New York Mets: Scott Diamond

Mets 3, Twins 3: Familia zeroes in on pen

March, 15, 2014
Mar 15
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Dillon Gee surrendered five hits in 3 1/3 innings, but kept the Minnesota Twins off the scoreboard in an eventual 3-3 tie Saturday at Tradition Field by a Mets split squad.

Acting manager Bob Geren hoped for Gee to pitch five innings, as Zack Wheeler had done Friday night. But Gee reached his limit after delivering pitch No. 63 -- a leadoff double to Chris Colabello in the fourth.

“That’s not good to go three innings with 65 pitches,” Gee said. “Hopefully during the season I’ll get more innings out of that.”

Left-hander Dana Eveland, a former big leaguer who pitched in Korea, stranded Colabello by retiring three straight Twins. Eveland, 30, ultimately contributed 2 1/3 scoreless innings. He was being borrowed from minor-league camp.

Gee had allowed four singles over the first two innings. His final line: 3 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K.

“I didn’t give up any runs. That’s a key,” Gee said. “I didn’t feel that great today. Whatever it was five days ago that made me feel so good wasn’t really there today. I just have to keep working on it. I made big pitches when I had to today in key situations, with guys on base. That was good. ... The changeup felt good. I threw a lot of offspeed pitches behind in the count. That more replicates what’s going to happen during the year.”

How they scored: The Mets got a first-inning solo homer from Chris Young against left-hander Scott Diamond. Daniel Murphy staked the Mets to a 2-0 lead in the third with a sacrifice fly that plated Matt Reynolds. Josh Satin added a fifth-inning RBI single.

Vic Black walked two while loading the bases in the eighth. He then surrendered a two-run single to Eduardo Escobar and run-scoring single by Jermaine Mitchell as Minnesota evened the score at 3.

Zeroing in: Jeurys Familia tossed a scoreless ninth, including breaking the webbing on catcher Taylor Teagarden's glove with one fastball. Familia now has logged five scoreless Grapefruit League innings, having allowed only one hit while striking out four and walking none.

The projected Opening Day bullpen at this point includes Bobby Parnell, Black, Jose Valverde, Carlos Torres, Scott Rice, Familia and John Lannan.

“Two days in a row he threw the ball really well,” Geren said about Familia. “Obviously he threw the ball hard. I think he hit 100 mph out there today. He broke Teagarden’s glove. It went through the web. That’s kind of like a script out of a movie. That’s pretty fun. At first I thought Teagarden missed it. And then he turned around and ran for a new glove.”

Debutant: 2013 first-round pick Dominic Smith, an 18-year-old playing high school ball in Los Angeles at this time last year, finished the game at first base. He produced a hit in his first career Grapefruit League at-bat, on an eighth-inning dribbler back up the middle.

“I felt a little bit of nervousness,” Smith said. “Besides that, I was excited.”

Smith, incidentally, has a tattoo on his right forearm that reads: “Your dream.”

He explained: “For me, it means never give up on your dream. You only live once in your life, so no matter how tough it gets, or no matter how hard it gets, especially in baseball, always fight.”

What’s next: Jonathon Niese attempts to move beyond a rough first Grapefruit League start in which a first-pitch fastball registered only 79 mph. The southpaw opposes St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright at 1:05 p.m. Sunday in Jupiter, Fla. Niese is slated to be the Opening Day starter if he proves he is ready for the assignment after missing time early in camp with shoulder weakness.

Rapid Reaction: Mets 4, Twins 2

April, 13, 2013
WHAT IT MEANS: Matt Harvey flirted with the second no-hitter in franchise history. He had to settle for just another dominating performance.

Harvey held the Minnesota Twins hitless until Justin Morneau produced a two-out homer off the right-field foul pole on a 2-2 slider in the seventh.

The Mets won, 4-2, Saturday at Target Field. Harvey threw 107 pitches and allowed only the one run. He issued two walks while striking out six.

Brian Dozier had a two-out single against Harvey in the eighth for the lone other hit surrendered by Harvey in eight innings.

Harvey became the first Met to open a season allowing no more than one run in any of his first three starts since Al Leiter in 2004.

“His fastball has gotten better as the game has gone on,” said one scout in attendance. “Very Verlander-ish.”

Tweeted Dwight Gooden: "Morneau got lucky... We need to come up with a nickname for this kid... He's the real deal... Matt "THE REAL DEAL" Harvey !!!"

Terry Collins clearly thought something special was in progress. He replaced Lucas Duda with Mike Baxter in left field to begin the bottom of the seventh. Baxter had made the no-hitter-saving catch on Yadier Molina’s shot to left field last June 1 as Johan Santana tossed the first no-hitter in franchise history.

A dominant Harvey improved to 3-0 and shaved his ERA to 0.82. He has allowed six hits and six walks while striking out 25 in 22 innings this season.

FIRST CHANCE: Bobby Parnell had his first save situation of the season and converted it despite allowing an RBI double to Josh Willingham in the ninth.

DEEP THOUGHTS: Marlon Byrd opened the game’s scoring with a leadoff homer in the fifth against left-hander Scott Diamond. The Mets went on to produce seven straight hits to begin the frame and tallied four runs.

The seven straight hits were just shy of matching the franchise record of eight straight, against Greg Maddux and the Atlanta Braves on Sept. 29, 1999. It marked the longest streak since also producing seven straight hits on Aug. 1, 2001 against the Houston Astros.

The Mets have now homered in all 11 games. It marks the longest streak of homers to open a season in the majors since Tampa Bay homered in 12 straight games to open the 2007 season.

The only bad news: John Buck, who had homered in four straight games, did not go deep. So Richard Hidalgo maintains the franchise record with homers in five straight games in 2004.

WHAT’S NEXT: Weather-permitting, the Mets conclude a three-game series against the Twins on Sunday at 2:10 p.m. ET. Dillon Gee (0-2, 7.71 ERA) opposes right-hander Kevin Correia (0-1, 3.14).

Series preview: Mets at Twins

April, 11, 2013

Icon SMI
The Mets face (l to r) Vance Worley, Scott Diamond and Kevin Correia this weekend -- weather permitting.
METS (5-4, third place/NL East) at MINNESOTA TWINS (4-5, fourth place/AL Central)

Friday: LHP Jonathon Niese (1-0, 2.13) vs. RHP Vance Worley (0-1, 5.73), 8:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP Matt Harvey (2-0, 0.64) vs. LHP Scott Diamond (0-0, -.--), 4:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Dillon Gee (0-2, 7.71) vs. RHP Kevin Correia (0-1, 3.14), 2:10 p.m. ET

Twins short hops

• Left-hander Scott Diamond, a SUNY Binghamton product, is due to be activated from the disabled list for Saturday’s start. He underwent Dec. 18 surgery to remove a bone chip from his left elbow. In a rehab appearance Sunday with Class A Fort Myers, Diamond allowed four runs on six hits in an 82-pitch effort spanning five innings. Among American League rookies in 2012, Diamond ranked fourth in wins (12), second in ERA (3.54) and sixth in innings pitched (173).

• Right-hander Vance Worley was acquired from the Philadelphia Phillies with right-hander Trevor May for Ben Revere on Dec. 6, 2012. He is 3-3 with a 5.17 ERA (38.1 IP, 22 ER) in seven previous starts against the Mets.

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Mike Pelfrey is not scheduled to face his former team this weekend.

• Center fielder Aaron Hicks’ role as leadoff hitter may be in jeopardy. The rookie is off to a 2-for-35 start to his major league career, with 16 strikeouts. He also drew criticism from manager Ron Gardenhire on Wednesday for not running out a ball that ended up being dropped by Kansas City center fielder Lorenzo Cain. Hicks, 23, was the 14th overall pick in the 2008 draft out of high school in Long Beach, Calif. The Mets took college players Ike Davis 18th overall and Reese Havens 22nd overall in that first round.

• The customary Twins lineup is:

Hicks, cf
Joe Mauer, c
Josh Willingham, lf
Justin Morneau, 1b
Ryan Doumit, dh
Trevor Plouffe, 3b
Chris Parmelee, rf
Brian Dozier, 2b
Pedro Florimon, ss

Mike Pelfrey, who was non-tendered by the Mets in December, signed for a base salary of $4 million with the Twins. He is next due to start Monday, after the Mets leave town. Pelfrey underwent Tommy John surgery last May 1. He was roughed up in Kansas City in his second Twins outing, lasting only two innings. Pelfrey did not allow an earned run in 5 1/3 innings against the Detroit Tigers in his Twins debut five days earlier.

• Twins setup man Jared Burton got to jam on his guitar at the team’s hotel Monday with Eddie Vedder. The Pearl Jam singer is friendly with Twins broadcaster Ron Coomer and watched the NCAA men’s basketball championship game with the team.

• Outfielder Darin Mastroianni has been dealing with a bone bruise on his left ankle, which he suffered in a March 25 Grapefruit League game.

• Roof-less Target Field, which opened in 2010, has never had a snow cancellation. The field is heated, aiding snow melting. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, four games were snowed out while the Twins played for 21 years at outdoor Metropolitan Stadium, before relocating to the Metrodome for the 1982 season.

• Gardenhire and pitching coach Rick Anderson have Mets ties. Gardenhire spent his entire five-year major league career with the Mets, hitting .232 in 710 at-bats from 1981 to ’85. Anderson debuted with the Mets in 1986 before being traded the following March to the Royals with Ed Hearn for David Cone.

• The Mets’ lone previous visit to Minnesota came in 2004. The Twins swept the series at the Metrodome. Johan Santana limited the Mets to one run in seven innings in the middle game of that series, topping Steve Trachsel. The 15-inning series finale ended with an RBI single by Mike Ryan against Ricky Bottalico.



Daniel Murphy
.299 9 52 70
HRL. Duda 23
RBIL. Duda 69
RD. Murphy 70
OPSL. Duda .841
WB. Colon 11
ERAZ. Wheeler 3.48
SOZ. Wheeler 148