bailed out Eveland and maintained the Mets’ 4-2 lead by coaxing a groundout from ex-Met Marlon Byrd.

Passing fancy: Travis d'Arnaud was charged with his 10th passed ball. That matches Colorado's Wilin Rosario for the major league lead.

Career year: Lucas Duda produced his 58th, 59th and 60th RBIs, surpassing his 2012 total (57) for a new career high. After an intentional walk to David Wright in the seventh, Duda staked the Mets to a 5-2 lead with an opposite-field RBI single against Mario Hollands. Duda added a two-run homer in the eighth against Phillippe Aumont. Duda has five homers in his past eight games.

Take that deGrom! Familia ended up batting against Justin De Fratus in what became a five-run seventh during which the Mets sent 10 batters to the plate. He delivered a run-scoring single for his first career RBI. He is 2-for-2 this season and 2-for-3 overall at the plate as a major leaguer. Familia’s other hit came May 28 against Pittsburgh’s Bryan Morris while notching a five-out save.

Not in your house: Center fielder Ben Revere leaped at the wall to take away a potential homer from Duda to open the bottom of the fourth.

What’s next: Mets players get a day off Thursday, but Sandy Alderson will continue to work the phones until the non-waiver trade deadline at 4 p.m. The Mets resume play Friday. Jonathon Niese (5-6, 3.23 ERA) opposes San Francisco Giants right-hander Ryan Vogelsong (5-8, 4.45) in the opener of a four-game series at Citi Field.

Rapid Reaction: Phillies 6, Mets 0

July, 29, 2014
Jul 29
9:46
PM ET
NEW YORK -- Sell!

Cole Hamels tossed eight scoreless innings and Jimmy Rollins, Grady Sizemore and Chase Utley homered as the Philadelphia Phillies beat the New York Mets 6-0 on Tuesday at Citi Field.

The Mets dropped to 51-56.

Rollins broke a scoreless tie in the third with a solo shot against Dillon Gee. Sizemore’s homer, which he wrapped inside the right-field foul pole, came an inning later and was his first long ball in 14 games with the Phillies. After Gee departed with the bases loaded and two outs in the seventh, Josh Edgin surrendered a grand slam to Utley.


Frank Franklin II/Associated PressGrady Sizemore circles the bases after a fourth-inning homer against Dillon Gee.


Among active MLB leaders in homers against the Mets, the top three are all Phillies now that Chipper Jones has retired. Ryan Howard has 40 career long balls against the Amazin’s, followed by Utley now with 32 and Rollins now with 29.

Hamels was making his 30th career start against the Mets. He produced his first scoreless effort since his first matchup with the Mets -- an eight-scoreless-inning performance as a rookie on Aug. 14, 2006.

The southpaw retired the final 13 batters he faced in a 109-pitch effort. He entered the start with a 7-14 record and 4.38 ERA in his career against the Mets.

Among active major league pitchers, only Tim Hudson has made more starts against the Mets. Now with the San Francisco Giants, Hudson is scheduled to make No. 32 on Monday, in the finale of a four-game series at Citi Field.

Gee (4-4, 3.77 ERA) suffered his third straight defeat. He has now been charged with 15 earned runs in 16 2/3 innings in three starts since the All-Star break.

His final line after Utley’s slam became: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 2 HR.

Gee has allowed five homers in the three second-half starts. He had allowed one homer in his previous six outings.

What’s next: The teams conclude their three-game series Wednesday at 12:10 p.m. Zack Wheeler (5-8, 3.64 ERA) opposes right-hander Kyle Kendrick (5-10, 4.87) in the rubber game. Wheeler has allowed one earned run and completed at least six innings in each of his past five starts.

Series preview: Mets vs. Phillies

July, 28, 2014
Jul 28
8:45
AM ET

Getty ImagesThe Mets are due to face A.J. Burnett, Cole Hamels and Kyle Kendrick as they return home to play the Phillies.
METS (50-55, fourth place/NL East) vs. PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (46-59, fifth place/NL East)

Monday: RHP Bartolo Colon (9-8, 4.03) vs. RHP A.J. Burnett (6-9, 3.86), 7:10 p.m. ET

Tuesday: RHP Dillon Gee (4-3, 3.49) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (5-5, 2.72), 7:10 p.m. ET

Wednesday: RHP Zack Wheeler (5-8, 3.64) vs. RHP Kyle Kendrick (5-10, 4.87), 12:10 p.m. ET

Phillies short hops

Ryan Howard was benched for three straight games last week, with Darin Ruf -- who was promoted from Triple-A on Tuesday -- instead starting at first base. In the 21 games before the Wednesday-Friday sit-down, Howard was hitting .141 with one homer in 78 at-bats.

Howard is owed a combined $60 million in 2015 and 2016, including the buyout of the following season. He could get dealt before Thursday’s non-waiver trade deadline. The Phillies reportedly have contemplated releasing him during the offseason and eating the remaining contract if the 34-year-old Howard is not dealt by then, although GM Ruben Amaro has denied that is a consideration.


Gene J. Puskar/Associated PressRyan Howard has been at the center of recent drama in Philly.


Howard did produce a two-out, two-run first-inning homer against left-hander Vidal Nuno on Sunday as the Phillies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 4-2. Despite struggles, Howard’s 62 RBIs rank fifth in the National League.

Howard is one of multiple Phillies who could be traded this week. Others include ex-Met Marlon Byrd, right-hander A.J. Burnett, left-hander Cliff Lee and closer Jonathan Papelbon.

However, two of Byrd’s potential suitors, the Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals, reportedly are on his no-trade list.

Byrd jumped on a two-year, $16 million contract with the Phillies early in the offseason. The deal includes an $8 million club and vesting option for 2016. Byrd’s 20 homers are tied for fourth in the NL, trailing only Anthony Rizzo (25), Giancarlo Stanton (23) and Troy Tulowitzki (21).

Papelbon has converted 25 saves in 28 chances, but did have a blown save and a loss in consecutive appearances against the San Francisco Giants last week.

Burnett tossed eight scoreless innings against San Francisco in his last outing.

Jimmy Rollins essentially triggered an $11 million vesting option for 2015 when he logged his 1,100th plate appearance of the 2013 and ’14 seasons over the weekend. Rollins still must avoid finishing the season on the disabled list for the option to formally kick in.

Grady Sizemore started in center field on Opening Day for the Boston Red Sox. He hit .216 with two homers in 185 at-bats with the club before being designated for assignment on June 17. He was released the following day.

Sizemore, who turns 32 on Friday, is hitting .319 (15-for-47) since joining the Phillies on July 11 after 11 games at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He has started six games in center field and five games in left field with Philadelphia. A three-time All-Star, Sizemore missed the 2012 and ’13 seasons because of multiple surgeries on both knees.

Sizemore’s role could further increase if Byrd is traded and if Domonic Brown (.231, 7 HR, 49 RBIs, 341 ABs) continues to not produce. Sizemore notched his 1,000th career hit on Friday.

• Catcher Carlos Ruiz was activated from the concussion DL on Wednesday. He originally was hit in the head with a pitch from Miami’s A.J. Ramos on June 26.

• Rookie right-handed reliever Ken Giles tossed another scoreless inning Sunday. Giles, 23, has allowed two earned runs in 18 1/3 major league innings. He has struck out 26 during that span.

Morning Briefing: Mets change scenery

June, 3, 2014
Jun 3
5:45
AM ET
PHILADELPHIA

FIRST PITCH: The Mets finally get a change of scenery. After a five-game series in Philly that included consecutive 14-, 14- and 11-inning games, the Mets open a three-game set against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on Tuesday at 8:05 p.m. ET.

Zack Wheeler, coming off a dominating performance against the Philadelphia Phillies in which he allowed one run in 6 1/3 innings and struck out nine, starts the opener for the Mets, who look to reach .500. Wheeler (2-5, 4.31 ERA) opposes right-hander Jake Arrieta (1-1, 3.20).

“To go through what we went through, we’re tired,” Terry Collins said. “I’m not going to make any bones about it. This team is tired. We’re going to try to get some guys some days off this week.”

Asked if the firing of Dave Hudgens and release of Jose Valverde may have spurred the 6-1 week against the Pittsburgh Pirates and Phillies, Collins added: “I don’t know. I can’t answer that. We did something that a lot of places do it, a lot of businesses do it. They made a change they thought was necessary. I don’t know what the players thought of it. We haven’t necessarily gone crazy, but I think it got people’s attention, that’s for sure.”

Tuesday’s news reports:

Matt den Dekker robbed Philadelphia of two runs -- reaching over the wall to take away a homer from Ryan Howard and also throwing out Reid Brignac at the plate -- as the Mets beat the Phillies, 11-2, Monday at Citizens Bank Park. Wilmer Flores finished with a career-high six RBIs, capped by a ninth-inning grand slam. Dana Eveland recorded a pair of big outs in his first major league game in two years. The Mets (28-29) took four of five from the Phillies to move within a game of .500.


Drew Hallowell/Getty ImagesBartolo Colon pitched into the eighth inning Monday at Philly.


Read game recaps in the Post, Daily News, Newsday, Star-Ledger, Record, Times and at MLB.com.

David Wright and Daniel Murphy are scheduled to get days off during the remainder of this road trip, with Wright’s potentially coming in the series opener at Wrigley Field.

• Den Dekker batted No. 1 Tuesday and will get the first chance in the leadoff role. Beyond that, Collins is not sure who he might try. It could even be Kirk Nieuwenhuis, presuming he gets promoted once the Mets shed a relief pitcher and return to a five-man bench. Read more in the Post.

Juan Lagares officially landed on the disabled list Monday afternoon with a strained intercostal muscle on his right side. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Newsday and at MLB.com.

Matt Harvey remains on track to throw off a mound Monday for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery on Oct. 22. Read more in Newsday.

Eric Young Jr. is due to test his strained right hamstring running outdoors Tuesday for the first time since landing on the disabled list. He is not eligible to return until next Tuesday.

Gonzalez Germen (infection) restarted a rehab assignment Monday with Class A St. Lucie.

• Mike Vorkunov in the Star-Ledger writes that the Mets set the single-day cheesesteak consumption record in the visitors’ clubhouse at Citizens Bank Park on April 30 by collectively downing 103 of the Philly delicacies. Of course, bullpen catchers Dave Racaniello and Eric Langill did plenty of the damage. And it came during a rainout in which the Mets spent hours at the ballpark awaiting their flight to Denver. Writes Vorkunov:

Though impressive, perhaps it should not have been surprising. When it comes to eating cheesesteaks, the Mets are the 1961 Yankees, and their bullpen catchers, Dave Racaniello and Eric Langill, are the Mantle and Maris.

Last season, from April 8-10, Langill set the three-game series record by eating 17 cheesesteaks. He broke Racaniello’s record of 14 -- which had stood for years.

The cheesesteak-eating competition is not without rules and calls for prior planning. To viably set a record, cheesesteaks can only be eaten after getting to the ballpark until batting practice, from the end of batting practice until the game begins, and for an hour window after the game has concluded. There are moratoriums during batting practice and the game, likely so that players and coaches can proceed with their day jobs.

• Former Mets executive Dave Howard is out as president of MSG Sports.

• Although the Mets have settled on Jenrry Mejia as the closer, former pitcher C.J. Nitkowski writes at Foxsports.com that the club has an opportunity to test sabermetric theories by not having a specific ninth-inning arm. Writes Nitkowski:

The Mets have an opportunity here to say to their best relievers, we have no closer, be ready from the sixth or seventh inning on because you could be called upon to get the biggest outs of the game. It is a great way to develop these young arms. Pitching in tight spots late in the game only makes you better as those games test your fortitude. If the Mets put their best young relievers in these games regardless of the inning, the result will be a group of battle-tested arms that will be ready to handle any and all situations.

Expensive closer are great when they are consistent, but so few are. Why force someone into the closer role when you don’t really have one? The Mets have some bright young arms both in their bullpen and in their rotation. This is an ideal time to train those relievers differently, both physically and mentally.

• Demoted Rafael Montero is due to start for Las Vegas on Tuesday. Noah Syndergaard (forearm) is penciled in to reenter the rotation Thursday for the Triple-A club.

Andrew Brown and Danny Muno had two-run homers and Miguel Socolovich earned his first save with two scoreless innings as Las Vegas beat Reno, 6-4. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Anthony DiComo at MLB.com previews Thursday’s opening round of the draft. The team web site, like ESPN’s Keith Law, continues to project the Mets selecting University of Hartford left-hander Sean Newcomb.

• Jared Diamond in the Journal calculates where historically the Mets and Phillies playing 57 innings in a series fits.

BIRTHDAYS: Racaniello, the bullpen catcher, turns 36. ... Las Vegas infielder Zach Lutz is 28. ... Ex-catcher Barry Lyons is 54. ... Savannah outfielder Victor Cruzado is 22.

TWEET OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: Who should bat leadoff for the Mets?

Rapid Reaction: Mets 11, Phillies 2

June, 2, 2014
Jun 2
10:23
PM ET
PHILADELPHIA -- Matt den Dekker was Juan Lagares before Juan Lagares.

Given his first 2014 major league start on Monday, den Dekker displayed why as the New York Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 11-2, at Citizens Bank Park.

The rookie center fielder took away two Phillies runs, reaching over the center-field wall to rob Ryan Howard of a homer in the second, then throwing out Reid Brignac at the plate on an ill-advised send by third-base coach Pete Mackanin an inning later.

Playing five straight days in a road city for the first time in franchise history, the Mets went 4-1 against the Phillies to move within a game of .500. The teams played a total of 57 innings. Add in two wins to close the last homestand against the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Mets are 6-1 since the firing of hitting coach Dave Hudgens and release of Jose Valverde. New York (28-29) moved into third place in the NL East for the first time since May 13.


Drew Hallowell/Getty ImagesMatt den Dekker takes away a would-be second-inning homer from Ryan Howard.


Bobby Abreu and Lucas Duda had consecutive one-out doubles in the second inning Monday as the Mets took a 1-0 lead against Roberto Hernandez. After inning-opening singles by den Dekker and Daniel Murphy in the sixth, David Wright produced a two-run double for a 3-0 lead. Later that inning, second baseman Chase Utley’s error on a would-be inning-ending double play loaded the bases. Wilmer Flores then delivered a two-run double that snapped the Mets’ 14 at-bat hitless streak with the bases loaded.

Flores' grand slam capped a six-run ninth. He finished with six RBIs, doubling his previous career high. The Mets went 3-for-4 with the bases loaded. Ike Davis had the Mets' other grand slam this season, on April 5 against Cincinnati.

Bartolo Colon, aided by den Dekker, took a scoreless effort into the bottom of the sixth. Howard then delivered an RBI groundout, snapping Colon’s scoreless streak at 16⅓ innings.

The 26-year-old den Dekker had been the ballyhooed outfield defensive whiz in Mets camp in 2013, but he broke the wrist on his right, non-throwing hand in Grapefruit League play late that spring training and missed the first two months of the minor league season. When the opportunity for an in-season promotion arose, Lagares -- another human highlight film -- had leapfrogged den Dekker.

With the Mets having played consecutive 14-inning games, den Dekker actually had been demoted before Sunday’s matinee to clear a roster spot for an extra arm. He never even started to pack for a scheduled 8:30 p.m. flight to Las Vegas, though. Once Lagares departed Sunday’s game with an injury, den Dekker was told to sit tight in Philly. He officially was re-promoted to the Mets on Monday afternoon when Lagares was placed on the disabled list with a strained rib cage.

Colon, incidentally, now has been saved from serving up homers by both den Dekker and Lagares. Lagares took away a would-be homer from Jayson Werth in D.C. on May 17.

Mets manager Terry Collins indicated den Dekker will get first dibs at trying to claim the leadoff spot in Lagares’ absence. He led off three different innings and finished 1-for-5.

Debutant: Left-hander Dana Eveland made his Mets debut in the eighth inning, inheriting a 5-1 lead and two baserunners from Colon with none out. He coaxed a fly out from Utley, struck out Howard and departed with righty-hitting Marlon Byrd next up. Jeurys Familia entered and uncorked a wild pitch on his first offering as the Phillies moved within three runs. Byrd then flied out.

Eveland, 30, last pitched in a major game on July 13, 2012, with the Baltimore Orioles. He spent last season in South Korea.

What’s next: The Mets head to the Windy City. Zack Wheeler (2-5, 4.31 ERA) opposes Chicago Cubs right-hander Jake Arrieta (1-1, 3.20) in Tuesday’s 8:05 p.m. ET series opener.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 4, Phillies 3 (11)

June, 1, 2014
Jun 1
5:06
PM ET
PHILADELPHIA -- The Mets won! And it only took 11 innings to do it!

After consecutive 14-inning games, the Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 4-3, Sunday afternoon courtesy a tiebreaking two-run homer in the 11th by Lucas Duda against Phillippe Aumont.

The Mets tied a franchise record with their third straight extra-inning game. It has now happened four times, most recently with three straight 10-inning affairs at Houston from July 31 through Aug. 2 in 2001.

Josh Edgin earned the win after striking out the side in the 10th. Jenrry Mejia recorded the save despite surrendering a solo homer to Marlon Byrd with one out in the bottom half.

Ouch: Juan Lagares left Sunday's game in the 10th inning with right rib-cage pain and appears headed to the disabled list.

Deep thoughts: Ryan Howard produced a two-run homer against Jonathon Niese in the fourth to stake Philadelphia to a 2-1 lead. It was Howard’s 40th homer against the Mets, more than any other active player. Teammates Chase Utley (31) and Jimmy Rollins (28) are next on the list, followed by Atlanta’s Dan Uggla and Washington’s Adam LaRoche (24 apiece).

Sloppy play: The Mets evened the score at 2 in the sixth on an unearned run against Cole Hamels. After a leadoff double, Eric Campbell advanced to third base on Rollins’ throwing error to first base on Chris Young’s grounder. That put Campbell in position to score on Curtis Granderson’s ensuing sacrifice fly.

The Mets had a chance to take the lead in the seventh after more Phillies sloppiness. Lagares reached on an error by third baseman Reid Brignac. Daniel Murphy then hit into a would-be 4-6-3 double play. However, second baseman Cesar Hernandez's flip to Rollins at second base was wide and Lagares was safe there. The Mets eventually stranded two baserunners when Campbell and Young consecutively struck out.

The Phillies had more sloppiness against Niese the following half-inning. With Hernandez on second base and one out, Domonic Brown -- pinch-hitting for Hamels -- singled to left field to advance Hernandez to third base. But Brown got caught between first and second and was tagged out. Niese then stranded Hernandez at third base by retiring Ben Revere.

Niese departed after eight innings and 91 pitches with the score tied at 2 when his spot came up to lead off the ninth. He likely would have been able to continue pitching had he batted in the eighth as planned. Instead, with Niese at the plate, Ruben Tejada was caught stealing to end that frame, delaying Niese’s at-bat until the ninth.

What’s next: The teams complete the five-game series at 7:05 p.m. Monday. Bartolo Colon (4-5, 4.73 ERA) opposes right-hander Roberto Hernandez (2-2, 3.76).

Morning Briefing: How about another 14?

June, 1, 2014
Jun 1
5:34
AM ET
PHILADELPHIA

FIRST PITCH: Jonathon Niese (3-3, 2.74 ERA) opposes Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels (1-3, 4.43) in Sunday’s 1:35 p.m. game at Citizens Bank Park.

If the Mets could keep the game under four hours, it would be appreciated.

“There’s some tired bodies out there,” Terry Collins said after the Mets played their second straight 14-inning game Saturday.

Sunday’s news reports:

David Wright had a tiebreaking RBI single in the top of the 14th against Antonio Bastardo and the Mets beat the Phillies, 5-4, Saturday. The Mets played consecutive five-hour games for the first time in franchise history. Despite allowing a three-run homer in the seventh to Ryan Howard, Jacob deGrom left in position for his first major league victory. Instead, he remained winless in four solid starts. Jeurys Familia suffered a blown save in the ninth. Buddy Carlyle tossed three scoreless relief innings in his first major league action since 2011 and earned his first win in six years.


Rich Schultz/Getty ImagesDavid Wright (who had the go-ahead RBI) and Carlos Torres (who had the save) celebrate Saturday's 14-inning win.


“Ideally, for the long run, you never want to play 14-inning games, much less back to back,” Wright told reporters postgame. “But if you’re out there, you want to win. It was also nice to pick one up for the bullpen, because they had been so good.”

Read game recaps in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Post, Daily News, Newsday, Times, Star-Ledger, Record and at MLB.com.

• Rookie Rafael Montero was demoted before Saturday’s game to clear the roster spot for Carlyle. Daisuke Matsuzaka will enter the rotation Wednesday at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs in Montero’s spot. Matsuzaka could be in the rotation for a while, since Dillon Gee (lat muscle strain) has not picked up a baseball since having to halt a session last Sunday after two tosses because of discomfort. Read more in the Post, Daily News, Star-Ledger, Newsday and at MLB.com.

Juan Lagares was scratched from Saturday’s start with a rib-cage issue but insisted the injury is “nothing bad.”

• After the Mets played consecutive 14-inning games and taxed the bullpen, left-hander Dana Eveland has been promoted from Las Vegas for Sunday’s matinee. The Mets did not announce a corresponding move Saturday. Barring an unexpected DL stint for Lagares, though, Carlyle logically could be out because he likely would be unavailable as he recovers from Saturday’s appearance.

• Sandy Alderson said it’s time for the Mets “to turn the corner.”

• Columnist Joel Sherman in the Post asserts that touting a slow-and-steady building of the farm system is a good diversionary tactic from woes at the big-league level and does not ensure future prosperity. Writes Sherman:

If you say, well maybe the Mets will be the Rays, know that the Rays have had three original signings since 2007 do much in the majors -- David Price (who was a first overall pick in 2007), Matt Moore (who is out after Tommy John surgery) and Derek Dietrich (who was traded for Yunel Escobar). Tampa Bay has found its success being ingenious in other ways.

If you are thinking the Moneyball A’s are the touchstone because of Alderson’s roots, then know that Oakland had four players it originally brought to its organization on the Opening Day roster, though one was Sonny Gray, who Alderson passed up in his first draft (2011) to take [Brandon] Nimmo. Again, Oakland has upheld success not with a lengthy buildup of personnel, but with crafty maneuvering of personnel.

So while the Mets continue in the slow-and-steady portion of the program, you might wonder if it is a fable that will work.

• Marc Carig in Newsday takes a detailed look at the Mets’ hitting philosophy, which will not change even with the firing of Dave Hudgens. Writes Carig:

The confusion begins with the ultimate goal. It is not to take pitches. It is not to run up pitch counts. It is not even necessarily to draw more walks. While these are beneficial byproducts, the real goal is to hit the ball with authority.

This can happen with the first pitch of an at-bat. Or the 10th. Proponents insist it doesn't matter, so long as hitters swing only at pitches they can crush. Within the system, taking a good pitch to hit and chasing a bad pitch out of the strike zone are equal sins.

Paul DePodesta, a longtime Alderson lieutenant, called the philosophy "focused aggression."

• The Mets received a scolding from the umpiring crew for leaving the field before an official call reversal for the final out of an inning Saturday.

• Umps have been incorrectly warning the Mets that Familia is balking, Collins said.

• Jairo Perez’s tiebreaking three-run homer lifted St. Lucie to a 4-3 win against Daytona. Champ Stuart went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs as Savannah beat Rome, 6-2. Read the full minor-league recap here.

• Frank Viola, who underwent open-heart surgery in April, tells the Post he’s eager to get to work as pitching coach for Las Vegas beginning Friday.

“Right now I’m in Port St. Lucie. I’m going through a regular spring-training arm-strengthening program,” Viola said. “I figure I should be back throwing BP in two weeks. … Being away I realized how much I missed it. I have to continue to take better care of myself, but I’m really glad to be back.”

• Mike Puma in the Post recaps the Mets’ 11-18 May.

• Jeff Roberts in the Record looks at the rash of Tommy John surgeries in baseball.

• Garin Cecchini, the brother of Mets 2012 first-round pick Gavin Cecchini, reportedly has been promoted to the majors by the Boston Red Sox.

From the bloggers ... Faith and Fear realizes that perhaps you can have too much baseball.

BIRTHDAYS: Rick Baldwin, who made 105 relief appearances for the Mets in the mid-’70s, was born on this date in 1953.

TWEETS OF THE DAY: YOU’RE UP: How should the Mets clear the roster spot for Dana Eveland’s addition?

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
15 4.09 151 202
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187